How to minimize conflict when emotions are bubbling to the surface

Empathy – the ability to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes – is a learned trait. When we end up in a situation where we disagree with someone and emotions start to get charged our Old Brain switches to the primitive flight or fight mode – neither of which state has room for new-fangled (as far as the Old Brain is concerned) emotions like empathy. … Continue reading How to minimize conflict when emotions are bubbling to the surface

The 4 P’s of Storytelling

Stories affect our brains in fascinating and peculiar ways. There are four main activities going on when you hear a story: Neural coupling: When your brain makes it seem like you were actually part of the experience. Mirroring: Listeners experience similar brain activity as the speaker. Dopamine: Because of the above two activities, your brain releases this chemical into the body when it experiences a … Continue reading The 4 P’s of Storytelling

Promote, Influence, Respond, Repeat

There are four key elements to ‘agvocating’: Promoting Canada’s agriculture industry, the care it takes to produce the nation’s food, and its important role in the Canadian economy. Influencing how people think about the industry, how they find their information and the type of information they find. Responding to doubts, questions, and myths. Repeating all of the above on a daily basis. With no internal … Continue reading Promote, Influence, Respond, Repeat

Gratitude should be earned, not expected

It’s that time of year when social media posts remind us to ‘Thank a farmer’. “If you ate today – thank a farmer!” “If you enjoyed your Thanksgiving lunch – thank a farmer!” “On this Thanksgiving Day remember to say ‘thank you’ to all the hardworking farmers who don’t get the day off.” While all of this is true, it’s important to remember two things … Continue reading Gratitude should be earned, not expected

The Einstellung Effect

The what’s-that-now?! ‘Einstellung’ literally means “setting” or “installation” in German. The boiled down definition of the Einstellung effect is ‘a mechanized state of mind’, that is, where the same ideas or solutions become our default answers, because they are set in our minds. Based on past experiences, your brain will choose familiar solutions to a new problem even if alternatives would be more efficient or … Continue reading The Einstellung Effect

How acting like Donald Trump can help your farm

There’s no denying that Donald Trump, the Republican nominee for this fall’s presidential election in the U.S., gets attention. Love him or hate him, he knows how to snap people’s heads around and open ears. George Orwell, an early 20th century English novelist, essayist, journalist, and critic, believed that clear and concise language could expose tyranny, failed logic, and lies – so much so that … Continue reading How acting like Donald Trump can help your farm

How to nurture a beginner’s mind

Shoshin is a Zen Buddhism philosophical concept that means “beginner’s mind”. A beginner’s mind is open, eager to learn, free of preconceptions that can infect an honest, open, transparent conversation – a blank slate. As a Canadian farmer, you are thinking, “This is exactly what we need all consumers to have when it comes to discussing agriculture!”: a mind free of erroneous or mythical information … Continue reading How to nurture a beginner’s mind