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"When you truly listen, the rewards are immediate."

Sharing is multiplying – Listening is appreciating

Author: Harm Custers – Manager Marketing & Sales Flowers at Takii Europe

This year my work started in Almeria, Spain. There – in the middle of 30.000(!) hectare of greenhouses – we had our Team Inspiration Days. Almeria is the orchard of Europe during wintertime, supplying most of the fruity vegetables to the supermarkets across our continent. The greenhouse acreage is devoted to the production of tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, courgettes, aubergines and some other crops.

Now: what have flowers in common with vegetables? That was also our central theme during those days! The both European commercial teams of flowers and vegetables came together. A very diverse group of 23 colleagues, 9 nationalities, from 28 till 62 years old and with different experiences and skills. Lots of differences between the individual participants, that is what we realized during the introduction part of the training.

After the first corporate strategy session we already found out that we share the companies purpose to enrich people’s live with healthy food and beautiful flowers. We are proud of being a family owned company with Japanese roots and long existence. As Takii Europe we have a clear agenda to achieve growth, a top 3 market position in defined crops and the recognition of being an industry leader. To achieve this, we have to deliver the right value to our customers through innovation and long term partnership. Marketing is used to create, keep and satisfy the customer. Sales is important to establish strong relationships and are the eyes and ears of the company. This does not differ between vegetables and flowers.

Then we really dived into the deep with various crop sessions, presented by our own product specialists. Talking about the market on one side and our activities in R&D,  Supply, Logistics and Marketing & Sales on the other side. The crops Onion, Canna, Leek, Lisianthus and Tomato for the professional market (growers) and for the home garden market (gardening consumers). Again – big differences between markets, potentials, approaches, position etc. So you can imagine that we had interesting discussions, having fresh views from colleagues that did not know about those crops before.

The further in time, the more information was shared and the more motivated and inspired the participants have become. Yes, we all have different backgrounds and work in different markets. But above all we have many things in common and we can learn from each other! For this we need an environment where we can truly listen to each other. There is a difference between listening and hearing. Listening requires that we are open to the meaning of the other person’s words. What we finally want most is to be appreciated. Not just heard, but to feel that the other person understands us.

When you truly listen, the rewards are immediate. Because the better you listen the better you are appreciated. The better you appreciate the other. The better you are connected. The better your relationship. This is what we have experienced during our team inspiration days, which was the biggest achievement that we could make.

Sharing is multiplying – Listening is appreciating

Takii Europe Team Flowers and Vegetables

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