Just Tell Me How to Be a “Good” Agent

“Just tell me how to be a good agent, and I’ll do it!”

I said that in a moment of frustration during my interview with our then State 4-H Leader when I applied for my first 4-H agent position.  You see, I had been in the system on an interim basis for long enough to know that I really didn’t know what it meant to be a “good” 4-H agent.  However, I desperately wanted to be one, and I desperately wanted someone to hand me the cookbook which included all the step-by-step ingredients and instructions for making this “good” agent.

Over time I’ve learned a few things- 1) There is unlimited success in the world, 2) There are many paths to success, 3) It is your responsibility to find your path to success.

However, research does give us a few other clues as to some factors that do contribute to the success of Extension Agent.  Read all about it at:  Lessons from Outstanding Agents

My synopsis:

  • Good agents set priorities, employ effective time management, and have a strong work ethic.
  • Good agents are knowledgeable and on-time when dealing with clients.  They “under promise and over deliver.”
  •  Good agents look ahead and are on-top of upcoming needs and trends in the communities they serve.
  • Good agents take time to reflect on their work and how to improve their craft.
  • Good agents build strong relationships with community members, volunteers, co-workers, mentors, etc.

What do you think?  What characteristics have contributed to your success that you don’t see represented in this Journal article?  Share your thoughts in the comment section!

And remember…



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