Special Educational Section: Club Coaching

Educational Section: Club Coaching

The Club Coaching program doesn’t often receive a lot of publicity, yet it is important. Therefore we have invited experienced Club coaches to contribute to this section. Gerard Mannix opens the section with his experience and a description of how Club Coaching works followed by Daniel Sandars who describes District 71’s Club Coaching program over the last year. We than have three Club Coaches, Brenda Lannon, Joey O’Leary, and Phillip O’Brien, describe their hands on experiences. Finally Patricia Loughnane provides an excellent summary with her tips on successful Club Coaching

A CLUB COACH

By GERARD MANNIX DTM-CLUB GROWTH DIRECTOR

MY EXPERIENCE: As the saying goes, the only way to feel the water temperature is to get the toes wet-I had a Club Coach experience two years ago. I undertook this without any training just an intuitive sense of what was required. The result was successful, and the club was distinguished. Initially, I was ‘solo’ meeting with the club officers. I felt it was a ‘them and me’ situation resulting in a mediocre communication. I requested the Club Growth Director to appoint a second coach. This accomplished, it made an incredible difference. We were thereafter working as a cohesive group. Whether it was my own inadequacies, a gender balance with the second coach on board or the unique environment of the club, the rest is history, but I do feel the presence of two coaches has a definite benefit.

Club Coach Programme Regulations:

  • A club coach may only be assigned by the district director or the club growth director.
  • A club must have at least one but not more than 12 members when a coach is appointed, and the coach cannot be a member of that club until their appointment request has been processed.
  • Up to two coaches may be appointed to a club. The appointment lasts to June 30 of the current programme year if the club becomes Distinguished or better.

A Club Coach’s task:

  1. Build a rapport with club leaders and members
  2. Observe and analyse the club environment, facilitate discussion keeping it positive, honest and objective, then assist the club in generating solutions
  3. Help the club develop a plan with goals for improvement
  4. Enable the club to achieve goals
  5. Instil enthusiasm, fidelity, and a sense of responsibility for the club’s future
  6. Actively participate in the club and set a good example
  7. Emphasize that only through teamwork will the club be restored
  8. Review day, time and location of meeting
  9. Keep the area director, club growth director and district director informed of the progress
  10. Encourage the club to conduct ‘Moments of Truth’
  11. Recognise achievements
  12. Benefits for a Club Coach:
  13. Develop team-building skills
  14. Expand leadership skills
  15. Develop diplomacy skills
  16. Share expertise

Club Coach Recognition:

  • Each club coach receives a pin upon assignment
  • After successfully completing the assignment, each club coach receives a certificate and credit towards the Advanced Leader Silver Award
  • District publicly acknowledges appointments and successes

References

Club coach FAQ

Club coach troubleshooting guide

[Region 10 Advisor Elizabeth Nostedt has published slides from her recent webinar “How to get clubs over 20 members – Club Coaches” http://bit.ly/2C3NMRA]

Conclusion:

Some people wonder why we would bother saving a club. Why not just let it close? Saving clubs is necessary for the health of the district. We need clubs for the district to be in good standing, just as clubs also need members to be in good standing. Without clubs, the TM organisation, an International organisation, would fade away. We need to remember that members are the backbone of the Toastmasters experience and we need to retain clubs to retain members. We cannot have one without the other. And finally, we lose a part of history with each club we lose and as it is my role, I take it seriously.

GOOD WISHES TO ALL CLUB COACHES AND THANK YOU FOR YOUR LABOURS


The Club Coaching Program in District 71 – An Overview

Daniel Sandars DTM, Public Relations Manager

Last year 13 Toastmasters helped eight clubs return to Distinguished status and were awarded their club coach leadership achievements at the end of the recent Toastmaster’s year.

Thus, attaining one of three requirements for an Advanced Leaders Silver award. Their length of a

ppointments has ranged from 89 days to 601 days with an average of 421 days. Some of the length of service is down to Coaches choosing to extend their terms as an insurance measure for the Club

What is Distinguished status for a club? All clubs are set ten management goals within the Distinguished Clubs Program (DCP). The first six goals relate to the educational awards earned by the club’s members, the next two goals relate to the number of new members during the year, the ninth goal is based on officers attending training twice a year and the final goal is for administration by submitting the club officer list and at least one set of renewals on time. A club earning five or more goals is said to be Distinguished with the higher accolade of Select Distinguished for seven or eight goals and President’s Distinguished for nine or ten goals. However, to qualify a club needs to have 20 or more members or a net growth of five members at the end of the year of 30th of June.

It is possible to have a closer look at the DCP performance of the Clubs that have been coached thanks to Toastmaster Mike Raffety who has published various statistical tools and reports. For DCP history see http://bit.ly/2N8dUN5 . I’ve run the report for the eight clubs that were coached last year (see below). It is worth noting that paid membership counts are for the 30th of June (American syntax ‘6/30’) and may hide horror stories for the September and March renewals which are when the appointment of a Club Coach was triggered.

DCP History: 772301 – Bantry (D71 area A11)


DCP History: 3525 – Mid-Ulster (D71 area F4)

Data as of Tue Sep 25 10:10:16 2018
   

DCP History: 2730842 – IFSC (D71 area J57)

Data as of Tue Sep 25 10:10:16 2018
   

DCP History: 3941402 – Kiltegan (D71 area D40)

Data as of Tue Sep 25 10:10:16 2018
   

DCP History: 4044008 – Voicematters – Vodafone (D71 area M54)

Data as of Tue Sep 25 10:10:16 2018
   

DCP History: 2333 – Cork East (D71 area A3)

Data as of Tue Sep 25 10:10:16 2018
   

DCP History: 827840 – West Limerick (D71 area B36)

Data as of Tue Sep 25 10:10:16 2018
   

DCP History: 866008 – Athy (D71 area D28)

Data as of Tue Sep 25 10:10:16 2018
   

In four of the clubs, Bantry, Mid-Ulster, IFSC, and Kiltegan it is clear they have been struggling for a protracted period, which in the case of Bantry stretches back eight years. The impact of the Club Coaching is equally clear with a net growth of five new members between 16-17 and 17-18, but also a decisive increase in the number of DCP goals obtained -almost double what was previously obtained

The picture is less clear for the final four clubs because the detail is hidden by annual summaries. Fortunately, another Toastmaster statistician George Marshall publishes tools that allow a Club’s DCP history to be followed month by month – see TMTools http://bit.ly/2Oi9nwe. In the case of West Limerick in October 2016 membership slumped from 21 to 8, spending five months below 12 members. October 2016 also saw Athy drop from 20 to 11 members for three months, Cork East from 20 members to 9 then remaining below 12 for four months. For Voicematters – Vodafone it was October 17 when membership fell from 24 to 9 and remained below 12 for six months.

Currently, the district has nine clubs being helped by ten Toastmasters. Two of whom are helping two clubs! Currently, prior to September 2018 renewals there are 12 eligible clubs without a Coach with memberships ranging from 2-12 with an average of 8 members. Including the clubs that do have Coaches they account one in ten (10.1%) of the District’s clubs

In summary, Club Coaching can help mount a big turn around and many Club coaches go on to give back more than just the minimum. Where we have opportunity for improvement is in the timeliness of brokerage and matchmaking that might see clubs reaching out sooner for help to be paired up with Coaches coming forward more numerously.


Coaching Corporate to Community Club IFSC Toastmasters

By Brenda Lannon ACB ALS, District 71 Administration Manager

My name is Brenda Lannon and I’m a member of Toastmasters since September 2010. I have achieved my ACB and ALS. I have also served on many club committees as well as serving at District level as Area and Division Director. I am currently the Administration Manager for the District.

I was asked to be a club coach for Citibank Toastmasters in June 2017. This club was a corporate club that had ceased to be a corporate club. A decision was made to reform the club as a community club. I saw the role of club coach as an opportunity to develop and build on my leadership skills, my team working skills and to help grow the club into a strong, vibrant club. I wanted to pass on some of the skills and experiences I had gained in my 7 years as a Toastmaster.

There was a strong committee who were enthusiastic Toastmasters, all were current or past District leaders and were very willing to work together as a team to grow the club.

A plan was put in place at the start of the year to:

  • Rename the club IFSC toastmasters – this better reflected the locality in which the meetings took place.
  • Regularise club meetings (plan dates and venue for meetings.)
  • Ensure quality meetings were held.
  • Ensure that new members to the club were given speaking opportunities and were encouraged to commence the educational programs and take on meeting roles.
  • Encourage experienced toastmasters to come to the meetings to take on roles during the meetings.

The club was renamed IFSC Toastmasters and we used social media (Facebook page and meetup) to promote meetings.

The club was previously a Corporate Club and was therefore without a venue when the club ceased as a corporate club. Initially, meetings were held between two venues – a room on a college campus which was free from a cost point of view, but the college was unable to guarantee the same room for each meeting. The second possible venue was a meeting room in a nearby hotel with the associated costs. This created instability and uncertainty and made it more difficult to attract new members.

No definite meeting day – the club initially had no definite meeting day. The meetings varied from being held every two weeks to every three weeks. There was no certainty. The venue and dates were fixed for a room in a nearby hotel and definite dates were set for meetings. As the year progressed, there was an increase in guests coming to the meetings which brought an increase in membership. Excellent quality meetings were held. Experienced toastmasters were asked to come to the meetings to assist with taking on roles at meetings. Guests were invited along and were warmly welcomed to the meetings, given opportunities to take on speaking roles and were given positive constructive evaluations.

In June 2018, the club membership had a net growth of 5 members and the club was awarded the Distinguished Club award. This was a very proud moment for me as club coach but also the hard-working members of the committee who never gave up and persisted in their efforts to re-establish and re-energize the club.

The club is still facing challenges but the commitment of the committee members and other toastmasters within the club will see the club progressing, building on its strong points and working towards minimising its weaknesses.

Being a club coach last year was a very rewarding experience and I would encourage any member to take on the role of club coach. It is an opportunity to give something back while developing leadership and communication skills at the same time.


Coaching Community Club Bantry (D71 area A11)

By Joey O’Leary, ACS, ALS

Joey was appointed Coach at Bantry in May 2017. As shown in the previous section Bantry finished outside of the Distinguished club programme for the previous eight years. Last year after a net growth of five new members Bantry returned as a distinguished club with five goals.

She describes her Coaching experience…

“Becoming a coach for a club can and has been rewarding. Being a coach has been an excellent way to give back to Toastmasters.

Ideally, Bantry should not have had to struggle on for so long alone. However, you may need to make changes to the club as Coach and club members may not be open to them. It was tough trying to get an open meeting as some members were quite happy to continue the way they were.

Some welcome you whilst others question you. Honestly you need to be either deaf or thick skinned. It is just as well that I am both. The most important thing as coach is to put the needs of the club first. The key was working with the members that wanted to see their club improve.

Whilst a coach I saw many of the skills we learnt in Toastmasters being used. Would I coach again? Yes!”


Coaching Community Club Kinsale & District (D71 area A11)

By Phillip O’Brien

My name is Phillip O’Brien and I joined Toastmasters in 2014. I attended a few meetings of the Bandon Club in west Cork as a guest and joined up. I’ve progressed relatively quickly to ACG, ALB. I had worked closely with the president of my home club last year as Vice President Education through identifying where members were at regarding educational goals and working with the Vice Presidents Public Relations and Membership to advertise and promote the club. Working together the club achieved 10 DCP points from not being distinguished at all the year before.

During my year as Area Director I learned more about the bigger picture of Toastmasters and because of all the many, varied and wonderful experiences I’d had as a Toastmaster I felt that I would like to try and give back on a level outside of my own club. Kinsale Toastmasters, next door to Bandon, in 2017/2018, was a ‘struggling club’. As Area Director I wrote to the Club Growth Director for the District, John Cox and was appointed as Club Coach for Kinsale in April 2018. The biggest challenge is to use public relations tools effectively to attract new members.

DCP History: 1223085 – Kinsale & District (D71 area A11)

Data as of Fri Sep 28 10:10:17 2018
   

I think initially the reception I had was one of cautious curiosity. The members in the club are warm and welcoming but anything outside of the club or contest level wasn’t really seen as that relevant. However, I was welcomed in as the coach.

Some of the main issue to look at and work on from initial assessment were (a) to have the club in good standing for Area/Division contests (b) to encourage earlier payment of dues (c) to “get the easy things done” and (d) to explore how to attract new members.

My plan was to join the club and stand for election as Vice President of Education, so I could assist with the educational side of things and specially to support and promote Pathways as the club had very little introduction to Pathways. I also planned to work with the Committee to explore options for the meeting location which is somewhat out of the way in the town and not easy to find.

So far, the club has registered its officers, had 90%+ pay dues on time so is in good standing and has had five officers attend the first round of Club Officer Training. One education award has been registered so far. Several members have given speeches from Pathways.

The club will celebrate its tenth anniversary in May 2019 and we aim to be a Distinguished club by then. We should also have a member achieving her DTM.

So far, the journey has been exciting, challenging, it has allowed me to develop motivational skills and it has helped the club and members to engage more in what Toastmasters has to offer and has raised the profile of the club a little in the Division.

I look forward to continuing the journey while my term as coach lasts.


My tips for Coaching

By Patricia Loughnane DTM, Pathways Ambassador and Guide, Thurles Toastmasters President 2018-2019.

  • Contact the club beforehand to establish a rapport. Often Club Officers miss out on Training, so some procedures may need to be explained.
  • Meet with the Committee ASAP to discuss what they think is missing. Is it lack of organisation? Administration difficulties etc?
  • PR strategy-publicise club meetings. Look at Social Media presence-update.
  • Open Night or event that members of the public/target audience would be interested in.
  • Speech Craft in a local business or incorporated before a meeting with the participants given the option of staying to meet Club members and maybe even joining.

It may take the full 2 years to get the Club to acquire the DCP points, but it is worth it and the Club will have taken charge, revitalised itself with your help which is to your mutual advantage: Vibrant club and you get a goal on your Pathway to DTM.

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