Where’s the value?

Why such poor attendance at Toastmasters’ officer training?

Military 65

Some Toastmasters analyze, prepare and rehearse classes – and present Officers’ training at L.A.C.E. They put a lot of work into their training and we should support them. Others, trying to fill a need, prepare classes and handouts and offer make-up training.

Still, far too few officers are trained. So a few Area and Division officers are tempted to just take some handouts to the club and “sign-off” the club officers as trained.

It appears that new club officers attend L.A.C.E training, but in trickles rather than gushes. From there on, the picture gets bleaker and bleaker.

Is officer training useful, necessary, valuable for both new and returning officers? If so, the word hasn’t gotten out yet. Perhaps the naysayers haven’t actually attended basic or advanced training at L.A.C.E. yet. Or maybe they have!

Formal officers’ training doesn’t seem too onerous. Remember that candidates flock to Navy SEAL, Marine RECON and Ranger training, which are known to be extremely demanding.

Perhaps training being ignored is just a “check the box” effort to meet Area, Division and District goals. If so, then the training needs to be revamped. People will respond well, very well, to challenges if they perceive the payoff as valuable to them.

But if large numbers of candidates reject a training program they probably don’t see the value in it for them versus their cost in time and money. I think that we are either failing to sell a valuable product or we are trying to peddle a shoddy product.

Further, when we offer “checkoff after the club meeting” training that meets the Area – District goals we undermine – “dis” – the L.A.C.E trainers who work so hard to prepare their classes. We reinforce the idea that our purpose is to “make the numbers” instead of provide a service.

“Servant-based Leadership,” as well as other systems of leaders’ guidelines, emphasizes doing the right thing for the right reasons. Is the “right thing” giving “check-offs” to meet District goals, or is the “right thing” developing training that is valued?

Possible solutions or at least improvements next Curmudgeon post.


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