Ground Cover Supplement : GC Supplement - Integration of livestock cropping
19 GROUNDCOVER Issue 129 | July -- August 2017 | GRDC GROUNDCOVERTM SUPPLEMENT COMMUNICATION DIFFERENT TEMPERAMENTS BUILD A BETTER TEAM By Cam Nicholson and Jeanette Long n Have you ever wondered why you click with some people and get annoyed or clash with others? It's probably because of your temperament. Temperament, which is a big part of your personality, influences how we learn, communicate with others and consider risk. This, in turn, influences the decisions we make. A survey of 3000 growers by Rod Strachan published in 2011 found most growers (80 per cent) are 'detail' people, which is much higher than the average for the Australian population. Detail people display practical, down-to-earth traits and deal with today's challenges rather than looking too far ahead. Within the detail group of growers, the majority like to complete one task at a time and do not like change for change's sake. They can happily stick to repetitive tasks such as sowing and harvest, and need credible, proven and local evidence to adopt a new practice. In contrast, the remaining 20 per cent of the farming population fit the 'big picture' category. They want to focus on the future, the next innovation or opportunity. The next big thing in farming excites them and once sold on an idea they will try it, backing their ability to work out the detail as they go. There is also a diversity among big picture growers, with some people environmentally oriented, running the farm to keep the family unit working well together and with nature, even if it is not the most profitable decision to make. Importantly, no temperament type is better than another. They all have their strengths but also limitations. ADVISER TEMPERAMENT Until recently there was no similar understanding of the temperament type of cropping advisers. A small study conducted by the GRDC suggested advisers are more big picture types (51 per cent) and less detail (49 per cent). Further surveys of people involved in regional natural resource management (NRM) showed they were strongly within the big picture category (60 per cent), so it is no wonder some detail growers struggle to get on the same page as people involved in NRM. The relevance for advisers is that we naturally default to presenting information and communicating to others the way we like to. This may not always suit the client. If an adviser knows their natural style and can pick the temperament of their client, they can choose to change the way they engage to better meet the grower's needs. TEMPERAMENT, WHICH IS A BIG PART OF YOUR PERSONALITY, INFLUENCES HOW WE LEARN, COMMUNICATE WITH OTHERS AND CONSIDER RISK. THIS, IN TURN, INFLUENCES THE DECISIONS WE MAKE. RUNNING A GOOD FARM BUSINESS A wise adviser once said "the only difference between the top 20 per cent of growers and the rest is their ability to make a good decision at the right time". To make a good decision you need to be informed. Part of this is being able to see both the detail and the big picture. Big picture people often need the support of detail people -- for example, employees who are happy to do the same job day after day, or crop checkers. On the other hand, detail people, who like working in the business, often benefit from someone to help them look beyond the farmgate, to consider the opportunities that change may provide. Well-attuned farm advisers and farm advisory boards are great ways to build the mix of temperament types to benefit a farming business. o GRDC Research Code NRS0009 More information: Cam Nicholson, Nicon Rural Services, 03 5258 3860, firstname.lastname@example.org; Jeanette Long, Ag Consulting Co, 0438 373 993, email@example.com; www.grainandgraze3.com.au KEY MESSAGE Successful growers surround themselves with people who bring different skills and ideas to the business. KEY POINT n Select an adviser with a different temperament to you, who can complement your approach to your business -- but make sure they have the ability to communicate in a way that suits your needs The Grain & Graze Farm decision making guide provides information on the different personality types (www.grainandgraze3.com.au). WELL ATTUNED FARM ADVISERS AND FARM ADVISORY BOARDS ARE GREAT WAYS TO BUILD THE MIX OF TEMPERAMENT TYPES TO BENEFIT A FARMING BUSINESS.
GC Supplement - Weeds