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Extract from my speech: “Mentoring: The Vision” of November 2008:
When we take on a new learning challenge, we don’t know really what we are embarking on.
We hope we will learn the ropes as we go along; we hope we will be ok; we hope we will get into the system, achieve our purpose… but all along we may experience a great deal of anxiety because the challenge may be great and we are not completely sure that we will do well, that we won’t have stumbling blocks that will set us back (at the best seriously, at the worst permanently).
When we talk about public speaking, these challenges seem to be larger still because speaking in front of an audience, even when this is a small one, can bring up nerves and shivers up our spine, even if we are truly a courageous individual. At least at the beginning, sometimes for a long time!
How much easier would it be if someone who knows the ropes, who has been there, and who we have a rapport with would take us under their wing and guide and assist us during our path, at least while we are gaining in confidence!
Toastmasters is an organisation which teaches communication and leadership and I have been a Toastmaster for 3 & half years. Imagine how much quicker we would learn if, as in the Toastmasters’ Mentoring Handbook: “we had a strong person who recognized our potential, cultivated our talents and helped us to succeed”.
Having someone to have faith in us could be the one single most important aspect that would give us the responsibility, self-dignity and pride to accomplish our goals, faster, smoother and more successfully!
For my High Performance Leadership (HPL) project for Toastmasters, I read a paragraph in the HPL Handbook that said: “We admire people who can lead – people who can capture our imaginations, turn us on to important ideas, and recruit our energies for great and noble purposes”.
I believe that energy is the most precious commodity in the universe. When people focus and channel their energy onto a task, there is literally nothing they cannot accomplish. This quote really captured my attention and my passion.
The HPL Handbook also says: […] “We need committed leaders to ensure the organization achieves its mission of service”.
This is a second quote that caught my attention powerfully because I believe that service is the noblest purpose that there is.
The Tao is an ancient Chinese philosophy and it is depicted by the flowing of water (never against obstacles, but flowing around them, implying non-resistance, non-struggle, non-friction) and the strength of bamboo (when you exert pressure on bamboo, it bends but it doesn’t break. Still, it is so strong they make houses out of it).
When we become a Tao Leader, we become a new kind of leader:
A non-Tao Leader, so as to speak, is one of those leaders who are on a, let’s say, ego trip, demanding people to follow them; they may or may not act by example depending whether they can get away with it or whether they put a price to their integrity. They could be called Fear-based Leaders: because with fear comes control, lack of trust, empowerment, integrity and dignity.
As Tao Leaders, we will lead our individual selves, not expecting others to follow but igniting them with our individual example.
And as others choose to follow, we realise that one can take responsibility for one’s future without having to go through it alone. There will always be others who are prepared to help, and we will work together, like the links of a chain.
In words of Toastmasters: “to lead by helping or enabling others, not by forcing them”.
Having applied the Tao to my life for many years, with the result in healing my life to the extent that I would have considered a chapter of Start Trek not too long ago, and with the results of calming the impetus, impatience and arrogance of my youth, I find it refreshing to find a time and a way to convey to others these balance and inner strength by teaching them to channel their energies in the way of self-expression and communication.
In a nutshell, I will leave you with some of the words of this very wise little booklet:
“People want relationships that help them focus their energies so that they may do their best work and even surpass their own expectations”.
These are the kind of relationships that I want for you.
And together, I know we will achieve it!
Article from my book:
“Dr Ana’s Course in Public Speaking: Transformation Through Self-expression”
“In the following pages, you will not find a 100-tips-to-become-a-professional-speaker kind of manual. This course has been created with the intention to lead you and inspire you towards a path of personal development using public speaking as a vehicle. It is meant to help you transform yourself into a powerful speaker; a healed person who is ready to command your own authority in front of an audience or a group and an individual who is able to express, not just your ideas but your personality as well, without fear or self-doubt. If you are looking only for tips and techniques of public speaking, don’t read further because you will be disappointed. But if you are looking for a course that will trigger a complete turnaround of your life by using public speaking as a tool or channel to reach out and give others a part of your soul, then you and I have met for a reason”.
Copyright © Dr Ana Garcia PhD, DTM (2003 – 2019)
All rights reserved. No portion(s) of this book can be copied, used or reproduced for any manner without the expressed written consent of Dr Ana Garcia.