At work, I can find myself thinking in many conversations, "just
get to the point… what's the bottom line here?" Today's workplace
culture is filled with the same amount of work with less people to
complete it on a tighter budget than ever. Everyone has challenges
with getting their work done; so, instead of wasting time talking
about those (or how the XYZ department is a barrier to your
success), we must move on to finding solutions to work together…and
that takes effective communication.
While working on a family farm or with an Ag business can
certainly lend itself to all kinds of complicated communication
scenarios, just learning more about how you communicate and how
your team expects you to communicate will definitely enhance your
overall effectiveness. If you are stepping into a leadership role
formerly held by a male, then the workers around you may have a
very different expectation of your communication style based on the
person that held the position previously. Finding out the
expectations of your communication from your team will allow you to
fine tune your style to stay true to yourself while also giving
your team what they need to be successful.
Here are two basic tips to up your communication game from the
farm to the firm:
Speak so that others hear you.
Think about the delivery of your message from beginning to end.
Is what you are saying important enough to be heard? If yes, be a
student of your environment and learn how your message will be best
received. You may need to talk to a single person one on one; call
a staff meeting with opening remarks; or take your team to an off
site location where they can focus on the message. Practice by
talking to yourself in the mirror. Would you want to hear yourself
telling you this message in this way?
Quit taking things personally.
The truth is that many times in life we allow ourselves to be
hurt by people who have no idea that they are hurting us. We create
the fear, emotional baggage and other ugly stuff that comes along
with bad communication when we could just choose to let it go.
Silence can be an offspring of this long built up messiness between
individuals. Decide that you are stronger and do not become a
victim of negative thinking. Instead, be consistent with high
quality work, positively persist on mission, and create happiness
in both your workplace and personal space.
Dr. Lauren Ledbetter Griffeth, Extension Leadership
University of Georgia