LGBTIQ+ inclusion training is becoming extremely popular in workplaces, sporting clubs and schools. Fortunately, there are many training offerings in this space. But, how do you find the best course for your organisation in terms of content and delivery? Here are five questions to ask to find the best LGBTIQ+ training provider for your organisation.
This seems like an obvious question but don’t assume they will be – I’ve participated in LGBTIQ+ inclusion training only to realise that the trainer isn’t LGBTIQ+. So, why is this such an issue?
Someone who isn’t LGBTIQ+ is unable to bring lived experience to the training, which is crucially important – especially when participants start asking questions. It also helps to foster empathy, supporting your employees to understand what it might be like to access your business as a LGBTIQ+ person. To read more about the benefits of this, see my article about my experience finding a hairdresser in Geelong.
If your organisation is male-dominated and based in a regional town, will your trainers be able to relate to their audience? Will they be able to provide context-specific case studies and stories that the participants will engage with and understand? If you’re a sporting club, do the trainers have an experience of being excluded or included in a sporting context? If they don’t, find someone who does. There are plenty of training solutions out there – such as the LGBTQ+ Workshops offered by Bree Gorman – and one will be right for your organisation.
I believe lecturing people on LGBTIQ+ 101 does little to change the experience of people who interact with your business, which is something I’ve alluded to in my responses to the previous questions. The content of a lecture may be interesting, and participants may walk away feeling good about the session and what they learnt, but it’s possible they’ll remain unable to act, think or behave differently.
I’ve written previously about why interactive learning is necessary of LGBTIQ+ inclusion training. Providing real examples of inclusion and exclusion creates memorable moments that can shift a person’s behaviour and – combined with actionable tasks, as I describe next – change can occur.
It is vital that a training session ends with an action planning exercise. In all of the training programs we run at Bree Gorman, participants are asked to define the ways they’ll support workforce diversity and identify measurable actions they can take to do so. These actions take shape when the organisation tracks and holds people – and the leadership of the organisation – accountable for them. And while a well-considered LGBTIQ+ action plan will further inclusion, small steps, taken by everyone, can get the ball rolling!
It’s so important that the trainer meets the participants where they’re at. When we get defensive, feel guilt or shame we don’t learn as we would if we were more at ease and comfortable.Try to find a facilitator with excellent stakeholder engagement skills, who doesn’t have expectations around what the participants should or shouldn’t understand already. Spend some time with them, test them with some questions and consider asking for some testimonials that speak to their capacity to train people at different stages in their education journey.
19 December 2022
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