By Chuck Mencke, DTM, Area 45 Director
In the July 14, 2018 edition of Hot Topics, I wrote an article on “Mentoring – In the Spotlight.” I touted the benefits and importance of mentoring and how Pathways has finally put mentoring in the spotlight. To recap, each Pathways path now requires a Level 2 project “Introduction to Toastmasters Mentoring.” By completing the mentoring project, and two other required projects, Level 2 is done and that is when the fun can begin!
You now have the option to activate the “Pathways Mentoring Module.” It may seem like one of the 11 Pathways Paths, but it’s not. Think of it as sort of an “elective path.” It is comprised of 3 levels. After you complete the 3 levels, you’ll be designated as a “Pathways Mentor” and receive a nifty certificate and badge for your Pathways profile.
I have completed all 3 levels of the module and was asked to share some insights into the content and requirements. The “Pathways Mentoring Module” contains 3 levels. (And yes, the numbers below are correct! Think of this as the next steps after Level 2, “Introduction to Toastmasters Mentoring”)
- Level 3 – “Prepare to Mentor”
- Level 4 – “Mentoring”
- Level 5 – “Advanced Mentoring”
Note that if you choose to activate the Pathways mentoring program, it is not a commitment to be taken lightly. It is a significant time and record keeping commitment, but well worth it! Let’s look at the three levels.
Level 3 – “Prepare to Mentor”
In my opinion, Level 3 is the “meat” of the Pathways Mentoring Module. It’s an exercise that addresses your preparedness to be a Toastmasters mentor. This level gives you the foundation and the skills needed to complete the other two levels. You will explore the competencies that are required to be a qualified mentor and do a lot of “self-reflection.”
Level 4 – “Mentoring”
Your assignment for this level is to “dip your toes in the water” and mentor another Toastmaster short-term. You will work with a protégé (formerly “mentee”), mentoring them through a single project. Completing this level will give you the foundation and tools to advance to the next level.
Level 5 – “Advanced Mentoring”
At this level you will commit to mentor a fellow Toastmaster for a 6-month period. You and your protégée must make a commitment to each other and you both must understand what you are agreeing to. If either of you fails in your commitment to each other, the relationship could fall apart. And if that happens, you might have to identify a new protégée and start Level 5 again!
Completing the “Pathways Mentoring Module” is not about “checking a box” or touting yourself as a “Pathways Mentor.” I believe mentoring is a selfless act. It’s not about recognition for the mentor but about empowering the protégé, believing in them, and having them soar as high as they’re able. If you have any questions about the “Pathways Mentoring Module,” you are welcome to email me and I will be happy to answer your questions.