Sheep Dip with Raising the Baa

In team building, V is for....?

December 14, 2022 Chris Farnsworth & Caroline Palmer Season 6 Episode 22
Sheep Dip with Raising the Baa
In team building, V is for....?
Show Notes Transcript

Our series, The A-Z of Team Building, continues with topics beginning with V including:
- one of THE greatest influencers on the development of a team and its journey to success
- different perspectives being essential for so many reasons
- the optimum use of talent and resources

This series was inspired by the many lessons learned by our clients following their experience of Raising the Baa. And we punctuate it with a few insights of our own too.

Expect plenty of analogies from the world of sheep and dogs from Head Shepherd & Founder of Raising the Baa, Chris Farnsworth, in these short and lively conversations with Paul Warriner, our Lead Facilitator.

Enjoy - and thank ewe for listening 😊

In the final draw of the year, the prize is a hand-made sheep's wool hot water bottle cover - to keep ewe snuggly warm in an eco-friendly and ecological way :-)

To enter simply answer this question:

Which V topic is featured in both its singular and plural form?

Email your response to, with Sheep Dip in the subject box please.

The draw closes at 23.59 on 31 December 2022 and we'll email the winners the following working day.  One entry per episode. Open to UK residents only.

FREE resource:
Sheep, Shepherd or Dog - which one are ewe? Take our personality quiz and find out.

Connect with the Speakers via LinkedIn:
Paul Warriner - The Recognition Coach and Lead Facilitator, Raising the Baa
Chris Farnsworth - Head Shepherd and Co-Founder, Raising the Baa

What are your main team challenges and desires? Maybe we can help?
Book in a 15-minute Exploratory Call now and let's see.

Caroline (00:03):

Hello and welcome to Sheep Dip, the podcast from Raising the Baa. We're global leaders in team building with sheep at its core. I'm Caroline and together with my partner Chris, we co-founded this completely unique business. In this series of podcasts, we are bringing you the complete A to Z of team building. It picks up on all the themes that have been fed back to us by our clients in their reviewing sessions, following their Raising the Baa programmes. And a few more topics of our own too. Expect plenty of shepherding references from Chris and he is in lively conversations with Paul Warriner, our lead facilitator. In this series, at the end of each episode, we are going to ask you a question. It'll be related to something discussed in the show. Keep your answers handy because each and every month we're giving away some Raising the Baa prizes. So whenever you're listening, you can enter. How to enter will be in the show notes. Enjoy the show.

Chris (01:01):

Hi Paul.

Paul (01:02):

Good morning Chris. How are you?

Chris (01:04):

I'm good, thank you. I'm just pleased I wasn't out in that horrible weather yesterday. That's all I can say. It was definitely an office day. So excited to get out to look at the sheep and make sure everything's okay. But we're on to V... V is for vision to see where we're going and what we're doing I guess.

Paul (01:28):

I think that's hugely relevant in the team building exercise that we do. Somebody has to have it, it really doesn't matter who has it, as long as somebody has articulated it and communicated a vision and ordinarily that's like, this is what we're going to do to get the sheep in the pen. And people gel behind that. They can sort of see it in their own minds. They understand the roles they play. So vision is really important. Doesn't have to be the leader. Often it is, but somebody can have that vision. I've seen it in our exercises where they've actually drawn out on the flip chart: their plan, their goal, their vision, all the little elements got drawn out on the flip chart and that was really interesting to see how that played out. I think everybody understood exactly what was expected of the team. It didn't quite, from memory, I don't think it quite worked out as it was supposed to on the flip chart, but it was a fantastic start. Don't see that very often, do we?

Chris (02:32):

No, they don't feel it's necessary. Normally comes out after a couple of hours that they actually write it down and invariably that needs some prompting. Normally say to them, well, if that's the pen, you know, on a piece of paper, how are you going to get them in there? They rarely go, oh, do you have a pen and paper so that we can draw it out? That's interesting. But actually from the sheep's point of view, I think vision is really interesting because actually if you've literally the vision of the sheep, you know, sometimes one goes through a gateway and you are looking at, let's say about six foot up looking in the pathway seems clear, but when you get down to the sheep's level, which is about two foot off the ground, you can't actually see through the gateway. So their vision is blocked and it looks like it's a solid wall. But ours being higher up can see over the top of the obstacles and can see through. And often people say, oh, sheep are stupid because they don't have the same vision as the sheep do. For me, it's about getting into the mindset and the vision, the physical vision of the sheep to going, if I just duck my head down to two foot, what are they actually looking at? And I think that's an important point, wouldn't you say?

Paul (03:57):

You just highlighted something that you know is blindingly obvious and no pun intended there with the word vision and blinding, but it never really crossed my mind that they're at a completely different height and they wouldn't have the same perspective. And that's usually relevant in the context of what I've just said about communicating that particular vision that somebody has about the goal and the task ahead. It is really important to put yourself into the shoes of the people you are talking to, to see it from their perspective so that they really understand their role, their task that's ahead of them, how they fit in. And it's really, it's so obvious when you say that the sheep can't see the same things that we can because they're lower to the ground. But also, I thought you were going to say that the sheep have 300 degrees vision, which, you know, because they have their eyes on the side of them, this is stuff I've learned from you Chris, so, you know, correct me if I'm wrong, their eyes are on the side of their heads, so their peripheral vision is phenomenal, but it's from a perspective of three feet off the ground.


And you're thinking, I've never really, really thought about that. And of course I intellectually know that for somebody to get the vision to buy into that goal and be fully behind it, they've got to believe it. They've got to really see it. But they are always seeing it from their perspective. And if you don't really take the time and the energy to understand that you are never really going to get their hearts and minds.

Chris (05:33):

Well that comes into values, doesn't it? The values of the team, and the individuals.

Paul (05:41):

Have you hit another one?

Chris (05:43):

I think I might have done.

Paul (05:44):

Well done. Like a good Radio 1 DJ, a great segue.

Chris (05:50):

You know, often when I've sheep talked to my sheep customers, I go, well, what do you actually want to achieve with the sheep? And often that is not even a question they've really thought about. Well, we just want some sheep. And you're sort of going, well, yeah, but what do you want to do with them? They're just there as ornaments or to graze the grass, or do you want to produce something from them? And you know, often you can see that they haven't even gone through that: what value do you want to get out of them?

Paul (06:20):

Well, that's an interesting perspective, you know, and what is the value of a sheep? Is it, and not just in monetary terms, but, what's, you know, to earn a living as a shepherd or as a sheep farmer. What do you need? What's the number of sheep that you would need in a flock? What's the value of one sheep at the marketplace and stuff like that. Those are things that I haven't got a clue about.

Chris (06:43):

Really. So do you know how much your lawn mower costs?

Paul (06:48):

Is this a quiz now? All of a sudden I feel under the microscope! Well, I probably know what a new one would cost. Yes. Mine was probably brought up with the sheep from millions of years ago. It is probably the same.

Chris (07:03):

But you also know how much it costs to run. So you know how many times you've got to fill it up with fuel to cut the grass.

Paul (07:09):

Yes, pretty much. You know, I do know that kind of number, but I haven't got an annual cost of running the lawnmower but in my head.

Chris (07:19):

You see, I mean that to me is like right, okay, I know how much the sheep costs to run. I know how much I can afford to pay you for grass. It's way laid by how far I have to go and get it or take the sheep and then look after them at said field. That's all the things which I'm just buzzing around in my head. These are the values of what I'm working with, just with the sheep farming. But I'm not so sure in a team people know that sort of money side of things, or even if the thought it enters their head...oh, the boss says do that. They just go and do it.

Paul (07:59):

I think this is a dangerous topic we're talking about here now, the value of somebody within a team, and often we see, you know, what's their contribution, they're a great team member. They do an awful lot. They run around, they organise, they plan. It could be a whole host of different things. And we put that label on. They're really valuable and that probably doesn't have anything to do with money.

Chris (08:26):

I totally agree.

Paul (08:27):

Their value isn't necessarily attached to money. Probably everybody is on a salary of some description and everybody is rewarded by the business. But there is very little accountability or potentially there's little accountability of who's doing what and, uh, is that above my pay grade or below my pay grade? You know, so there's all sorts of interesting questions you could ask about who is the best person to be doing a job within a team. From an efficiency point of view I think it's looked at, sometimes, productivity may be looked at, but general value isn't, you know, somebody in a team is valuable. They're not necessarily thinking about how much they're being paid or not being paid. They're thinking about contribution. So which one of your sheep eats the most?

Chris (09:16):

Oh, well, you know, you can have the Rolls Royce of sheep, which guzzles the food like there's no tomorrow. And you have the lean, frugal sheep.

Paul (09:24):

Well, and then off to market, and which one probably shows the greatest profit?

Chris (09:30):

Wow. Yeah. But that's a hard equation. The Rolls Royce doesn't produce the largest amount of profit. Gosh, now you're getting into the very dangerous subject of which sheep is the most profitable!

Paul (09:44):

It is. I I think it's safe to say that under the letter V and the value of team members and sheep, I think there are more questions that we could answer. It's given us time for hearing this podcast because we could go in all sorts of different directions with that one. But needless to say, the values of the team are important. And that is a different interpretation of the word value as well, isn't it?

Chris (10:11):

Very much so.

Paul (10:12):

Not a monetary or effort wise, it's what they believe in their hearts to be true. And those values, if they're not aligned, you very rarely have the success that you deserve.

Chris (10:26):

What's really important to the sheep world is of course the vegetation.

Paul (10:31):

I can't see that I'm going to be able to comment much on that in the office. Or there are some green plants on desks that make it look nice and provide colour and a backdrop and a feng shui type of feel maybe. But, uh, vegetation in the office?

Chris (10:49):

Well I was thinking more about dead vegetation. Actually, when you start looking at the detail of grass, you can see why sheep see more greens than we can. And as a consequence, they are really picky and smell grass and then taste it. It's really quite fascinating to see which grasses they eat and don't eat.

Paul (11:14):

I could come back on that one, how I could describe vegetation? Would it be the food or would it be the environment? Would it be the desking, the seating arrangements? The whole feel, the landscape. So I could interpret vegetation slightly differently, maybe open up some commentary on that one. But needless to say, I'd probably need to apply a little bit more brain power to that unless we have green carpets and then it's going to be quite easy. Always very enlightening talking to you, Chris.

Chris (11:43):

Good to speak with you Paul, anyway.

Paul (11:45):

Take care.

Chris (11:46):

Bye for now.

Caroline (11:48):

Well, I hope you've enjoyed the show. Thank you so much for listening. Did you get the answer to the question? Keep it handy because at the end of each calendar month, we will be doing a draw of all the correct entries. Full details of how to enter are in the show notes. Till next time, have a baa-rilliant week. Bye.