Sunday, March 15, 2009

Toastmaster Mentors Just Do It

by Gege C. Sugue

I don’t think anyone will argue about the merits of mentorship. We believe in its value. We believe in its role in success. Here at Butter N Toast Toastmasters Club, we count on our mentorship program to help individuals and our club achieve goals. But believing, valuing, and planning are not going to accomplish much for us is if we don’t actually do it.

Because everything we do in our club is done voluntarily, we don’t really gain much from the title of Mentor. No fame, no fortune, not even a resume mention. The reward then is in actually doing it. The compensation is in the action. Here are 5 concrete things that can help you be a mentor of action:

1.Develop a relationship with your protégé. – If you’re going to reach out to your mentor only when he or she is up for a speech, chances are you’re going to forget your role as a mentor. Be proactive. As soon as you’re assigned, take your protégé’s contact details and meet him or her for coffee to start the bonding process. Be a coach and a friend to your protégé who just might be feeling overwhelmed by being a newbie in a club.

2.Find out your protégé’s needs. - First, ask your protégé to fill out the Member Profile role. Your protégé’s responses will help you what you need to prioritize in her development as a communicator and as a leader. Knowing how she can use Toastmasters in her career, activities, and personal life will help you know how best to mentor her.

3.Track your protégé’s progress. – And be the active, constant push to get her moving to the next achievement.

4.Lead by example. – Deliver speeches. Play meeting roles. Come on time. Take on challenges and leadership role when called upon to do so. Be a good picture of an exemplary member.

5.Don’t wait. Start now. – Author and speaker Peter Nivio Zarlenga says it well, “To begin, begin.”

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