2015-2016 National Chief of Staff/Extension
Chief of Staff/Extension: Mentoring
What is the difference between “I like you” and “I love you”?
Beautifully answered by Buddha: “When you like a flower, you just pluck it. But when you love a flower, you water it daily.”
Mentoring is just that – helping a person understand and grow, watching them learn about the Auxiliary – or life in general. It benefits all of us to mentor, not only new members joining the VFW Auxiliary, but each and every member.
Are you ready for the Mentoring Challenge?
The answer is: YES YOU ARE.
You have probably mentored more people than you even realize by:
• Holding a position, either as an Officer or a Chairman.
• Helping with several Auxiliary programs.
• Answering questions about how and why things are done a certain way.
• Showing you care about veterans and their families.
• Showing how and why the VFW Auxiliary is important to you.
Any one of the above makes you qualified to mentor another member. You don’t have to be certified, a certain age, or a member for a certain number of years. All you have to do is CARE.
No one asks, “Do I want to be a Mentor?” Whether at work, school, church or the VFW Auxiliary, being a mentor is simply being you, and explaining things to people who do not know or understand something.
Take a new (or not-so-new) member for lunch or coffee, or even ask them to take a walk with you; get to know them and have them get to know you as a person outside of the Auxiliary. Learn their interests and how they can help the Auxiliary grow and become stronger. If they ask questions, be sure you are giving them proper information! The 2016 Podium Edition, National Organization’s website and 2015-2016 Program Book are the best places to find information and stay informed.
We are all mentors in our own right. It doesn’t happen overnight, but as days turn into weeks, and weeks into months, and months into years, we watch our fellow Auxiliary members grow and learn, and in turn, we grow and learn, too.
Let’s remember why we joined the VFW Auxiliary and show our fellow members that we truly DO care about them. Call members that haven’t been called, send a note – not just a dues notice – and let them know they’ve been missed at meetings, invite them out for a cup of coffee. Some people are alone and could use someone to talk to and share their experiences with. Remember that recruitment is only a piece of the pie. We need to retain members, too. And mentoring is a wonderful way to increase retention in your Auxiliary.
Check out this new guide, on the National Organization’s website, under “Programs,” “Chief of Staff/Extension”: “Mentoring at VFW Auxiliary: Relationship Building for the Future,” by Cara Skodack Day, Director of Programs & Communications. It’s designed to help you think about what mentoring looks like in your Auxiliary, how to get things started, advice on how to make those relationships great and tools to make sure no one falls through the gaps.