‘Only the one who wanders finds new paths’ – Norwegian proverb.
True to the Norwegian proverb above, there are three things that I have learnt and gained in Toastmasters. These three things are patience, listening and learning.
Firstly, every time I am dealing with my fellow Toastmasters, I have discovered that we tend to deal with issues of importance in our own ways. Surely the way we approach tasks at hand differs and as a leader I have learnt to bear with the pace each Toastmaster responses to matters meant to be sorted with urgency. I give in to those who are slow to make sure that we are all moving at the same pace. As a leader this has made me realize that there despite our differences, there is power in diversity.
Secondly, listening, I have come to reckon is a very rare skill among most leaders. Before becoming a Toastmaster and leader, I did not pay attention to what people I was dealing with were saying. I was quick to give my answers because all I wanted was to do away with them. Nowadays I have learnt to pay attention to whatever they are saying whether good or bad. With the listening, I have made a lot of friends in both Toastmasters International and outside. Hence listening is one of the most vital skills that I truly appreciate Toastmasters International has taught me.
Thirdly, as a leader I have realized we keep on learning as long as we are dealing with people. As a leader, you need to be on top of your game. My fellow Toastmasters have come to me for guidance in the way they can assess Pathways, understand the process until they upload their evaluations, I have been handy in assisting them because I had time to learn more about Pathways. Yes learning is one vital skill I have learnt and shall keep pursuing.
Without Toastmasters International, I would not appreciate these three important skills that most leaders don’t have.
Robert Bright Salijeni
Eloquent Club Malawi