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Maine ATD thoughts, News, & Happenings

  • Tuesday, April 19, 2022 8:22 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Guest Blogger: Kathleen Kerr

    As a facilitator and advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) I strive to practice the ACT model – Acknowledge my biases, Challenge my own thinking, and Train my brain to see other options so I can act in ways congruent with my values. And this is still hard. And I am still learning. Here is an example of what I mean.

    On a recent trip to Nashville, while in the Washington, DC airport, I am in the TSA security line, or in one of five queues, which lead up to three TSA desks.

    While my attention was not fully on the line and who was next, I had done a quick mental count to see when it would be my turn – before I knew it, the TSA agent was calling out, “Next!” and she was looking directly at me. In that split second, behavioral conditioning drove me forward as I did not want to hold up the line. But as the TSA agent was checking my ID against my ticket and ushering me through the line, I realized that a Black woman in the line next to me had been waiting longer than me. If the agents followed the process, i.e., line 1, person one, line 2, person one, line 1, person two, line 2 person two…, she would have her turn, her ID checked, and she would have been on her way through security before me.

    It was in that moment I realized how frequently this kind of inadvertent but real occurrence happens and how those of us not suffering in the experience can easily not notice, but for those on the losing end repeatedly, it feels like death by a thousand paper cuts. 

    The moment passed too quickly, and a few people later, it was her turn. By then, I was through the line and into the x-ray machine. When I had my wits about me to find her and let her know that I saw what happened, she was still on the other side of the x-ray machine. I was unable to catch her eye, and even if I did, how could I convey my thoughts with just a look and no words? That experience bothered me all the way to Nashville and beyond.

    Luckily, life has a way of creating endless learning opportunities if only we recognize them and act on the learning opportunity. In an Unconscious Bias training I facilitated recently, I shared this story to illustrate how bias in action affects others and our complicity in the act. It is not enough to be aware of our biases, we must behave differently to create real and sustained change. While I was unable to behave differently in that moment, as one of my girlfriends told me when I shared this story, now, I will be on the lookout for this and next time I will act. And yes, it will be hard, even scary sometimes. Learning is often painful. For now, my job is to lean into the pain and trust that the payoff benefits everyone.


  • Tuesday, April 12, 2022 9:09 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Have you read the 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace by Gary Chapman and Paul White? It looks at the power of expressing appreciation within organizations (and the world), how each of us of has a preferred way of receiving appreciation, how powerful it can be in creating community and wellness, and how meaningful that is both to the individual and the larger community.

    • Words of Affirmation
    • Quality Time
    • Acts of Service
    • Tangible Gifts
    • Physical Touch

    How do you express appreciation? Is that the same way you prefer to receive it? Does it vary by situation? or by the person to whom or from whom the appreciation is expressed?

    Do you feel appreciated in your workplace? Do you receive appreciation from supervisors? from peers? from customers/clients--either internal or external?

    What makes appreciation meaningful to you?

  • Tuesday, April 05, 2022 8:46 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    guest author Kymberly Dakin-Neal

    I want a DEI Do-over

    Last month I was invited to a zoom performance by District Community Playback in Washington DC. I was excited to see how this company utilized a virtual platform for the audience. Playback is an art form that literally “plays back” true stories from the audience/ viewers, using improvisational forms, movement, and music. The conductor had asked us - the viewers - for instances of difference in the sociometric opening. A few people had volunteered, and then there was a lull after the conductor asked for more. So I decided to unmute and speak up - at the same time that another viewer, a black man, spoke up. This gentleman graciously gave me the floor. I thanked him and offered my instance of difference. I didn’t think anything of it until after the conductor asked for people to share feelings about how the previous segment had gone. The first woman to volunteer was a woman of color who said she felt frustrated that she did not get to hear from the black man who had given me the floor. She went on to say that this dynamic - a person of color stepping aside for a white person - was endemic in our culture, and she felt frustrated in seeing this play out yet again and being robbed of the story the man had to tell.

    I felt myself stop breathing for a few seconds, like I’d been slapped in the face. After I recovered a bit, realization began to form. I had taken the man’s graciousness at face value, when in fact, if I had understood the exchange from a wider perspective, I might have seen the implications more quickly. But the truth is, as a white person in America, my privileges include not having to widen my perspective, whereas, people of color can’t afford to ever narrow their own.

    Learning is painful. Regardless of how anti-racist I may believe I am, if I am not aware, and can’t own, that the scales have always been tipped in my direction, even as a woman, then I’m only adding to a pervasive and centuries old scourge.

    The April Maine ATD panel event, titled “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion – Strategies that Work” is one I am looking forward to. I hope you will attend as well. The panelists: Dr. Idella Glenn of USM, Dr. Ryan Polly of Maine Health, David Pease of Bangor Savings Bank, and Roy King of the Maine Dept. of Corrections come from a variety of experience, background, and points of view. I have much to learn about this topic no matter how convinced I may be of my own good intentions. Maybe you do too. It’s sure to be an interesting morning for everyone.


  • Tuesday, March 29, 2022 8:41 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We're coming right up on April, which is Member Appreciation Month in the world of ATD! And dear ATD Maine Chapter Members, we DO appreciate you!!

    You're our network, our colleagues, and our friends! You care about Talent Development and your own development! You bring your questions and insights, your energy and enthusiasm, your challenges and discoveries to the mix and by doing so lift up all of us in this chapter, in this industry!

    Thank you for sticking with us (or joining us) over the last couple of years! They've been something else, huh? So much learning! So much to learn!

    We have a great future ahead of us, together!

    Thanks!!

    *And, keep an eye out for some of the Member Appreciation opportunities ATD national will be offering this month!

  • Wednesday, March 23, 2022 12:42 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Congratulations to our 2021 Board for guiding our chapter to earning ATD's Care Plus status!!

    Heartfelt thanks to our 2021 board members: Richard Parent (president), Debbie Madden (past president), Suzanne Hand (finance), Jae Allain (technology), Lee Ann Black (programs), Amy Ayotte (operations), Susan White Ahl (membership), Catherine Menyhart (volunteers & SIGs)!!


  • Monday, March 21, 2022 9:27 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Happy World Poetry Day!

    How does poetry fit with Talent Development? We're just trying to help people understand what they do and how to do it, right?

    Ursula LeGuin said: 

    “Science describes accurately from outside, poetry describes accurately from inside. Science explicates, poetry implicates. Both celebrate what they describe.”

    And Alice Osborn has this take:

    "Poetry is so important because it helps us understand and appreciate the world around us. Poetry’s strength lies in its ability to shed a 'sideways' light on the world, so the truth sneaks up on you. No question about it. Poetry teaches us how to live. Poetry is like the Windex on a grubby car window—it bares open the vulnerabilities of human beings so we can all relate to each other a little better."

    Isn't that some of what we do in talent development? --create opportunities "so we can all relate to each other a little better"? I love the idea of providing a "sideways light"--Zoom has certainly taught us a couple things about lighting!--and cleaning off the windows we look through to see who is there and what they're going through.

    Inclusion. Sometimes it's hard to come at straight on--it's hard to see the exclusion head-on, but with that sideways light and with the inside-out explanation of poetry, we can see and better understand what is right in front of us.

    This video got me thinking about inclusion this morning. Imagine not being able to hear the words--so not being able to experience them--their fullness, specificity, vagary, meaning, resonance, musicality. How can we recreate the true experience without just a simple translation? The experience of spoken-word poetry is so much more than just the words--what about what you do in Talent Development? Is it just the words that can easily be translated to people with different backgrounds, cultures, or languages? How else can we provide support to recreate the experience?

  • Tuesday, March 15, 2022 9:25 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This morning, as we listened to Jason Gootman talk about forming self-care habits that stick, it occurred to me that today is the two-year anniversary (ATD Program day-wise, anyway) of our pivot to virtual programs in response to the pandemic.

    That blows my mind.

    ... that it has been two full years, that it has been *only* two years, that we were able to "pivot" so quickly (and adeptly!), that we've retained a core of active participants, an active board, and active SIG, that we are continuing to invest and grow in our industry, that we--individually and as a group--are so very resilient in the face of all that the last two years have brought us.

    I hope you'll look the Ides of March right in the eye (the I), and say "not today Brute'!" #WeGotThis!

  • Wednesday, July 15, 2020 3:03 PM | Richard Parent (Administrator)
    ATD members may remember Sarah Scala from her March 2020 program on "Mentoring: Formal, Informal, and Impactful."  Sarah has expanded upon that theme with a new online course:  Mentor Program Design with Strong ROI.

    This 3 hour course will teach you how design mentor programs, whether formal, informal, or peer programs. The proven techniques and best practices in this course can result in a positive return on investment.

    For more information, click here to read all about it.

  • Tuesday, May 26, 2020 3:35 PM | Richard Parent (Administrator)

    COME JOIN US!

    Enjoy a relaxing evening, with some of the finest talent development professionals anywhere, at Maine's premiere Talent Development networking event - ATD Maine's Annual Connect, Mix and Mingle!

    Bring your favorite happy hour beverage and join us virtually as we celebrate the great talent development professionals in our region. Meet new colleagues, catch up with friends and coworkers, and have a chance to win fabulous prizes at the virtual event of the season: ATD Maine's Connect Mix and Mingle 2020.

    Registration is now open.  We'll see you there!

    4:30-5:30pm June 16, 2020 on Zoom!

  • Friday, April 17, 2020 11:59 AM | Richard Parent (Administrator)

    The Association for Talent Development has named the Maine Chapter of ATD as its Chapter of the Month for May, 2020.  This is the first time the Maine Chapter has received this prestigious honor.

    In announcing the award, ATD National President and CEO Tony Bingham commended ATD Maine for our "overall chapter strength, growth, and innovation."

    This is a tremendous accomplishment, and we want to thank you, our members, for your continued support, excitement, and dedication to the field of talent development.  Together, we're helping to ensure that Maine has the talented, skilled, and energized workforce it needs to succeed and thrive.  We couldn't have done this without you.

    Thank you.

    -ATD Maine Chapter Board

             

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