This article was written as a one page Mentoring brochure for a Toastmasters club. You can download the flyer to use in your club.
The remainder of this article contains the text of the brochure.
What is mentoring?
A good way to learn a skill is to get help from a knowledgeable and experienced person, and to ask them questions. We call such a person a mentor – a combination of teacher, coach and buddy to help you learn.
A mentor will help you achieve your goals faster and avoid making mistakes by guiding you along your learning journey. Mentors know what it is like to be a beginner and can help you learn quickly.
Your mentor takes a personal interest in you (the mentee) and gives advice as well as serving as a role model, coach and confidante. You will benefit from the knowledge, experience and insight from your mentor.
A good mentor enjoys helping you become successful in learning new skills. A club with dedicated mentors is a quality learning environment.
How Mentors Benefit
New members learn and grow by having a mentor help in their first few months of membership. Mentors acquire new information and fresh perspectives from the mentee as well as gaining satisfaction in helping others and sharing their knowledge and experience.
Good mentors make a club successful and a place where members want to learn and practice the skills of public speaking and leadership.
The Mentoring Process
The First Meeting. Meeting for coffee is a good way to start. Later you can use phone, email or messaging for follow up conversations. You will most likely discuss your speaking goals and your first speech – the Icebreaker.
As you attend further meetings, find out how to prepare for the meeting roles – Timer, Um-Ah Counter, Chairman, Toastmaster and Table Topics Master.
Your mentor will show you useful resources as well as answering your questions. After the meeting you can gain feedback and learn from your experience.
Commitment. Both mentor and mentee need to commit to making time to help and be helped. Mentoring is a two-way process so the mentor and mentee should respect each other’s time and commit to make the mentoring process successful.
Qualities of a good Mentor
A good mentor is available, patient, sensitive, respectful, flexible, supportive, knowledgeable, confident, a good listener and interested in helping others.
Qualities of a good Mentee
A good mentee is eager to learn and take on new challenges, receptive to feedback, open to new ideas, loyal and trusting and grateful for the help received.
Mentoring is for a fixed time only
The mentor will help you with your first three speeches and meeting roles in the first few months of membership. This process takes time and commitment but the relationship is short and does come to an end. Mentoring prepares you to act independently and successfully, and to establish your learning experience in Toastmasters.
Who manages the program?
The VP Education will help you find a mentor when you join the club. You will be given a Mentee checklist to use with your Mentor.
How to Choose a Mentor
You may have seen an experienced Toastmaster in action and would like to request their help as mentor. Talk to that person or ask the VP Education to arrange an introduction.
Mentoring will help you succeed.
I made checklists for the Mentor and Mentee to use during the mentoring process. They have been customised for a particular Toastmasters club but feel free to modify for your own use.
Wikipedia article about Mentoring.
Mentoring – Toastmasters Successful Club Series educational package.