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

Why facts and reasoning won’t sell your Canadian ag message

In our digital age, consumers have the same access to information as sellers (i.e.: you, the producer). While access to information 24-7 provides an equal opportunity for everyone to make informed decisions, the downside is that, sometimes, acquired facts don’t broaden people’s minds, but reinforce their current opinion as they unconsciously ferret out ‘facts’ that bolster up what they already believe to be true. More … Continue reading Why facts and reasoning won’t sell your Canadian ag message

How to use your ‘why’ to change Canadian agriculture

Simon Sinek’s TED video “How Great Leaders Inspire Action” has been watched over thirty-two million times. The premise of his talk: why are some leaders able to inspire greater loyalty and engagement among customers? He’s convinced it’s the ‘why’; that is, their purpose, cause or belief. Sinek says, “Leaders and organizations with the capacity to inspire all think, act and communicate from the inside-out. They … Continue reading How to use your ‘why’ to change Canadian agriculture

How to de-bunk myths about Canadian agriculture

The expression ‘mud sticks’ doesn’t just refer to your equipment this wet spring. It also means that misinformation seems to have an uncanny knack for settling in and never letting go. Misinformation creates myths. And once myths start to propagate on social media they are next to impossible to correct. Refuting the misinformation that leads to dangerous myths about agriculture involve battling against several complex … Continue reading How to de-bunk myths about Canadian agriculture

How to fight misinformation in a world of information

In an increasingly politically polarized world, farmers know all too well how difficult it can be to get an opportunity to present their facts or make their point. Equally difficult is getting your audience to pause long enough to listen, consider, and open themselves up to the possibility that new information may be more factually correct than what they currently hold to be true. This … Continue reading How to fight misinformation in a world of information

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 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