Test your advisor skills, part 1

It is quite wet and dark in here...This barn is in need of some air and light!

I'm sure you can think of a few ways to improve cow comfort here. What would be your advice for this farmer?

Advisor skills

The problem with giving advice: practical knowledge alone often isn't enough. If you want to be a successful advisor, you need to know how to persuade people; you want to make sure that they accept your advice, and most important: that they act on it and change for the better.

Are you an excellent advisor? If you were to advise this farmer, what would you say to guarantee change?

I'll share my own thoughts with you soon, in the next part of this blog. To be contintued...

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Comments (4)

Roman Bale

To answer what would be my advice for this farmer: In this case I would explain to the farmer importance of 6 freedoms of pastures - Cow Signals Diamond. They always react when I tell them he can gain milk yield without any change in feed or additional feed cost. Than I would explain him how exactly cow can benefit from more air and light and why it is important also for reproduction and worker that can more enjoyable do things in bright space with fresh air. They are usually happy with what they hear and are willing to think about it further. It needs to be revised the statics of the barn but there are always ways to give animals more air and light with removing some walls and give it a thought on some roof transparent panels. Also tube ventilation could be used for warmer seasons. But sometimes its better to go with farmer step by step to make him start "walking".


I've recently become acquainted with motivational interviewing and would use this approach in the first instance - is the farmer experiencing any problems? What does s/he think needs to be changed/what does s/he want to change (if money were no object)? What is most likely to derive the biggest benefit/what is easiest/cheapest to implement - small changes which make tangible differences to then motivate the bigger, harder changes. Farmer led to help him/her feel in control, involved and most likely to carry out any plans made.

Joep Driessen

@Roman: great comment!
Telling them what is to gain for them, the cows and the workers - positive call to action. Going step by step - prevents people becoming overwhelmed.
If people are willing to think about solutions together, that's half the battle :).

Joep Driessen

Yes, exactly! People don't like to be told what to do. Asking what they want and giving them control can make all the difference. Dare to think big, but start small!

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