2nd DECM in Krakow: Ducks & Dragons of District 108 :)

What makes people from different countries to gather in the middle of winter to share their knowledge, discuss endless amount of District 108 topics and spend quality and productive time together?

It’s is definitely passion.

For the first time I had an opportunity to participate in DECM. I am not a District Officer (but a club member aspiring to be one :D) and before I came the one and only thing I was sure about I will meet ALL THOSE people building all of us in our District 108 strong together.

We have spent two days in one of the most beautiful cities in Poland – Krakow. 

To be honest I was so engaged in all inspiring conversations with officers I barely had time to recognize its beauty. It made me ever more sure that it is not the place where you are make time spend there valuable, but people you are sharing this experience with.

The first day was arranged to summarize and share reports and discuss some changes in District 108. It may sound a little bit boring, if you are not included into this section and the only thing you can do is to pay attention and drink another coffee being surrounded by Ducks and Dragons, but because of this part I had a chance to understand how well-organized and structured our District is, it requires preparation and discipline to encourage participants to build a strong team, empower them to challenge themselves and to equip them with new tools and ideas to implement in their roles.

There have been interesting workshops about PR strategies for Divisions, Areas and Clubs, implementation of Pathways Educational System, update about Odyssey project and all aspects and details about corporate clubs. I wish I could write faster to note all ideas and conclusions.

The first day was packed with knowledge, experience and many profitable insights!

During the second day we had a chance to work on good and efficient feedback by ‘Feeding ourselves Back’ with well-thought and prepared evaluation.

We have been given an opportunity to practice a candid conversation and let me point out here that not only in our Toastmasters Clubs we have to face stressful situations and prepare for tough discussions – describing the impact based on facts, listening for understanding and creating a final agreement are three valuable points collected after our team work during this workshop.

This day was more about creating a good atmosphere, having fun and giving a quality feedback to each other in our clubs. Team work and brainstorming are brilliant methods for sharing and exchanging observations when based on experience from our Clubs, Areas and Divisions.

For me it was easy to recognize that all participants were constantly focused on building their clubs valuable places for developing public speaking and leadership skills. 

After two intense days when I had a chance to meet all Officers of District 108 in one place there is nothing else for me to do than to build a strong team in my club and not to forget that each Toastmasters club is extraordinary with its Harmony build upon our Diversity.

I hope to see all of you very soon in Vilnius, Lithuania this May at District 108 Annual Conference!

Anna Maria Filipek, Vice President Education, ASBIRO Toastmasters

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