When we joined Toastmasters most of us thought we’d learn how to be better public speakers. What we didn’t discover until months or even years into the Toastmaster educational program was how much better our leadership and business skills improved as well.
But there’s even greater benefits to belonging to a big club like First Oakville.
Many of us before we joined Toastmasters had never experienced the benefits of being mentored. The mentor/mentee relationship can be one of the most helpful ways of getting the most out of your Toastmaster experience.
By actively participating as a mentee, it will show you how to be a terrific mentor when the time comes that you are asked to help a newer member. Many of these skills can be carried into the business and even personal relationships.
Sometimes new members don’t fully appreciate why the club places so much emphasis on fulfilling an assigned role, even a simple one like greeter, and the importance of finding a replacement if for some reason you can’t attend on a night you have a role.
Our club has been around for over 50 years! Many of our members have been business and political leaders in the community. Many are positions of influence and often help fellow Toastmasters with references even job offers.
However, and I’ve seen this happen, when a member whose attendance at club meetings has been spotty at best or they didn’t complete assigned roles or worse just didn’t show up when expected asks senior members for professional guidance or help in the business world they can be disappointed in the lack of response.
The response, while disappointing, isn’t unexpected.
If you’re asked to recommend someone or even be considering hiring someone would you feel comfortable if they weren’t reliable or didn’t keep to their commitments?
Of course you’d struggle with such a request.
Here’s where your mentor can be so helpful but you’ve got to be open to being taught. Not everyone is so teachable and many leave our program after only a few months finding working within a group setting to be too difficult.
Mentors can provide you with a wealth of experience and a great deal of support if you’ll let them. With the help of your mentor you can realize the most out of your Toastmaster educational program.
The next step in Toastmasters is to learn how to serve by being a leader and that’s a whole other topic. (Here’s a hint: It’s not about governing it is truly about serving.)