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My 2019 resolution: Talk to people who want to be talked to

Rebecca Shaw for Progressive Dairyman Published on 24 January 2019

Resolutions, goals, words to live by – whatever you call it, it’s the same concept. You’re starting the year off by promising yourself and anyone who saw your Facebook post that you’ll be better than last year.

My resolution this year came to me in a really unique place – the UPS store in Altoona, Pennsylvania. Bet you didn’t see that one coming, did you? Me either. This has been progressing since the later fall of 2018, when I began shipping lip balm out of UPS at least once a week, if not more. The lip balm was a project for work, promoting a brand launch that I was working on. Once the workers and I were on a first name basis, they finally asked, “So, what is this stuff anyways? Why is there a cow image on the label?” I explained that this was promoting a dairy feed that we feed to young animals, and that the smell was representative of the feed. They thought that this was unique and absolutely hilarious, and it led into curious questions and concerns that they’ve each had about cows, farming and dairy foods.

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Through the great conversation and a lot of laughs with this group of people, the team at UPS inspired my 2019 resolution. So far, no one had challenged the benefits of dairy or disagreed with the concept of dairy farming. Then an employee asked me, “How can you eat dairy? Doesn’t it hurt your stomach? I can’t stand it.” This was an easy one for me, like a slow pitch down the middle. “Actually, I’m lactose intolerant, which it sounds like you might be too.” I continued, “Have you ever tried the dairy brand Lactaid or Fairlife? It’s real dairy, just without the lactose, so your body will have an easier time digesting it.” After that, she asked me what it looked like, so I pulled up both on my phone.

While we were looking at pictures, the other employee said, “Sometimes I get freaked out about all the hormones I’m drinking in milk.” Oh boy, here we go. Game face on! I just simply asked, “Where did you learn that?” He responded, “I see it all the time online. Doesn’t that freak you out?” Right then, I realized that they truly were curious and interested to talk to me, and to learn more. The next time I came in, that same employee who was afraid of hormones said, “Hey! I had ice cream last night and thought of you and your cows.” Point on the board for dairy? Yes!

Too often I catch myself, my friends and other influencers in the industry seeking out a fight. Challenging the inconvincible few is like this addicting drug that we can’t cut ourselves off from. I say this because I’m the same way. I love to play the game, thinking that somehow, after almost 27 years, I’ll figure out a way to win. I’m adjusting my plan of attack in 2019, to not attack at all. I want to put my energy and efforts into conversations that involve two engaged parties. This year, I’m talking to people that want to be talked to.  end mark

Rebecca Shaw
  • Rebecca Shaw

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