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!