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leadership Pathways pathways guides

Shape up for Pathways Excellence

A positive approach!

Pathways is our Educational system and it provides opportunities and challenges for the experienced and new Toastmasters. I believe that a majority of clubs in Australia have embraced Pathways well and are steaming ahead. We are ensuring that each District has a Pathways ‘leader’ to help promote and support Pathways experiences, and in my District we schedule monthly Pathways focussed online workshops.

How is your District travelling? Do you still have some clubs who are reluctant participants in the Pathways program? Do you need some help in motivating them?

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This blog post will focus on ‘How you can shape up your members and create more Pathways Stars?’

Step 1: Check your Pathways Adoption Rates!

You can do this by accessing the data calculated by Toastmasters International in this Pathways Adoption Rates tool. Select your District and then filter on Division and Area to find your specific data. This will give you a base line from which you can plan for further Pathways adoption in your club.  For example here are the results for my Area N29 in D73:
adopt rates header

adoption rates n29

As you begin the process Pathways Mentoring you can then drill down into the details of progress for each of your members:

Step 2: Challenge your members to plan ahead for speaking opportunities!

At the base level of any Toastmasters club is the club meeting in which we provide opportunities for our speakers to practice, grow and develop their speaking and evaluating skills. Speaking is still the core competence of the Pathways Education Program! However, in some Districts it seems that Toastmasters are unhappy with Pathways.

Here is a summary of what I learned from Trish Blackwelder’s stellar presentation for the Tuesday Talks n’ Tips sessions for Pathways.  Here is the full length presentation.

Trish B is the D3 Pathways Chair in Phoenix, Arizona and has completed her Distinguished Toastmaster award (DTM) five times in the Legacy program.

Trish B sets out to unpack the following questions that she hears often from those Toastmasters who are unhappy with Pathways.

Why did we need to change?
Her first response is to emphasise the need for change – an evolution in the effectiveness of the Toastmasters Educational program for the 21st century. Trish suggests that we also guide our members to those things that are still in our Toastmasters program and are familiar to us. For example the five core competencies: Public Speaking, Interpersonal Communication, Strategic Leadership, Management & Confidence.

Pathways Leader at D18, Karen Storey, DTM, displays these core competencies at her website for Pathways.

Trish B emphasises the need to share an overview of the alignment of each Path in relation to the emphasis on these core competencies. This useful Pathways_Assist_PathsByCoreEmphasis document gives the alignment at a glance.

Lead Pathways Guide at D62, Lori Haynes DTM, provides this useful one page flier displaying a list of all Paths.
D62-Pathways-Short-Path-Description-2.13.19-1

Trish B suggests that new and existing Toastmasters alike will benefit from an opening conversation about their aspirations and reasons for joining Toastmasters culminating in a strong recommendation for the specific Path that will suit them best.

George Marshall provided a very useful set of slides ‘How to Pick a Path’ to help all Toastmasters understand which Paths focus on Public Speaking and Interpersonal Communication and which ones focus on Leadership both Strategic and Managerial.) How-to-Pick-a-Path-3-SSTM-by-George-Marshall 

Why do I need to repeat the projects in Levels 1 and 2 for each Path?
Trish B reiterates the preference of some Toastmasters for the projects from the Competent Communicator manual- their sequential skill building focus being ideal for new speakers. Trish B reminds us that Nine of the Ten base level skills for Public Speaking are incorporated in each of the Paths in Pathways and are presented at different levels in the Paths.

Note: the tenth project from the CC manual, ‘Persuasive Speaking’ is only included in the Presentation Mastery Path.

Trish B offers a great tip for enthusing Toastmasters on the value of repeating the Icebreaker speech, as an example of how we can analyse the growth in our own speaking skills. She says: “the Icebreaker from my first CC manual was nothing like the Icebreaker I completed in my 17th CC manual”. Trish B suggests that a seasoned Toastmaster can be more innovative in their later Icebreakers to reveal more information about themselves.

To ‘spice things up a little’, Trish B also recommends that repeating a Path can bring out new opportunities to stretch the skills of Public Speaking or Leadership, by selecting different electives in the second or third time round a Path.

Lori Haynes, Lead Pathways Guide at District 62 provides this neat one page flier displaying a list of all electives at Levels 3, 4 and 5.
D62 Pathways – Elective Projects 2.13.19

Step 3: Encourage your members to plan ahead for Leadership Projects!

Rose Oosthuysen DTM from D112, and VP Membership for Ablaze Advanced Online Club, provides this summary of 10 essential leadership skills and matches them with a selection of Pathways projects.

  1. Communication skills are essential at all levels of leadership; Understand Your Communication Style project Level 2 in all Paths; Active Listening project Level 2 (Motivational Strategies) Develop a Communication Plan project (Visionary Communication) and 3 electives;
  2. Motivation skills are vital for team work; Persuasive Speaking Level 3 (Presentation Mastery); Motivate Others Level 4 (Team Collaboration) projects
  3. Delegating skills include accepting feedback from employees; Reaching Consensus project Level 3 (Effective Coaching); Making Connections through Networking Level 3 (Strategic Relationships)
  4. Positivity is needed for conflict management; Understanding Conflict Resolution project Level 3 (Persuasive Influence); Focus on the Positive elective (all Paths)
  5. Trustworthiness requires emotional intelligence, Understanding Emotional intelligence project Level 2 (Motivational Strategies); and Leading in Your Volunteer Organisation project Level 5 (Strategic Relationships)
  6. Creativity requires vision, Develop Your Vision project Level 5, (Visionary Communication);  and the ability to use effective visual aids in presentations; Creating Effective Visual Aids Level 3 Elective in all Paths.
  7. Feedback we learn to give and receive feedback in all paths;  Evaluation and Feedback projects, Level 2 in all paths;
  8. Responsibility requires us to reflect on our actions Level 5 in all paths Reflect on your Path;  provide positive coaching, Improvement Through Positive Coaching project Level 4 (Effective Coaching) and Manage Projects Successfully project Level 4 (Innovative Planning)
  9. Commitment requires us to be a team player Leading Your Team level 4 (Leadership Development); and a leader High Performance Leadership Level 5 (Effective Coaching)
  10. Flexibility requires negotiating skills,  Negotiate the Best Outcome Level 3 (Dynamic Leadership);  and Manage Change project Level 4 (Dynamic Leadership) and Lead in Any Situation Level 5 (Dynamic Leadership).

Do you need a full copy of all Pathways Path and Project Catalog, make use of this resource from George Marshall, DTM, Chief Pathways Guide at D57. George also provides this PowerPoint Presentation: How-to-Pick-a-Path-3-SSTM-by-George-Marshall

Step 4: Share rich resources with members

Toastmasters International Magazine is a rich source of resources. Some like to read their print version and others gain further insights by reading the online articles.
‘Welcome to Pathways 101’ – an online article for August 2019 written by Paul Sterman (Senior Editor)  is an ideal resource to share with your members. Just send the link in an email.

In this article there are fantastic resources to whet your appetite, convince you, persuade you and provide real world examples of the benefits of the Toastmasters Pathways Program. In this video interview Mark Snow, DTM, D69 Club Growth Director, focusses on the benefits of Pathways Leadership projects for his workplace projects.

Mark provides the Pathways-Companion-Guide-V2 to help all Toastmasters on their way in their chosen Path.

There are many other fantastic resources created by passionate Pathways leaders from across the world to make your task of motivating other Pathways Champions easy. Consider this collection of documents for recording achievements in each Path:

Pathways_Assist_PathProgressSheets-JulieDall from Julie Dall, D3, and the pathways_level_completion_checklist

If you can motivate just one member in Pathways, you can build your club adoption rates and ensure that your club is in good shape for Pathways excellence!

Come on over to the Pathways Discussion Forum where you can:

  • post your Pathways motivational strategies
  • ask questions about your Path (and specific projects)
  • catch up with the archives of all Tuesday Talks n’ Tips workshops (recordings and shared resources)

Note: My latest slides on Shape Up with Pathways Excellence are available here:
Shape Up Presentation 080919

Categories
online pathways guides adventures Pathways pathways guides

Mentoring Pathways Champions

Recently I was asked ‘what strategies are employed in your clubs to encourage uptake, progress and completion in Paths among your members’. My response was Mentoring!

If you want success in your club and your goal is to build a 100% enrollment base in Pathways, I recommend a Club generated Pathways Mentorship Program.

Here’s one way to do that!

Mentoring for Pathways Champions!

Tips for creating your Pathways Mentorship Program!

  1. Encourage your experienced members and Pathways fast trackers to select the optional Pathways Mentoring Program after completion of Level 2 in their Path. They become your Pathways Champions.
  2. Appoint a Pathways Mentorship Leader in your club who will assist Pathways Champions as they mentor members who are new to Pathways. A great vehicle for completion of a Leadership project.
  3. Provide Incentives for the Pathways Champions and members to enthuse, guide and support others on their journey through their selected Path(s). eg Small badges and pins from the Shop.
  4. Run a Stepping Stones to Pathways Mentorship Workshop as a special training segment.
  5. Build in a Mentor/Protege Networking segment before you begin your meetings.
  6. Build in a Mentor Feedback segment on the agenda for during your meetings.
  7. Build in a Mentor Followup guidance activity for the Pathways Champions after the meetings.

A Stepping Stones to Pathways Mentorship workshop will provide guidance on what the mentor, protege and the club needs to do.

The mentoring process will enable greater sharing, support and reported feedback to the club.

During the workshop, a randomly selected set of Mentor/Protege partnerships can initiate some discussions to start the process. Note: this is great activity for between club interaction, if you are using this at inter-club or Division Club Leadership Training events.

The mentor/protege partnerships can focus on either:

  • the Introduction to Mentoring project from Pathways and discuss methods of mentoring a member through a whole level in their Path, or
  • the Advanced Mentoring project from Pathways and discuss methods of mentoring over a longer period of time and reporting back to the club.

The matching process for the partnerships in the Pathways Mentorship program can vary from:

  • optional and voluntary pairing between mentor and protege
  • formal club selection process for matching the pairs
  • impromptu and just-in-time opportunities for mentors to step up and offer service

Note: the pairing may change over time as needs change.

The reporting back on mentoring outcomes is an integral part of the Stepping Stones to Pathways Mentorship program.

Individual members and the whole club benefits from building in regular opportunities for the mentor/protege pairs to meet up, give feedback and follow up.

This sends a very strong message to visitors and guests at your meeting when they view these segments and hear about the progress of both mentors, proteges and Pathways Champions.

The final step is to embed the Pathways Mentorship process into the success plan for the club.

Executives can share the current mentoring partnerships and reports, with their new committee at each changeover meeting. This provides a great opportunity for the outgoing and incoming executives to discuss progress in the Distinguished Club Program and success with Level and Path completions.

If your club is keen to improve their Distinguished Club Program status, then take it another step further forward, and Appoint a Club Pathways Mentorship Leader. This role would be most valuable for completion of a specific Leadership Project from Pathways.

What about incentives?

Don’t forget to reward your members and mentors – everyone loves receiving little gifts of appreciation.

Head over to the Toastmasters International Shop:

  • Purchase Ribbons for Pathways Mentors on completion of their Pathways Mentor Program
  • Purchase Pins for those members who complete a Path

How will you implement Pathways Mentorship?

Categories
journey of a Path Treader Pathways pathways guides

RPL and the Electives

No, this is not the name of a new music group!

What is RPL?

RPL means Recognition of Prior Learning – a method of enabling skilled practitioners in all fields to obtain recognition for those skills acquired prior to starting a course of study or applying for credit transfer. I see a correlation here for our entry into Pathways; or at least I see a missing element that would ease my entry into a specific Path in Pathways.

Here is the official explanation from the  National Training Board in Australia:

Recognition of prior learning is an assessment process that involves assessment of an individual’s relevant prior learning (including formal, informal and non-formal learning) to determine the credit outcomes of an individual application for credit.

RPL is known in many countries under different names, but ultimately each one provides a method for recognizing competence against a given set of standards, competencies, or learning outcomes.  For a brief description of RPL, visit Wikipedia.

What has this got to do with Pathways?

An RPL process would enable Toastmasters to demonstrate that they are capable of undertaking specific levels in Pathways based on evidence of skills and knowledge gained throughout their previous history of Toastmaster membership.

As a skilled Toastmaster with many years of experience I would have preferred an option for me to immediately apply for RPL in Levels 1 and 2. These two levels are the same in every Path! Although I may breathe new life into the 8 tasks required of me in the Mastering Fundamentals and Learning Your Style, they do not present any new challenges for me. This same scenario is placed before me each time I start a new Path and it does not engage or enthuse me!

Therefore I propose that a process of Recognition of Prior Learning be applied to Levels 1 and 2 to enable a skilled Toastmaster to begin a new Path at Level 3 if they have already met the criteria for the projects in those levels previously, or have already completed one Path.

The RPL process could be built into each Path – providing a much sought after option. The Toastmaster could be presented with the RPL choice at both Level 1 and Level 2 when they access their Path in Base Camp. The RPL could appear as an option in the Transcript and a new RPL Process could be accessed by the Toastmaster by downloading it as a PDF.  The process could involve the ‘verification’ by a Base Camp Manager, just as they do for a completed level.

The outcomes of an RPL process would:

  • increase the enrolment potentials for Pathways by experienced Toastmasters
  • reduce the repetitive nature of speech activities in the club meetings (especially advanced clubs)
  • enhance the engagement and enjoyment of Paths immediately for all Toastmasters

Level UP for the new adventure!

Once I have achieved competence in Mastering Fundamentals (Level 1) and Learning Your Style (Level 2), I believe that the Levels 3-5 in Pathways presents the most attraction and valuable challenges for experienced Toastmasters. This is where the adventure begins! By enabling experienced Toastmasters to Level UP quickly through an RPL process, we would be able to enthuse them to enter Pathways. By alerting experienced Toastmasters to the NEW projects, competencies and opportunities in the Electives, early in their planning process, we would be able to entice them to consider the Pathways journey more pro-actively.

  • Level 3 Increasing Knowledge, is where each Path takes off into different directions and focus.  Level 3 introduces new required projects and offers the choice of 2 Electives.
  • Level 4 Building Skills introduces opportunities to challenge your skills with another required project and provides choices for 1 more elective.
  • Level 5 Demonstrating Expertise provides even greater challenges for your speaking and leadership skills with one or two required projects, as well as one more elective.

Required projects vary according to the objectives of each Path! For instance:

  • in two of the Paths, the project focus on Public Speaking (Presentation Mastery, Engaging Humor)
  • in three of the Paths, the projects focus on Light Leadership (Leadership Development, Motivational Strategies)
  • in three of the Paths, the projects focus on Moderate Leadership (Dynamic Leadership, Strategic Relationships, Team Collaboration)
  • In two of the Paths, the projects focus on Strong Leadership (Effective Coaching, Innovative Planning, Persuasive Influence)

Public Speaking

Presentation Mastery:
Persuasive Speaking, Managing a Difficult Audience, Prepare to Speak Professionally

Engaging Humor:
Know your Sense of Humor, Engage your Audience with Humor, The Power of Humor in an Impromptu Speech, Deliver your Message with Humor

Light Leadership

Leadership Development:
Planning and Implementing, Leading Your Team, Manage Successful Events.

Motivational Strategies:
Understanding Emotional Intelligence, Motivate Others, Team Building

Visionary Communication:
Develop a Communication Plan,  Communicate Change, Develop Your Vision

Moderate Leadership

Dynamic Leadership:
Negotiate the Best Outcome, Manage Change, Lead in any Situation

Strategic Relationships:
Making Connections through Networking, Public Relations Strategies, Leading in your Volunteer Organisation

Team Collaboration:
Successful Collaboration, Motivate Others, Lead in any Situation

Strong Leadership

Effective Coaching:
Reaching Consensus, Improvement through Positive Coaching, High Performance Leadership

Innovative Planning:
Present a Proposal, Manage Projects Successfully,  High Performance Leadership

Persuasive Influence:
Understanding Conflict Resolution, Leading in Difficult Situations, High Performance Leadership

 

Choose Electives Smartly!

The choice of Electives is the fun part of Pathways and will entice greater participation across the broad spectrum of Toastmasters experiences, goals and passions. If Electives are presented to the Toastmaster early in their Pathways planning phase, the Toastmaster can be better prepared. Electives will be the key to the uptake of Pathways in the next phase of its implementation in our clubs – from July 2019 to June 2020.

We need to ‘showcase’ the exciting parts of Pathways and set targets within clubs to reach 100% enrolment in Pathways for all members by June 2020. How can we do that? Breakout the Electives! Make them accessible now!

Note: Did you realise that when you have completed a Path, you have access to all the Online Classes for all Electives when you return to that archived Path in your Transcript. You have them at your finger tips.

Electives can be chosen according to how well the Elective project fits into the goals and themes for their Path. eg a Toastmaster focussing on being a better presenter online may select the electives:  Understanding Vocal Variety, Create a Podcast, and Prepare to Speak Professionally.

These will help fine tune their speaking style for:

    • range of audiences
    • voice recording
    • presenting on the small screen

The Electives are varied in content and purpose and will challenge Toastmasters who are seeking NEW learning in different environments. In some Electives, there are multiple tasks and some request more than one speech. Ensure that you get a full overview of tasks and speeches involved with each, as you plan your Path. eg a Toastmaster who is focussing on building international leadership skills may select these electives:  Make Connections through Networking, Building a Social Media Presence and Ethical Leadership.

These will help fine tune their international image and improve:

    • networking capabilities
    • social media awareness
    • leadership in diverse cultural dimensions

See D73 website for a dynamic set of Paths and Projects: select the one you want and drill down to the summary of each project by clicking on the + sign.

I believe that you can really make your Pathways Education journey more exciting by looking closely at the Electives and planning to include them strategically in your Path. Start planning now!

What are your favourite Electives and why did you choose them?

What did you learn from tailoring your Path to suit your goals and aspirations?

Recommendations:

  1. apply to join the Pathways Discussion Forum for in-depth conversations about all things Pathways
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/pathwaysdiscussionforum/
  2. plan to join the Online Webinar “Motivating Members to Start on Pathways” scheduled for March 30 at 11:30 am AEST (12:30 UTC) in Zoom: https://zoom.us/j/426959509 
    https://www.facebook.com/events/255925301983852/
  3. plan to join the Online Webinar “Pathways Elective Choices” scheduled for April 27 at 7:30 pm AEST (08:30 UTC) – watch for details here: https://d73.toastmasters.org.au/online-education/  https://zoom.us/j/5333799282
Categories
Pathways pathways guides

Personal Eportfolio: Pathways Achievements

 

Pathways Badges

EC badgeVC badgeMentor badgeSR badge

In the Pathways program you receive badges when you reach learning milestones; these are displayed in your Eportfolio in Base Camp. I recently completed another Path and went looking for the new badge. That’s great – I can now share these badges in my Personal Eportfolio.

This WordPress blog is my preferred site for my Eportfolio to showcase and reflect on my Pathways achievements. You will notice that a new Page has been added to my Blog site designated as my Pathways Eportfolio.

Following on from my previous post, I am recommending a few easy steps to creating your own Pathways Eportfolio. If you want a more in depth learning opportunity you can visit the EPCOP google site, the Eportfolio Community of Practice Learn Space, one of my projects from long ago.

Planning your Pathways Eportfolio

 

Step 1: Determine where you wish to share your Pathways achievements

For instance you may have your own blog site, website or social media presence. The choice will depend on who you wish to share with and how interactive you want to be with your viewers.

  • If I post to a Blog, like this one, viewers can leave a comment. I can choose to approve its publication to the site and to reply to the poster.
  • If I post to a website like this old Eportfolio from the past, then there is no interaction enabled or expected, its just there.
  • If I post to my social media presence, such as my Timeline in Facebook or my Account in LinkedIn, the format is somewhat limited but I can get more networking.

What I recommend is that you create a separate Page in your Blog and invite your followers to view it from a Blog post like this one. The linking process is made simple in WordPress by enabling you to link to any other part of the Blog site from a drop down list. Most Blog platforms provide you with the ability to create Pages and provide lessons on how to do it. Please visit my Pathways Eporfolio page here.

Note: If you don’t have a Blog site you may wish to try out the Google Sites as the tool for constructing your Pathways Eportfolio in easy steps. There are many online video tutorials on how to set up Google Sites, available in YouTube. This recent video tutorial from TeacherCast, provides a great introduction to creating a Google Site.

Step 2: Determine how you wish to add the content about Pathways

If you follow a Reflective Practice process this task becomes quite straightforward.  If you have already prepared and delivered the Reflect on Your Path project you can use the outline of that for your content.

  • Describe the Path and its objectives – add your reasons for choosing the Path
  • List the Electives you chose and why – the level of detail here is up to you
  • Provide a list of the outcomes of your projects – the tangible evidence of your work
  • Analyse the impact of lessons learned from your experiences – provide thoughts on Evaluations
  • Give a brief conclusion about your experiences – synthesize what you could have done differently
  • Describe your forward plans – helps to articulate your next steps in Pathways

Step 3: Determine the most appropriate and convenient times for sharing your Pathways Eportfolio

Step 4: Revisit your Pathways Eportfolio and add more reflections as your progress.

 

Categories
Base Camp Managers Pathways pathways guides

Track Pathways Progress in easy-Speak

Are you looking for an easy method of tracking your own Pathways Progress as a club member? Are you a VPE seeking an easy method of tracking the ‘actual’ Pathways project completion for your members? Consider easy-Speak.

I am an easy-Speak user and advocate for its use for Club Management. I like easy-Speak even more since a recent upgrade was made to its functionality. Now we have the Pathways Chart! Thanks to Malcolm Warden and team!

If you are an easy-Speak user, you can access the new Pathways Chart from the Club Charts option in This Club on the main menu.

pathways chart in easy speak

Above is a screen capture of a Pathways Chart from my club where the VPE can see progress being made by all members, at a glance.

This new service makes it super easy to verify completions of actual speech deliveries in your club. The green ticks indicate speeches completed at club meetings, dark green for earlier events and lighter green for more recent events. Each green tick is clickable for tracking back to the actual meeting where that speech was completed. Note: you may need to visit the meeting agenda to see which Pathways project it refers to.

Each member’s enrolled Paths are shown as clickable links in the final column. Each one will display a complete list of speeches and projects completed for that Path, showing  titles, dates and Evaluators. Here is a glimpse of one of mine! (Note: I can now mark this Workbook Complete.)

path project progress in easy speak

Now that is a smart way to manage Pathways from within the easy-Speak site for my club(s).

Are you considering using easy-Speak to manage your club?

Join the easy-Speak Toastmasters Community to get support from other users and champions at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/easy.speak.community/

Note: you can sign up to request a mentor or to be a mentor in the Mentorship program in this community.

 

Categories
Pathways pathways guides

My Story: where has Pathways led me?

It began for me, about a year ago. The PQD for District 73 sent out an invitation to Toastmasters who wanted to be Pathways Guides for clubs in areas close to them. Now, my location, spans two Districts – 70 on the NSW side of the border and 73 on the Victorian side of the Murray River. Clubs in Areas Monaro 34 and Northern 29 were all familiar to me – I had been an Area Director in both – and I felt sure that I could continue to support them all.

Eight to Ten clubs were to be supported for recognition as a Guide over a six month period – from September 2017 to February 2018, and rollout for us in Region 12 was scheduled for December 5.

barrier 1 tasksBrick Wall 1: 18 Tasks

As a Pathways Guide I was required to jump over a number of hurdles in gaining completion of my online learning modules. This was a strange an unfamiliar process and one that did not sit right with me from the start; I knew that reading a plethora of 18 online resources did not constitute effective training for me. Where was the opportunity to practice meaningfully before launching into my role as a Guide? Everything was lock step – that is – each component in the learning modules needed to be completed in sequence.

I persevered, knowing that this was my path to becoming a Guide and achieving another award towards my third DTM.

barrier1Brick Wall 2: No Entry

I felt like I was leading in the dark for those early months – without yet having access to Base Camp before rollout I relied on my colleagues who had experience already. There were a few of my international Toastmaster friends who had taken the plunge and joined clubs (in districts where rollout had commenced) as virtual members. They were my targetted support team – I could go to them and ask for help.

Julie Kertesz in District 91 in the UK was one of the first to ‘showcase’ her Path Projects in Base Camp. A snapshot that gave me the insight I needed to feel confident in my support for others. Thanks Julie.

break through 1 path

Break Through 1: One Path Complete

Once rollout commenced, I was poised and ready to select my Path. I had done my homework and determined what was the best Path to start with. I chose Effective Coaching, even though the Base Camp system had suggested Strategic Relationships. I put that one aside to do next.

I thought that Effective Coaching projects best suited my planned goals and projects for the first half of 2018. It felt really great as I completed each project and proceeded to the next in Base Camp. Each new project opened up more possibilities for me to grow.

Completion of my first level was cause for a celebration and I was happy to download my first Level Completion Certificate.As each level was completed I was learning new skills and expanding my leadership horizons  – the experience of those first six months was exhilarating. It felt like I was on the top of the mountain looking back on the pathway I had successfully traveled.

barrier 3 guiding othersBrick Wall 3: Guiding Others

mythicstructureNine months had passed since I first embarked on my Pathways journey! I had written about my experiences in my blog posts – each of the initial posts was designed to complete my first elective: Write a Compelling Blog. I used a story structure to tell of my adventures, just like the hero in the Hero’s Journey.

My story was told in 12 chapters and they seemed to write themselves as I contemplated what it felt like in enthusing others about Pathways. This was a tough part of the journey as it was TOO EARLY for many Toastmasters in Region 12 to give much thought to their Pathways. Summer holidays and the start of a new season of meetings took precedence over anything in Pathways.

My High Performance Level project was to build and steer a team of Online Pathways Guides in providing support for club executives from over 160 undistricted clubs across the world. Wow – that was the most stunning achievement for me – and a real bonus to work alongside many skilled Toastmasters from many Districts. On completion of my first path, Effective Coaching, I posted my thoughts on reflection in Follow the Yellow Brick Road post.   

break through 2 bcms

Break Through 2: Support for Base Camp Managers

The next part of the journey for me was closer to home as we determined the needs of clubs in our District 73 – especially after the election of new club executives – and in particular how to support the Base Camp Managers.

At the same time leaders in District 70 had begun to build a D70 Team Pathways and I had been invited to participate. This gave me the inspiration to begin D73 Team Pathways. By leading this team as Pathways Coordinator, I could fulfil another required project for my second Path, Strategic Relationships. Team Building was easy as the process was endorsed by the District leaders, and a team of six began to meet and discuss the different ways we could support new Pathways champions across the states of Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania.

Simultaneously, the Pathways Discussion Forum was launched – managed by Michelle Alba-Lim from District 7 – supported by skilled Pathways champions from around the world. This forum opened up a whole new community of collaborative and cooperative learning opportunities. New learning and new activities (using the latest Facebook tools of Mentorship) has added value to what can be done in supporting large numbers of Toastmasters across the globe.

The journey does not end here! My third Path, Visionary Communication, is taking me to new heights in inspiring and facilitating my land-based clubs. For them I am seeking new ways of building membership (virtual attendance) and new ways of conducting executive committee meetings (online meetings).

The Region 12 Base Camp Managers community in Facebook has begun to provide much needed assistance for BCMs who are new to their roles and the tasks required of them in Base Camp. This community has potential for growth and influence, and will be a feature of the responsibilities of the D69,  D70 and D73 Team Pathways.

Categories
Pathways pathways guides

Keep it Basic in your Camp!

Base Camp Managers!

Are you a President, VP Education or Secretary for your Toastmaster club this year?
Did you know that with these roles comes the added responsibility of being a Base Camp Manager?
Do you know what your Base Camp Manager tasks are?

When I became a Pathways Guide, I realized that Base Camp Managers were going to require ongoing support for integrating Pathways into their clubs. This is a new task and one that they may not yet have received training for. Team Pathways in your Districts can help with that! Seek out your Pathways Coordinators and find out what the District has in place for your support this year.

What to do next?

Why not consider these strategies for keeping it basic in Pathways.

Many Toastmaster members of your clubs are embarking on new journeys into the Pathways education system and need your help in supporting their progress. You will be required to help them understand what they will encounter and what steps they need to take. You will need a Base Camp Management team.

Base Camp Management Team:
(VPE, Sec, Pres, VPM and Mentors)

Here’s some suggestions for what the BCM team can do?

  1. Provide clear explanations of the Pathways program and how their online activities supplement their in club experiences. My diagram above displays a typical workflow for what the Toastmaster will do in Base Camp and at Meetings. This is a simple way to introduce Pathways to your new club members: as a slide, as whiteboard notes or as a verbal explanation.
  2. Collate materials for your New Member Pack and keep it simple!
  3. Collaborate and share the tasks of supporting new club members as a team of Base Camp Managers and Executives. Determine tasks that can be part of each executive’s role, rather than expecting the VPE to do everything.
  4. Send links to members with useful information on the Paths and Electives from:
    https://www.toastmasters.org/pathways-overview
  5. Keep the club members up-to-date with member progress in their Paths and report level completions to the President.
  6. Provide short Pathways training sessions for individuals or all club members as educationals.
  7. Request to join a specific Base Camp Managers social media group where relevant.

Now consider how specific roles can be delegated to specific BCM team members! Include these in your Club Officer pack.

Secretary (BCM role)

Download a copy of The Navigator as a PDF document and provide some printed copies for those new members. These can be made available at meetings as part of the induction of new members by President.

Apply for Level Completion Awards at Club Central!
Help the member print their Certificates from Base Camp. See the Tutorials and Resources library for help with these.

VP Membership

Point out some of the basics of club membership and direct their attention to pages 5, 6 and 7 of The Navigator as a starting point.  These pages are of particular interest to new members as they describe the

  • structure of a Toastmasters meeting
  • an explanation of the meeting roles
  • description of the tasks of committee members.

Provide copies of the new Navigating Pathways flier and suggest they share one with a prospective member or at their workplace.  eg Transform Your Talent 

Work with the VPE on updating records of individuals achievements in Pathways. eg use of the Communication Charts in easy-Speak.

 

VP Education (BCM role)

Focus on introducing the Pathways education program outline using pages 9, 10 and 11 of The Navigator. These pages describe the learning experience and how it works.

The Ten Paths are described briefly and the five levels are examined giving the Toastmaster a broad overview of their ‘journey of possibilities’.

Schedule speeches as required for members to complete their Pathways projects.

Show how to navigate in Base Camp; launch and complete a project; and how to complete a level. Finally verify level completions as they are notified.

Establish a Club Mentoring Team and elect a leader.

Mentor Team Leader

The leader of a Club Mentoring Team can then:

  • ensure that new members have access to the support of mentors from within the club
  • encourage existing members of clubs to become Mentors;
  • help them select the Toastmasters Mentoring Project once they have finished Level 2 in a Path
  • provide Mentor Survival Packs (Navigator, Path Guides and Mentorship documents)
  • help the Mentors to use The Navigator to help the Proteges.Optional:

Lead individual mentors to the Pathways Discussion Forum Mentorship facility. Note: They will need to answer some entry questions to gain access. Then you will be able to opt in as a Mentor or Protege to this voluntary Pathways Mentorship program facilitated by Facebook. Mentors could use this service alongside their formal Toastmasters Mentoring Program.

Mentors

Help the new member to understand the steps required as they embark on the Pathways journey.

  • Complete your Levels 1 and 2 in your Path and elect to complete the Toastmasters Mentoring Program
  • Access the Pathways Mentor Program Guide
  • Make use of page 14 in The Navigator and the Mentorship documents in the program to step through the basics with proteges.
  • Provide handouts of the Pathways Levels Guides as required.
  • Help the new member consider the content of each Path before they go online to choose one.
  • Help them step through the self-assessment questions and consider the recommended Path.

With some further explanations of what is involved with each Path the Mentor can help steer the member towards the right Path for them.

 

President (BCM Duties)

Be a role model for the club members and Choose a Path! Establish a Mentor relationship for yourself with another experienced Toastmaster eg Immediate Past President. Set a goal to complete your first two levels during the first six months in officer as President.

Emphasize the Toastmasters Journey with this quote from page 3 of the Navigator as you perform a new member induction.

Every Toastmaster’s journey begins with a single speech. Now that you’re a member, you will prepare and deliver speeches at club meetings based on the projects in the Toastmasters Pathways learning experience.

  • Guide the executive teams, Base Camp Management team and invite Mentoring team leader to contribute to your executive meetings.
  • Check that the email address listed for your club is correct at TMI (Note: check that in the Club Contact and Meeting Information in Club Central.) If this is your email, ensure you Forward emails from TMI about level completions promptly to your VPE and Secretary.
  • Check in with the Secretary and VPE on completion levels and awards to be announced at meetings.
  • Establish rapport with your Club Mentoring Team leader and enable them to provide feedback  about protege progress at convenient club business segments in meetings.

What are your strategies for supporting the Base Camp Managers in your Toastmasters clubs?

Its all about the Team and its all about the Base!

 

 

Categories
Pathways pathways guides

How to succeed in your Path!

Congratulations if you have chosen your Path at Base Camp. You may already be well on the way to completing your first level and happily planning your speeches. The five levels in a Path provide you with sequential development of skills, aptitudes and competencies. This month’s post will focus on:

Level 1: Mastering Fundamentals

What are the fundamentals?

purpose of toastmastersCreating a speech outline, delivering a speech, listening to feedback, researching a topic, giving feedback and practicing your leadership skills.

Each of these are learned in Level One on Base Camp and provide you with  instructions on how to request speaking opportunities in your club meetings.

Level 1 requires you to complete four speeches and one evaluation and to do this you will need to:

  • access your Path transcript and open the curriculum
  • view each online lesson and download the project checklist, project description and evaluation resource (note: store those in your own computer folders for your Path)
  • finish each project by completing the online self-assessments (note: be sure to complete both the Before and After surveys)
  • schedule the required speeches with the VPE(s) of your club(s)
  • deliver the speeches and have them evaluated (note: simply completing the online lessons does not constitute completion of the project – you are required to give speeches)
  • continue with each subsequent project and note the requirements (as above)
  • notify your VPE(s) when your level is completed (note: simply waiting for the system to notify the Base Camp manager (VPE) may be insufficient – send an email to your VPE and send copies of the Evaluations completed for all projects to verify completion)

Steps for Success

Your steps for success in Pathways may include some or all of the following activities: mentoring, self-help, further research, planning ahead and networking.

  • Mentoring 
    mentoringGet help from a mentor in your home club or seek a mentor from the Toastmasters Pathways Forum: Mentorship Program. Preferably a Toastmaster with experience and/or a person who has completed Levels 1 and 2 and/or the Toastmasters Mentoring program.
    Your mentor can provide support for your selection of speech topics, creating the speech outline, methods of delivery and ways to incorporate feedback.
    The mentor may also provide advice on how to plan ahead for other levels in your Path, technical assistance for navigational issues in Base Camp, and completion of your projects and levels.
  • Self-Help
    the navigatorRead the Navigator!
    This document provides you with a clear overview of expectations at club meetings and how to navigate in Base Camp. Available in Base Camp as both a downloadable PDF and an online version.

You can also access a copy of the Paths and Projects Catalog. Thanks to D57 for this dynamic Pathways Paths and Projects Catalog-1 .

Access and download any of the self-help resources you need from the Base Camp Tutorials library, as PDFs from the Tutorials, in a language of your choice from Base Camp at Toastmasters International. eg: Quick Reference Guides

Further Research
Depending on your personal learning style, the blog posts or YouTube videos from fellow Toastmasters may be useful for your further research.
Blogs

Access the Blog of Pathways Champion Julie Kertesz; many helpful hints for those beginning their Pathways Experience. Search for other blogs!

Read the Tech Tuesdays blog post from GALE or the DTM Journey from Pete Punwani or the succinct summary post of the Pathways Learning Experience from Rodney Denno.

Read other posts from this blog by accessing the menu for Toasted Training and subscribe to have my latest posts sent to you via email.

YouTube videos:

D7 Toastmasters Pathways Virtual Academy: Pathways 101 – an Introduction

How will Pathways transform your career 

Completing a Toastmasters Pathways project

Pathways Sample path

How to get the RED CHECKMARK on your Pathways project!

Where are the Evaluations?!! D7 Toastmasters Pathways Virtual Academy

Uploading evaluations you have been given to Base Camp in Toastmasters Pathways

And if you hold the club officer title of President, VP Education or Secretary, watch this selection of YouTube videos:

How to: Pathways Level Completion 2-step for VPEs!

Where are the Pathways Level Completion Emails GOING?

Toastmasters | Navigating Club Central

Further short videos on all the tasks involved at Base Camp are provided here:
TI Pathways

  • Planning Ahead

tracking sheetNow you can plan ahead for completing the projects in Level One Mastering Fundamentals and earn your first Level Completion Certificate!
You can access a copy of this Tracking Spreadsheet by clicking on the Path Planner Template V2. The sheet contains a sheet for each of the ten paths.

  • Networking 

base camp video screen grabAttend additional Pathways workshops at Club Leadership Training events and any online education sessions provided by your District as scheduled.
Talk Up Pathways in your own social media.
Join the Pathways Discussion Forum in Facebook.

 

 

Categories
online champions Pathways pathways guides

Support for Pathways Integration: Team Pathways

I am about to embark on a new project ‘Lead in your Volunteer Organisation’ from the Strategic Relationships Path. This idea sprang to mind when I became a member of the D70 Team Pathways recently. As I had recently been assigned the role of D73 Pathways Coordinator, the idea of how Pathways Coordination could work in a District, during the transition period to June 2019,  was beginning to emerge!

Thinking this through, I believe that this was the perfect way to achieve the completion of the six month project in my second Path, Strategic Relationships and provide a structured support system.

D73 Team Pathways

What better way to lead in a volunteer organisation – initiate, lead and maintain D73 Team Pathways.

This is the final required project in Level 5 to complete my second Path.

Purpose: The purpose of this project is to apply the skills needed to successfully lead in a volunteer organization.

Overview: Serve in a leadership role in Toastmasters or another volunteer organization for at least six months.

Project Vision:

D73 Team Pathways supports Integration of Pathways.

My task will be to lead the D73 Team Pathways to assist in the successful Integration of Pathways. Together we will identify the support required for Pathways Integration in our clubs and provide assistance in various forms.

At the beginning of this project I provided an overview of the likely tasks to Support Pathways Integration as a presentation at the D73 District Officer Training and asked for volunteers. Already we have a small team emerging – five volunteers (representing various District teams) – a Steering Committee for the project.

This is brand new territory and nothing is yet ratified with District leaders. Exploration is a key motivator. We will meet soon and discuss our proposal for a support process that will lead our clubs forward in achieving success in Pathways Integration. A project that will help build Strategic Relationships for the club members, with their Base Camp Managers, their Area Director and their Division Directors as we strive for excellence in Pathways across the District.

Supporting the new Executives

The idea behind this project is the very real need to continue with a coordinated support process for our new club executive teams across Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania. Now that we are in our first month of the new season for our clubs, and new Base Camp Managers emerge from the executive teams, they need our help.

Our Pathways Guides have completed their ‘official’ terms of office, and many may have taken on other duties and may not be available for further guidance. We need a new team to support the Base Camp Managers. We need to build on the expertise and experiences of those who have already become Pathways champions and achievers to offer advice and support where required.

Support for Base Camp Managers

The new Base Camp Managers, consisting of the club’s President, VP Education and Secretary, are required to fulfil the following responsibilities:

The Base Camp Managers can access this Online Tutorial in Base Camp when they login as a BCM. They need to click on the Base Camp Manager Tutorial icon, as shown below:

There is a plethora of online resources for the BCMs, but knowing where to find them and how to use them is not well known yet.
We can provide guidance on that!

 

Some club executives may have missed being part of the Pathways Experience presentations or virtual support sessions provided after rollout for our Region 12 in December 2017. 
We can fill the training gaps with targeted Online Education!

 

Brand new members, just starting in Toastmasters, will be seeking guidance from their executives and mentors.
We can help them to assist their club members!

 

D73 Team Pathways supports club executives in the Integration of Pathways.

Categories
online training Pathways pathways guides

VSS: Club Leadership Training Online

Virtual Support Sessions: VSS for Pathways

Pathways Guides across the world have been conducting online training for VPEs and others, to help them with their leadership roles. Thousands of hours of volunteer time and effort has been implemented steadily since early last year when the first rollout of Pathways began. The Guides were required to provide a virtual support service 15 times during their term of office. These may have been: one on one training, small group training or large group training opportunities. Guides have used a variety of web conferencing tools and have engaged attendees in easy training webinars and workshops online.

Virtual support sessions enabled club leaders to view presentations, ask questions and to network with others who were at the beginning of their Pathways journeys. The VSS concept was embraced enthusiastically by the Guides and seen as a most pro-active method of contributing to club leadership training.

VSS was a strategic, targetted program of club leadership training initiated by WHQ at Toastmasters International.

The Guides were supported through a series of online webinars in which they were able to view demonstrations of navigation in Base Camp and listen to a series of FAQ and answers about Pathways. These were scheduled and conducted by WHQ personnel who were skilled as Trainers of Pathways Guides.

Vital Support Sessions: VSS for Club Leadership Training Online

I am proposing a slight change to the term VSS – Vital Support Sessions. We need to move forward and ensure that clubs can integrate Pathways smoothly during the transition period to June 2020. Many districts are now setting up a framework for that ongoing support, including the appointment of special Pathways Champions and scheduling of Online Workshops.

I recommend the use of District focused VSS – Vital Support Sessions, as a method of providing ongoing leadership training opportunities, for new club executive officers. These can be used for the incoming executives for specific and strategic training in Pathways:

  • choosing a Path; accessing Base Camp; completing projects, completing levels and Paths
  • accessing online resources and learning tutorials
  • roles and responsibilities of Base Camp managers including verifying completions and submitting awards at Club Central
  • club  management tools and strategies to assist with the tracking, scheduling and recording of Pathways projects
  • Toastmasters Mentoring projects for supporting the members progress in Pathways

Training for VSS on Pathways

When the Guides in D73 were needing some training in how to prepare, structure and facilitate a virtual support session, I created a set of slides to step through the process and ran a couple of live interactive sessions. You can download the complete slide deck here.

A few of the slides are presented below to help others in preparing for VSS.

This is how a VSS may be prepared:

Preparation Model

This is how the content of a VSS may be structured:

Content Model

This how a VSS may be facilitated:

Facilitation Model

Here is an example of the scripting of your VSS:

Facilitation Script

Here is one way to add spice to the VSS with a Q & A segment:

Question and Answer segment

Finally here is a method for introducing stories from attendees:

club stories

Lessons Learned: Scheduling

  1. Set a regular day of the week and time for the VSS
  2. Invite participation from leaders AND members of clubs in your area
  3. Follow up with emails to ensure that all club executives are included
  4. Setup a Facebook Group in which the VSS are scheduled as Events
  5. Alternatively, post the scheduled VSS sessions in your website, blog or district page
  6. Follow up with a link to the recording for attendees

Lessons Learned: Facilitating

  1. Be flexible and accommodating eg be a logistics manager to help newcomers
  2. Encourage participation in a variety of ways eg voice, text chat, screen sharing
  3. Do your preparation homework and be ready
  4. Have specific websites and resources open on desktop ready to share
  5. Appoint a timer and keep to time
  6. Finish with a reminder of the next session

Extras!

For those using Zoom software, this second set of training slides will help!

If you are preparing for Club Leadership Training opportunities in your Online Clubs, this set of slides will be of interest.

If you are a member of an Online Club (or want to be ) and want to hear about the next Club Leadership Training being planned for Online Clubs on August 4/5, join us in the Online Alliance Meeting #15 scheduled for June 30 at this time converted to your zone at Zoom: ​https://zoom.us/j/5886309612