How to make better decision in stressful situations

Wisconsin State Farmer
Dr. Chris Canale presenting at a producer meeting in Pennsylvania.

Dairy producers in the United States are feeling the stress of volatile markets, increasing regulation and consumer demands. During stressful times, it can be easy to let emotions overtake rational thinking, which often leads to poor decision making.

Dr. Chris Canale, Cargill U.S. dairy technology manager, offers these tips to ‘hold the line’ when it comes to making decisions:

Utilize a systematic review approach.

“Have a disciplined approach to decision making. Write out all pros and cons and discuss them with a trusted advisor. Make sure you always follow the approach to help limit gut reaction decision making.”

Detach yourself from the emotion.

“Removing the emotion from a decision can be very difficult, but it’s something that must be done. When our emotions take over, it can cloud our judgement, and lead to a decision we likely would not have made. Following a systematic review can often help keep rational thinking at the forefront when emotions are attached.”

Evaluate the decision before, during and after you make it.

“Evaluate decisions, especially ones that are significant, to improve future decision making. Don’t just evaluate the outcome though, look back and assess your motivations; did you make the decision for the right reasons? Assess your process: did you stick with your system, or did something cause you to deviate? Confront emotions: Were sentiments or stress under control, or heavily influencing you? By taking the time to evaluate these things you will be better able to hold the line the next time you’re under pressure to make a significant decision.”

Cargill’s technical specialists work directly with producers to understand their nutrition and business needs to feed their dairy dreams.  Visit www.cargill.com/dairydreams to see how Cargill helps dairies thrive.