On the 20th of March we had a great speech by Lynne Wilkins on Mentoring. So what is mentoring?

  • Informal and supportive relationship.
  • It’s a voluntary arrangement – one that’s not like being managed formally: but it is supportive.
  • Someone you can learn from whether it’s from what they do, specific skills coaching or someone with which to share your worries.
  • Someone to help you meet your goals.

There’s a lot to get used to when you first come to Toastmasters, it can be a bit baffling with the funny names, agendas and clapping. A mentor can ease you into this; sitting next to you at meetings and explaining things and helping with any questions about pathways. They can encourage you to build your skills and get involved with taking on meeting roles. They will help you to join in and get ready for that all important first speech.

Each mentoring relationship you have should have an end point. In the beginning you want to gain your wings and to get confident so you can get to a point where you are happy to fly on your own.

As we go along our toastmaster journey it’s important we keep growing. Sometimes we need a refresh, or a new destination. You can change mentors to get the help you need at the time in your journey when you need it.

Why Mentor?

This takes time and effort – so why would you bother? Well because as much as you pass onto your mentor, you’re going to be learning from the experience too, and your mentee will have suggestions too that could be useful for your learning experience. You’ll realise how much you do know and each bit of knowledge you pass on refreshes that and inspires you again. One of the best ways of learning is to teach.