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It is approaching that time of year when folks that are gardening oriented begin to think about pruning or cutting back their perennial plants and shrubs. There are two schools of thought on this with one position being at autumn cut back and the other advocating a wait until spring. There are good arguments to be made in support of either approach and oftentimes the plant concerned and its location will be the determining factor.

Why is pruning necessary? The process of pruning has multiple benefits to the plant. It allows the gardener the opportunity to reshape and tidy up unruly growth as well as remove old or dead elements. It allows the plant to focus its energies on pushing out new growth as well as promoting overall beauty, health and wellness in the Garden.

In the Mandt System Relational chapters we talk about the equivalence of pruning in our approach to building healthy relationships. In our relationships we sometime have to address unruly growth, or unhealthy elements that are affecting overall harmony. As with the gardener, the key to successful pruning is an understanding of the unique plant and when and where pruning should take place. The approach for a rose is entirely different to that of a fruit tree.

In the Mandt system we approach relational pruning in ways that ‘build the person up’ and offer a ‘win-win’ outcome for individual as well as the team. The overall wellness of the team is an important consideration. Most of us has experienced working in teams where there is one element working out of sync and the impact of this is always disproportionate to that persons role or often their intent. Some timely and considerate pruning on the part of the gardener can be the key to re-establishing harmony in the garden.

Once the gardener has done his/her work it is is great to know that when the spring returns the growth and maturing of the garden will be even greater in the upcoming season. The comfort, knowledge and trust that exists in maturing teams who have benefited from the stewardship of a diligent and knowledgeable gardener has a long term impact of the health and wellness or the organization and can been seen through staff retention and other workplace satisfaction indications.

So gardeners, do your plant research, evaluate your plant borders and go prune!

Simon Kemp – Senior Vice President of Development

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