Why would you remain a member of Toastmasters after achieving Distinguished Toastmaster?
Before we attempt to answer this question, think about why do you remain loyal to whatever you are loyal to.
I had a discussion last week with someone that decided to stop going to the gym. She said that going to the gym is intimidating. To her everyone at the gym seems to have perfect bodies and very committed. For that moment, I remembered when I used to go to the gym. People that remain consistent with their gym program are those that have achieved a lot.
Truth is, once one has enjoyed the benefits it becomes difficult to quit. This is because the person is aware of life without the benefits in comparison to life with the benefits. The trick is on experiencing the benefits.
Looking at the gym, I noticed that inexperience can be a big barrier to gaining experience. What do I mean by that? My first day in gym can be the reason I quit. On the first day I realise that it is not an easy journey. My mind started telling me that those that it looks easy to them, they were born like that. And the pains that I have to go through after my first day in gym did not make life easier either. I have met people who cannot fathom the fact that I am an introvert. Then, why did I stay after experiencing my first day pain? I stayed because I had a mentor that not only helped me fast track my learning but did the following for me as well:
Made me realize that we are the same:
My mentor shared how he too started. Like me, he started with little confidence and after practicing his confidence increased. Had I thought that my mentor was special, I would have assumed that the program is for special people. I do not think I would have renewed my membership.
Encouraged me to take on roles:
I was very excited about speaking, I had imagined that I will speak at every meeting. My mentor encouraged me to strike a balance. He suggested that I take on a meeting role like Evaluator in one meeting and the other meeting I speak. This helped me gain benefits of the entire program. This is the key ingredient that kept me loyal to the program.
Gave me unconditional support:
We used to meet two times before I perform a role in my club meeting. It was painful in the early days. The preparation with my mentor gave me hope that one day I will have more benefits and less pains. Gym newbies with personal trainers often last longer in gym than those without. Support is the trick.
Became my accountability partner:
I started having goals and sharing my goals with my mentor was a great tool to help me remember and action my goals. This is because my mentor would ask me how far am I and whether I had barriers to achieving my goals.
Mentorship when done right can be one of the tools your club use to keep members.