Every Insight trainer’s dream is to walk into the presentation room to find a blue and red marker. (Ok, well this is really my dream since my workshops function sans office supplies from the Concord office) When I walked into our classroom at Aso Puente in Guatemala City, Guatemala sitting near the white board were blue and red markers, ready for me to, for the last time, talk to a group about how to move ineffective (red) to effective (blue) communication skills.
Aso Puente works to eliminate child malnutrition in Guatemala by educating women, one village at a time, about their role in the health of their child. Aso works will villages for three years teaching women about business, hygiene, education empowering the women with the opportunity to raise healthy families. We took one day to merge the Influence and Negotiation and Difficult Conversation workshops. In the middle of the Influence and Negotiation workshop, we were preparing for a negotiation and working through our Seven Elements. They wanted to focus on bringing on new villages, and were preparing to talk to a fictional village leader about why they should welcome Aso Puente into their community. Throughout the activity they found that what the villages were looking for was an organization they could trust, and an NGO, although native to Guatemala, does not always give off that sense of trust. So, I asked, “What kind of data can we present to this leader to prove that you are a trustworthy organization?” They got to brainstorming in groups, when somebody had a light bulb moment. “We can bring other women who have gone through the program with us to these meetings. There will already be an inevitable sense of trust in that relationship.” Everyone agreed, very enthusiastically.
I could not have asked for a stronger way to end my workshops during my fellowship year. When I was learning this content almost a year ago, and when I was terrified about practicing even just with David, I could have never imagined I would be facilitating conversations that could change the success of an organization. And to feel like it was totally second nature is proof that I am not done having these conversations.