The extension worker
An extension worker is usually a technically trained person with excellent people skills. They enjoy working with people, can deal with complex technical and social situations, are holistic thinkers, good problem solvers and have excellent empathy skills.
Extension workers also need to be confident and able to allow others to take control. Empowering others in the community to lead is an important part of extension. It is important to know when to lead and when to step back and allow others to take control.
Extension is an education process so extension workers need to understand how people learn and how to influence them in order to change behaviour.
It is not all extension
Extension workers use extension but often do other things as well that are not extension.
In agriculture they maybe involved in applied research, marketing, providing specialist services (free and charged) and regulation. There are many different roles an extension worker may do that will be dictated by their employer.
The following is an example of the different roles of a government Agricultural Extension Officer.
Agricultural Extension Officer roles