Research studies show that good mentoring programs can reduce the turnover rate by half and help members achieve their personal goals more quickly. Further studies show that individuals who have mentors achieve their goals faster and stay longer in organizations.
These findings match what club leaders worldwide say, that clubs and their members achieve more consistently when they have an organized mentoring program. Indeed, mentoring is a fundamental aspect of the Toastmasters experience. An active club mentoring program creates the following benefits:
- Dramatically improves leadership and speaking skills
- More effectively integrates people into your Club
- Members renew when they achieve their goals and create stronger interpersonal bonds
- Fulfills the Toastmaster's Promise.
Dr. Ralph C. Smedley realized it long before it was proven by research when he said:
"We realize that the two most important factors in Toastmasters are Mentoring and Evaluations. There is no doubt that if these two are done well and there is a good Mentoring program, your Club will be filled with spark plugs ready to fire upon request. Mentoring and Evaluations create enthusiasm, and once you light that fire, the only thing it needs is some kindling."
A successful mentoring program focuses on members' needs. The Club's Mentoring Coordinator helps develop and implement a mentoring program under the leadership of the Vice President Education.
The Mentoring Coordinator will work to:
- Pair an experienced member (mentor) with a less experienced member (protégé) to form a mentor-protégé relationship
- Support mentors in their roles
- Assist and follow-up on Goal Setting
A Mentor is an experienced Toastmaster, skillful in one or more competencies and interested in serving his/her Club by taking on the responsibility of guiding, teaching, and mentoring other members. A mentor serves as a role model, and confidante. The purpose of mentoring:
- New Member Orientation
- Guide protégés to find their own way
- Support member achievements
- Strengthen club
A Protégé is any member who seeks guidance and support from a mentor to reach their goals. The protégé will LEARN to develop communication and leadership skills with the support of the mentor:
Listen with openness – be willing to hear the words of wisdom, understand the process, experience new ways, and be yourself in the process.
Eager to move forward – identify and face fears, discuss action steps with the mentor.
Action-oriented – create an action plan with SMART Goals.
Respond with honesty – when asked what you feel/think about an issue, express true feelings and thought. It will help the mentor decide how best to help.
Never give up. Be determined to meet the challenges and reap the rewards of success.
To learn more, click for Mentoring Resources