What if I showed you a free tool that you could implement today that would have the potential to make your farm 21% more profitable, without spending a dime ?
This tool was used by US farm journalist John Phipps and he said his business generated more income as a result. It was also used by the top-shelf farmers in over 6 states who were studied by Virginia Tech Grad students.
What is it?
It’s listening. When I first heard Phipps confess that even as a gifted TV host and broadcaster he had signed himself up for a better listening course, I was all ears.
80% of effective communication is good listening, yet many farmers don’t hear well, they are hearing impaired and too stubborn to get hearing aids. Some folks just choose to block out the insights or opinions of other farm team members.
The farm families who meet regularly to communicate their vision, goals and business strategies are the ones who are 21% more profitable.
I spoke with a frustrated young farm woman today, while her children were yelling for attention in the background. She focused her “mommy ears” on our conversation since her farm team is not talking, and won’t listen to outside resourceful advisors.
When families refuse to talk or listen to the hopes dreams and aspirations of the succeeding generation it causes hurt , fear and deep frustration.
Why should you be a better listener?
You owe it to your family and your family to be the best you can be. Listening is a skill that can be developed and improved. If we are well-listened to we feel respected, and have a positive emotional bank account that will help us be more resilient on the flat-tire days or through poor price cycles. When we feel heard we can become better spouses, happier parents and healthier friends.
I have attended a listening workshop taught by an English fellow, Tom Brown, who was convinced Canada needed his expertise. I am often approached by desperate farmers at conferences who are looking for the magic formula to unlock the key to their wife’s hearts…and I suggest they really listen to her side of the marriage story.
Spending time with the electronics off, and your ears on, tuned in to the needs of your spouse is likely the best gift you can give “Mom” this month. Marriage time requires focused attention, listening to each other, for at least one hour a week.
Start by asking , “What’s the most important thing for us to talk about ?” Then zip your lip and wait for the outpouring of words that hold dreams, desires, and pent-up feelings.
To be continued…