Just like kicking a football around, when we are shearing we have a great deal of fun. It is very much a team effort with everybody working as hard as each other. The shepherd pushes the sheep to be shorn into the pen. The shearer catches them and shears them.
The rowsie takes the fleece away and rolls it up while the next sheep is being shorn. One rowsie will look after two or three shearers, so they need to be quick. The average shearer will be shearing one sheep every one to two minutes.
At the end of the job what does the shearer and rowsie team get recognised for?
Is it that we got the whole job done in the time allocated?
That the whole job has been completed safely with no injuries to the sheep or the shearers?
All the good wool is in the wool sacks ready to go off?
All these good things are there to be recognised.
Alas the comments are geared towards what could have gone better, such as the wool sacks are not as full as they could be or that there is too much dirty wool discarded. This in fact is down to poorly managed sheep coming to be shorn.
The most common remark, however, is that one of the sheep has a small bit of wool left on (like a flag) waving at you as it runs off the shearing boards. The fact that 99 of the 100 sheep were perfectly shorn is rarely mentioned!
And according to one old farmer I know: a good ‘hair cut’ only lasts one week, it soon grows out. So that little tuft will not be noticed within a few days.
I guess it is easy to pick out what could have been “done better” as we find we have been conditioned that way. What happens if we recognise the tasks completed well – perhaps the one being appraised will do even better next time
How much time do you spend dwelling on what went wrong versus what went well? If we fill our mind and spirit with our successes rather than moan about what we wished we had done better, we will be in a more positive state of mind to move forward. This applies to appraising others as well as others of course. Have you experienced a job appraisal which put your spark out rather than fire you up?