Which legally acceptable solution I can afford is the best for my problem?
If you haven’t already read the introductions to bottom-up and top-down project structures and communication problems we suggest you follow these links and do so now, this will give you a basic understanding on the driving forces behind communication problems.
Sourcing information and navigating the Scientific Cultural and Language barrier
Finding the information you need can be challenging and it is likely that during this step you will need to consult scientific information. There are a range of communication problems relating to scientific information as well as scientists themselves. Sourcing good, relevant scientific information is essential to any project.
COMMUNICATION CHALLENGE – Sourcing information and Scientific Cultural Problems
Within the scientific community new information is shared mainly via scientific journals. This is problematic for non-scientists as these journals can only be accessed through membership or weighty one off payments; it can also be complex to source the exact information you need. Even once sourced, this information is written in “scientific language” which, unless you are trained in the discipline, can be very problematic to decipher. It must also be kept in mind that as a farmer, your priorities may differ from those of scientists; where they may focus on theoretical information and, the first phases of testing or application of new information, you may need practical information that has been tried and tested.
Keep in mind the differences in professional background that give rise to these problems and that the scientists themselves are not to blame, despite the fact that their professional culture may be a minefield to navigate. Change is occurring, with many organizations and individuals filling the gaps between the scientific and agricultural communities by “translating” scientific information into language that is easier to understand to non-scientists as well as into more practically applicable terms.
For more information on:
Scientific Cultural differences
Problems that arise from Scientific Cultural differences
Real project examples of Scientific Cultural differences
Scientific Cultural differences; sourcing relevant Scientific information
→ Link to level 3 information; thesis chapters 2.9.2. pg 15-16 and 4.3.3. pg 61-67 appendix table 1. pg 29-33)
COMMUNICATION SOLUTIONS – Source information and navigate the Scientific Cultural barrier
Working with scientists to means you would receive the most up to date and relevant information for your project, here are some ways to attain a good working relationship with scientists, and to help in sourcing the information you need.
Networking – Forming connections between different organisations or individuals with mutual interests can initiate a relationship involving information and knowledge sharing, collaboration and mutual benefit. (4.4.11 pg 101-102, appendix pg 44)
Collaboration and cooperation - Naturally, good collaboration of the participants in a project as well as their cooperation in order to reach the same goals is an important process. (2.9.7 pg 21- 23, 4.4.12 pg 102-103, appendix pg 44)
Education- Raise your own awareness, find out more about how other stakeholder groups work, and what their work entails. Knowing what is required of an individual in their job will help you decide what information would be most relevant to them, and areas in which they may need a more basic explanation. (thesis chapter 4.4.6 pg 92-93, appendix pg 43)
Two-way communication- By making sure communication always allows for the participation of both or all parties, important feedback and valuable opinions will be heard, all perspectives should be valued. (2.8 pg 10-13, 4.4.1. pg 83-84, appendix pg 41)
Target-audience based communication- Keep in mind who you are talking to, and adjust the way you convey your message accordingly. Different stakeholder groups have different interests and field of expertise. A message should be simple and concise when aimed at individuals who don’t share your background. (4.4.2. pg 85-86, appendix pg 41) – A great organisation who has perfected this technique is “Odling i balans” –link
Trust building- Trust between partners is essential for the success of any project, it will ensure good relationships and is especially important when new roles have been assigned. Cultivating trust is a powerful way of vastly increasing your project’s chances of success (2.9.4 pg 19-20, 4.4.10 pg 98-99, appendix pg 44)
Bridging Role Gaps- Having an individual or organisation with a diverse background work as a communicator and translator can bridge the gaps between different stakeholder groups, making communication smoother. This is of special importance with regards to communication with members of the scientific community and when sourcing scientific information. (2.9.3 pg 16-19, 4.4.3 pg 86-89, appendix pg 42)
Avoid misconceptions or stereotypical preconceptions about other stakeholder groups, these are often unfounded and are counterproductive. (2.9.5. pg 20-21)