Sharing our story can be so much simpler than it is often made out to be.
I was flying back from Queensland late last week and in the Qantas office we heard a sudden outburst of laughter and the aftermath of what was obviously a funny joke, we all naturally had a bit of a chuckle ourselves. It really made my afternoon and I think I can say the same for my travelling companions.
Culture, attitude and emotion wears off on people around us.
Have you had an experience like this? Do you remember when you were served by someone who was happy to be there and enjoying what they were doing? I’ll bet you remember the ones who are grumpy and you can tell that every minute they’re standing there is a grind for them.
It’s the same for industry as well. But we fight too much among ourselves, and with those we see as disconnected from us, for it to be a consistently positive message.
Today we communicate so much more than we even realise. Now through likes, shares, comments and emoticons (which I personally hate), we can have so much more impact than the plain words and language we have used before. We don’t use this to our advantage as an industry.
None of us have any idea how far our communication can reach.
We currently want: more skilled people in agriculture; consumers to better understand the provenance of the goods they buy; increased investment in agriculture; and, better international connections.
These are just a few, and I don’t think any of those are going to be assisted by emphasising the challenges we face.
Have a think about the last time you took the opportunity to have a chat with someone about what you do and what you produce? Was it positive?
Did they walk away with a better understanding of where you were coming from? Will they look positively on the supermarket fridge when they are selecting which protein to cook for dinner? Hopefully they will.
Seemingly small things can make a big difference.
I never shut up about wool. About its benefits, that you can wear it in summer and winter, that it can be machine washed, where it comes from, my dear friends and family who grow it, how great and profitable sheep can be and the list goes on.
I know for a fact though, that I have made a good amount of people turn to at least have a look at the wool garments the next time they consider a purchase.
Positive culture is infectious too and there is a reason why some farmers have long serving team members and others who continually struggle to find and keep staff.
Think about how you convey what you say next time you might have the chance to influence someone. I reckon it will make you feel bloody good as well.
- Dan Korff is the Future Farmers Network chair.