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Dairy Labor Management: Teachable Moments

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Motivating people to change is the biggest challenge for today’s manager or veterinarian who is trying to improve an animal’s situation. Most people only change when you apply either pain or pride. Both of these are negative to a relationship.

I have had a lot of success looking for things that individuals do correctly and times when they want to learn.

This is called a teachable moment.

But timing is everything if you are going to teach in these moments.

The following example occurred on my farm recently. I heard my wife calling me for help. When I arrived my truck was parked, however the front tire had had gone through two ditches. The back tires were still in a ditch and the front of the truck was about to hit a water valve. I was able to put the truck into four-wheel drive and back it out of the predicament.

Was this the teachable moment?

No… at that point of time I couldn’t even find her. Much later that night I was able to ask what happen. It seems she answered her cell phone losing track of where she was at. She already knew what to do to prevent this from happening again.

Teachable moments are not situations when your voice is raised or done in anger. They have to be centered on a learning experience.

This post is part 4 of a 8 part series on Dairy Management Labor.
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