Learning with the birds, part two

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How to put the DISC team-building tools to use on your farm

In my most recent blog I described the four styles in Taking Flight©, a DISC team building tool. Understanding the styles is step one. Putting them to use is the more difficult step two. We all know the Golden Rule. What’s more valuable than gold? Platinum. The Platinum Rule is to treat others not as we want to be treated, but as they want to be treated.

In the context of Taking Flight, it means communicating with others in a style that matches their preference, not ours.

So, if I’m an Owl and love detail, but my partner is an Eagle and just wants to hear the big picture, I summarize my 10-tab budget spreadsheet into a one-page overview focused on the three production choices that will matter the most.

If I’m a Parrot that thinks out loud and creates ten new ideas a day knowing that only one will work out, but my office mate is an Owl that will analyze in detail, I sleep on my ideas a few days, pare them down to the two or three most promising, and then ask the Owl to run the numbers on them.

If I’m an Eagle about to start using H2A labor, and my crew leader is a Dove that likes stability, I don’t surprise him/her with this change. I talk with the Dove about how it will impact the rest of our team. I listen to concerns and integrate them into the plan. 

If every person on the team is able to adapt--even just a little--you meet somewhere in the middle. That leads to less frustration, less conflict, and more fun. And an appreciation for how all the styles make a stronger team—more on that next time.

Watch this space for part three as we learn how to use this system to evaluate your farm team.


Davon Cook is a family business consultant at K Coe Isom. Reach Davon at davon.cook@kcoe.com. The opinions of the author are not necessarily those of Farm Futures or Farm Progress. 

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