By B. Lynn Gordon for SDSU iGrow
The greatest challenge with communication is remembering to do so! Busy times around farms, ranches and agri-business companies, lend us to often forget to actually communicate with those we work with. We think— I’ll just send a text and they will know what project I’m working on. A text can definitely provide an update, but when communication calls for a face-to-face discussion, how can one build an environment conducive to effective communication?
Four basic steps to consider for workplace face-to face communication are:
Clear, direct communication along with an understanding of how it is valued will create a better working environment. For example, trying to give directions or explain a situation when loud equipment is running in the background may result in unclear communication, where the employee only hears half of what the manager said. What might be the outcome? Unclear instructions, errors, additional problems that could have been averted and maybe even a misunderstanding. Strive for all the members of your team on the farm to have an understanding of how critical clear communication is in creating positive outcomes. Poor communication or lack thereof, can lead to tension between employees or management. This tension will no doubt put a halt to effective communication due to one individual or both not wanting to hear what the other has to say, resulting in communication barriers.
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2. Maintain composure
With communication gaps, misunderstandings happen, tempers may get short and things are said which may later be regretted. During communication, all parties need to strive to maintain their composure. A problem cannot be solved without focus and open-mindedness of the individuals. Plus, conflict that builds out of miscommunication or misconceptions reduces valuable time in order to reach a solution. Both the sender and receiver of the information must realize how impactful their role is in the communication process. Communicating verbally is as critical as the role of listening.
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