Communication has always been a challenge. There is wide choice of communication medium today (Cellphones, internet etc). But one would agree that today communication gap is the highest inspite of them even among close family members. That being said, how do I communicate effectively to my team members and drive the work in the way I want it to be ?
Last week Subbu called me to say that the newly installed anemometer on three poles and a wooden plank as platform is not working fully. While the fan is rotating fast due to wind prevalent over there, the meter is not counting. He allowed one more day to confirm this. If I were on the spot, I would have opened the meter box and fixed the tooth wheels which I suspect apparently is not making contact somewhere. I have all the tools with me. But how to I communicate from Pune over the phone to someone who is not even having a screw driver. I told him to separate the meter box and give it a watch maker in nearby town. In parallel I called the manufacturer company to get assurance for a replacement in case it is not fixed. He said, for every 32 revolutions, one point should advance, which it is not doing..
Today he called to say one or two plants are sick and affected by a bug. It was lemon plant. He himself was sick with cold and mentioned he had an injection. Of late I have noticed him taking too many medicines and not feeling healthy at all. I had advised him to first discontinue injections and tablets and instead go for “Nattu Marundu” – Ayurvedic treatment which is very effective and long lasting, atleast for common cold. Things like Ginger tea, Garlic supplments, regular intake of Tripaladi choornam, eating good and healthy food etc. I had to show him direction for an Ayurvedic shop which he passes by regulary but has never noticed it in the village. They visit the doctor (Medicine is free in Govt hospitals, which is well maintained) for everything.
Secondly for the lemon plant I suggested a decoction of Tobacco, Green chillies and Garlic to be crushed into paste and the juice to be mixed with water and sprayed. Anything which I say is a news for them. (Actually they must teach me village remedies and not the other way round). Their ignorance means they have been far removed from reality due to the current social setup and generation gap. They eat more medicines than urban guys. They give ‘tonic’ to children instead of healthy food. Inspite of breathing pure air, they get more chicken gunia, malaria and dengue. They spray more chemicals on the farm, take more debt, borrow chit fund, waste water and electricity, donot grow sufficient varieties of food for themselves, suffer all along. Why ?
Coming back to farm work, on the one hand it is advantage for me that they will do exactly what I prescribe them to do on the farm. But it is also a disadvantage that they will just do what I say with no value addition from their side, even if something goes wrong.
Therefore for a sustainable development, I need to coax them and make them use their own brain and ideas. For this I must be prepared to bear with mistakes that they may be doing in due course of their learning. This is the approach i have taken so far and have been liberal on that. It works. Now I may have to add my multimedia skills to impart higher knowledge which I myself have collected from near and far.
That means try with video recording the speech with illustrations of what to do and how and send across the VCD and make it play over there. I may have to sponsor a Video Player. My worker Kannan cannot even hold a phone and speak legibly. Therefore this is required. The required software and setup is available with me now. I am using Cyberlink powerdirector for video editing. All my own stock photos are used. I intend to use some copy right material with due acknowledgement also for internal use.
Perhaps if this is done properly chapter by chapter, it will be helpful as an induction for new joinees in the farm as the farm grows…….