While a lot of this “communication” stuff might sound like some touchy feely, sing koombaya, hug each other until it hurts baloney that you might find better suited for a therapist’s couch, it is indeed important. MOST problems in family owned businesses can be traced back to a direct result of either poor management practices and/or unprofessional communication practices. At least that has been our experience.
A few areas you might consider addressing in your family farm business are guidelines for meetings and personal accountability standards for you and your teammates. Discussing and developing the reasons and types of meetings you will hold can help end the sometimes useless meetings that can creep into your business.
The practice of Personal Accountability has several components as its foundation. One key component is the notion that each individual person on your team’s personal behavior adheres to the “It is My Mess. I Own It. It is Up to Me to Change It.” mindset. When interacting with others this involves asking questions in a different way. For example, asking “How” and “What” questions as compared to asking “Who”, “Why” and “When” questions.
“Why” questions invoke the notion that people have no control over their circumstances or environment. While sometimes this is true, you can always change your environment by changing your location…or mindset. “Why” questions invoke victimhood and “oh poor me” thinking. Like it’s one big pity party. This is not good.
“Who” questions suggest that someone else is to blame. It’s the Blame Game. “Who made that decision?”. “Who is going to fix this?”, etc. This is not good.
“How” questions are a search for a solution. “How can we make better decisions?”. “How can I help you?”. “How are we going to fix this?”. This is good.
“What” questions seek answers. “What can be done?”. “What is the lesson to learn from this mistake?” “What is the solution?”. This is good.
“How can you improve or change this situation?” and “What are you willing or able to do?”
By focusing on the situation, issue, opportunity or problem…and NOT other people…
creativity, productivity and more harmonious relationships can develop.