What happens when it turns negative?


Yesterday I had a wonderful day at our District semi annual conference.  It was a day full of inspiring educational sessions and personal growth for me.  I had a great time networking among the fellow Toastmasters in attendance and I got a lot out of the day.

But what happens when it turns negative?

Negative may be a bit harsh, possibly anxious would be a better word.  It wasn’t much, but during the day I spoke with a few (not many) people who are well ingrained in the way that they do things and aren’t really prepared to adapt to change.

We had an excellent presentation on the new “Pathways” education program and we all did an exercise of which pathways would suit us best.  Toastmasters has spent years redeveloping the education program to bring it up to modern day standards including online learning via video tutorials and other exciting mediums.

I do understand the apprehension from the members who are happy with the way the current program operates and don’t see the relevance of the new program and what it can bring for them.  I do see the pathways being centered more around professional growth especially in the areas of career advancement.  I acknowledge that.

I guess my question is what can we do as members to help the ones who are apprehensive to give something new a go?  The pathways education program will be focusing deeply on mentoring and that may be the key.  These apprehensive members may be able to be mobilized as mentors to others who are traveling along their pathway.  It will give the sense of purpose that we all need and the acknowledgement we all seek.

International President Mike Storkey instills into all of us “Remember the member”, so I am remembering the member.  Not just those who are excited for “Pathways”, but also those who are apprehensive. Some of these members have been in Toastmasters upwards of 30 years.  Let us not ignore or forget the hard work they have done before us to be build this organisation into what it is today.