Here is all the information you need to know to become a mentor and its benefits, or if you are want to be mentored.
A mentor programme offers many benefits to the club, to its new members and to the mentors too.
As a mentor, you are one of the club’s primary nurturers; sharing knowledge, educating and training new members.
By agreeing to become a mentor, you can help new members off to a good start and the club can turn apprehensive new members into dedicated, enthusiastic Toastmasters. As a mentor, you are going to be a significant part to the club’s journey and help develop dedicated Toastmasters.
Download and complete the Mentor Interest Survey form if you’d like to be a mentor or if you’d like to be assigned a mentor.
For any further questions, please contact your VP Mentoring.
It is vital that a Toastmasters club offers new members adequate support and guidance in developing their communication and leadership skills. As a mentor, you will help Ascot Speakers achieve this goal.
The role of a mentor is vitally important as it can really improve a member’s experience at the Club. The mentor is there to guide, support and offer advice and encouragement to their mentee. Not only that, there are many benefits in becoming a mentor as mentoring gives a great opportunity in developing leadership skills.
Once you have announced your availability to become a mentor, The VP Mentoring will match you up with a new member.
The club is committed to support and guide its members in developing their communication and leadership skills.
New member? To help you become familiar with the club meetings and roles of meeting participants, you will be assigned a mentor. The mentor will be a current, more experienced member of the club. Your mentor will help you with your first few speeches.
Other members: To ensure that you make the most of your membership, you can ask for a mentor if you wish to develop special skills that you may be interested in.
What is a mentor?
- Takes a personal interest in and helps an inexperienced person (mentee)
- Serves as a role model, coach and confidante
- Offers knowledge, insight, perspective and wisdom useful to the mentee
- Helps someone become successful and learns new skills themselves
Easing the transition
Most new members join a club because they have problems and/or needs that relate to speaking and leadership. They believe that improving their speaking and leadership skills will help them advance in their career or offer them greater personal satisfaction. They expect the club to help them solve their problems and meet their needs.
With the aid of a mentor, new members:
- Learn the programme – Mentors help new members become familiar with the Pathways Education Programme, club meeting roles and opportunities available through membership.
- Learn club standards and customs – Mentors help new members learn about the club and its activities.
- Develop confidence – Armed with the knowledge mentors provide, new members’ self-confidence increases.
- Participate more – Mentors help new members become familiar with and enjoy the club and its members. As a result, new members become more involved in club activities.
- Quickly learn speaking skills – Mentors familiarise new members with the resources available to them and coach them with their speeches, enabling the new members to advance faster.
Developing special skills
Mentors are not only useful to new members. Some of the more experienced members in a club can benefit from having a mentor too. Sometimes an experienced member’s skills can become dull.
Perhaps you have been a member for several years and want to learn more about some particular aspect of speaking such as speech organisation or humour. Another club member excels in your area of interest. This person could be your mentor and help you to further develop that special skill. Perhaps you have admired an officer’s ability to motivate and inspire members. Maybe the officer would be willing to help you learn these leadership skills.
With a mentor’s guidance, more experienced members can:
- Further refine skills – A mentor can provide helpful feedback that will encourage the member to build upon and perhaps revitalise the skills they already possess.
- Learn new skills – Existing members can always learn new skills.
Benefits to mentors
Those who serve as mentors to new or experienced members also reap rewards.
- Learn from their mentees – Mentees often offer new information and perspectives.
- Remain productive – Mentors continue to make sure of their own knowledge and skills.
- Do something for others – Much can be said for the pleasure we receive from helping someone else. To do so is not only a confirmation of our own skills, but we also feel good about ourselves when we help someone achieve their goals.
- Receive recognition – Mentors are respected and appreciated by fellow members for helping people. Of course, mentors also earn the gratitude of their mentees.
Benefits to clubs
The club as a whole benefits too. If we want the club to be full of active, involved, satisfied members, having a successful mentor programme is essential. Members must be committed to helping new members and one another.
Clubs that encourage members to mentor one another:
- Have more members – Turnover is reduced because members become involved quickly and develop friendships.
- Have more satisfied members – Members continue to learn, grow and enjoy the club experience.
- Retain more members – When members are satisfied, they stay in their clubs longer.
Who is eligible to be a mentor?
You can be a mentor as long as:
- You have delivered at least three prepared speeches.
- You have served the following meeting roles at least once: Speech Evaluator, Table Topics Master, Toastmaster of the Evening
What are the qualities of a mentor?
A good mentor is:
- Available: You must have at least 15 minutes or more each week to help with speeches and answer questions. New members may require additional time until they become familiar with the club.
- Patient: People learn at varying speeds. You should be willing to provide whatever it takes to help the mentee.
- Sensitive: Tact and diplomacy are vital. As a mentor, always motivate and encourage the mentee. Be loyal not to betray mentee’s confidence.
- Respectful: Everyone is different. A mentor respects the differences between himself, the mentee and others.
- Supportive: Show your pride in your club and what it has done and can do for members.
- Knowledgeable: Get familiar with the club, its operations and educational programme before helping someone.
- A good listener: A mentor must listen carefully. Simply listening without taking on the other person’s problem, can be of great help to the mentee. Just by listening, you can enable the mentee to articulate the problem and sort things out.
The mentoring steps
The mentor’s duties will vary depending on whether their mentees are new members or existing members. Once the new member has been assigned a mentor, at the first meeting the mentor should:
- Sit with the new member and explain various parts of the meeting such as prepared speeches, Table Topics and evaluations, and answer questions that the mentee may have.
- Orient the new member to club customs and procedures, e.g., for any special awards, events or other special activities, explain those to a mentee.
- Explain how to sign up for speeches. Ask the VP Education to schedule the mentee’s Ice Breaker speech as soon as possible. Advise the mentee regarding what to do and whom to contact about signing up for meeting roles.
- Help the mentee with the Ice Breaker in overcoming fears and getting off to a good start. Discuss speech ideas and offer suggestions if necessary.
- Make mentees aware of resources, e.g., point out the materials in the Toastmaster magazine, discuss district conferences and so on.
- The first few weeks of membership are critical. Compliment them on their progress.
- Explain responsibilities that membership is just not about giving speeches but also a commitment to helping the club and its members.
- Help with speeches and other assignments. As you work with mentees on their speeches, offer them your feedback and tips and advice in fulfilling other meeting roles.
- Tell them how you have benefited – Share how you have benefited from Toastmasters programme. You are the proof that they can achieve their goals.
- Invite mentees to other events – Toastmaster’s speech contests, conferences and other clubs’ meetings all offer mentees the opportunity to extend their learning and participation.
- Explain officers’ duties – Describe how the mentee can develop leadership skills by serving as a club officer.
- Explain speech contests – Discuss the purpose of speech contests, the types of contests conducted by the club and how some contests progress to area, division, district and international levels.
Qualities of mentees
For a successful mentor/mentee relationship, mentees have responsibilities too.
To receive maximum benefit from the relationship, mentees should be:
- Eager to learn – Mentees must be willing to take new challenges.
- Receptive – Mentees must be open to feedback, viewing it as an opportunity to improve themselves.
- Open to new ideas – Mentees should be willing to see things from other perspectives.
- Loyal – Mentees do not violate confidences or trust.
- Grateful – Mentees appreciate the help their mentors are giving.
When does the Mentor-Mentee relationship end?
The mentor-mentee relationship doesn’t last forever, nor should it. The purpose of mentoring is to teach the mentee to think and act independently and successfully.
Once mentees have developed to the point where they are functioning effectively on their own, mentors’ services are no longer needed. Most likely, the mentor-mentee relationships turn into a warm friendship.
Mentors can find new mentees to help and former mentees have the knowledge to become mentors themselves.
Who can you help develop their speaking and leadership skills? Who may be able to help you learn new speaking and leadership skills?
A mentor-mentee relationship provides many opportunities. Experience them for yourself. Benefit from the skills of a mentor and then become a mentor and share those benefits with others.
Tell us about your interest in mentoring
Whether you’re interested in being a mentor or looking for a mentor, your VP Mentoring will be available to guide you to the right direction.
Alternatively, download or grab a copy of the Mentor Interest Survey at the next club meeting, tick the appropriate box to show your interest and hand it to the VP Mentoring.