Q: Why mentoring?
A: Having a mentor at Istanbul Toastmasters is not mandatory, but we highly recommend it. Here’s why: First, with a mentor you get someone who has been where you are, and has experience going where you want to go. Second, when you work with a mentor you get a second opinion on your work, and someone who may see in you strengths you didn’t even know you had. Third, having a mentor just makes the journey more fun and keeps you motivated. It’s nice to have a friend along for the ride.
Q: Who do I talk to to get a mentor?
A: New members (Phase 1 – members who have given less than two speeches) talk to Matt. More advanced members (Phase 2 – members who have given two or more speeches) talk directly to their prospective mentors. Of course, they can also talk to Matt if they’d like some advice or recommendations.
Q: In Phase 2, can I work with more than one mentor at a time?
A: Yes. In fact, we encourage this. For example, you might have a long-term mentor you work with for getting your CC. And, at the same time, you might have a short-term mentor you work with because you admire something he/she did in his/her last speech, and you want to learn that skill.
Q: I want to develop my skills in a specific area, like writing quality content, using effective body language, controlling my nervousness, etc. Can I find people in those specialized fields?
A: Yes. The best way is to come to the meetings and watch the members speak. When you see someone who is especially good at a skill you want to learn, go up to that person at the break and ask if they can help you with your next couple speeches.
Or, read the mentor bios and see if someone specializes in working on that skill.
Of course, you can also ask Matt for suggestions, but he’ll probably just ask you who in the club impresses you, and introduce you to that person.
Q: How does the mentoring process typically work? Do we meet regularly? Do we exchange emails? Do we meet face-to-face?
A: That depends on you and your mentor. However you two like to do it, that’s how you do it. Some mentors and mentees just exchange emails and talk on the phone every once in a while. Others prefer to work face-to-face, and meet for coffee or lunch. Different people have different styles.
Q: Do I have to work with someone officially in the mentor pool?
A: No. You can work with whomever you want. Matt would love to know about it, for a couple reasons: 1. if there’s a success story, he’d like to tell it, and 2. he’d like to put their photo on the website, on the club’s mentor bios page.
Q: Do all the new members get a mentor?
A: Yes. As soon as someone joins the club, Matt assigns him or her a Phase 1 mentor. That part’s automatic.
Q: Do the advanced members have mentors too?
A: Yes, some of the advanced members have mentors. For example, Matt’s the Lead Mentor, but he has a mentor too.
Q: Do all the advanced members have a mentor?
A: No. Some people don’t want a mentor. That’s fine.
Q: I am a mentor, but my schedule is full. What do I say when someone else asks me to mentor them?
A: Just tell them your schedule is already full, and suggest they talk to Matt for a mentor recommendation. We want to impress our members with the quality of our mentoring. If you take on too many mentees, you’ll be too busy to impress anyone.