Have you ever disagreed about a position you had with another person and you simply couldn’t figure out why he or she just could not agree with you? To you it seems so obvious and you know you are so right. “What is the matter with you? Why can't you hear or see what I'm saying?”
I have been working on upgrading our ranch website and it's beginning to feel like an exercise in futility! Nobody can seem to agree on what should be said or how to present it and others just don't see a need for it at all or the importance of social media accounts because they don't use the internet. It’s amazing just how divided everybody can be on certain issues when we've spent years working together as a family.
It's often easy to get caught up in the ceaseless dramas of life and to avoid pulling my hair out I had to take a step back and look at the situation from a different perspective to see what really matters. In every situation, we always have a choice, even if the only choice we have is to change our perspectives.
This change of perspective didn't happen overnight, as I have been known to have a self defeating stubborn streak. It took me some time, self reflection and a lot of gratitude to give up my smallness and narrowmindness that was making me crazy.
After awhile I became fascinated by just how differently everyone sees the world and how our own perspective shapes what seems to be right and wrong and the implications this had in advertising and marketing.
The reason for the disagreements is that the other people involved have a different perspective on the website and it's purpose. It's the same principle with everything - each situation, event, conversation, means something different to all those involved. We give different meanings, according to our belief systems, and how we are affected by the event creating our own unique realities.
But it is important to know that they are not necessarily true for other people and much can come from seeing another perspective.
We are often afraid that seeing the others perspective could lead us to lose an argument … or worse, to being labeled as fundamentally wrong or damaged in some way. But the true value of another perspective lies in seeing the situation as a larger whole, allowing us to make a better decisions for ourselves and solve problems with true solutions that create a win-win situation for everyone involved instead of compromises. Albert Einstein said, “Problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them.” This is also true with perspectives.
It takes some courage to see the perspective of the other person, listen whole-heartedly, acknowledge it and then look for the best solution for both. This does not mean that you have to give up your perspective. It just means that you add another viewpoint in order to get a more correct picture of the issue.
This lead me to wonder, are your customers seeing the same things you are in your website, marketing and advertising?
In marketing it’s very important that we are all on the same page and knowing just how differently we can all see the same things is key for understanding differences and bridging gaps between confusion and misunderstandings. Especially in the world of agriculture where the 'ag literacy' gap widens everyday as people become further removed from where their food comes from and lack personal experience with or exposure to agriculture.
Are we delivering the right marketing message to our clients, or are they seeing something entirely different. That’s why it’s important to get critical key feedback on every website, design or marketing campaign we at Agri-Marketing Solutions are doing. The worst thing we could do is be sending out a message that needs to be heard loud and clear and is completely misinterpreted.
No matter how often I put my work out there, I’m still human. I’m still invested in what I do. I still want to impress people. And, what’s more impressive than doing it all on your own and getting it right the first time? It's also unrealistic.
It can be hard to let others judgements in and ask, “How do you think this could be better?” It can be humbling, to admit you’ve taken something as far as you can take it, or that you’re unsure of the direction you’re going. But I am learning that sharing my work with others can help me get the best out of myself.
We all have natural blind spots based on our unique view of the world. I am very fortunate and grateful to have people in my life in the field of agriculture and outside of it that I can trust to be honest and balance my weaknesses. Having these people in my life to balance out my weak points results in a stronger, more well-rounded final product, whether it's a blog post, a prime rib recipe, or a marketing strategy.
These people also have a stake in my work. They don't succeed unless I succeed. Just as I don't succeed if my clients don't and the better my client looks, the better I look. Maybe that sounds self-serving, and I suppose it is to an extent, but I prefer to look at it from another perspective. That of a true partnership when both parties are encouraged to be them best selves and produce better work it provides a win-win situation for everyone.
So I have learned to be grateful to my family and the employees I work and live with. Because of the disagreements the farm/ranch and feedlot as well as Agri-Marketing Solutions as a whole is all better for it. (Written for Agri-Marketing Solutions)