Yesterday I talked about the lesson of negative thinking that I received from a surprising conversation I had with a work colleague. I was gratified to receive some encouraging messages which I humbly accept with a heart-felt ‘thank you’ to all concerned. Apart from anything it’s really great to know I’ve got more than one reader *lol* Your comments have strengthened my resolve to be kinder to myself. After all, if you don’t love you first, nobody else will.
The next thing I learned from yesterday’s conversation is how much Toastmasters has changed me. For those of you who don’t know much about it, Toastmasters International is a public speaking organisation set up in the US in the late 1920s. Now there are over 200,000 members in over 100 countries and one of my goals is to visit every one of those countries and attend a meeting in each one. I originally joined because I wanted to try something new. I wanted to meet people who weren’t IT people, teachers or people with babies. I met IT people, teachers and people with babies, but I met a whole lot of people from many different backgrounds. I was reasonably confident about my presentation skills, but I wanted to understand better how I was coming across to my students and find ways of making maths interesting (’cause let’s face it, most of them think it’s dead boring).
Yesterday I was able to deliver my arguement in an authoratitive, coherent manner, but more importantly I was able to show I was listening actively to what my ‘opponent’ was saying. I didn’t persuade her to my way of thinking, she was never going to shift from her position, but I did feel I’d been able to confidently articulate myself in a tense situation. In the past I might have avoided the discussion altogether, particularly as I’m pretty sure she thought my position was very naive and she had a very adversarial manner. I think the confidence I’ve gained through Toastmasters really helped carry me through that situation, and that’s brilliant because I learned a little bit more about what I’m passionate about. More on that tomorrow, but for now I would like to give all my toasties friends and colleagues a big blow-kiss and thank you for being a thoroughly decent bunch of people. I’m priviledged to know you! 🙂