What Makes a Good Preventionist?

french friesHave you ever wondered what makes someone good at what they do?  Is it because they have a degree or educational background, is it the training they receive, or is it some innate quality that they possess?  Personally, I think it’s a combination of them all.

As a teenager, I worked at a fast food restaurant.  I wondered, “How hard can this be, taking customer orders and putting food on a tray?”  Well, there was a lot more to it than that.  I went through various levels of training on all of the “stations” in the restaurant.  There was a lot to learn about how to make french fries without giving yourself third-degree burns.    But even after all the training, some people still didn’t make the cut.  About 2 months into my job, a manager took me aside and told me I was being promoted to Crew Trainer.  He told me that every once in a while, they spot qualities in a person that make them a good leader, and I was one of those people.  I was passionate about delivering good customer service.  And as a crew trainer, I quickly learned a lot about what it takes, beyond training, to do a great job.    I could train someone on each station, and they could receive high scores on those trainings.   But if they didn’t have passion about the work (yes, even passion about flipping burgers), they didn’t stick around long.

When it comes to sexual violence prevention work, certain training and skills are needed.  But there are also key qualities that effective prevention practitioners possess that make them good at what they do.  And even more, there are certain strategies that organizations can use to make sure that prevention is a key priority and that prevention staff receive the training and support that they need to do the job well.

These issues and more are captured in the NSVRC’s latest publication, The Perfect Shade of Change: Resources for Sexual Violence Preventionists Creating Safe & Healthy Communities.  It is our hope that the resources in this info packet are helpful for those working to eliminate sexual violence at all levels – local, state, tribal, territory, and national.  Take a look at the packet, and let us know what you think!


Submitted by lpalumbo on

Another thing about passion for one's work, I think it is contagious. I'm inspired by our movement's passion for prevention, and I think our collective work grows when that passion is spotlighted. It may not be a secret ingredient, but I know there's no substitute! :)