Is 2021 your year for farm coaching? Clarity Shows Care

Authored by Coach Polly Shyka

Small Bites are short, informational articles with practical ideas about stress reduction, improved communication, and farm and family well-being. They are written by coaches from UMaine Extension’s Farm Coaching team. Farm Coaches are available at no cost to work remotely with farmers and farm teams. Read more collected Small Bites.

2020 asked a lot of us. Or perhaps the better word is demanded! As farm managers, we needed to pivot and adapt to a health threat that affected our farm crews, our markets, and our communities. While this kind of adaptability was necessary, change brings with it uncertainty that can feel very uncomfortable to our farm teams.

We heard from our farm crew that clarity was even more important in times of shift and change. One particular situation that came up a few times was when farm crew members were “a little under the weather.” Should they be asked to stay home? Or should they be allowed to work on the farm but on a project by themselves? In all honesty, we wavered and waffled on this issue through the season. We wanted to provide our workers with the hours and wages that they needed but we certainly didn’t want to unwittingly expose anyone to illness.

Our farm crew told us loud and clear that they needed clarity and most importantly, that that clarity felt good and important. It felt like care.

Want a sounding board to think and communicate with clarity? The farm coaching team can meet with you to get clear about fuzzy areas of communication and decision making.