Article by Ede Ferrari-D' Angelo
ONE SPECIAL SECRET TO A SUCCESSFUL CLUB
Ede Ferrari-D’Angelo, DTM
Toastmasters International Director 2014-2016
The Anaheim Breakfast Club has a fifty-four-year success record for a number of reasons, one of those reasons being its strong mentoring program.
From the first day that a guest becomes an official member two things happen. First, the new member is voted into the club by all members in good standing who are present. Second, the new member is introduced to his/her mentor, who agrees to remain a mentor for as long as needed. Our mentors are carefully chosen by a mentor chair, a seasoned member who is familiar with all of the members, and who is sensitive to the importance of a good mentor-mentee match.
There is much value to be gained from a mentoring program for the new member, for the person serving as a mentor, and for the club.
- · Mentees benefit through a better understanding of the Toastmasters organization and its educational program; increased self-confidence; better goal-setting and direction; education on how to accept feedback in important areas, such as communications, technical abilities, change management, and leadership skills.
- · Mentors benefit by allowing them to "give back" to both the organization and the mentee, improved ability to challenge ideas without challenging the person, greater empathy, ability to reflect on the true value of the skills they hold giving rise to greater selfconfidence, and by being reminded how to listen actively rather than passively.
- · The club benefits through higher retention rates, better support networks in times of organizational change (which does happen in Toastmasters), showing the outside world that the organization values its members, and fosters leadership skills in mentors.
Since 1965 the Anaheim Breakfast Club has had one primary goal which is to focus on the needs of the members. By staying true to that vision, we have grown and thrived. Out of our membership have come speakers who have competed in the World Championship of Public Speaking. Others have fulfilled a dream of publishing a book. Others have served in Toastmasters leadership from the club level up through the international level. Those people will tell anyone that one of the reasons they were willing to take on those challenges is that someone was there for them, encouraging, guiding and supporting them…their mentor.