Bulletin #4807, Farm Coaching to Support Farm-Team Communication: Session 2

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S2: Weeding, Watering, and Thinning

Goal of S2: Understand team member strengths and develop communication strategies.

Group check-in.

Review Homework from S1:

  • DISC or Leadership Compass or other
    • What are your types?
    • What did you learn about yourself? Your farm collaborator(s)?
    • Might this be a useful tool with your crew?
    • Are there characteristics of others on your team you’d like to appreciate?
    • How might you approach your perceived shortcomings and/or weaknesses?
  • Getting Thoughts on Paper Review
  • Farm meeting debrief
    • How was it?
    • Who was there?
    • What issues surfaced?
  • Tools Review. Did farm team use/implement any of the tools introduced in Session 1?
    • Eisenhower Box
    • Action Plan
    • SWOC reflections
  • Mission/vision Review:
    • New?
    • Revised?
    • What has changed?
    • What did you learn?

Activity: Needs

  • Pass out needs inventory
  • Allow 5-10 minutes for each person to fill it out on their own, quietly.
  • Discuss as a group.
  • What are each person’s core needs/values?
  • Notice resonance/dissonance.
  • Record on flipchart paper.

Activity: Active Listening, I-statements, Feedback

  • Read and review and practice handout.

Activity: Scale

  • Determine if scale of enterprises/farm operation for year or foreseeable future needs to be scaled back or scaled up or other.
  • What is the process for analyzing enterprises/markets to scale back?
  • Who works on gathering the data needed? How do you delegate?
  • Does one person do most of the gathering and the other review and consult?
  • When and what will the agenda be for your stakeholder meeting?
  • Would you like to talk about this at our Session 3 meeting?
  • How else can we help you prioritize, answer questions, make decisions?
  • Are there key dates if you are changing the scale of the farm or making any other changes that you’d like to use to monitor your progress and ensure that you’re staying on track?

Activity: Mapping Patterns. Using above generated Needs/Values, discuss/record:

  • What are the patterns that follow these met and unmet needs for each person?
  • When/where are the foreseeable bottlenecks?
  • Stress patterns. What do they look like for each person?
  • How to mitigate stressful situations? What words and/or actions can help?
  • How do you say no to people and/or opportunities?
  • How will you know when to ask others for help?
  • How will you recognize another’s request for help?
  • How will you negotiate shifting schedules?
  • How might you identify “no fly zones” for communication?
  • What are your preferred modes of communication?
  • How might each person make new opportunities and/or change behaviors to address their needs more healthfully?
  • Make a chart on a large piece of paper: Column 1: Challenges, Behavior, Outcome, and
  • Column 2: Need(s).


Challenges, Behaviors, OutcomesNeed(s)
Regular meetingsEfficacy
Shared decision making/division of laborCollaboration, Harmony
Prioritize time for self, family, and relationshipWarmth, Spontaneity, Joy, Companionship, Intimacy, Empathy, Authenticity


  • Any activities/tools from S1 that are applicable.
  • Make a personal communication goal based on something you learned in S1 or S2 about yourself or your farming partner(s).
  • Have a meeting called “3 Things in 10 Minutes” where the farmer who asks for the meeting brings a 3-item agenda, beginning with gratitude for something the other person(s) has recently done or is bringing to the day. For example:
  1. Gratitude for noticing that the chick brooder light was not on last night at 9 pm.
  2. Today’s delivery to Portland: timeline and driver.
  3. Irrigation in hoophouse. Do we need to switch from drip to overhead?

 Closing: Self-evaluation

  • Coaches model answering the question “How did I do?” Expressing appreciation and correcting any gaffs, oversights, unintentional harms, etc. that may have occurred. Farmers are invited to do the same.

Closing: Plan next meeting time and place

Send out S2 Notes 5-7 days after S2 meeting
Send out S3 Agenda 5-7 days before S3 meeting

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