Training Leaders Intelligently

Wild 191

It depends 

A medical student who completes the Medical Boards (a test for basic knowledge) is entitled to be called “Doctor.” Nurses watch these trainee “doctors” carefully; they are prone to solving problems they haven’t defined.

For example, the new doctors may give a patient with frequent debilitating headaches and no CT scan evidence of a brain tumor a prescription for a pain reliever. A more experienced physician extracts a history that the headaches usually followed cramming for exams — and refers the patient to an ophthalmologist.

Some of our club officer training is informative, challenging and interesting. Other training seems to have followed, “let’s do it like we did last year, it worked then.”

If we are teaching a Bible Study class for preschoolers, “show and tell,” coloring applicable biblical pictures and singing simple songs help the students understand. A class for adults could involve reading a verse and a discussing what it means. The same material presented to Theology majors might involve a debate about the verse in the context of the whole passage, considering the culture at the time and place it was written.

When we train officers we find many who have read the leadership materials online and in the manuals and some with experience in their jobs. We should not submit them to “Death by PowerPoint” or to “turn to page 54 and find the chart that shows . . .” presentations.

A group of new club officers might include a lawyer, an engineer, a CPA and a few IT professionals. Does it make sense to walk them through the instruction manual? Another group might be very new to TM and unfamiliar with the structure and website. Wouldn’t they benefit more from a “hands on” exercise to become familiar with the website and TM reports?

What if we had choices? Say, “just the overview, please” or “hands on and how to do it in detail.” Area Directors, who should be familiar with the club officers by Spring L.A.C.E. could help them choose an appropriate presentation.

Toastmasters new educational program emphasizes individual structuring of public speaking education. Officer training should lead the way.

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