by Mahendran Mookkiah
Humans are the only species on Earth that have evolved to be self-aware and to have the ability to change our own environment. We are constantly learning from and evolving alongside the people around us.
When we work together with a shared goal of growth, we can achieve more than we ever could on our own. If you are not surrounded by people who are invested in your growth, find mentors who are. Communicate your desire to grow with them and let them know how they can help you. With their guidance and support, you can reach your full potential.
Toastmasters International is committed to helping its members become better communicators and leaders. The mentorship program is a key part of this mission, as it provides members with the opportunity to learn from and be mentored by other members. Whether you are a new member looking to improve your communication skills or an experienced member looking to develop your leadership skills, the mentorship program can help you reach your goals.
It is easy to find a mentor and mentee in Toastmasters. You can simply ask fellow members or the club’s Vice President of Education for a recommendation. However, it is also easy to let this valuable opportunity go to waste by not working on improving the mentor-mentee relationship.
Here are a few recommendations in beginner terms to improve the velocity of your personal growth.
Remember that you are in the club for a reason. You are not alone in your hesitation, shyness, or fear of asking for help. Everyone feels this way at some point. Simply break through those barriers and ask your Vice President of Education to help you with the mentorship program.
As a mentee, communicate your goal and availability with your mentor. Everyone is busy with their personal schedule. But communicating and planning in the calendar helps to get organized. Also, it helps to have effective communication.
As a mentor, express your interest in your mentee’s growth. It can be as simple as encouraging to give a speech, discussing areas to focus on during the speech preparation, and providing an additional and personal evaluation after the speech.
Maintain a journal:
The biggest challenge in growing a mentor-mentee relationship is letting it fade away. Make a commitment not to let this happen. If, for any reason, you want to change mentors or are unable to support your mentee, it is important to communicate this openly.
It is also important to accept that mentorship is not a lifelong relationship. It is also not a one-on-one relationship. My recommended approach to prevent the relationship from fading away is to schedule regular meetings and maintain a journal about the growth plan.
- VPE – Help your club members to make them aware of the mentorship program.
- Members – Communicate and Lead by effectively following the mentorship best practices.