Lifelong Learning – Showing up, Reaching Out, and Digging In!

What new learning do you have your sights on next? What do you hope to accomplish, and how?

My friend Thom Quinn and I have been talking for months about joining the Toastmasters to improve our public speaking skills. This summer, I reached out to some of the local chapters of Toastmasters to find out when their meetings were, how active they were, and how I could get involved. Kathy Shine of the Cream City Communicators has been very diligent about getting me information about this new Toastmasters club in downtown Milwaukee.

Beginning September 14th, 2005, Thom and I will embark on our mission to improve our public speaking skills. That’s my mission, and how I’ll accomplish this is really quite simple. It’s how I do almost everything I do, and with gratitude to my good friend Rebecca Ryan who said a variation on this first, "I’ll show up, reach out, and dig in!"

Allow me to explain what I mean: Show up – my first item of business is to show up to the twice a month meetings; Reach out – I’ll ask for help when I need it, and also ask for feedback from Thom and from other members; Dig in – I’ll do everything I can to get as much out of the club as I can, and also will help other members grow too, because in helping others first, you’re able to help yourself. I’m not going into Toastmasters with any preconceived notions about what a club is supposed to be like, I’m going in with an open mind that it will help me learn and grow new skills necessary to get to where I want to be.

A question Rosa didn’t ask but is of vital importance to me is "Why do you want to learn this new skill?" First off and short-term, I want to learn this new skill to be a more effective leader to my team and to my company. Long-term, I want to do public speaking and leadership coaching, and this is a good, inexpensive, low-pressure training ground for me. I haven’t done any Dale Carnegie, Zig Ziglar, or Brian Tracy courses, though I have read many books by each of them. This is step 1 in my life plan. Thank you for allowing me to share it with you. Make each day a great day!

Postcript by Rosa: You can always find Phil Gerbyshak, our Guest Author today, within the right-column listing of our Ho’ohana Online Community. Phil is the author of Make it Great. His ho’ohana is making small changes to see big results, and he challenges all of us to do the same: the question he has started his post with today is one I posed to everyone in our Ho’ohana Online Community this month.


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    Make it Great! Featured on Talking Story

    This month, I had the honor of writing at Talking Story about Lifelong Learning, something I am very passionate about. The article is titled Showing Up, Reaching Out, and Digging In and if you’re interested in reading how I show up, reach out, and dig …