Meet the Board
This month’s featured board member told me she has a hard time keeping her hands in her lap. Whenever there’s a problem to solve or a role to fill, she’s quick to volunteer: raising her hand, jumping in, and finding solutions. She’s been involved with the local Maine ATD chapter, the national ATD conference, and New England area events for many years. This year, she became our chapter president…
Dawn spends her workdays training volunteers as the Adult Learning Director with Girl Scouts of Maine. She describes what she does as “teaching people how to work with other people's children.”
When I asked Dawn about her professional journey to where she is now, she took me back to her kindergarten classroom. Rather than describe herself as a “natural” teacher, she explained that as soon as she learned to read, she felt compelled to share that knowledge with anyone who would sit next to her for five minutes.
This desire to learn the codes of the world and share them with everyone else has driven her through a lifetime of learning, teaching, and leading.
Maybe my favorite phrase from my conversation with Dawn was when she described herself as “mostly nice.” One of the most refreshing parts of talking with Dawn is she recognizes that people are humans and that none of us are perfect.
I love how she held space for herself to be less than nice occasionally and we talked about the importance of offering ourselves and each other grace for those moments. As the president, Dawn leads this group of learners and volunteers with patience and respect.
Besides volunteering for boards and groups and projects, Dawn avoids sitting still by traveling. She has explored cities around the world and recently started adding road trips to more rural destinations. She shared that these off-the-beaten-path explorations tend to be some of her favorite trips because it’s a chance to experience a community that isn’t curating itself for tourists and simply witness how life there goes about.
In every story Dawn shares, her love of learning and experiencing life is palpable. She told me about a trip she took last year with her children. They hiked 100 miles in ten days through three countries, with no cell service. While acknowledging the challenges, Dawn clearly enjoyed the experience of exploring a new place in a new way.
You might find Dawn working with the Girl Scout leaders of Maine, or traveling on a back road somewhere, or hiking in a foreign country. Her only requirement: “not space.” But if it’s somewhere on Earth, she’ll probably volunteer to go.
Program Recap Alert!
Did you join us to learn about Positive intelligence in March?
A couple of weeks ago, we got to enjoy a great presentation from Kym Dakin about Positive Intelligence, a coaching model developed by Shirzad Chamine.
The training focused on identifying our personal Saboteurs. Kym explained that Saboteurs are tendencies we each have that work against us in certain situations.
By becoming aware of these tendencies, we can focus on counteracting those attributes with what the Positive Intelligence model refers to as our “positive Sage powers.”
Kym talked us through a mindfulness exercise and also a group exercise. Many participants were energized and excited by the group exercise that took the concept of brainstorming and brought focus to the group to generate a conversation that progressed toward solutions.
Kym encouraged us to acknowledge the value of each contributed idea by verbalizing a positive attribute and then build on the conversation by adding our idea with an “and” statement.
This training season our programming committee has been working hard to align our presenters and their topics with the ATD capability model. If you attended the training, did this coaching model resonate with any of the capabilities for you?
Did you think it was applicable to Developing Professional Capability? Maybe also Building Personal Capability? Did you see a way it would Impact Organizational Capability? Go ahead and be the one to start a discussion in the comments below!!
If you’re interested in exploring Positive Intelligence more, reach out to Kym.
In today's virtual world, it can be hard to get to know people. If the internet is particularly temperamental, we may not even be able to see their teeny tiny zoom box face. This blog series is your invitation to get to know your board members beyond their LinkedIn page! Tune in each month to meet a different board member and learn how to connect with them.
We’ll also be sharing short video profiles on our new YouTube page!
To kick this off, I thought I’d introduce myself. I am Andrea Maguire and I’m the new VP of communications. I joined ATD Maine last spring after moving to Maine and started working with Dawn (you’ll meet her soon) on communications projects.
I launched our Facebook page and Instagram account last summer. Managing social media accounts is a new endeavor for me and I’m learning as I go!
As the VP of communications, I am working to keep you informed of all the exciting things happening in our chapter as well as ATD on a broad scale. Did you know we publish a weekly blog? Each week you can look forward to meeting a board member, reading a recap of a recent monthly program, diving into the capability model, or finding an article highlighting an interesting talent development topic.
The communications team also publishes the newsletter and keeps the social pages updated. We’re always looking for people interested in volunteering. (It’s a great way to test the waters if you think you might want to get more involved with our chapter!)
Professionally, I am a learning and development specialist with Goodwill Northern New England. I get to work with an amazingly kind and creative group of humans every day. In my role at Goodwill, I am often supporting different business units in creating learning materials which is fun because I’m always meeting new people and learning new things about different roles at the organization.
I have held many seemingly divergent professional titles but always found myself gravitating toward coaching, mentoring, teaching, and training assignments. (I started my career as a professional ballet dancer! I was also a police officer.) I love the talent development field because I get to support people and help them succeed in their profession.
When I’m not working, I spend most of my time chasing my small children and experiencing them learn about the world. (If you need some pebbles, sidewalk chalk, or a spare pinecone, I’m your girl. My pockets are full. Also, I have snacks.)
I enjoy meeting and getting to know people, so please reach out and introduce yourself! If you want to learn more about the communications committee or get involved, email me at communications@tdmaine. If you want to get coffee and chat about work or life, I’m a perpetually sleep-deprived parent, so I rarely say no to an opportunity for caffeine and adult conversation.
Happy Pi Day!
Rather than judge the irrational or imaginary, let's consider how they can help us find answers.
And while you ponder that, have a piece of pie.
Isn't it funny how "big" birthdays make you pause?
"Big" tends to be defined by a 0 or a 5 at the end of the number, which is silly because if we used base-2 or base-12 number systems, those numbers would have a completely different value, right?
But those "big" ones...they get you in the thoughts...looking at what have I done? what do I want to do? what do I value? how do I provide value? why do I care about the things I care about?
I try to be thoughtful regularly--is that a characteristic of learning professionals?
What do you think about when you're doing an inventory--whether around a big birthday or a significant turn of the year?
And then what do you do in response to that thinking?
This year, I'm preparing to take the CPTD--the Certified Professional in Talent Development exam. It's really interesting, actually! I'm going through the TDBoK (I know, everything is an acronym, right? That one is the Talent Development Book of Knowledge) and some of the suggested supplemental resources with a study group to prepare, and in the process am getting reinforcement for work and processes I've followed for 10+ years as well as learning about possibilities, perspectives, and processes I haven't considered before!
It's exciting and creating new spaces and possibilities for projects and techniques, strategies and practices coming up in my future! Isn't that one of the important things to consider as one reflects?!
What about you? What are you reflecting on? What are you doing in response to those reflections? ("Nothing" is a fine answer, too. #YouDoYou!) And what are you looking forward to in your next trip around the sun?
I hope it is spent in part with us, your colleagues in Talent Development! Your participation makes the field richer, which helps us all make the world better through learning!
I just read an article that said "Changing Just 1 Word Can Help You Find a Solution."
Sometimes, it is that easy to blow my mind.
It's so obvious--giving myself permission to consider options with out restraint or expectation beyond reaching the goal. Super obvious, but had I thought of it before? --OK, maybe. But not lately! Certainly not while I've been juggling torches as I spin plates full of crystal--figuratively, of course--when the next move really matters to people!
What about you? What Could You Do?
And what other simple--not necessarily easy, but simple concepts have blown your mind lately?
Share in the LinkedIn chat.
Do you have that where some days are just more than others?
Maybe it's a day with an abundance of friends and family birthdays on it or a day when all of your projects are due or a day when the weather just decides to run counter to your needs? or perfectly suited to your needs?!
When it is happening to us, it can feel so vivid. When it is happening to others, it might just make us smile and nod.
There it just happened! I started this post at 9:30 am, and it is now 1:50 pm, but except for 20 minutes to wolf down some leftover veggie lasagna, I've been doing a whole bunch of stuff that I didn't even have on my list of must dos for this weird Mondayest of Tuesdays.
Anyway, my point before I was swept up in the tempest of having a "vivid" day myself was that when we're providing TD opportunities for people, in whatever our capacity, we may find we have folks unable to learn or unable to focus because they are having a day.
What can we do for them? for ourselves? How do we plan for that? Perhaps that is a basic question, but will you please give your thoughts anyway?
As we look at how to connect, what can we do to make connection possible? Even on those days.
I'm a big advocate of feedback.
I like the idea and believe in the opportunities feedback provides to broaden understanding and perspective, as well as to improve performance.
I often request it, though I also find folks feel comfortable giving it to me unsolicited. Sometimes, I appreciate that a little bit less, but I try to hear it and consider the perspective.
I especially appreciate it less if: A. I don't see how the providers fit into the chain of impact for this topic, and B. if their input was requested but not given prior to development. Do you know what I mean?
I try not to give unsolicited explicit feedback, though I probably do it sometimes. My apologies.
It's important, right? Each of us can only see what we can see, so having others who can provide us breadth of perspective is terrific.
James Clear had a quote on a recent 3-2-1 newsletter: "The trick to viewing feedback as a gift is to be more worried about having blind spots than hearing about them."
Good point, James. Good point.
How do you receive feedback?
How do you give feedback?
And What Else?
I'm asking because I'm curious? Will you please give me feedback about feedback?
Thanks in Advance!
Did you know that we--the ATD Maine Chapter--have agreements with the other New England Chapters to attend their programs for member price?
It's True! We do!
In fact, ATD Vermont just sent me their upcoming programs because I attended one of theirs last spring it was really good--about using LinkedIn with more engagement! In the next couple of months, they have a DEI Strategy Session (2/7), Navigating Difficult Conversations with the BRAVE Framework (2/16), and Smart Strategies to Increase Productivity (3/21)! You can find out more here!
You can actually find links to all of the New England Chapter websites here to see what's going on in the other states, as well!
A group of folks across the region have also just started talking about re-booting NEAC!
Do you remember the New England Area Conference (NEAC)? The last one we held was in March of 2019 because we were shut down by COVID just two weeks before the 2020 event! Technically, we had some online offerings from it, but...but now we're ready to bring it back, baby! We're looking at late October/early November somewhere easily accessible in Massachusetts (central-ish).
It's a professional development conference as well as a regional chapter leader conference to support all of our New England Chapters! We'll open the call for RFPs soon, so if you have a workshop you'd like to submit for it, keep an eye peeled for the announcement.
Or if you'd like to be on the event planning committee or volunteer that day, each of which earns you a discount on the price, will you please email email@example.com so we can add you to the list of people to contact?
Our industry is all about connection! and our region of the country is chock-a-block with brilliant talent development people with whom to connect! Like you!
Something that makes my kids a little crazy is that I quite frequently point out what magical times we live in.
Think about the incredible things we can access and do today that humans couldn't do 200 years ago--100 years ago--50 years ago--20 years ago!!
It's incredible and will blow up your head a bit if you really get into it!
About 5 generations before me, some of my people walked across the continent to live in California. It took them months! Of WALK-ING!
Last month, I flew to California in about 6 hours (from NY--add the PWM leg and it was 7--maybe 7 and a half.) When I got there, the clock only read three hours later than when I left JFK.
How is that not magic?!!
Plus, while flying, I was able to listen to an audio book, watch a movie, send text messages to my family members on both sides of the continent, and catch up on the day's news using a device that fits easily in my hand and is more powerful than a room-sized computer from the year I was born.
What The Actual Heck?!
And none of that is super new--it's just normal everyday stuff for us in 2023, right? Think about how frustrating it is when any of those parts doesn't work the way we've come to expect.
Yeah, I get that.
We're so surrounded by magic--not that we shouldn't give reasonable feedback to folks supporting the systems when they fail, because Oh boy, you better believe it... but--we also have the opportunity to remember to celebrate the wonder-full, the incredible, the magic of our times, and to remember the humans, programmed like ourselves to live in groups of about 150 people with no electrical stimulation (except the occasional lightning bolt, I imagine), who rarely traveled more than 20 miles from where they were born, who are involved in making magic, even if it doesn't always work perfectly.
What magic are you experiencing?
Check out this upcoming book by Monica C. Parker, The Power of Wonder. In stores on February 23, 2023. (No, I don't know Monica, but reading the initial release made me feel good :) )