GFM Network News


Froese: Assumption-free living on your farm

Don’t assume you know the reason for another’s actions — ask for clarification

A weary-looking farm woman waits patiently in line making sure she is the last one to speak to me privately after my keynote. She has just one question. “When is the right time to start including our daughter-in-law in family business meetings; she doesn’t know a thing!” How would you respond? Reflective listening is activated, […] Read more

Losing brain function is a loss so there will be much grief to go through.

Froese: Dealing with the denial of dementia

This is very difficult for a spouse who sees decline and the partner won’t accept their loss of abilities

BDO’s Maggie Van Camp, leader of agricultural development, sees the key foreboding issue for agriculture as farm succession. She asks, “Who is going to farm in future generations… and how the heck are we going to transfer the management and ownership of those farms? Never before have the older generation lived this long; Never before […] Read more


When seeding pressure mounts, we all need to be reminded to extend grade to one another.

Calibrate yourself for seeding, create positive responses

Be aware of how you’re reacting to the farm team when under pressure

Getting machines ready for seeding launches farmers out of bed in anticipation of a new season. “How are you calibrating yourself for seeding stresses?” As we age, are we open to change behaviours and do a “reset of our default habits” to create a more positive culture on our farm team? Peter Drucker said “culture […] Read more

Dare to lead and love your farm family

If you can understand the farm team’s thoughts and emotions you’ll have greater success figuring out issues and creating solutions

I am a big fan of Brene Brown’s work and encourage you to check out her insights. Recently I surveyed her newest book Dare To Lead (Random House 2018). When I read books I write notes at the back and then translate ideas gleaned for working with farm family communication. Brown is working to create […] Read more


Careless tongues are often a sign of stress, be that seeding, harvest, late-night calving and other times where fatigue, hunger, and anger all create an explosive situation.

Four tongues on your farm

What you say can affect people more than anything else you do

When I ask a farm family what their main desire for coaching is, the typical reply is “Better communication.” Reading Proverbs daily gives me reminders that what we say probably affects more people than any other action we take. Proverbs describes four common speech patterns: 1. Controlled tongue. 2. Caring tongue. 3. Conniving tongue. 4. […] Read more

Stop bullying your parents!

As land values increase pressure may be put on to sell

There are some columns I wish I did not have to write. This is one of them. Through the past few years of land values jumping as much as 23 per cent in one year it is no surprise to farm families to see their balance sheets with larger numbers. It is shocking to those […] Read more


Be prepared to apologize. Sometimes peace is better than being right.

Dealing with conflict and relationships on the farm

Seven strategies to address conflict

From infancy to old age, we form relationships. As we grow older and evolve from one relationship to another our values, beliefs, perceptions, goals, and ideas may evolve and change as well. As these changes occur, interpersonal conflict will happen. Conflict is part of life. In all relationships, we experience conflict. Conflict is not always […] Read more

Some funerals have graveside flowers for 
the family.

Why funerals matter and ways to get ready for yours…

Meeting together has healing properties and planning ahead will help the grieving family

In February at the Boissevain Post Office sorting table there were a record five white funeral notices on display. I am happy to report that the majority was an invitation to the funeral. Why does this matter? There is a trend in 2018 that has likely been building for some time as families avoid conflict […] Read more


Dealing with abusive behaviour on your farm

You have to be proactive rather than reactive to bad behaviour

I soaked up the seminar “Dealing with Abusive Behaviour at work,” led by Dave McNaughton an HR specialist from Winnipeg. Dave referred to Dr. Stephen Hart’s video from the Proactive Resolutions company, www.proactive-resolutions.com. (You have to love the idea of being proactive rather than reactive to bad behaviour in the workplace.) Give everyone a safe […] Read more