by Alexander Jamieson, High Riser Toastmasters
Most of us realize the importance of mentorship in our lives.
Our success and progress with Toastmasters can be made easier with a committed mentor at our side. The influence of someone who has gone before us is pivotal.
District 42 would like to focus more on mentorship this year. We are already excelling in this area, and we can do better. Our clubs are doing stellar work, offering new members the opportunity to be mentored by an experienced club member.
Unfortunately, mentoring relationships can start with good intentions, and with time deteriorate. There are various reasons why this occurs. Life and work sometimes get in the way, and it is easy for both the mentor and protégé to forget that they are in a relationship.
For success, mentorship requires some formality and some structure in place. Imagine toastmasters without the pathway’s projects? Imagine toastmasters without evaluations and time constraints? It would be chaotic. We would not be the speakers we are today without those systems in place.
Be A Toastmasters Mentor
Now you may be asking, is there a formal program for mentoring within Toastmasters? Yes, there is. Some of you may already be familiar with the pathways mentor program. It is perfect for people who are new to mentoring but is very applicable to experienced mentors. The program is a new curriculum accessible to those who have reached level 2 in any path. The program helps the member ease into a mentoring relationship and consists of three projects. The initial project is all about self-assessment and looking at your goals and inherent qualities as a mentor. The second project involves mentoring a club member for a short-term assignment, typically two months. The last project involves mentoring a toastmaster or someone outside of toastmasters for six months.
D42 Mentorship Program
After both mentoring assignments, the member will deliver a speech to the club about the experience of being a mentor. District 42 this year wants to promote and tell its members about the program. We have many enthusiastic new members who have quickly adapted to the new Pathways program and have already reached Level 2. We primarily want to focus on these new members who are most likely new to mentoring, but we want to get our experienced toastmasters excited about the program.
If you have an interest in the program, please contact your club president or your area director.