6 Ways to Counteract the Backfire Effect

Cognitive biases are patterns our brains use when processing information. For better or worse, they help us construct meaning out of bits and pieces of information. While these heuristics – or ‘mental shortcuts’ – exist to save our brains precious energy and time, they also affect our daily social communication skills and interactions. In short, these mental shortcuts can have negative consequences by drastically distorting … Continue reading 6 Ways to Counteract the Backfire Effect

Every Conversation Has A Purpose – What’s Yours?

We all have multiple conversations every day, both online and off. Conversations with family, friends, neighbours, colleagues, and complete strangers. Some are one-offs, but many are part of a series in an ongoing narrative – and these opportunities are where you can use your conversational skills to build constructive dialogue around food and farming. Each interaction has the power to advance or destroy the narrative, … Continue reading Every Conversation Has A Purpose – What’s Yours?

How to Resonate With the Modern Learner

The Modern Learner, as viewed in the infographic below, has a desire to learn, but they are desperately trying to keep up. “Today’s modern learner is overwhelmed, distracted, and impatient. They want learning content that is relevant, focused and succinct, timely, mobile, and engaging.” While the Bersin by Deloitte Modern Learner research is directed towards corporate employees, the agriculture industry can learn from the concept. … Continue reading How to Resonate With the Modern Learner

How to Create Moments That Matter

I just finished reading Chip and Dan Heath’s latest release ‘The Power of Moments’ – and in light of the new year before us, Canadian agriculture might ask the same question they did: “How can we fight [this] flatness and make moments that matter?” In other words, how will your words make an impact? How will you connect with your consumer audience? How will you … Continue reading How to Create Moments That Matter

Rejection and Rationality: How to Overcome One and Sync with the Other

As a farmer (ag researcher, ag communicator, etc.), working in an industry that is heavily science based, you are probably someone who makes myriad rational decisions every day, each formulated around strategic business goals and outcomes. But, as Seth Godin, author and marketing guru, points out, “The paradox is that you might also believe that you do this all the time, and that others do … Continue reading Rejection and Rationality: How to Overcome One and Sync with the Other

3 Ways to Engage the Disengaged

We’ve all been there: that moment when you’re eagerly chatting someone up about farming when suddenly they start to fidget, their eyes dart around, and you’d place to 10:1 odds that they’re thinking about anything else other than you. They’ve disconnected. They’ve completely disengaged from the conversation and your impact and influence went from a solid ice cube to a puddle on the floor. Went … Continue reading 3 Ways to Engage the Disengaged

How to Recognize (and Beat) the Curse of Knowledge

You don’t know what you don’t know. Case in point: I recently read an article about a farmer’s experience speaking to a group of urban moms in Chicago. These otherwise educated and well-informed women thought that seed company signs posted at fields along roadways were a statement of ownership. In the age of GMOs, they thought the signs meant that these were corporate farms owned … Continue reading How to Recognize (and Beat) the Curse of Knowledge