‘It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory’ W.R. Deming
Change is essential for survival. Leadership is about gaining the engagement of people to make those changes happen. It requires courage, confidence and competence to leave the norm and step outside your comfort zone. (Reference: Engaging Change by Mark Wilcox and Mark Jenkins). It’s when you leave your comfort zone, that magic happens. At last night’s meeting, we had three major changes.
1. Room Layout
Our thanks go to Dryden Pennington, who arranged with the hotel to change the room layout to include tables. This was an idea that came from a recent training day and Dryden had the courage of his convictions to give it a go.
It was interesting to see the reaction as people entered the room. This was not the normal theatre style and the comfort zone had been challenged. The tables enabled people to have their drinks safely to hand. Writing notes as an evaluator was easier and I certainly found it helped to organise all the materials I needed for my roles. It also brought the time keeper into the meeting more.
The layout was not perfect, and as with any change; it would be easy to slip back to the way things were. It is about now as a team being creative to make the change work, as there are real advantages to having tables there.
One of the greatest benefits of being part of Casterbridge Speakers is the opportunity to be mentored and be a mentor. Where else can you have a free quality mentor for speaking and leadership skills?
Instead of Table Topics, members partnered up with their mentor and worked on their goals for the coming year. This still required impromptu speaking, listening and thinking on your feet. It was fantastic to hear the buzz in the room. The feedback was that many found it highly beneficial to share their thoughts with another and one or two felt truly inspired.
Benefits of being mentored
- Tap into the knowledge of another to aid progress
- Turn knowledge, feedback and ideas into practical application
- Increase confidence and sense of self worth
- Having the support for your ideas aids motivation
- Feel more part of the team and understand roles
Table Topics will resume, but having the occasional mentoring session instead proved highly beneficial.
3. Golden Nugget Award
The Golden Nugget Award was started last night to recognise the person who has gone the extra mile. As Laura McHarrie, our Area Director, says ‘Tiny things matter’ and there are people in a meeting that introduce small changes that make a real difference.This award is to recognise someone who has made a difference above and beyond the norm, as selected by the General Evaluator.
Our first winner is Andrew Knowles for his excellent and humorous explanation of being a time keeper and then implementing the role perfectly. Being able to understand, explain and deliver your role requires a number of key skills. How well do people in the workplace manage this?
Casterbridge Speakers is an amazing club because its members have the courage, confidence and competence (and humour) to challenge the norm, try something new and make it work. Thank you for getting engaged.