Page 23 - July 2020
P. 23

From Denial to Acceptance

 Dr. Gwendolyn Avington - Pathways Chair

      implemented with the mission in
      mind—“a revitalized program with a
      renewed focus on leadership learning,

      competencies that have immediate
      real-world applicability and online
      accessibility.” (Toastmasters, 2018)
         When I asked Eldred Brown,

      Program Quality Director, his thoughts
      on the relationship between the
      witnessed grief response to change
      and Pathways acceptance, his answer

      was both thoughtful and insightful.
      Brown said, “Grief, as I understand
      it, is an emotional response to losing
      someone or something to whom we

      have developed a strong attachment. I
      have no doubt that many Toastmasters
      have become strongly attached to our
      traditional program, even to the point

      of failing to recognize its weaknesses, the biggest  way that forced us to change.”
      of which is, in my opinion, its lack of direct             Once we understood that a plan was needed
      applicability to real-world business situations.  to get members onboarded and moving towards
      We develop such strong attachments to one  acceptance, a Pathways Chair position was created

      particular way of doing things that, when we’re  along with a District Pathways Committee
      forced to give up that way and adopt another, we  and club-level Vice Presidents of Pathways
      grieve the loss of the old way and wax nostalgic  (VPPs). These new positions are designed to
      about it, glossing over the weaknesses in the old  help members become adept at Pathways.

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