If you are looking to increase your impact, you may have considered putting on a “Train the Trainers.”
It’s a great approach because it equips more people with the tools they need to move your mission forward.
The impact is exponential–all of a sudden, you aren’t the only one identifying leaders and moving them to action, now each person who participates is ready to move even more people.
The result is a virtuous cycle that forms leaders who form leaders.
…if it’s done well, that is.
Challenging Trainer Terrain
While “train the trainers” is a great tagline, it’s hard to do in practice.
You’d think sharing a great training is enough to get people to run it on their own, but it doesn’t quite work that way.
People sit-in, participate, have a great experience (according to their evaluations) but then too often they go back to business-as-usual, putting everything they know on a Powerpoint slide and trying to make it sound as interesting as possible.
But then again–of course they would. They have a whole lifetime of being taught this way!
To unlearn this behavior you need to take a closer look at the concrete actions taken by an effective social change trainer, so you can create a training (and systems!) to support them.
When I say actions, I’m not talking about shared values like, “commitment to racial, economic, & gender justice.”
That’s important, but instead, I’m talking about a range of skills that can be developed over time by anyone with the proper support.
As you read, consider your training team–including yourself!
What do we do well?
What could use improvement?
- Ability to articulate SMART goals for your organization, program, or campaign.
- Naming actions that are likely to help reach that goal.
- Designing interactive activities that help learners develop confidence, clarity, and commitment to take action.
- Writing training agendas that provide step-by-step instructions for each activity.
- Scheduling trainings strategically to build towards shared goals.
- Using training materials to deliver clear instructions to participants.
- Periodically giving those who haven’t spoken a chance to contribute.
- Synthesizing what you hear, taking notes, and repeating it back to the group.
- Identifying and addressing comments that may be perceived as oppressive.
- Keeping time and adapting your agenda accordingly.
Outreach & Communications
- Identifying leaders and reaching out consistently to schedule 1:1’s.
- Posing questions, listening actively, and taking notes.
- Identifying common challenges and opportunities from conversations.
- Writing compelling training descriptions that articulate opportunities named by leaders.
- Identifying and using communication channels most common for your base.
If you are able to weave a training that effectively helps participants practice these skills, you might just have a recipe to exponentially increase your impact!
How about you, what skills do you think are necessary for trainers to have? Leave a comment below.
Want to explore how a train-the-trainers model might help your organization?