What is a Mentor?
A mentor takes a personal interest in and helps a less experienced person. The mentor serves as a role model, coach and confidante, offering knowledge, insight, perspective or wisdom useful to the person being mentored. Membership in Toastmasters offers many opportunities, but none so rich and rewarding as the chance to work with (and as) a mentor. Mentors may provide general support for a new member or very specific coaching for more experienced members.
Benefits for New Members
With a mentor’s guidance, new members:
- Learn the program. Mentors help new members become familiar with the CC and CL manuals or the learning paths of the new Pathways program, 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 familiarize new members with the resources available to them and coach them with their speeches, enabling the new members to advance faster.
Benefits for Experienced Members
With a mentor’s guidance, more experienced members:
- Further refine skills. A mentor can provide helpful feedback to encourage the member to build upon and perhaps revitalize the skills they already possess.
- Learn new skills. Existing members can always learn new skills.
Mentors Enjoy Many Rewards!
There’s a lot of good that can come out of the experience for those who offer the benefit of their expertise:
- Learn from those they work with. New members often offer new information and perspectives.
- Remain productive. Mentors continue to make use of their own knowledge and skills.
- Do something for others. Helping others is 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.
The Club as a Whole Benefits!
When members experience the positive effect of an activity, everyone in the club benefits:
- Have more members. Turnover is reduced because members quickly become involved in the club and develop friendships.
- Have more satisfied members. Members continue to learn and grow and enjoy the club experience.
- Retain more members. When members are satisfied, they stay in their clubs longer.