Several members of Worthing Speakers have taken the opportunity of having a mentor. The aim, particularly for new members, is to help them get going in the club. However, mentoring is available to every member.
Mentors provide support, guidance, friendship and encouragement to members seeking to progress.
Both parties benefit from this experience: mentees are encouraged and guided, while mentors learn a great deal about their ability to lead and enhance their people skills.
Mentees find that they are able to look at things differently, the fog of information that can be difficult to navigate as a newbie is explained, and they are encouraged and supported in their goals.
Mentors will find similarities between themselves and their protégés. And by adding their wisdom and experience they can help and encourage mentees on the journey. Mentors are not at all judgmental and know when to step aside and let the mentee get on with it. But not before identifying their protegée’s needs and aims. Mentors need to be dependable, while protégés must be adaptable and want to learn. We need to accept goals that might appear to be non-achievable, and to accept new ideas. And to accept feedback, which in Toastmasters is always supportive – any criticism is in the form of a recommendation rather than a put-down.