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Bits of Wisdom...

Training design, leadership, time management, work-life balance, coaching, working remotely, presentation skills... These are a few of our favorite things! Do you have a great idea for a blog post that would be of interest to the Lake Superior ATD community?

We would love to have you write something to be posted on the site. Click the Submit Post button below. In the email, include your contact information, a bit about your professional background as well as the text of the blog post. Our Social Media Coordinator will contact you after reviewing your submission.

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  • 11 Jan 2018 9:12 AM | Anonymous

    Written by Ted Schick

    Speaking, training, presenting--- any word you want to use---is a craft. And ideally, your craft is evolving and improving as you work towards mastery.

    Moreover, our craft is deliberate. Everything we do to convey and teach content should have purpose and intent. Nothing we do as craftsmen is an accident as it applies to teaching and instructing—it is all very intentional.

    Content + Delivery = Success. You just can’t have one without the other to truly be successful. In this fun and informative presentation, I model the tactics and techniques while sharing the keys to our craft. Teaser:  Here’s your first rule—It’s not about you. If you never forget this one, you are on your way to a KILLER presentation.


    Join us next week as Ted Schick dives deep into creating and executing presentations that will inform and impress your audience.

    Tuesday, January 16 
    11:30-1:00 pm
    Minnesota Power

    Register Today


    About Ted Schick:

    Residing in Fredenberg Township, MN, Ted is a corporate trainer, professional speaker and consultant with his own business, Schick Corporate Learning. A retired naval officer who rose up from the enlisted ranks, Ted has over 30 years experience leading people.

    With over 25 years in teaching and presenting, Ted holds a BA in Business from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, received a teaching certificate from Bemidji State University, and a Master of Education from the University of Minnesota, Duluth.

    Ted is active in his community with Spirit Mountain Ski Patrol, local animal humane societies including Animal Allies and Friends of Animals and has served as a mentor for Mentor Duluth. In his “spare” time, he has been a stand-up comedian, teaches Boot Camp fitness classes, serves as a personal fitness coach and is a seasoned triathlete.

  • 07 Dec 2017 10:30 AM | Anonymous

    Written by Kathlynn McConnell, CPLP

    Answering emails while viewing a webinar and reading a report could earn you the title of “multi-tasker.” Being labeled as a “multi-tasker” seems to be a badge of honor these days. However, earning this badge by trying to focus on two or more tasks at the same time or trying to switch rapidly between them means we're not giving any of the tasks our full attention. In the end, this actually reduces our productivity.

    Not only do we become less productive, multi-tasking may add to our stress and impatience because we are only partially present, leading to increased misunderstandings and mistakes. So, how do we ditch this unproductive badge of multi-tasking? Here are five easy-peasy steps to help you begin your 2018 journey to productivity and sanity:

    1. Don’t allow smaller tasks to interrupt the one you are currently focused on. For example, don’t answer emails while you are on a phone call and vice versa.

    2. Complete the task you are involved with before moving on to the next one. This allows you to be more fully present and attentive to each detail, leading to fewer mistakes and more enjoyment by moving the task from your “to-do” list to your “to-DONE!” list.

    3. Straighten up your work area before you begin your tasks for the day. Clutter tends to rob us of our peace and presence and it tantalizes us to randomly focus on things other than the task at hand.

    4. Turn off ringers, beeps and email notifications while you are engaged in a specific task.

    5. Check emails on the hour instead of every minute of the hour.

    Consider not multi-tasking for at least one hour a day as a New Year’s Resolution for yourself. You can get a head start on being more productive and sane in 2018 now by putting at least one of the steps into action each day. I double-dog dare you…

  • 06 Dec 2017 7:35 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Written by Dawn Johnson, Past-President

    December 4th through the 8th is Employee Learning Week.  Employee Learning Week is an annual celebration sponsored by the Association for Talent Development. 

    You might ask—why celebrate employee learning?  

    Employee Learning Week highlights the important role that learning plays in organizational success.  Often we think that employee training and development comes in the form of a class.  Others may believe that the full responsibility to train employees is the role of the “training department.”  This belief couldn’t be further from the truth.  Yes—it is true that an organization’s training department may be responsible for the most critical training or content that is needed by large numbers of employees (new employee orientation for example.)  However, employee learning comes in many different forms and from a variety of sources.  Corporate trainers, safety trainers, leaders, and even co-workers play a key role in the successful development of employees.  Learning may take the form of a class—or it may simply be a co-worker sitting with a new peer and demonstrating a procedure.

    Employee growth and development is also the responsibility of the individual employee.  Employee Learning Week is a great time to inspire and encourage employees to continue to develop their own skills.  We often forget that many employees work on professional development activities on their own time, but the organization benefits from the new knowledge and skills every day.

    The Lake Superior Chapter of the Association for Talent Development would like to encourage you to take time this week to recognize the importance of employee learning. 

    Here are a few simple ideas:

    • Send personal thank you notes to leaders and employees that take time to mentor others in your organization
    • Promote opportunities for tuition reimbursement or other company sponsored learning programs
    • Provide treats to your department to celebrate and highlight their commitment to their own learning
    • Learn something new together during a staff meeting this week (work related or something just for fun!)
    • Share our blog posts this week with others inside and outside of your organization

    Have fun celebrating Employee Learning Week and join the Lake Superior Chapter in 2018 for more great opportunities to learn!  

  • 04 Dec 2017 2:33 PM | Kim Ellsworth (Administrator)

    In the 1920s, Hawthorne Works (an electrical company) commissioned a four-year study to increase productivity by varying the working environment. Researchers theorized that brighter lighting would enhance performance, so they created three groups: one group got new, brighter bulbs; another group got dimmer bulbs; a third group got new bulbs with the same wattage as the previous one. 

    A surprising thing happened: all of the groups improved. 

    Similarly, at an assembly plant, workers were invited to participate in a long-term experiment altering variables in their day, such as changing the length of break times, the number of breaks allowed, providing food during breaks and changing the length of the work day. Each time a variable shifted, performance improved – even if the change meant reverting back to the original conditions. 

    The results have been interpreted in many ways; an early hypothesis was that the novelty of being a research subject motivated employees to perform better, another view was that the employees worked harder because they knew they were being watched. Human motivation is a hard thing to interpret. No one can say for sure if employee performance improved because of novelty, renewed motivation, increased awareness or something else entirely – but one thing is clear: we thrive when we are challenged and we begin to flounder when things stagnate. 

    So, if you are noticing a lull in motivation or performance in your workplace, try switching things up: change your routine and add some variety to your work day – even small variations can lead to noticeable shifts! 


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