Busyness and the Need for Focus

Busy, busy, busy…it is the mantra of springtime on our farms and ranches. Yet amongst this busyness and our increased workload, coordination, communication and decisions still need our focused attention. If ignored, we might find ourselves inefficient, frustrated, and stressed out…and perhaps unsafe.

I find that in the busiest of times, we tend to default back to personality traits which directly influence what we say, what we hear and what we do. Therefore, if you want positive results while making the best use of precious time, mentally pause and take a brief step back to prepare before interacting with others.

In the book,The Platinum Rule, author Dr. Tony Alessandra says it well, "Do unto others as they want done unto them."  In other words, it is in your best interest to adapt. You may be amazed at the time saved and positive results.

Consider your business and family team members and prepare for their personality and decision making style.

Who in the business needs details?

Provide them a detailed written list of jobs to do, errands to run, etc.  Include a timeframe to complete the tasks.

Who needs extra time to think through decisions so he/she will be ready to interact?

Provide them a "heads up" with timing and topic. "I need your input/decision by ___."

Who will try to dominate?

Remind them of the common goal or outcome, presenting your facts and opinions in a clear and succinct manner.

Who will doubt?

Have the expected result documented or an example of the result others have experienced.

Who will remain quiet or avoid the interaction?

Seek eye contact and invite interaction with open ended questions. Wait. Remember silence means consensus, so you might add, "I assume by your silence that you agree with me."

Who is frugal?

Be prepared with numbers, cost and anticipated ROI.

Who is keeping the team on track for the purpose of achieving common goals of safety, timeliness, stewardship, productivity, enjoyment?

Expect and appreciate frequent reminders of the important goals agreed to by you and your team.

It takes all kinds of team members with differing strengths to get the work done. Welcome the diversity. Sometimes in our righteousness of being right for things to be done "my way," we actually inhibit the productivity and progress needed at one of the busiest times of year. And then we ignore or take short cuts which may lead to greater problems. A farmer shared with me last summer that he had been too busy in the spring to act on his "detail-minded" dad's reminder to make sure the orange safety triangles were clearly mounted  on the equipment and that the amber flashing safety lights were working. The result was a tractor-vehicle accident. It was a lesson learned and the blessing that no one was seriously injured.

The busier our days, the more focused we need to be. Then adapting our behaviors to the preferences of others will get that work done in a timely, safe and productive manner.

Jolene Brown


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Copyright © 2015 Jolene Brown, LLC. All Rights Reserved
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