What to expect from a coaching ?

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    What can you achieve with coaching? What are the results so far?

    Heleen Prinsen

    Coaching is a way to achieve results but not the only way. In antimicrobial use we saw in the first years that by giving farmers knowledge, good examples, technical interventions we achieved a lot, there was not always direct coaching involved to achieve these results. But it definetly can help but is also not for every farm a solution. So coaching can help to strengthen the managementteam, the people that have the most influence on the farm. Also dependent on if you have an independent coach or someone from the managementteam is the coach, preferable it is someone form ‘outside’. What the coach can do is start working on the managementteam, and when there is trust and responsibility in the managememt team it should be easier to make the technical interventions that are possible needed. The key is that every person in the management team takes his/hers responsibility and that there is trust to address issues and the agreements that are made. If coaching works than you can achieve different issues in farming, as in improving farm animal health, improve biosecurity and disease prevention, reduction antimicrobial use. But as sad before it is a tool, and the motivation of the farmer and management team is of great importance. In projects on antimicroibial use we see promising results, but also farms were we do not see any reduction. And often the issue is that there are multiple problems on a farm or government legislation that give insecurity, that focussing on just 1 issue is really difficult. And it is expensive to have a coach on the farm so in the ultimate situation you would want coaches regurlarely on farms but because of finance that is just not possible.


    Regarding motivation of the farmers, what tips could you give to improve it ?

    Heleen Prinsen

    Kok et al. 2016 (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26262912/) wrote an article about: A taxonomy of behavior Change Methods; an intervention mapping approach. In my research we used yhe Intervention mapping approach and developed a tool box with practical application to be used by the coaches for changing, working on specific behaviour. But it is a really extensive and thoroughly proces to go through. So there is no obvious answer to that question.
    Besides that if you talk about motivation there is intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation. It is a proces to understand, what is happening, who have influence and what is the best approach in this case. All farms have their own unique social and physical context in which to operate. Interventions must fit in with these situations.


    Can you develop a little bit more what you mean by intrinsic and extrincic motivation ?

    Heleen Prinsen

    In behavioural model, both intrinsic motivations to change behaviour and external conditions that help determine whether an intended behaviour can (and should) actually be performed are important. The background to this is that interventions and incentives to change behaviour can only be effective if they match the reasons for not carrying out a certain behaviour.

    Intrinsic drivers include attitudes towards biosecurity measures, sensitivity to social pressure, perceived behavioural control and capacity (will I keep animal health under control if I follow the biosecurity protocols for my animals?) and risk attitudes and perceptions. External conditions are ‘outside’ characteristics beyond the person’s control such as, for example, laws and regulations, external markets and available knowledge. Also veterinarians or feed suppliers or other farmyard providers can be understood as ‘external factors’ because their attitudes and advice on biosecurity measures can influence the decisions the livestock farmer makes about his actions

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