Getting out of the box

This from our VP of PR Elaine Collins:

Taking a Risk on Mentoring

Last night’s theme was ‘Taking Risks’—urging us to venture out of our own “box”.  An excellent topic, thanks to our chair, Val Clements,  to start off our new year!  It got me thinking about who or what helped me step out of my box in 2011.  My mentor!  I would like to suggest that we all venture out a little farther with our mentoring relationships in this last half of the Toastmaster year and see where it takes us.

There is a wealth of knowledge in our club—waiting to be tapped if only we have the courage to ask for the help.  With the guidance of my mentor, I have grown in areas that I didn’t expect.  I thought I would become more technically proficient—such as where to strengthen my content or delivery.  And my mentor has assisted me with that for sure.  For example, one area where I think many of us miss the boat, including me, is matching our speech to our project goals.  I have seen some great speeches but unfortunately, they were not conducive to the purpose of the project—like vocal variety or body language.  A mentor can bring that to our attention.

For me, the most surprising benefit of having a Toastmaster mentor, has been that he challenges me to be more courageous in my speeches—making me step out of my ‘box’ and get  comfortable with the uncomfortable.  I found this can be a humbling but worthwhile experience, as the payback is always a better end product that boosts my self-confidence as a speaker.

I challenge each of us to invest more of ourselves in our mentee / mentor relationships this year.  And don’t be afraid to ask for it—mentors love the challenge and will grow from the experience just as much as the mentees!

Take a risk and venture out of your box!

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