31 Dec 2017

How to choose a path?

As soon as you get "in" we found an Assessment that TMI offers us recommending at the end of it three path to choose from. At the same time, letting to select any of the others.
The “Choose Your Path” tile is now placed on the left, and the Navigator tile on the right.  The tile we will use most often, “Access my path through Base Camp,” is placed in the centre.

I copied only one of them. Out of ten thousand of us, only about a hundred chose paper-based Pathways.  (Yes, I was one of them at the beginning!)  But now, in my mind, there is no hesitation. 

Even the TMI strongly recommends now not to choose that way of going. And as to now, it is closed as a choice. I hope it stays closed, not only until they re-open the shop, but until they clean the manuals.

A new Path costs 20 dollars but at launch we are all given one. Those who are at the time dual members are "given" two but it seems they have to write and ask the education service to send them the second: it is not automatic. (perfect as is.)

I went today and clicked on “Take the Assessment,” so that I could show you the first questions.
Alas, for me, all the questions were very difficult to answer when I joined in April.  I had a lot of bias and misunderstanding of what I really wanted—bias against "leadership" too strongly promoted lately, and bias for "public speaking". I knew I loved coaching, hated planning. [or: I know I love coaching and hate planning.]  As to the others? Yes, no or perhaps. I found out this month that I was wrong in many ways and needed a lot more time to ponder what I really wanted.

TMI has a brochure online that shows the current ten Paths and their Levels and Projects, separating very well those "required" in each path from those "electives" we can choose from. It gives us a better view of what to expect. Called : Paths, Levels and Electives.

This brochure gives the Title, the path goal and end and shows clearly the five levels. Mastering Fundamentals (level 1)is the same for each. Learning your style (level 2) is almost the same (differing with a project that can be found also among the level 3 electives of other paths).

When CHOOSING a PATH, I recommend, just disregard the first two levels.

Also disregard the Elective Projects for the moment. There are almost no differences from path to path, and you will choose which elective you want when you get there. Plus, when you have arrived at that Level, you will be able to launch, READ, Save, nd Print any of those projects, and choose after understanding a lot more about them. It is useful to save them to your computer or device, because we can reuse them later too.

So look at the last three levels at the left column: One Project each. 

In the case for my Leadership Development Path
Level 3 : Planning and Implementing.
Level 4 : Leading your team
Level 5: Managing Successful Events (Reflect on Your Path is the last project for every path)

Compare what we found for Visionary Communication my first path:
Instead of Managing your time at Level 2  is Understanding your Communication style, otherwise the two first levels are identical. The level 3 to 5 Elective Projects also the same. 

For my Visionary Communication path
Level 3 : Develop a Communication Plan
Level 4: Communicate Change
Level 5 : Develop you Vision

Those three REQUIRED projects in each case make the DIFFERENCE between the 2 Paths!
Of course we will also choose four different elective projects for each. Two at level 3 and one each for level 4 and 5.

As clear as this is, it does not go further. 
Planning what? Leading your team where? 

This is where another wonderful resource comes in. Created by George Marshal with his team of the first Pilot District 57, https://d57tm.org/pathways/, it is a free resource and in hypertext. Also available at Files in the Pathways Discussion Forum. Here is how the Leadership Development path looks from that PDF.

The difference is that we can CLICK to Planning and Implement in this PDF and it jumps to a description of the project. A short description of course, it is not "the project" but a lot more then just the title.
Here is yet another description. One very important! 
What is hiding under the title Evaluation and Feedback of the level 1 project present in all path?
It is worth taking the time, to download the Paths and Projects and studying it. I have printed it also to look and read again and again. The descriptions are in alphabetical order. The advantage of the one on computer is the hyperlink and jump while we have to chose. 

Thus we have a lot more time to ponder and more information: which path we really would like now, which way to go. 

After having read and looked and knowing where we are heading, we can go and take assessment and chose the path we know interest us in the near future.

Will all that there were some descriptions I have not looked well, at least at the beginning. 

Here are other ways of showing the required level 3 and 4 and 5 of each path.

Blue the one's finishing with High Performance Leadership Required (for others elective)
Yellow the Path I have, some finished the others in works. 
Leading in your Volunteer Organisation and Lead in any Situation: 6 month lead a team

In Presentation Mastery, I struggled with the Required Project Persuasive speaking, but loved the funny Managing a Difficult Audience, and answered well to interruptions. I love to speak longer but have no "time" to bother to get well paid for it. Others loved this project. 

I loved all the projects of my Leadership Development - me who thought "me and leadership? no". Visionary Communication got me on the track I am now and will be still for a long time. Finishing a path does not mean you abandon what you learned and discovered you wanted to do.

I wish all of you happy finding your first path, then the next, later. In this blog you can find other shorter explaining on how to find a path you like but none were so complete that this post ending 2017 for us. Let me know what you think of this post and how it introduces to Choosing a Path.

30 Dec 2017

2017 in photos review

Yes, I will take you to my basecamp, next year. As soon as we arrive there. For now, let me review my last year, what I did and how I went. A lot went on, but here are a few images about it.

January, begun with a workshop in Croydon, I was invited to participate. Two full and interesting days, but... I do not want to create any more a company.

It was masterfully given and we had good time.

And Samir one of Guides with me as Ambassador next year. I do have (even if still not on the web) three different guides with me and ten clubs I will go, soon, at the beginning of the year. Even more then last year, a lot to do.

February found me in Dublin, I offered a Storytelling Workshop to Toastmasters in the evening, and next day with 'would be toastmasters' in a Bank, telling personal humorous stories one and half hour.

March, I offered a humorous workshop for Experience French Toastmasters in London: they loved it

In April, rereading again all my books from Smedlay book he suggested we read in his manual. I begun my Pathways Journey in earnest and FULL TIME.

May, French elections: Macron President: I live in London but I am French citizen.
May I begin this blog!!! Every day till now and on, of my Pathways Experience. (Today we passed 28 000 visits) I wrote about different things already and sometimes it seems "again" but look here:

As I begun to work on my second path parallel in June, here is what I found: nothing same even if it seems we enter the same river and go to the same projects: we are not the same either.

Less funny in July nose surgery but all is well that finishes well is not it?

My leg and knee did now work so well either, but I do not need them to GO Online! As to my nose, a bit crocked looking now, but who cares? When I smile one observes more my eyes then the other details.

Plus, I learned to find the appropriate background for all my speeches.

In August I discovered Zoom backgrounds first, then Zoom's screen sharing also after I organized a Zoom Panel, my first Panel: digital background with a photo of an alley not far from where I live.

in September, breaking ice of the Leadership Development path telling a story in family in France

October, Panel about Pathways in New Zealand and Q/A to Pathways guides in Australia - online and many meeting where I connected to clubs who met on the ground. We learned how to do it best.

I finished two path in November and the third in December and study again Managing Transitions.

Even if I did read a lot of Projects and bought a number of Paths, and got new Books, this is the one that influenced me most this year.

I do recommend it to all of you who have to go through change or to help others go through it.

Written by William Bridges, author of Transitions, the "new" book: Managing Transition is about his experience with companies undergoing Change and full of helpful advices.

What to do, what not to do, why and how.

That got me going: give information about the change again and again and again.

It is never enough or too much.
In December we finish our parallel Path with Paul White creating the Storytelling international festival we worked for since June to create, with 10 storytellers from near Washington DC, Virginia, and 5 storytellers from 5 different parts of the word coming in through Zoom. 
A bit bric and brac for me to remember the year; not all so rose as it seems but why remember the rest? I learned from Pathways project again "Focus on Positive!"

Tomorrow post will speak of my pathways journey this year, and how sometime even my less good choices turned to be best at the end. Now, I can really give advice to all how to chose and how... not to chose a path when so many available. What really makes the difference. Yes, there is already at least three posts about the choices in this blog but this time it will be an overview of my experience.

As indeed, no man steps in the same river twice: I am no more what I was when I begun.

29 Dec 2017

Login to Toastmasters.org and Sample your first Project

There are many levels of knowledge, on the road to the Pathways knowledge and use. 

As the Regions roll out, one by one, the Guides and Ambassadors, go club by club to make known "why, and how" before the day D arrives to the club's District. 

But those curious can be begin to Sample their first Project and Break the Ice before.  Where? First one has to get used to login to the toastmasters.org website: all begins there. If you are used to do it, no problem. My computer remembers my login data.

The Email used is the Primary Email you have given when become member of a club. 

  • If any problem, your VPE (or any other committee officer) can verify them and print them, in need change them to a new primary email. 
  • If you forgot the password or are on the website the first time, click on forgot and a new link is created then you are allowed to create a new password you do remember easy.
  • If you are not member yet of any club you could find a club: it is needed for pathways even if not for trying out the first project.

Here is a closeup of the Log in as it is now.

They added a message under the Forgot password? Toastmasters members login for the first time please use "Forgot password?" because many of Toastmasters alas never visited yet TMI website.

And the only gateway to the Pathways BaseCamp is this web and to have been logged in and recognized.

After having decided your password, it is up to you and your computer and browser to save (or not) so next time you do not have to bother with it any more. You will need to remember it mostly if or when you login from another computer or device.

But even then, you can use the "forget password" if really do not remember it.

TMI added recently the Pathways as a menu option, one does not have as before, go through Education to find it. There you have another menu "find more" and submenus as you see bellow for more information. At the right you see "Sample Your First Project" : you can go to its discovery and play with it, read it, study if you are - like me - more curious of nature. And even non TM can try it there now.

It does lead to the project Break the Ice which begins all of the 10 path, even if this project is not inside the Base camp, it is very much "like" the real one.
On top of it are the rollout schedules, under it other Frequently asked questions and also a way to go towards the Volunteers (guides and ambassadors) etc. pages and resources. 

Stop for the moment here and click on Break the Ice: your first Pathways project begins.
There are - as you know already if you read this blog posts - 5 levels in each Path, and the level 1 is identical for all. Its first project is called Ice Breaker. 

For those already familiar with a similar project name in the Competent Communication Manual, you will see that in fact this project contains more material, incorporating the "organize" and "have a point" also. Online is easier also to explain more in detail. 

I also like a lot how it explains the way we can combine learning the beginning and end but not the whole speech so to give it a more authentic feeling. Beyond the content, this project contains also a guide to navigate any project.
Navigation in a project
In order to go from page to page you have to be able to see the left and right arrows. If they are not visible (for me they were not in April) you have to enlarge the width of the square till they appear visible. 

And enlarge the length, till the Select to move to another sections is also visible. It took me a time to decide to use this later! Now I wonder, how I could have neglected this that lets me jump to different parts of a project, after I went first page by page.

And yes, in plus, on same screen you have to use NEXT or other buttons and has a "direction" how to use them. With time, one get used to all the different ways to navigate and can concentrate only on the content near the images, and the video witch most projects have. 

As for now, enjoy! Try it out if you did not do yet. 

Tomorrow, I will bring you in my BaseCamp with me and share some of my discoveries on how you navigate inside it. 

Would you believe? I learned fast to login, but then had for a long time no idea how to logout of my Base Camp! Yes, it was my son who showed me: "it is usually here at this right up corner round dented picture" : and it was! 

28 Dec 2017

How to tell Basecamp the Project is finished?

First, you have to have chosen a Path, your first one. Then begun to travel on it, launched a project.

Already wrote about it but here it is again, in three simple images. How tell Basecamp, "I finished".
Before you read the project, do not forget to answer to every question "Assess your skills - before" then Submit the answer. Only then it is saved.

After you finished and delivered also a speech (almost all projects end by a speech) please again answer to ALL the questions in the Assess your skills - after. Then Submit them so they are saved.

Take care: do not to answer these questions, at least not the last one, before finished. It will think, you are done.

When you see this screen popping up, it means that Base Camp considers your project finished.

Sometimes, it can take a minute or two till your project show "finished" at the level, but it will come.

27 Dec 2017

A path is not composed only by levels and projects

YBToastmasters: Watch Our Meeting

Above is from 7 to 15 minutes of the meeting, my reflection on my Leadership Development path delivered from London to the Oregon Toastmasters breakfast meeting. Coupled from Yakima TM blog. Do you feel like you assist to their breakfast? Their meeting? Very much so.

My co-storyteller, main organiser of the December event, Paul White come to listen to my delivery, from Alexandria, Va, but I do not see him on the video. But this time, they did take in video all what I said. Last time my speech was not recorded yet. Two of the other storytellers were also present, Svetlana, from  Samercand, Uzbekistan, Michelle, from Manila Philippines.

We really proved in the last six month that one can personalise a path and use it to achieve a goal, personal or in this case common to many of us. A huge storytelling festival of toastmasters, some at the festive hall of an university and others coming in from different parts of the word. And on the way, tell stories and demonstrate their importance. Going indeed, from story to story, and meanwhile also creating special events. Bigger and bigger events.

Like when you finish creating a book, a bit sad it is gone finished, so I regret my path no more with me. But of course the next one is waiting already. And now, I know, it is up to me what I do within it.

26 Dec 2017

Appreciation and specific goals

Christmas gift arrived in time. Inside it many different things, between them, this certificate of Appreciation, for me as co-host of the Story swap international festival. 

Between Toastmaster Storyteller Clubs, from Virginia, created by Paul White, and the Storytellers club : Witty Storytellers Online. We mixed and showed some of us telling stories through screen, Zooming in. 

It was a great even the 2nd December that we begun to project in June and went through our path all along thinking of it, and of the importance of storytelling. This is Paul sending me his appreciation as co-host for the event.

"I do not need appreciation" is not true, as humans we all need, as humans it counts to all of us. So it is better to give it as wonderfully and varied as Paul knows to do it. 

I also got a beautiful printed brochure they were distributing in the room, and "let the world know" manual from TMI that I still have to read, as I was away for two days. 

Dedicating a Path to a theme works! Setting a specific end goal works also. Yes, one can personalize any path project by project thinking of a specific aim, vision and goal. Already, plotting the next one. And when you have an overall vision, the small hurdles are easier to overcome, the projects seem "just waiting for us" too. 

25 Dec 2017

Some never stop

Happy Christmas to all!

For me, usually was the day when I received, and  later offered a decorated fir tree. This year, the fir tree I found was very near the house: in the super market. Not one, but many different ones.

I got something more important, warmth as special food, from my family. While the food did not really agree with me in the night when I was alone, the warmth arrived with me even now, home from celebrations.

A hug, a warm smile, a great slide show with lasts trips to show me a place I have never been, yet another hug, and a hand that hold mine. I can not say a small hand, as my grandson's hand is now so much bigger then mine! My grand daughter offered me her bed for the night, and also warm hugs. My daughter-in-low enchanted me with great pictures and stories about Tai and her trip.

I decided not to open my iPad or iPhone and not to connect for two days to the Web.

Did I keep my decision? Well, not. And I was not the only one. I got Christmas greetings and send some and took some pictures, but it was not enough. Finally, I cracked and opened the Facebook Notifications. Arrived to the Pathways Discussion Forum. Read what and whom discussed.

Conclusion? We care so much that we give opinions, respond to each other and even discuss how would be better for the Pathways Future. Even Christmas Eve, even Christmas Day as it arrived!

Looking back I realized : if we did not care so much we would just let go and not answer. Not festive days when we are with family! But when we are passionate, difficult to get detached. I see every day Toastmasters who want to help, to find the best solutions. Not all think one way it the best or the other, but all want what they think would be the best to help.

I am sure, you too. Not only to get answer but also to be able to give a helping hand.

24 Dec 2017

Pathways back to Ralph intent

Someone asked in the Pathways discussion forum. "Really? There is no control if you indeed completed a project, other then answering to all the questions of Autoassessment before, then after? There is none. 

Pat Johnson and the 100 learning masters decided that Pathways as Ralph Smedley also intended will not be a pass/fail system. We will learn for ourselves and not be noted or judged or controlled.
Those who try to add to it, explaining that the VPE can use Easyspeak or another similar system to control what each of us does, deform the intent already.

Each Toastmaster going through a Path, levels and projects, is responsible for its own journey. The VP of Education is not there to control, but to help each of the club members grow, and create enjoyable meetings.

That was the Toastmasters spirit from the first day, and that will be again the Pathways way from now on. We do not come to toastmaster clubs to get initials after our names, initials that practically no one understands anyway. We do not come to become ACG or even DTM : we arrive to learn to speak better in public, to be with others in a good environment, and yes, on the way we do learn also leadership not only communication skills that are very much together. As Ralph always intended it.

Of course, the same thing can be viewed in different ways, as we can see these two house entrances - belonging to different London houses - similar or diverse. It depends only from the perspective we look at them, or in this case the way I took the photography. Not one way is the right one. Not one way of learning or going through our projects is the "one" and only way either. Yes, we can personalize them not only by choosing different Elective Projects, but also finding a common thread to a path, looking at it in a certain angle. 

We all grow in different ways. 

23 Dec 2017

Awards compared? Why and how?

I did write, did I not? that the Leadership development I did not go 'project by project, level by level' as it felt as if I went through it "story after story".
Parallel with Paul E. White who used his path Visionary Communication also to progress Story by Story and designed this image you see above. Going through a path with a theme and an end goal, so much more interesting! 

I have finished the Leadership Development Path, the one I did chose very wisely - finally. 

The Level 5 was approved : I even got a letter from the "President" congratulating me of it. Even if he is not aware of it.

I wanted to verify if the Path was between my awards as Level 5 of LeadDev completed. Not yet between my awards in Profile, but already yes as a badge in Base camp. It is winter break at the Headquarters and they implement new features at this time. From the Education I got an answer sending me ALL my Education Awards. 

Perhaps, it is of interest to know. From 2009 January to 2016 December: 14 awards. Some leading to my DTM in 2013, then again CC twice more and then up to ACG last December. I begun April this year with Pathways. In the 9 month, I got 17 Awards (the 5 levels three times) and two more from another path that still waits. I am not running for awards but for those interested, here it is what happened.

Of course, sometimes, only 3 speech in a Level instead of 10 is faster, but other times, the project did take a lot more time. Did I have more time? Perhaps, the truth is the new Educational Program did stimulate me. Did push me also to read more books to complement the already deeper knowledge, to understand better others. To dig in, to spend all my time in it. 

Those three badges with images are completed paths. Leadership Development last, Visionary Communication the first, Presentation Mastery in between. And those with numbers show how many times I got a Level. Four times Level 1 and 2 and 3 then 3 times level 4. In fact, only I can see theses badges, and usually do not even care for them. Well I did when I finished my first path: even put it under my emails! 

VC is a telescope, see farther. PM is a mic to speak through. LD are teams and meetings you create. The Dynamic Leadership is the next path I will have to go through, one by one, in this image it shows "just activated". Still reflecting what theme to use through it.

22 Dec 2017

If I knew

With my third path now behind me, and two inside my Education Transcript, it is time for me to stop. Stop and reflect, what if I knew all I do now? The projects experience did help, so did my fellow toastmasters! Interacting with the Pathways Comunity, gave the highlight for my last 9 month.

Add to it the early discovery  of the book I needed, Managing Transitions, that I found first through Kindle, then I did buy it also as a book to hold in hands and show. Underline and go back to the highlights again.

But looking back, I see now that before it already, the Evaluation and Feedback project enchanted me. It come also in good time, my speech fall around Eastern Sunday, always a special personal day for me. At almost age of 25, one beautiful spring day, we went to the market with Alex, the future father of my two children. I remember everything we did buy there for lunch before we took the bus all the way to a small forest. I remember the kisses and when he invited me to "rest" at his best friend place, a small room in the attic "I have the key" he showed me. That day I was ready and determined. I will go all the way, if he ask me again.

Home early, I looked at the mirror. Nothing seemed changed on me. It was later that being a woman made me flourish and smile differently. It was also a time of many other deep transitions in my life. I was named "Enemi of people" by rhe Communist regime of the country and have been forbidden to work, I have been stopped just before my last exam to finish my studies. I begun to learn, home French and six month later, English. And it was time for me to do something without my father approval, too.

Transitions in my life, then. Transitions around me with the new Pathways Education Program. I had a lot to say, and found new ways to remember and say them. Telling twice the same tale, improving it, seemed normal. Yesterday, I received a letter from Doug Lipman for his TEDx talk, he rehearsed it, letting it grow, 50 times. Walking his talk.

I also told 100 times some of my repertoire in standup comedy clubs, but it was before the whole audience each time. Only perhaps 20 were same, at the very beginning, after it, bored with it, begun adding in the middle, and rarer even at the end, as all standup comedians do. So repeating a story twice seemed normal to me.

Wait! I did from then on, repeat many just for pleasure. Not for advancing with a project. And I just read, recently, that one can give again any already given, if one wishes. Also chose more then the minimum between the elective projects. So, they did not "count" ok. But we can do them any time we feel like. Here goes out of the wind the argument of some veterans "before I could give any speech I needed or wanted, just chosen from one of my manuals". Well, one can give the same, after Icebreaker. "Any style any speech from 5-7".

From the first research, I wanted to know more about Pathways and Transitions, and decided to combine them. Today, having finished my third path, I am still there. Continuing to link and embrace Pathways transitions and help it any way that depends on me.

If I knew then what I known  now, my paths would have been probably smoother, but I would not be able to help and understand those needing me now so well.

21 Dec 2017

Training, Top Tips

Preparing to explain, to present, teach, train or offer a workshop. "Presenting with Pizzazz".

I discovered a new book! 
It just comes when I need it. 

Well, it did not drop from the clouds on my lap: I was looking, searching for books about Presenting, Training. "Facilitating" - strange expression for me, but I hear it often nowadays.

As Sponsor of a new online club, named Global Trainers Online, I needed to understand the different (other then in name) between the Trainers and the Workshop leaders, Presenters and so on. So as usual I went to find the answer in a book. Finally, I cracked and bought it.

Showing a book cut in two pictures is strange, but I thought it shows more what it is about and could talk better about it.

At first, looking at the pictures I believed it is not serious: it is! And it has indeed Terrific Tips for Topnotch Trainers. For any of us who want to pass information that Sticks Remains and is Used to a group. Call them as you want. 

I call myself usually Workshop leader, not Trainer. But reading the book: no difference really seems to me and at any way Sharon Bowman, you is ok to speak of her content if we do attribute it to her, tell from where it comes is a Top Trainer. After reading her book, thin and clear and easy to read with 10 Tips, in fact 10 Chapters full of tips (in each chapter are similar suggestions with variations). 

Just three here to give a taste. I hope, many of you will read it for themselves.

1. What we remember? 

What we read. What we hear. What we see. Well, some of it. 10 - 20% she wrote.
We do remember more when we hear and see. Read and see and so on. 40% perhaps.
We remember better when we DO and best, when we teach. 90%

2. Personal stories are very important : use them.

We remember a lot less facts, a lot better stories that touch us. We have lots of small stories that happens to us day after day, those are, Sharon does say the most human and general. I would add also some of our deep stories, things that make us happy and others that make us unhappy, things we finally conquered in some ways. "And we are here to tell" This stories can illustrate what we want to say, can be used to make remember different points, depending what we are teaching, presenting.

Going farther, Sharon tells us: yes, we can tell and should tell our stories. We remember even better the stories we tell. Let them tell each other and sometimes the whole group, their stories, that makes a great cohesion between the group, brings them nearer.

3. We teach what we love, love what we teach (that is my interpretation)

We remember best when we teach it! So, let them teach it to each other. 

Taking this three out of the whole book, I immediately applied it, for the moment in my mind, to the Pathways Ambassador task

How we can make the attendees remember most? Not only by telling, reading or, listening, but experiencing it. Once understood, immediately teaching it to someone else. Passing it from one to the other. Making feel the experience first, so then they can help someone else in their turn. That is when they will have really mastered and understood and will never forget. 

From here, lot of scenarios come to my mind. Will have to try which works best. Or try a few depending on the place and situation. 

Guide or Ambassador difference? I finally figured it out. Let me know if I am right. The Guide helps the Vice President of Education of the clubs. The Ambassador is there to help and explain to all the other Members. That is how I see it now at least. 

20 Dec 2017

Leadership Development Level 5 finished

From story to story, from meeting to meeting organized, I arrived here: this morning I could not only view my Path Certificate but print it too. I will probably receive it also sometimes later from TMi.

My Badges are already their, when nothing is near a badge, either just "activated" or the path finished. While I am on them, there are numbers that show how many of each level I finished. That shows some of the 3 others 4 time. 

That is my third certificate of Proficiency, that I got after my last speech yesterday. It was far away through zoom, but three of my pals from my main online club came to assist! One of them even gave her Icebreaker at the same meeting! I was not alone.

As I had not seen the Timer, I spoke a bit less and skipped a paragraph prepared, but in all I liked my speech. Another day will publish a version of it. Reflecting on a loved path is easier, and I got them to laugh as I used also auto-depreciative humour. So, after all it did not got so bad.

I just have difficulty understanding, why relatively so few of us have more then one path. Of course, I have a lot of time, home and alone, and nothing else practically to do. Well, that then go to different online meeting, or remote access as will begin with me in 20 minutes now.

19 Dec 2017

From Story to Story (not from Level to Level)

Was it only 24 hours before that I wrote "I will not make my reflection on a Path" tomorrow? Well during the night the speech jumped out of me almost all round, and in the morning I wrote it down. So, when I received a reminder from the Toastmaster of my speech title, project and time, I answered: "From Story to Story" 10 to 12 minutes, Reflection on my Path from Leadership Development.
It will be early morning breakfast meeting in Oregon, they will be just finishing their breakfast under the pub. This is how I had seen them last time. Did not really see how they will see me. Nevertheless, it will be today.

I am ready. When the story jumps out "as it is" and comes without pain, writes itself, it means it is time for it. Tell it. Even if I will write it, tell it again some times, this is for now. Put it behind me and begin a new path with clean stakes. 

Instead of going into this last path Level by Level, Project by Project, indeed I went Story by Story. Beginning with that of my great grand mother childhood, told in France for her 57 who where all related through her. 
Then my father beginning his career, and how thirty years later his story helped me out and gave me courage. Culminating in a story swap festival with 15 storytellers, some on the same room others from the huge screens: from our club Witty Storytellers coming from all over the globe. 

Well, then I made a difficult decision and added the Lessons Learned (immediate after an important event) to top it before Reflecting on it. That was the only one not a story: I was too near the event and too preoccupied by details of the learned lessons. 

I hope, today - I have still a few hours to rehearse and tweak it - we are 8 hours ahead of Oregon here in London, it will be a story. Not telling of all that happened in the last half year. Telling what happened can be boring, a story never is. A bit dramatized perhaps too.

Instead of Level to Level, Project to Project, dedicate a path to a single goal and theme, was Paul White idea so we all went on our different path with the same pleasure. Inspiring each other with how we did each of us, getting together from June to December to finalize together the festival. So indeed, you can go from Story to Story on a Path, does not matter so much which, even if some as Leadership Development and Visionary Communication are more ready for it. The first leads to creation of a greater event, the second to change. Both accomplished our goals, in our way, but yes, both Story by Story.

Tomorrow, more about how it went and I hope this time it will be Recorded. Tomorrow, also more about a wonderful book I just discovered.

18 Dec 2017

Ambassador? Guide?

I was now named officially - again - Pathways Ambassador and can begin my "official" new journey at "my clubs" from the Area plus a few others. 
I am now at level 5 of my Leadership Development and I was prepared to give Tuesday the Reflect on Your Path speech, the last one from each path. I decided this morning, I will tell another story instead. 

I want to be able to show in January, without having to take it out from the Completed Speeches a whole Path through Zoom Screen Sharing to those who need to see it. Also show, how having three path, I could offer a speech at various levels. One at Level 1, one at level 4 too. I have of course just read, one can give a speech from any level under the one we are, or inside a level in any order. The only exceptions are the First and the Last speech, the Icebreaker and the Reflect on your Path: those two can be given only at the beginning (and not go farther till you got it) and the other only at the end, after finished all of them.

As Pathways Ambassador, I will be able to create my own, the one the guide with which I work needs, the club or the vpe needs most, adapting it each time. Most of them will be Virtual Training: offering answers mostly to questions asked. And yes, showing my Basecamp projects. 

Here are the levels I finished since July, and showing only those from D27. The one for D7 that I joined recently, are in an other place. At first, I finished the level 4 of Visionary Communication, in July, lingered longer at level 5 as I had huge dreams and had to decide that I will do - what depends on me. And I am still doing it even after "closing" beginning of September. In fact, I begun Presentation Mastery at 26 March, but finished it only (bumpy path) beginning of November. 

Effective Coaching, level 1 in July, I am not at level 4 and it will take long to finish it.
Leadership Development, first Icebreaker given 1st September, my 2nd preferred path.
And yes, the Dynamic Leadership is brand new, and no, it is not me who finished l1 yet. I will be able to "give" future awards to my District 91 where I live and even to my Online Club where I am VPE: already 75% of our members are "on" pathways!

I had and have in all 5 path, and three still active, three I could retrieve any time.

As someone experienced in BaseCamp and Paths and Projects, I can help all who need it in my District launching in March and I have begun preparing it already. Contacting Area directors, contacting the three guides I am assigned to for different clubs. Thinking, how I could help.

Any other Ambassadors reading this post? Can you tell me how you did and what was most important to help the launch?

17 Dec 2017

December and wind: stubborn leaves, as I am, still there

End of fall
So it is late in time and years, so the winds blow strong from time to time, so all is not always sunny: we cling still stubborn, there!

And we get through, and we get things done, and when the wind is very strong we stop, for a moment. Perhaps, because I learned early that life is not smooth and not easy? Learned to fight, learned to persist. How long, that does not matter so much. My best friend Stephanie, used to tell me "do not die till you die"! And that was when I was barely 60. She had almost my age then: 83 and continued to teach and help others as long as she still could.

I had two wonderful path: Visionary Communication finished in 6 month; Leadership Development, that I begun towards end of August and will finish next week. If all goes well. In four month: second is more easy, and I went direct towards a goal and I chose it wisely.

Along this two, I finished also Presentation Manager, it took very long and was more painful. And I will eventually finish also Effective Coaching, even if I noticed only recently that it has at the end a HPL as required task. What it has to do with coaching? How will I find a goal related to the path? I will consider anyway if it was not so in time, my real first two the one's that have me more joy. The one's that I will continue after officially closed.

I just read, you can use any elective project from any path, redo it more then once or do it without credit when you feel like it. As for now, I even have a brand new path, Dynamic Leadership, waiting. I got attracted by it's Negotiation Project, yet to arrive there. It can wait.

Here is 1st September, as I begun to tell the stories for the Leadership Development path, breaking the ice with many relatives about our common ancestor: telling a story from her childhood.

I was 12 she was 92 when she told me, but that day in Normandy, kids of all ages and adults listened.

Yes, you can tell to any audience, it does not have to be your club. And yes, I had an evaluator near, a toastmaster who wrote me a feedback. Feedback I did not (or did I) add to my e-portofolio as by now I knew that only me would see it anyway.

Tuesday, I will tell my reflection on my path all the way to Oregon, to my last club I joined.

If all would be so easy! Well not easy but doable: because it depends only on me. Not all does. So? It will be up to me to try to persuade, to entice, to explain. And if not, in any case my path and what I learned through the projects in them, remain with me.

16 Dec 2017


Mentoring occupies a special place in Pathways, and is in three different projects that you can get as you are in Level 3.

The first is already there in the Level 2: thinking of a time when you were the Protege.

The second is a relatively short period of 3 month to mentor someone. And the third for 6 month, before you can be called Pathways way a Mentor.

It explains well the contracts between the two and how important is to think before you get into it with someone. As you see it in this image, it has to be a FIT between the two understanding how it works, how many time the Mentor can offer and when, and how each profit at long range from the relation.

I did have a few who told me "Julie, you are my mentor!" and alas, we did not make a contract and establish rules and times. So with one toastmaster it worked out, and I try to help as much as I can, he is very happy with it. The other toastmaster, wanted me to listen again and again: her time very important and mine if I ever needed to speak too, not at all. I felt I get less and less and have to give more and more. It does not work out this way. It got more and more one sided, plus I did not feel listened to.

Next time, if anyone ask me, I will be more willing to Coach for a specific problem or goal, rather then to mentor someone for long time.

But, for the first time in my life, almost since the Pathways begun: I become a Protege! Even if we did not determine it as formally as it is written, at the time neither of us got the Mentor manual, it does work, and each time I really needed, I got help and advice. Through this relation, I understood what a Mentor means. And of course, not tell you all the time what to do or how to do it, but listen and remember and come in when really needed.

I hope, from now on, even if I am not really a "mentor" material, more a "coach or trainer", I will be able to also Mentor, re-reading the Manuals and pondering it more before I enter such a relationship. Looking again at the image, it has to be a real good fit!