Lessons Learned: something old, something new

My journey as a Base Camp Manager has been a reasonably easy one, so far! Not many of the members of clubs I support have completed levels yet. A few have been steaming ahead and providing incentives to others, so I do expect that my work as BCM will ramp up in 2019. I need to add a little more learning for me!

What’s your journey been like so far as a BCM? (Feel free to comment below or join in with wider discussion forums in social media eg Region 12 Base Camp Managers or Pathways Discussion Forum)

Brick walls: something old

A few of the ‘brick walls’ I had encountered as a novice BCM have now been opened up. As I check the Member Progress for my club members currently enrolled in a Path, I realize a couple of really important strategies.

  1. When I enter Base Camp as a BCM and select the club, I know that I can search for individuals and view their progress in their Transcript. Note: I cannot change anything, however, I do get a birds eye view of their projects: completed, activated or pending. I now use a screen capture process to store these as I work with individual proteges.
    (Note: this is an example from my Visionary Communications Transcript. Click on the image to expand the view.)
    Taming your technology BCM
  2. If the club member is completing their Path in Print format, they can perform a few tasks online. Including viewing details of each project and seeing their progress. I need to help that process along by verifying their progress, project by project.
    transcript for print viewMy recent strategy to help these members is to also provide a simple word document for them to view all projects and to track their own progress. View and download template below.
    Speech Schedule Planner Template for Print Path
  3. The process I was not sure of was how to record completions of a member doing a Path in Print Format. I kept going around in circles trying to work out how. After checking the Video Tutorial in this BCM resource I realised that this member’s name was NOT appearing in the Team list. (Puzzling about that I posted a link to this morning’s version of this blog and Roger Fung, DTM, suggested that it could be that the person was in multiple clubs and had not logged in as a member of the club I supported.)
    Therefore, what I needed to do, was ask them to login as a member of the specific club I am supporting. Then I could also click View Details in their Transcript and verify any completions.

level completion for Print Path

PS: Roger Fung also provides these tips for you:

1–only one BCM can log in at a time. The latest login will knock out the person who is logged in.

2–a BCM can approve their own level completion.

 

I am learning to allow sufficient time for the process of checking Member Progress. Today that was a painfully slow process as Cornerstone On Demand was creaking along at a snail pace.

Toastmasters Navigator: something new

Now that I have read the recent Club News Leader Letter from Toastmasters.org I am encouraged to see some improvements that have taken place on the website. In particular, this page has been added to help new Toastmasters access details about the Pathways Education process and download their own copy of the Navigator as a PDF. And this can be easily accessed on smart phones and tablets. (Note: you do need to login to see the new Toastmasters Navigator page.)

I plan to reference that page for new Toastmasters who have recently joined my clubs.

How do you plan to make use of the online version of Toastmasters Navigator?

Share your Pathways Stories with others!

Points to Ponder: accessing records in Pathways!

Annual Pathways Achievements: comparisons in your District

Okay things are ramping up a little at your club and more of your long time members are getting into their Pathways projects! Congratulations that means that something is working well in your Pathways implementation strategies. You are also experiencing an upsurge of new members who are eagerly jumping into their Path too. Wow, you are on a roll!

How do I know this? I took some statistics from the George Marshall’s Tools site here and filtered to show Pathways Level completions for the current year for my District 73. Results showed 170 level completions for this year – way to go D73. I filtered the results further to show the clubs in alphabetic order and discovered some outstanding results for several clubs in Central and Metropolitan Divisions. It was also great to see several achievements for clubs in our regional locations.

Note: I need to tell my own clubs about this! Perhaps my Area Director will want to know these details before the end of November!

You can also used the Dashboards Toastmasters website to locate, filter and display ALL awards earned by your club members. This report can be further filtered by name of member, club name or division or area name.

Note: some names are not displayed here as members have chosen to hide them for privacy reasons. If you need an explanation of the Education Awards you can access here.

Impact for your Distinguished Club Program

Have you presented the DCP facts for Pathways for your club members? Let them know that as the club members complete their levels they can help their club accumulate points towards being a distinguished club. 

For instance to earn Pathways points for achievements, a club needs 4 level one completions, 2 level two completions, (can earn an extra point for 2 more level two completions) 2 level three completions, 1 level four completion and 1 level five completion. To find out exactly how your club is tracking on DCP points go to http://dashboards.toastmasters.org and use the filtering tools to display results for your district, division, area or club.

I was curious about the Online Clubs and how they were tracking, so I used the filters to obtain these results:

Online Clubs showing strong growth in club membership
Firebirds Collective Nov 2018 – strong Level Completions for Pathways

Note: if you are not sure how to use the Dashboards at Toastmasters try this guide.

VPE Drills down to access Individual Progress in Pathways!

Now let’s get to the next exciting part of exploring your club Pathways  progress – one individual Toastmaster at a time.

As a Base Camp Manager you can login to Base Camp in Pathways and explore the progress for individuals – gaining access to their Transcripts. This is achieved by selecting the Member Progress icon from your BCM landing page.

Note: make sure that you choose the Home Club you are exploring if you have access to more than one club.

Carole’s login as BCM

From here you can search for the member’s name in the search box and then select the Transcript to view.

Carole’s view from Base Camp

Once you have clicked on the Transcript for your member you will see the Path in the Transcript. Click the title of the Path to view a full list of the projects with a display of those completed and in progress.

Carole’s view of a member’s progress

Are you prepared?

are you preparedWhen you plan for a trip away, these are the usual steps you take:

  1. know your destination
  2. collect your tickets
  3. pack essentials
  4. add to your Trip Plan
  5. check everything

Can you successfully plan ahead for your Projects?

When you get deeper into Pathways you will need to plan ahead! There are usually 10-11 required projects and 3 electives to complete – a total of 14 to 15 speeches.

26806739-hand-writing-the-word-destination-on-black-chalkboardKnow your Destination:

Depending on your goal, you may be considering the delivery of at least 2 speeches per month per club. Your projects are mapped out for you in your Transcript (click on the Path title to see them all) and you will need to know which ones are required and which ones are electives.

ticketsCollect your Tickets:

At levels 3, 4 and 5 your choice of electives provide a wide array of tasks and goals to improve your skills in speaking and leading. Keep in mind that the speeches are the culmination of your learning in each elective project, and that there may be more than one speech required. Choose those electives that best support and complement your goals.

pack your filesPack Essentials:

Include in your folders the downloadable project resources for each level. eg Launch your project, go to the Evaluations page and collect the resources from that page. You’ll need a copy of the project itself; the evaluation resources and any other diary and calendar

Add to your Trip Plan:

Consult your diary or calendar and map out the dates you have available for:

  • a) planning your project
  • b) preparing your speech
  • c) delivering your speech.

Collaborate with your VP Education and request your speeches at each club in a timely way. Allow sufficient time to repeat the speech if you wish to work on incorporating the feedback soon after.

Note: if you are in multiple clubs, plan to be courteous and offer a level completion for their Distinguished Club Program (DCP) points in return for opportunities to deliver a speech.

Is that all?

Nope! The final thing to do is ‘check everything’!

  • Have you informed your VP Education when you want to deliver a speech?
    • (check speech schedules in your club management system)
  • Have you collected all downloadable files from your project?
    • (check Transcript in Base Camp and match with files in folders)
  • Have you incorporated all new learning into your project speech(s)?
    • (review Online Classes in Base Camp and prepare a speech outline)
  • Have you outlined your speech to match the purpose statement on the Evaluation Resource?
    • (check Evaluation Resources from Evaluations in Base Camp and let your Evaluator know what you’d like feedback on)
  • Finally, set aside some time after your speech delivery to return to your Transcript and complete the Assess Skills After in the Project.

Note: The Assess Your Skills After triggers the next project to become available.

Note: At the end of a level, once again, return to Transcript and complete the steps for Level Completion.

Consult these shared resources to help you in planning ahead and being prepared:
1. Paths, Levels and Electives Spreadsheet

  • Spreadsheet outlining all required projects and electives

2. How to Succeed in Your Path

  • a previous blog post of mine

Three short video tutorials from Coach Carole

3. Accessing Evaluation Resources

4. Accessing Level Completion Certificates

5. View your Pathways Progress at Toastmasters.org

 

 

 

 

What do you need the most?

Preparing for the D73 Club Leadership Training workshop this week, I was reminded that for many of the members in our district, their steps into Pathways have been tentative. Our region 12 rolled out Pathways in December 2017 and as our clubs started up again after our summer holidays, we have had only 9 months to focus on Pathways.

region 12 stats

Almost 48% adoption rate in June after just six months was a reasonable result across a Region. I suspect that in nine months District 73 would have reached over 50% adoption rate across our Divisions.

Clubs are tracking reasonably well in the completion of levels and the list of awards for various Paths and this will continue to increase as we integrate Pathways effectively. There appears to be pockets of leadership in those clubs where there has been specific focus on getting members involved and where they have a few ‘early adopters’ as champions to mentor them.

How are the clubs in your District progressing in their selected Paths?

As new and existing Toastmasters take up the challenge to select a Path and begin their journey into Levels 1 and 2, there are frequent requests for help. Recently I polled the membership for some ideas on what they wanted most to help them get started and gain momentum in their projects.

These are the top choices from our D73 Toastmasters: 

  1. Where to go to find help
  2. How to plan speeches ahead of time
  3. How to see all projects in your Path
  4. How to complete a project level

Where to go to find help!

The first group needs to address are the New Members. You will need a New Member Pathways Kit! What should we include in this? Various ideas are being explored in our clubs and these three components are gaining in popularity:

  1. Club Brochure – including details of meeting venue and dates; meeting roles and an overview of educational Paths available.
  2. Navigator – copies of Pages 9 – 15 to provided a deeper description of the Toastmasters Pathways experience
  3. Application to join – a customized form, provides a new Toastmaster with the costs involved.

The second group needs to address are the Existing Members during the Transition phase. You will need a Pathways Program Success Pack! What would you include in this? In my opinion these are the basic tools for members who want to see the requirements of each level in one page. The following ‘guides’ are perfect for your self-directed learners:

  1. Pathways Mentor Program – Guide
  2. Mastering Fundamentals – Guide to Pathways Level 1
  3. Learning Your Style – Guide to Pathways Level 2
  4. Increasing Knowledge – Guide to Pathways Level 3
  5. Building Skills – Guide to Pathways Level 4
  6. Demonstrating Expertise – Guide to Pathways Level 5

Want all of this in one pack? Access a copy of this Companion Guide.

Pathways Companion Guide

Therefore the answer to the question, ‘where to go find help’ is utilise the D73 Website and develop your own New Member Pathways Kit and the Pathways Program Success Pack.

Our latest method of providing help across our clubs in Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania, is the D73 Team Pathways. We are continuing to explore methods of providing help to individuals and clubs. You will find our help pages in the Online Education segment.

How to plan speeches ahead of time?

In the traditional program we were able to view all projects in our printed manuals and plan ahead for the speeches we wanted to deliver. In Pathways, once you have completed one Path, you have a fair idea of what is coming up in each level of your next Path. To help plan ahead use the full descriptions of projects displayed in the shared interactive documents accessible from many different District websites. For example try accessing details of each project in your Path from the D73 Pathways pages.

paths and project d73

How to see all projects in your Path?

Here’s how to do that from your Transcript in Base Camp! Select the title of the Path instead of the Open Curriculum icon. You will then see all projects and note those you’ve completed! Here’s mine from one Path.

projects in a path in base camp

This is a great tool to keep you on track, and having it available in your Transcript means that you can plan ahead.

How to complete a project level!

This has proven to be the biggest obstacle for beginner users of Base Camp – there are some unfriendly aspects of the way the Learning Management System (LMS) operates for Pathways. Cornerstone-on-Demand (LMS) has some ‘painpoints’ that cause frustrations and prevent the novice user from moving forward with confidence.

Note: once the user understands the need to locate the popup window for the Online Class and complete the Assess Your Skills After, they can move ahead easily!

There are Video Tutorials available in the library at Base Camp to help with this process. However, many have asked for separate short video tutorials to be made available outside of Base Camp. This has lead to a plethora of ‘home grown’ video resources from many Districts.

You will find the best of these at the D7 Toastmasters Virtual Academy in YouTube. Here is one from that Playlist that will ‘help you get that red check mark on your level completions’!

Once you’ve viewed that video you may want to view this one of mine which focuses on “How to access your Level Completion Certificates:.

level completion certificates

Pathways Conversations with Julie: Week 2

Pathways Conversations week 2

Dear Julie,

My best memory as a Pathways Guide is of the growth of networking opportunities within and across districts in Australia. We started small with social media groups just for the guides in D70 and D73 – this enabled us to gain valuable social learning with our peers. Then we branched out with a Region 12 Guides and Ambassadors group – in this one we could share further afield from the southern most state of Australia (Tasmania) to the northern most state of Queensland and talk with guides from the west coast in Perth through to South Australia and the east coast states of New South Wales and Victoria.

region 12 FB group

My best memory of a Path is a feeling of pride and elation when that first Path was completed. I had selected Effective Coaching as my first Path, and as you know, it requires a High Performance Leadership project to complete Level 5. Once I had completed all the requirements of the HPL – the project itself (six months of work), the guidance committee and steering committee 360 degree evaluations, and the paper work (well the online clicks in my Transcript), I was able to view my Proficiency Certificate. That was a very proud moment!

certificate of proficiency EC

My best memory of a project was the Write a Compelling Blog! I was eager to tackle this one early and I knew more or less what I had to do even in January when I was still on Level 1. So with a little bit of guidance and help from you I began my series of blog posts on the ‘Pathways Treader’ – a hero’s journey, describing what it felt like to be a Pathways Guide. If I had my time over again I would not have tried to do this in the last 8 days of the month – that was a stretch for me during the summer months in Australia. Once I got started the whole process inspired me to continue, not just 8 posts/chapters but 12 in all.
pathways treader chapter 12

Link to Chapter 12

Pathways Guide Memories

The best memories of the role did not really eventuate until I took on the role of leading a small team of Online Pathways Guides (OPGs) who volunteered their time and energy to supporting the clubs in District U. By then I was more confident with Base Camp and so were the teams – we were in much better shape to help clubs across the world! The network of online Toastmasters was the gene pool from which these OPGs were recruited. Many were immersed in online clubs and/or had been involved as Pathways Guides or Ambassadors in their own districts.

In hindsight, I saw my first efforts as a Pathways Guide for D70 and D73 as the real training ground for what we did next – connecting with Toastmasters in different geographic regions of the world and providing them with the stepping stones to success with Pathways.

As in any leadership learning experience we have been able to implement the lessons learned from previous support strategies and blend them into a new model for providing guidance and mentoring services for the 30+ OPGs. We learned from our early mistakes and polished our skills to a new brightness. One thing I recall as being extremely complex was the task of matching the OPGs with the clubs in District U according to compatible time zones. That task alone took several days of work and my mind was in a spin looking at club meeting times, locations of the OPGs, their languages and any need for French or Spanish speaking guides.

Note: it became crucial to know what club meeting times were in UTC terms so that we could calculate for our own time zones. My best friend was the World Clock Time and Date Conversion site and my computer date and time for current times across the world.

time zones

Dear Readers,

This was my call to action in Chapter 12 of my early posts and it is still the most asked question of me as a Pathways Coordinator. What would you suggest?

comment keyCall to Action

Here is where I need your help!

Please leave a comment below with some ideas on personalizing the support for individual clubs and members in ‘on boarding’ into Pathways.

Next week, Julie and I are looking for your suggestions on what questions we could ask of each other for our Friday blog posts. Look for those in the Toastmasters Pathways Discussion Forum.

Pathways conversations with Julie!

Dear Readers, I have been following Julie’s journey in Pathways for many months, as she writes her daily blogs .
  • Her blog has been a compelling read for her thousands of followers as she unravels her journey with stories of challenges, frustrations and success. I have asked Julie to share some of her thoughts on Pathways from a different perspective this month. These are the questions I have posed for her consideration:
  1. What are the favourite aspects of the Paths you have worked on?
  2. Why did you choose the Paths and how many have you completed?
  3. What advice would you give to a new user of Base Camp?
  4. What are the benefits from your work in your Paths so far?
  5. What is your wishlist for new projects in Pathways?
See her answers in her blog post the same day, Friday 12 October:

pathways conversations Part of the Pathways Exchange Blogging project!

Q1. What are the favourite aspects of the Paths you have worked on? Dear Julie, My favourites occur in the electives!
  • As you know, I was keen to explore  ‘Write a Compelling Blog‘ and ‘Storytelling‘, and this has been the source of many of our conversations by email. The blog elective, with your mentoring, improved my understanding of what a compelling blog looks like.
  • Building my blog followers by fine tuning my writing style and promoting in social media.
  • The process, starting in January this year, sparked the idea for this Pathways Exchange Blogging project. Thanks for participating.
choose a pathThanks for reading my early blogs which focussed on my experiences as a novice Pathways Guides. Taking the Hero’s Journey approach and placing my experiences in a fictional fantasy world enabled me to explore my favourite writing genre and weave in some magical images of my journey. This image on the right sparked a series of posts for a fictional Toastmaster called George. Julie, do you remember, when you and I were discussing how important it was to look ahead and find out which Paths contained longer final project? Revisit Pathways with George, post 1, post 2 and post 3 I was eager to get through the first two levels on each of my paths –  Effective Coaching (completed), Strategic Relationships and Visionary Communication – to reach the electives in level 3. I was impatient to expand my ability to speak on the topic of blogging and to change the way I structured many of my other early Pathways speeches. Since then I have chosen to write and tell stories – these had a much greater appeal at Toastmaster meetings both online and land based. Note: happily exploring those in the Witty Storytellers Online club.
  • blog 3The elective on ‘Storytelling‘ has become my all time favourite elective.
This elective has helped me to improve my speeches with stories and to add panache to my delivery. It also sparked a renewal of interest in my Family History stories that I write in Celtic Family History blog. I wish that there were more Storytelling projects like this in Pathways. Q4. What are the benefits from your work in your Paths so far? oral history 1Dear Julie, this leap into new writing and speaking adventures has given me a framework for a new community project on Oral History.
  • I am excited to tell you that this one will provide the content for the next elective on ‘Podcasting‘.
  • I had been ignoring that elective for some time, knowing that the spark for its content was still to emerge. Now I can plan a series of podcasts
Working on Storytelling projects, delivering my speeches in storytelling mode and joining your online club and listening to Pathways Journey stories in your Storyswap project, has set the scene for my podcasting journey. Distinguished Toastmaster Project in Pathways
  • As a natural extension of these activities, I can focus on combining blogging, podcasting and storytelling, as the basis for my DTM project in Pathways. This is my goal set for next year. Finally I have a project theme that will be beneficial to me in my world of Family History Storytelling and to my community learners. Note: thanks to M for suggesting this.
photos from the pastThis month I am embarking on a Digital Storytelling adventure in a local adult learning community by teaching a group of volunteer historians how to prepare oral history videos using simple software, photos, videos and recording the voices of elders in their community. I will once again be training others in the art of Digital Storytelling – something I used to do over a decade ago. I am really excited about this project and looking forward to getting back into the classroom again. It is ages since I attended the first Digital Storytelling Conference, at the BBC Wales, in Cardiff where I was born.
  • I have introduced the steering group to Zoom for meaningful project discussions and I hope to explore more of that style of collaborative and social learning online with other learners.
  • I will finish this Pathways Conversation now and focus on more answers to that first set of questions I asked of you. Hope you are enjoying this Pathways Exchange of stories. I am really looking forward to the questions you have of me.
Regards Coach Carole
  • PS I start a new module in the Diploma of Family History with the University of Tasmania this month – it is called Oral History. Everything is falling into place!

Tools for your Path

PowerPoint

This Microsoft tool has become a clear winner for me in preparing my speeches and tutorials for Pathways.

With a deck of slides, containing imagery that suits my message, I can create an environment for my speech that will appeal to viewers in online clubs. I share these slides in full view with attendees in a Zoom room meeting – either right from the start of my speech or coming in at a later point to clarify or give examples. I like to add interesting graphics that have eye candy and structure to support my message.

Online Pathways Level 5 Project: Lessons Learned

With a deck of slides, containing step by step process with screen captures from Base Camp, I can provide a meaningful tutorial. I have a selection of these stored at Slideshare.com especially structured for my work as a Guide. I am now revisiting these and selecting the best for voiceovers to create short tutorial videos. I can do these quite quickly now with a simple script and showcasing the slides in my Zoom room as I record a private session.

(Note: to upload slides to Slideshare.net you need to create an account with them and upload your .ppt or .pptx files to your playlist. I have heard that Slideshare.net may be in a state of change and I await its fate with bated breath.)

D73 Team Pathways: ABC of Base Camp Management webinar

PowerPoint also enables me to construct diagrams and flow charts that provide visual representation of a process or strategy, relevant to Pathways.

Using PowerPoint SmartArt

If you are new to PowerPoint you can learn much more about its functionality and the new tools embedded within. One of my favourite online learning libraries for technology is GCF Global Free Tutorials Online.

If you wish to store your PowerPoint slide decks ready for sharing and downloading by others, you can use Slideshare.net (operated by LinkedIn). This repository has a powerful search engine for locating specific sets of slides. Like this one I found today by Barbara Lowe – the content of the Presentation Mastery Path in slide format. Many more like this to help you ‘present’ to your club members about specific Paths or to enable them to plan ahead.

Where to go to find help!

Recently I read about the Top Ten Tools for 2018 from Jane Hart at CLP. This triggered a reaction from me – one that I could fit into the puzzle for alleviating some of the difficulty for Toastmasters to begin their online learning journey.

We make an assumption that all Toastmasters are equally comfortable in online learning or in fact their use of computer technology. This is NOT as I know it. Each of the Toastmasters I know have a variety of skills in using their computers and mobile devices. Some of the questions that we are often asked, as Pathways Guides, indicate that some of their difficulties in Base Camp are related to management of their computer environment.

With that in mind I began to think about how to provide meaningful support for our Toastmasters who need technology coaching rather than Pathways Guidance. Over in the D73 Facebook group I setup a Poll to find out what members needed most help with. One of the options I chose was
Where to go to find help when you need it?

A short video on ‘where to go to find help on Pathways’ would be useful!

I think that YouTube and Google Drive would feature in that tutorial for accessing self-help with video tutorials and documents. In it we could include how to locate a selection of the video tutorials and documents stored in the Tutorials and Resources library at Base Camp.

Let’s look at the Ten Top Tools and determine which ones will assist us with self-managed  anytime online learning. Note: I plan to unpack my own selection of these in separate posts. Today I will focus on YouTube and Google Drive.

https://www.toptools4learning.com/analysis/

YouTube

This free personal publishing tool has the reputation of being the most popular tool because of its educational, entertaining and useful content. Yes there are useful videos there on Pathways. Enter YouTube and search for Toastmasters Pathways Tutorials and you will find a plethora of them. These can be accessed in any device and you do not need to have an account there.

Help is available as a search field (in a pop-up window) and you can Subscribe to a Channel from any of the Toastmasters sites in YouTube. I recommend the D7 Toastmasters Channel and its Playlist for Pathways tutorials.

If you have a YouTube account you can create your own Playlists by adding them from your favourite Channels. Use the YouTube Help tool and search for instructions on Adding Videos to Playlist.

Google Drive

This free cloud based document sharing space has the reputation of being the most popular tool for storing and sharing documents among small or large groups of people. This tool gives you the flexibility of creating a shared space for your Pathways documents for District or Club – an easy to access repository of useful resources.

You can navigate between your own folders and documents or those shared with you. Here is an example of a shared Google Drive folder of the Paths and Evaluations in Pathways, resources from Shilpa Reddy and another example of the Pathways Starter Kit from Mark Snow

Another example of a shared folder in Google Drive is this one from Roger Fung containing all the Evaluation Forms, in numerical order, for each project in Pathways.

Tutorials and Resources Library at Base Camp

And now for the specific help that is available in the Base Camp library! 
Did you know that you can browse for Specific Training and select from these three options: Online Class, Curriculum and Materials.

Online Class: includes all of the training needed for navigating in Base Camp – these require you to Launch
Curriculum: includes any of the special programs you have accessed such as Toastmasters Mentoring Program
Materials: includes all of the downloadable items such as Evaluation Resources

This could be the basis for a prepared online video tutorial by itself. There is so much more to learn about the intricacies of Base Camp.

Online Tutorials for Everything

For those who need more basic help in the use of their Computer there is a wealth of tutorials at GCF Global.

If you need a tutorial on YouTube try this one.

If you need a tutorial on Google Drive try this one.

My Story: where has Pathways led me?

It began for me, about a year ago. The PQD for District 73 sent out an invitation to Toastmasters who wanted to be Pathways Guides for clubs in areas close to them. Now, my location, spans two Districts – 70 on the NSW side of the border and 73 on the Victorian side of the Murray River. Clubs in Areas Monaro 34 and Northern 29 were all familiar to me – I had been an Area Director in both – and I felt sure that I could continue to support them all.

Eight to Ten clubs were to be supported for recognition as a Guide over a six month period – from September 2017 to February 2018, and rollout for us in Region 12 was scheduled for December 5.

barrier 1 tasksBrick Wall 1: 18 Tasks

As a Pathways Guide I was required to jump over a number of hurdles in gaining completion of my online learning modules. This was a strange an unfamiliar process and one that did not sit right with me from the start; I knew that reading a plethora of 18 online resources did not constitute effective training for me. Where was the opportunity to practice meaningfully before launching into my role as a Guide? Everything was lock step – that is – each component in the learning modules needed to be completed in sequence.

I persevered, knowing that this was my path to becoming a Guide and achieving another award towards my third DTM.

barrier1Brick Wall 2: No Entry

I felt like I was leading in the dark for those early months – without yet having access to Base Camp before rollout I relied on my colleagues who had experience already. There were a few of my international Toastmaster friends who had taken the plunge and joined clubs (in districts where rollout had commenced) as virtual members. They were my targetted support team – I could go to them and ask for help.

Julie Kertesz in District 91 in the UK was one of the first to ‘showcase’ her Path Projects in Base Camp. A snapshot that gave me the insight I needed to feel confident in my support for others. Thanks Julie.

break through 1 path

Break Through 1: One Path Complete

Once rollout commenced, I was poised and ready to select my Path. I had done my homework and determined what was the best Path to start with. I chose Effective Coaching, even though the Base Camp system had suggested Strategic Relationships. I put that one aside to do next.

I thought that Effective Coaching projects best suited my planned goals and projects for the first half of 2018. It felt really great as I completed each project and proceeded to the next in Base Camp. Each new project opened up more possibilities for me to grow.

Completion of my first level was cause for a celebration and I was happy to download my first Level Completion Certificate.As each level was completed I was learning new skills and expanding my leadership horizons  – the experience of those first six months was exhilarating. It felt like I was on the top of the mountain looking back on the pathway I had successfully traveled.

barrier 3 guiding othersBrick Wall 3: Guiding Others

mythicstructureNine months had passed since I first embarked on my Pathways journey! I had written about my experiences in my blog posts – each of the initial posts was designed to complete my first elective: Write a Compelling Blog. I used a story structure to tell of my adventures, just like the hero in the Hero’s Journey.

My story was told in 12 chapters and they seemed to write themselves as I contemplated what it felt like in enthusing others about Pathways. This was a tough part of the journey as it was TOO EARLY for many Toastmasters in Region 12 to give much thought to their Pathways. Summer holidays and the start of a new season of meetings took precedence over anything in Pathways.

My High Performance Level project was to build and steer a team of Online Pathways Guides in providing support for club executives from over 160 undistricted clubs across the world. Wow – that was the most stunning achievement for me – and a real bonus to work alongside many skilled Toastmasters from many Districts. On completion of my first path, Effective Coaching, I posted my thoughts on reflection in Follow the Yellow Brick Road post.   

break through 2 bcms

Break Through 2: Support for Base Camp Managers

The next part of the journey for me was closer to home as we determined the needs of clubs in our District 73 – especially after the election of new club executives – and in particular how to support the Base Camp Managers.

At the same time leaders in District 70 had begun to build a D70 Team Pathways and I had been invited to participate. This gave me the inspiration to begin D73 Team Pathways. By leading this team as Pathways Coordinator, I could fulfil another required project for my second Path, Strategic Relationships. Team Building was easy as the process was endorsed by the District leaders, and a team of six began to meet and discuss the different ways we could support new Pathways champions across the states of Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania.

Simultaneously, the Pathways Discussion Forum was launched – managed by Michelle Alba-Lim from District 7 – supported by skilled Pathways champions from around the world. This forum opened up a whole new community of collaborative and cooperative learning opportunities. New learning and new activities (using the latest Facebook tools of Mentorship) has added value to what can be done in supporting large numbers of Toastmasters across the globe.

The journey does not end here! My third Path, Visionary Communication, is taking me to new heights in inspiring and facilitating my land-based clubs. For them I am seeking new ways of building membership (virtual attendance) and new ways of conducting executive committee meetings (online meetings).

The Region 12 Base Camp Managers community in Facebook has begun to provide much needed assistance for BCMs who are new to their roles and the tasks required of them in Base Camp. This community has potential for growth and influence, and will be a feature of the responsibilities of the D69,  D70 and D73 Team Pathways.

Continue reading My Story: where has Pathways led me?

Changing needs of Toastmasters in Pathways!

Prior to starting Pathways, Toastmasters are keen to know about the program and what’s in it for them. They will usually ask questions like:
  1. What are the Paths available in the program
  2. Where can I find information about the projects in each Path
  3. Who will help me get started
  4. How can see an overview of all Paths and Projects
  5. How do I choose a Path
  6. How do I get into Base Camp 
Those who are Pathways Base Camp Managers will often ask:
  1. Where do I find a Starter Pack
  2. Where do I find a Pathways Infographic or interactive website for sharing with others
  3. How can I integrate Pathways into our club meetings
Most of the Toastmasters I know, need to feel confident in Base Camp and require some help and resources along the way. When they begin their Path they need to know these things whilst working in Level 1:
  1. How do I access my projects
  2. How do I access the project evaluation forms
  3. How do I work with my projects in Base Camp
  4. How do I complete the projects in Base Camp
Note: Those Toastmasters who are not yet in Pathways can access all the Evaluation forms and still evaluate those delivering speeches from their Path Projects. By the time they reach Level 2 their understanding of Base Camp has improved and they are more confident in navigating their online lessons for each project, downloading the project resources and how to complete a level. At this stage their needs change and they will seek assistance with:
  1. How do I upload Evaluations to my Eportfolio
  2. How do I download and store my Level 1 Completion Certificate
  3. How do I view my progress in Toastmasters International profile page
  4. How do I access and complete my Toastmasters Mentoring program
  5. How do I notify my VPE of Level Two completion
At Level 3 the Toastmaster is comfortable with the resources available at Base Camp and is seeking knowledge about the Elective projects available. At this stage their needs change again and they will often seek help with:
  1. How do I access Electives in my Path
  2. How do I plan ahead for the completion of Electives
  3. How do I schedule speech requests for Elective projects (especially important when the Elective involves more than 1 speech eg. Deliver Social Speeches)
  4. Where can I find all project descriptions
  5. How can I remove the obstacles to Pathways
At Level 4 the Toastmaster has gained valuable experience in their speeches and in leadership projects where relevant to their Path. The projects are often more complex and require greater depth of understanding. Their needs are now at a higher level and they often seek confirmation of their goals and ability to achieve. Questions from those at level 4 will change to those that seek more collaborative learning opportunities:
  1. How do I gain more information, resources and collaborate with others
  2. How do I choose the next elective strategically to fit my chosen goal
At Level 5 the Toastmaster is able to demonstrate expertise in speaking and leadership projects and is ready to take on the Distinguished Toastmaster Project. They are more independent and need less mentoring and help in their journey. These are the people who often seek to mentor others in Pathways. Their questions are often about:
  1. How do I select a protege to mentor for six months
  2. How do I select a relevant six month project for my DTM project
Once the Toastmaster has reached DTM status in Pathways they have achieved the highest award that the program provides. What do they need? What are the next steps for them? Their questions are more likely to be:
  1. How can I give back to the Toastmaster community eg in a District role
  2. How can I leverage my achievements as a DTM for my life journey
So many Toastmasters have already successfully given back to the Toastmaster community through social media and shared documentation that it has become necessary to collate these in the one space. Try accessing this Google Document, shared by Heather Turner, for further links to shared resources. Some District websites provide neatly collated resources and tutorials for you. See D69 website as an example. Finally if you are seeking a personal mentor to help with your Path, please plan to join the Mentorship program at the Pathways Discussion Forum where over 7000 Toastmasters are collaborating right now. This is the most comprehensive collaborative Pathways specific forum you can choose for self-help. Remember to add specific answers to the questions for the administrators to approve your membership.