Page 22 - July 2020
P. 22


                                                                               From Denial to Acceptance

                                                                                 Dr. Gwendolyn Avington - Pathways Chair

      After attending Toastmasters Leadership                    So how can we help members move to
      Institute (TLI) on June 27th and listening to  acceptance—the last stage of the model? I think
      the Pathways discussions, I realized that there        two questions need to be answered before we

      were members having difficulties letting go of         can successfully help anyone reach acceptance:
      the traditional program and moving forward                •  Why were members stalled at anger and
      to accepting Pathways. If you are reluctant to                bargaining?
      embrace Pathways, you are not alone!                      •  How can these individuals be moved to

         In 1969, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross introduced                  acceptance?
      the five stages of grief (denial, anger,                   At TLI, we began to understand that the anger
      bargaining, depression and acceptance) in her          members were voicing was due to unanswered
      groundbreaking book, Death and Dying. Since  questions about how to navigate through

      then, psychologists have used her model to  Pathways. People were apprehensive because
      understand human behavior no matter the loss.          it was a change. Change is always hard, even
         The Kubler-Ross Model of Grief  bears out that      when it may be a good change. Pathways is an
      the grief process holds true when it comes to          unfamiliar program with many unknowns,

      business, work, or employment (or transitioning        just as the traditional curriculum was when
      from the traditional program to Pathways).             Toastmasters implemented it back in 1969.
      Anastasia Belyh, in the blog Cleverism, noted that         Before the traditional program, as it is
      besides the improvement of systems or process,         affectionately called, there was The Basic

      there must be a change in the mindset of people        Training Manual created by the founder of
      affected by the change.                                Toastmasters International, Ralph Smedley, in
         Since September 2017, when the move to  1942.
      Pathways began in District 7, many Toastmasters            Toastmasters International recognized the

      experienced the stages of grief. Not all  need for an educational change in 1969 to keep
      successfully completed the transition. Some  leadership and communication styles and skills
      appear stalled between stage two (anger) and  moving with the times. More recently, a move
      stage three (bargaining).                              from the traditional program to Pathways was

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