Feb. 7 2018 10:58 AM

A great employer learns to speak the language of their employees.

Has a rant like this ever run though your head?

“Seriously! How many times do I have to go over this!? Honestly, when I hired you, you said you had tons of experience, where did it all go? We literally just talked about this, what happened between five minutes ago and now? If a cow kicked you because you did something incorrectly, why did you do it again? For Pete’s sake, you administer pills on the other side of the cow! If the tractor doesn’t start the first 20 times, do you keep cranking it over until you kill the battery? Just because you leave the gate open, doesn’t make them free range!”

We have all thought it, and yes, it may feel oh so good to say it, but degrading comments can be counterproductive. Every one of us has been on the receiving side of a statement that was a bit sarcastic in nature. As a leader, though, we need to take extra care in how we communicate. Every day we have the opportunity to build someone up or tear them down. It is the way we handle the situation that creates the leader and influences the job.

Everyone learns a little differently. People hear what is said a bit differently, but it is the task of the leader to be the moderator and linguist that can speak to them all. Once you figure out who you are speaking to, the task of communication becomes much simpler.

For example, are you talking to someone that learns by listening or are they a visual learner? Do they have certain words that they like to use to explain things with that you can use to explain tasks to them? Do they even speak your language? There are many ways to communicate that can build an employee’s self-esteem and productivity while saving you time and sanity simultaneously.

A lot of times we are quick to blame an employee for shortcomings because it is easy. But if you truly look at the situation, were you communicating or just talking?

Tyler Ribeiro

Tyler Ribeiro is a fourth-generation dairy farmer born and raised in California. He is currently partners with his father at Rib-Arrow Dairy in Tulare where they proudly ship their milk to Land O’Lakes. Tyler is actively involved in the dairy industry, holding leadership roles in various organizations locally and across the United States.

Join us next week

Nina Teicholz
The webinar “Animal fats: separating fact from fiction” on Monday, February 12, at noon (Central time). Nina Teicholz, New York Times best-selling author of The Big Fat Surprise, explains the history of how saturated fats, including butter, came to be unfairly vilified based on weak science, and how the idea that these fats cause heart disease has been thoroughly debunked. She describes the politics of this science, past and present. Register here.