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Maine ATD thoughts, News, & Happenings

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  • Tuesday, February 07, 2023 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    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?

    • Do you ask for it? 
    • Are you "gifted" it? 
    • How do you feel when you get it--all the feels for any of the types? 
    • What's your process with feedback?
    • Do you check back? If so, how?

    How do you give feedback?

    • Under what conditions do you give it?
    • Do you "package" it? (like the Oreo method)
    • What goes on in your mind when you give feedback?

    And What Else?

    I'm asking because I'm curious? Will you please give me feedback about feedback?

    Thanks in Advance!

  • Tuesday, January 31, 2023 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    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 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!

  • Tuesday, January 24, 2023 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Something that makes my kids a little crazy is that I quite frequently point out what magical times we live in.

    We do!! 

    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 :) )

  • Tuesday, January 17, 2023 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    In this morning's program with Jen Hart, we talked about how we show up in times of change and how our voice and presence make a difference.

    It was beautiful to hear each person's perspective on that idea, to consider where we all stand and what we all see from those spots.

    More it was wonderful to see each of learning something--each person brought something, and each of us took something away from those other perspectives--how we all left with more than we came.

    Each person in the conversation made a difference.

  • Tuesday, January 10, 2023 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Did you ever read the book Eats Shoots and Leaves?

    I loved it the moment I saw it! I'm sure it was partly my unwavering love for the Oxford Comma and my fond memories of the School House Rock video for Interjections! (Love me an exclamation point!!! or 3!!!)

    Punctuation matters.

    Certainly it matters in writing, but it matters in time, too.

    Think about meetings--or parties or weddings or funerals or your day...

    I love the punctuation holidays give us in a year. Those months without a single holiday just feel vast.

    I'm sure there's some deep psychological reasoning, there, but the feeling is tangible for me. Is it for you?

    The fresh page of a New Year holds so much hope and fresh energy. The indentation of a new year gives that "ready-set" to the "Go!"

    What does your New Year hold?

    What are you looking forward to? What are you happy to shed?

    If you could have anything in the world happen this year, what would it be?

    How will you fill your blank page, and how will you punctuate it? 

  • Tuesday, December 20, 2022 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    I love the concept of "Checking In."

    Brené Brown's organization has started using a two-word check-in at the beginning of meetings where participants give two words to reflect how they are. I love the idea that someone can be "stressed and relaxed" or "happy and anxious" because that gives permission to be more than one thing. (I think the two word limit is a helpful time-saver, though. #WeAreComplex)

    I like the idea of checking in in our groups, whether at a meeting or with friends & family or with ourselves (I often feel like a group--especially lately!). I like how it enriches the relationships, how it fleshes out the members of the group and helps them (us) all feel better seen.

    Well, at least gives an opportunity to feel better seen.

    In Halima K. McWilliams' program this morning, she talked about seeing people, hearing them, and believing them. (Were you there? I hope so!! It was SO good! She does such a lovely welcoming job of giving truth and creating a brave space for participants to be and to grow. Whoosh!) and she gave us a beautiful tool to check in with about privilege.

    It's a helpful check-in tool, at least for me to check in with myself. I'd add a pie slice about family of origin/support system because recently it occurred to me what a blessing and privilege I've experienced having parents who think I'm the bee's knees and who gave me a lot of power to grow while invisibly protecting me from more danger than I could manage. Being able to build that kind of confidence has been a definite privilege I didn't realize (until recently) that other people don't necessarily have.

    Sometimes, I wonder how folks get out of bed with the psychic weight they carry.

    We've all got stuff, and AND I hope to be more tuned into others' stuff going forward.

    ^That is part of my Solstice Check In this year. I'll be doing a bunch of Sun Salutation A repetitions on the Solstice to meditate on "And What Else" (#AWE) I've learned or thought about in 2022 and what I hope for 2023.

    What about you? Whenever you do your annual check in, what are you reflecting on or looking forward to or questioning or seeking?

    Consider our chat on the LinkedIn group a Brave Space where you can add comments or reflection. Or if you're looking for a buddy to reflect with, please consider our ATD Maine population.

    As we head into the shortest day and then out toward more light, I hope you find light in your world and head for it! Wishing you all the best!


  • Tuesday, December 13, 2022 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Isn't it?!

    Just how fast it goes sometimes and slow others and how it bends and folds and spreads before us and vanishes into the abyss.

    I'm clearly having one of those wibbily-wobbily, timey-wimey moments. (Although once it's brought to your attention, how do you not have them? Thanks, Doctor!)

    Since February, I'd been posting weekly here on the blog, except while tromping around the Alps (#AwesomeTrip!), but now I see my last post was FOUR weeks ago! How is that even possible?!! 

    AND it's the end of 2022?!!  What?!!


    So, how are you doing, right now? 

    (I know: let's don't get started on that concept of "now"...)

    When you look back at the last year--and the last two years and 10 months, perhaps--How do you feel? What do you think? What makes you feel proud? gives you solace? bugs the daylights out of you? makes you laugh? gives you hope?

    Are you able to take some time this winter for settling and reflection?

    I'm taking two weeks off of work, but within that time, I do want to set aside time to reflect, to sit with those reflections, and then--and only then--to plan. 

    Do you do that thing I do: plan and then plan some more, and then plan more still, without necessarily completing, much less reflecting on what was done?

    I'm working on it--if you want to work on it together, let me know! I love a buddy or a team!

    This year, my fellow blog writers and I spent a good bit of time looking at meaning through a few different lenses. I think meaning with regard to talent development is important and valuable from at least a few perspectives--participants want learning ops to be meaningful to them; providers want participants to find meaning, hear the meaning in what we offer; meaning increases the chance that we're making the world a better place through learning so we are better aligned with our values.

    What do you think?

    Where did you feel meaning in 2022--either as a creator of it or as a beneficiary of it? 

    What made it meaningful to you? (I hope you'll share in the LinkedIn conversation)

    I need to do some reflection, alone and with the Communications team, but I think some of my future posts will look at culture, specifically the conscious building of culture and what is involved in that.

    Do you have thoughts about that area of conversation?

    If you do, will you please share them? You can post them in the LinkedIn conversation or send them to Whether you want only to participate in a conversation with another person about it or you want to publish a blog post, I'd love to hear your take, your insights, your perspective.

    In case time gets away from me these next couple of weeks, I want to wish you well during the winter holidays! I hope the end of year provides you the joy and closure you wish for to launch you into the new year just the way you want.

    All the best wishes from Dawn and ATDMaine

  • Tuesday, November 15, 2022 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We live in Magical Times!

    How do you even take a picture like that?!

    And look at everything in it!! How many people--so small we can't see them, but you know they're there! And all of the things imagined, designed, built by people!! And all of the things we can do with and in those creations!!


    And we're so powerful these days!

    You know, except when we're not.

    I think I don't handle disillusionment well. Do you? If so, how? Is it resignation or acceptance of something disappointing? 

    I want to use all of my hopeful tropes:

    and I do. I use my native Pisces skills to turn around that 360 degrees to find something where I can make a difference. It's a strategy that has worked a long time.

    But sometimes it feels like in the Man of La Mancha where his friends and family hold up all of the mirrors surrounding him with "truth"--my friends and family are kinder than that, but the news--well, the news.

    What do you do? What is your strategy? Where do you find success or at least purchase to hold onto your confidence?

    Let's find meaning--make meaning--together.

  • Tuesday, November 08, 2022 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Have you voted today?

    Decal I Voted oval sticker

    Or maybe you voted early?

    I hope so--it's our primary superpower in this country, right?

    I'm listening to Brené Brown interview  Anand Giridharadas about his most recent book The Persuaders, and whoosh! I started listening to it as I walked to the local high school to vote. I like to vote in person when I can to feel part of the community. Of course I passed enough political endorsement signs for "the other guys" that I was not feeling very much a part of the community at all by the time I arrived. Ugh. So, I was glad to have my girl Brené (she doesn't know, but we're quite good friends. :D) in my ear.

    It's a really interesting interview--surprisingly slow-paced, but perhaps that helps process the information to make it my own. Among the things that have grabbed me by the throat in this are first the idea those "Russian bots" we've heard so much about in the last 6+ years went after us by using our own building disdain and disgust that are building between us and second the idea about creating on-ramps to the super-highway of understanding by meeting people where they are.


    The two ideas really work together--creating those on-ramps by meeting people where they are and giving them access to the journey to reach desired destinations will help us avoid feeling disdain and disgust with our fellow humans.

    They further talk about not being able to replace someone's beliefs, but you can displace them by helping them walk around the table to see the world--and themselves--from different perspectives. 

    It actually requires our recognizing others as not-unlike-ourselves to have compassion and working to understand about where they are and where we are and how do we come to understand, so we can all build a sense of belonging.

    What feels better than a sense of belonging?

    What does it feel like to you?

    How do you create a space where others feel welcome and like they belong?

    How do meaning and persuasion contribute to and result from belonging?

  • Tuesday, November 01, 2022 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    I get all mushy in November.

    I like to believe I'm consciously grateful throughout the year, but I think it's the empty trees with the occasional lingering crisp brown leaves, the cooler temperatures, and the air of inevitability that this year is nearly done that makes me pause to consider what I'm grateful for at all levels.

    It's easy to call on my family and friends, work I enjoy, good health, financial stability, and general peace, but this is when I like to dig down--even to break apart those "easy" things to the specific parts that make them worthy of my gratitude and appreciation. What is it about each of my family members that makes me appreciate her or him and how they make my world better? What is it about my work that makes me proud to do it? What is it about being healthy that I'm grateful for--specifically?

    I read a post yesterday by Scott Galloway where he looked at how it's so easy to slide into horrible bit by almost-indiscernible-bit without noticing--certainly without stopping the slide because it doesn't seem like a big deal--until SUDDENLY it IS a big deal!! And then what?!

    He included this quote:

    I have the feeling that we let our consciences realize too late the need of standing up against something that we knew was wrong. We have therefore had to avenge it, but we did nothing to prevent it. I hope that in the future, we are going to remember that there can be no compromise at any point with the things that we know are wrong.

    — Eleanor Roosevelt

    I think conscious gratitude can help us not wait until too late. That it gives meaning to our world by bringing our attention to what makes that world good and meaningful and as beautiful as it can be. It highlights for each of us how we can lift others up as they've lifted us in ways we so appreciate. It draws our attention to those things we want to support and to reinforce and perhaps makes us more sensitive to the things that are slipping a bit in time for us to correct our slips with compassion and understanding rather than needing to avenge something that has gone too far.

    Gratitude is a gift. Appreciation is a gift. It needs to be expressed, ideally expressed directly, specifically, and promptly, but time does not run out on appreciation. It's also a practice at which none of us needs to be perfect but where we can all make progress.

    Who can you give some appreciative feedback to today? You can practice in the comments section! ❤️

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