One Skill Every Changemaker Needs to Know

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Whether you know it or not, you’re probably a trainer.

If you have…

• Run a meeting or proposed an agenda item…

• Tried to convince your team to shift their approach…

• Made a presentation to your boss, board, or a funder…

• Demonstrated your values hoping that others would follow…

• Or, heck, even if you’ve tried to teach your kids a new habit!

…You are a trainer.

Nearly every meaningful social interaction involves some form of teaching and learning. So if you are someone who acts for social change, whether you know it or not, you are definitely a trainer.

But even though training is a central part of our lives, few of us are taught how to train effectively.

When it comes time to train others we repeat what we learned in school: tell, test, and repeat.

We make a compelling speech about climate change or show a powerpoint about fair taxation.

“Who can tell me what a ‘carbon tax’ is?”

It’s not your fault, you just never learned any different.

If you are reading this, chances are you know there is a better way.

Effective training is about showing rather than telling, engaging rather than presenting, and asking rather than explaining.

When you present, it is about you; when you train it is about the other people.

It’s hard to change the world on your own, you need others. That’s why you try to bring people together.

If you are trying to involve other people in social change then you are training.

And if you are training, why not take time to learn to do so effectively?

Not only would it benefit you, but everyone who needs a better world.

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How about you, how are you using education for social change?

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Riahl O’Malley and Indira Garmendia, co-founders