by Jillian Darwish

Have you ever had the joy of attending a conference or workshop and been so energized by the content that you couldn’t wait to get back to the office or the classroom to start making changes? I hope everyone has had the opportunity to experience the joy that learning offers, as well the reward of creating positive change.

We don’t, however, always have this experience. Sometimes we have a fantastic learning experience, but our intention to implement a new plan dissolves with a tsunami of demands as we return to everyday life.

In recent conversations, I see a recurring theme that points to a solution for solidifying our resolve. However, it is so deceptively simple that it might easily be overlooked.

Carri Schneider, Director of Storytelling and Engagement for XQ Institute, publishes a newsletter that identifies five “must see” resources every other week. A recent Give Me 5 publication included Jennifer Gonzalez’s keynote at SXSW EDU. Jennifer noted that enacting learning and change after the conference required, among other things, “finding allies.”

Michelle McQuaid, best-selling author and senior fellow at Melbourne University’s Graduate School of Education, analyzed survey responses from 1,026 US workers and found that change success was related to the opportunity for meaningful conversations. In the report summarizing the analysis, Michelle asserts, “Change is created by the words we use, the conversations we share, and the knowledge that we generate through our interactions with each other.” (Look for Michelle’s next report, available this spring!)

• For a recent blog post, we asked leaders around the world what makes change stick. We summarized their ideas in three categories: Culture, Context, and Time. Across the categories, leaders agreed that a “community of positive transformers” was essential.

It is clear that if we want to create change, we can’t go it alone. It is a simple but powerful realization. As we design learning experiences, we must encourage the cultivation of sharing and community if we want learning to translate into action.

Join Jillian for the Embodied Positive Psychology Summit: Leadership in Education, this June at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health. If you are interested in learning AND making a positive change in education at all levels—K–12, higher education, adult learning, and coaching, register now.

Jillian Darwish is the president and CEO of Mayerson Academy, a nonprofit dedicated to transforming individual, team, and organizational performance. Under her leadership, the academy has become the exclusive education partner to the VIA Institute, working with schools, universities, organizations, and communities to utilize the science of character strengths to transform cultures. She is an award-winning educator passionate about the potential of learning to create an increasingly positive future.