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Growth of a member through enhanced experience in a conducive environment is the sole purpose of a Toastmaster club. Learning to transform oneself, become an effective communicator and a leader with a dollop of fun, is what a member aspires for. The primary onus of making this happen lie with every individual member, within peer-to-peer collaboration framework, to look out for one another. Based on the fundamental principles of learning the founding father of Toastmasters Ralph Smedley espoused, the ‘Q Program’ is an enriched blend of mentoring and effective evaluation that forms the core of continuous improvement.
Borrowing heavily from some of the successful experiments at Division A (Nepal) of District 41 (2018-20) on mentoring and evaluations, while migrating to the new Pathways curriculum, the Q program was born. This initiative attempts to curate the experiments with available resources at Toastmasters International. It weaves a package of best practices collated from legacy programs and new Pathways to bridge the transition and tide over confusion.
A key to success of any good programs lies in effective implementation. The Q Program envisions application of the mentoring and effective evaluation modules at club levels so that a member can experience transformation that s/he expects. The ultimate wish the program has, is to minimize gaps in what a member experiences and what Toastmasters promises.
The learning cycle of a member goes through a process where explicit knowledge of manuals meets the tacit knowledge of peers. This is the underlying belief that drives the program and gets this to a self-evolutionary trail. To be able to blend the explicit and the tacit, a member must be ready to toil. In an indeed long uphill journey to a peak, a member must take respite in various basecamps on the way.
More than the speeches and taking up roles in club meetings, a member must learn fundamental nuances of effective evaluation which comes with deliberate practice. Additionally, a member must subscribe and complete the Mentorship track in Pathways that gives a hands-on experience of mentoring a fellow member in the club. A member, by way of blending these real experiences, gets an “Enhanced’ experience of ‘Excellence’ that culminates to ‘Eminence’. Hence – ‘Qeee’, a symbolic representation of the achievement.
Immediate Past District Director D41, Jennifer Ghosh, DTM did the honor of unveiling the Q Program during the District Officers Training Program (DOTP) on July 12th 2020. As the first leg of the program, the PQD team has initiated a Mentorship program in creating a pool of mentors across the district. There are awards associated with performance by clubs in achieving various benchmarks in the process. Likewise, a structured intervention in creating a pool of trained evaluators to ensure practice of Effective Evaluation is underway.
Broadly, the Q Program amalgamates the best practices in mentoring and evaluation to enhance experience of members in clubs of District 41. Members will grow and transform into ‘leaders’ in the true sense and contribute to the success of the clubs in the District.
Associate Program Quality Director – 2020-21