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A common thread I keep seeing woven among most of y’all is that at some point in your career both doing the work is no longer enough to ensure your organization is successful; you need to teach what you know.
But most of us don't have the professional training to become a professor or instructor, and - thanks to the internet, especially - we don't have to! There are so many resources out there that can help you build up the skills of your team, both at HQ and in the field. More and more we're seeing cool bosses taking to webinars and live workshops to step out from behind the desk to help others do what they do, from capture to facilitating design sessions.
And we're all for it. Sharing your expertise can be not only creatively fulfilling, but good for your career too.
This doesn't have to be complicated.
Especially in the earlier stages of our careers it's easy to get stuck in the mindset that you don't know enough to teach others. That you're still learning. That you're not the expert.
But here's the catch - we are ALL still learning.
Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying.
WHAT'S OBVIOUS TO YOU
There's this great quote credited to Derek Sivers about this: "What's obvious to you is amazing to others."
Anything that you've spent time learning and working to understand is something that you can help share with others. If you're really feeling the imposter syndrome, repeat after me "I've spent a lot of time on this topic and I'm still learning." Two things can be true.
So let's say you come up with a gem of an idea. How do you get started teaching what you know? Here are a few ideas from easiest to more challenging:
Offer to demo for a friend. In my world this meant sharing with a friend who works with a local arts non-profit how I would break down a request for proposal from a donor.
Write something (anything). This could look like an explainer email where you document a process you've tested to share with your team, or an article on the Bid Boss Clubhouse describing how you approach a common issue, or a LinkedIn article explaining how you got your start in international development.
Organize a learning group. I have to credit this to one of my former supervisors, who set up monthly lunch-and-learn activities where our colleagues presented on fun (and less fun) things to practice speaking to a group and sharing what we knew.
Teach a course. This could be at your organization, rolling out a training about a key topic to coworkers or local partners, or through an online course platform (there are a lot out there, feel free to reply to this email for suggestions).
You don't need more information - you just need to hit the gas and start sharing what you know with the world. Before you know it, you'll have an even deeper knowledge of the topic and you'll have people reaching out who you never knew needed your message.
Ready to hang out IRL? Check out your local listing of international development events . (event)
Is it too meta to link to a LinkedIn article about how to write LinkedIn articles ? (article)
Thinking about a podcast? Here are a few things you should know . (article)
Buy into the L in MEL and get your organization talking about knowledge sharing . (article)