Carolyn Rodenberg of Alternatives to Conflict tells "Top Producer Podcast" host Pam Fretwell the one thing every young farmer needs to know about business communications below. She will present two breakout sessions at the 2016 Tomorrow's Top Producer conference June 16-17 in Nashville. Read more expert guidance for young farmers in our new e-book.
“The very first thing we have to do is admit there’s a problem. Sometimes we sweep it under the rug or we think, ‘Oh, it will go away,’ and we ignore it.
"Then we’ve got to get the right people around the table to talk about it. This is the hardest part of conflict resolution. Once we get them around the table to start that conversation say, ‘OK, what do we need from each other to make things better, and why do we need it?’
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"The beauty of talking to young people is hopefully they aren’t stuck in all the ruts that sometimes, as we mature, we get stuck in. They’re able to sit around and talk and ask each other, ‘What do we need from you, and why do you need it? How can I help you fix that problem?’ The real fear of the entrepreneur often is they’re going to lose something. Just this past week, I was in Minnesota with a farm family. The entrepreneur and his wife got very emotional. They said, ‘We’re afraid the next generation is going to ruin what we’ve worked our whole life to create.’ They were having trouble letting go.
"Succession is the biggest problem in a farm family. The entrepreneur doesn’t want to let go and says to me, ‘They’re not ready. They won’t grab hold.’ Then the next generation talks to me and they say, ‘Dad won’t let go.’ We simply have to talk about this and face our fear.”
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