Doctor Carl Edward Archibald Albrecht
I was born in 1975 as son of a farmer and spend most of my childhood on the dairy cattle farm of my parents.
Several years ago, I worked on a farm where a conflict had already been growing for a while. The general conditions of the farm were not bad: Relatively good soils, lying close to a large city and a solid size.
Unfortunately, the farm succession had not been sorted out in a sensible way. The senior and the junior both viewed themselves as the boss. They were constantly fighting each other. For the staff this was a difficult situation as junior and senior gave regularly opposing orders. No matter which order was followed the other boss would shout at the staff as his order was not carried out. Under these circumstances the meaningfulness of orders was often lost as decisions were no longer made based on professional aspects, but to torpedo the decisions of the other boss.
A long-term corporate strategy for the farm was no longer recognizable. Investments were made out of the affect. This reflected itself in building projects. They were always small-scale. A few square meters here, another corner there. Workflows were not considered in the planning of construction. This led to an immense daily loss of working time for the staff, that would clearly have been avoided with a proper construction plan.
I only had a time contract for a limited period. When the day I could leave this farm forever finally came I was as happy as most of the staff will have been. Anyway, I learned a lot on that farm. It was packed with endless examples of what not to do. It left an imprint that conflicts should never escalate as far as on that farm as they cause not only huge harm in human relationships but damage the farm as well.
In the following years I spent a lot of time in agricultural development research. This often brought me together with colleagues from a different scientific and personal background. My colleagues knew that I am straight forward and fair. If conflicts arose in the team I was often the one that was asked to solve them, despite the fact that conflict solving is not really a core task for an agricultural scientist in the field of animal production.
The negative experience on the farm mentioned above and my recurring role as conflict solver among colleagues finally led to my education for the job as a mediator. I have been working as a mediator since 2017. It has become a strong personal motivation for me to solve conflicts to save the affected and their farm from damage.