• September 05, 2018 1:56 PM | Anonymous

    Our chapter is partnering with more than 40 ATD Chapters to create an online book club for L&D professionals around the country. The group will connect virtually through an online forum to discuss books related to L&D, training, organizational development and much more. You can learn more and sign up for the book club here: https://www.pbc.guru/td/ . The program is completely free so feel free to pass the opportunity on to friends and colleagues.

    The book club will give participants the opportunity to:

    • Read interesting books related to Talent and Development
    • Connect with other TD professionals around the country to grow their professional network and learn from their peers
    • Participate entirely online so the program can work with people's busy schedules
    • Hold themselves accountable to reading by being part of a cohort

    The book club will be moderated by Zach Rubin, Co-Founder and CEO of Professional Book Club Guru. PBC Guru manages virtual professional book clubs for companies and will be hosting the group for the chapter. You can learn more about PBC Guru at www.pbc.guru and email Zach Rubin at zach@pbc.guru with any questions about the book club.

  • August 23, 2018 10:39 AM | Anonymous

    Our September speaker, Sarah A. Scala has shared a recent blog posting in advance of our meeting September 18th!

    I first learned about coaching with the Positive Emotional Attractor (PEA) and Negative Emotional Attractor (NEA) through the courses “Inspiring Leadership through Emotional Intelligence” and “Conversations That Inspire: Coaching Learning, Leadership and Change” at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) Massive Open Online learning Courses (MOOCs).

    The goal of coaching is to support positive behavior change. Compassion coaching is focused on the coachee’s vision and ideal self, while Compliance coaching focuses on the organization’s objectives and goals (CWRU, 2014). Through Compassion coaching, we activate the PEA by focusing on strengths and the coachee’s positive vision of the future. The PEA is reached when we focus on “optimism, hope, possibilities, dreams, vision, strengths, compassion, curiosity, learning, and experimentation” (CWRU, 2014).

    Compliance coaching is used when we focus on problems, tasks, fears, weaknesses, and expectations, which activates the NEA (Howard, 2015). Compliance coaching often taps into the NEA, arousing a stress response. This can occur when we need to make a decision, solve problems, and focus (CWRU, 2014). “NEA focuses on performance and weaknesses, activates the sympathetic nervous system, releasing hormones, increases blood pressure, heart rate and stress response” (Jack et al, 2013 as cited in Boyatzis, Smith, & Blaize, 2006; Sapolsky, 2004).

    I have found when using a Compliance approach in coaching, clients tend to become defensive and tense, which in my opinion, may not open them up to welcoming change. Defensiveness and tenseness are not bad responses, and in some cases are appropriate. At other times, being relaxed may be better for the client. Through activation of PEA, I support the client to be less tense during coaching sessions.

    It may be very easy for coaches to perceive NEA as an approach to avoid, and one that is bad. However, NEA is important and essential to survival. NEA simply isn’t needed as often as PEA for positive behavior change and learning.

    How often should coaches use PEA and NEA with coachees?

    Over the last 20 years, “coaching has refocused toward strengths based approaches, orienting individuals to focus on things they do well” (Fredrickson, 2009). Research indicates a best result with a ratio of 3-6 PEA to every 1 NEA in coaching (CWRU, 2010). World renowned positivity researcher, Dr. Barbara Fredrickson shares in her book Positivity, that a 3 to 1 ratio of positive to negative emotions supports resilience to adversity, strengthens relationships, relieves depression, and improves health (2009). The ratio can be slightly different for each person, and that “80% of Americans fall short of the 3-to-1 positivity ratio that predicts flourishing” (Fredrickson, 2009).

    How do we provide coaching experiences that support PEA and NEA with clients?

    PEA is triggered during times of hope, playfulness, Compassion, and mindfulness, while NEA is triggered during times of fear, shame, anxiety, and guilt (CWRU, 2014). PEA and NEA are built into the ICT model. Having the coachee discuss the Ideal Self is an approach that is focused on a positive view of the future. This puts the coachee in a place of hope and PEA. When looking at the Real Self, the coachee may move into both the NEA and PEA as they look at current successes and development areas. Remembering that NEA is not bad, a coach simply needs to activate more PEA than NEA. NEA is very important for solving problems and completing tasks—critical elements necessary for successful organizations.

    Questions? Let’s connect. I would love to hear your success stories. Please send them to: hello@sarahscala.com or visit www.sarahscala.com


    Case Western Reserve University. (2014). ‘Conversations That Inspire: Coaching Learning, Leadership and Change’, lecture notes. Viewed on November 8 2016. .

    Case Western Reserve University. (2017). ‘Coaching'. Viewed on February 22, 2017. https://weatherhead.case.edu/executive-education/coaching/

    Fredrickson, B. (2009). Positivity: Top-notch research reveals the 3 to 1 ratio that will change your life. New York: Three Rivers Press.

    Howard, Anita R. (April 24, 2015). Coaching to vision versus coaching to improvement needs: a preliminary investigation on the differential impacts of fostering positive and negative emotion during real time executive coaching sessions. Frontiers in Psychology, 6, 2-13. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00455.

    Kauffman C. (2006). “Positive psychology,” in The Science at the Heart of Coaching, eds Stober D. R., Grant A. M., editors. (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley; ).

    Seligman, M. (2011) Flourish: a visionary new understanding of happiness and well-being. New York, NY: Free Press.

    Visit her website

  • March 30, 2018 7:00 PM | Anonymous

     Our chapter has met the CARE requirements for ATD chapter affiliates for 2018. This is a significant accomplishment for us, as it attests to our health as a chapter and our commitment to serving your needs.

    CARE stands for Chapter Affiliation Requirements (CARE), which are performance guidelines designed to help ATD chapters deliver consistent benefits to members. CARE consists of 18 elements in five key areas that are necessary for running a chapter like a business: administration, financial, membership, professional development, and communication. We met all 18 elements.

  • January 12, 2018 9:34 AM | Anonymous

    ATD has extended 2017 rates until January 16, 2018. That means you can still join ATD at $229 for Professional membership or $349 for Professional Plus membership. Both rates are now increasing as of January 17, 2018, so act now for your last chance to lock in 2017 rates.

    Plus, if you join today you’ll get a bonus research report on social learning!

    Don't forget to join the Central Mass chapter and using the ChIP code 1201!

  • January 12, 2018 9:23 AM | Anonymous

    by. . . Patty Gaul

    You’ve heard it dozens of times: Change is hard. So it stands to reason that serving as a change agent isn’t easy. In fact, it requires knowledge about group developmental theory and processes, emotional intelligence and people skills, and years of experience.

    In the January 2018 issue of TD at Work, “7-Phase Consulting Model for Change Projects,” Alan Landers taps into his 40 years of practice to offer tips on the consulting process: initial contact, contracting, entry, assessment, goal setting and planning, implementation and feedback, and ending or expanding a contract. Read More here. . .

  • December 28, 2017 11:13 PM | Anonymous

    ATD 2018 International Conference & EXPO

    We’re Celebrating 75 Years of ATD!

    ATD is pleased to announce that President Barack Obama will be the keynote speaker at the ATD 2018 International Conference & Exposition on Monday, May 7. His remarks will open the conference as ATD welcomes attendees to San Diego. Special events will continue throughout the week as ATD celebrates its 75th anniversary in 2018.

    The ATD 2018 International Conference & Exposition is the largest professional development event for the talent development industry worldwide.

    This year’s event promises to provide even more insights into the latest trends, best practices, and solutions for designing, delivering, implementing, and measuring effective learning programs. 

    Register Today

    Don't forget to use our ChIP code of 1201 when registering!

  • November 15, 2017 8:33 PM | Anonymous

    Top 5 Reasons to Join ATD Today

    5. End of Year Reviews: As you prepare for end-of-year reviews, show your manager your commitment to professional development when you use ATD resources.

    4. Expand Your Network: Join a community of like-minded professionals and learn from industry leaders who have tackled similar challenges before.

    3. ATD Members Get More in 2018: Professional members have access to more content than ever before, and Professional Plus members will have a class included in membership. Learn more.

    2. Lock In 2017 Rates: Membership rates are increasing on January 1, 2018. Join now to get 2017 rates for up to three years.

    1. Early Access to Benefits: If you join by November 30, 2017, you will get early access to these new 2018 benefits starting on December 6, 2017.

    Join National ATD now and make sure to include the Central Mass  Chapter  as your local chapter!  

  • September 26, 2017 1:41 PM | Anonymous

    Millennials have gotten a very bad rap in the workplace.

    But are they really all that different from previous generations of young people? Did GenXers have different workplace norms or work aspirations? What about the Boomers?

    Those of us in the business of hiring and retaining talented Millennials need to consider whether their behavior is a function of the decade in which they were born, or simply part of a normal life stage. Either way, employers can’t simply ride it out.

    In the coming years, every leadership role will be filled by a member of this generation. Their influence will be felt for decades. It’s incumbent on us to understand this new generation of leaders and find out how to recruit and retain them.

    A 2017 study conducted by The Conference Board and DDI, is one of the first to compare Millennial leaders to those in older generations. They examined 2,800 leaders in 14 companies and determined Millennial leaders are not distinctly different from those of earlier generations, and in fact, the results look promising!

    Here are 3 debunked “Millennial Myths”:

    Myth #1: No loyalty and job-hoppers

    Reality: Millennial leaders are incredibly loyal. Nearly 44% plan to stay with their current company for 15+ years (vs. 20% from other generations). 14% plan to stay 2-4 years. In my experience, Millennial leaders are just as — or even more — loyal and engaged as older leaders. Culture is key. They will leave if you are following an established playbook where they are not valued.

    Myth #2: Millennial leaders learn differently

    Reality: Developmental assignments are still most effective. Coaching from the Manager, Internal Coaches and Mentors are a strong second. The surprising finding is that formal leadership development workshops, including classroom training, continue to be viewed as effective for all generations.

    This finding makes sense: effective employee development is comprised of three components: experience, exposure and education; sometimes you can use one effectively and other times you need all three. Leadership development is still effective for all generations when all three aspects are used.

    Myth #3: Workplace must be open and fun

    Reality: Flexibility and mentoring by senior leaders is more highly regarded by Millennial leaders than other workforce perks. Open space and low hierarchy are less important. Of course, most people enjoy having fun at work, but the Millennial leaders I know are serious about work and want the ability to get the job done in the most efficient way possible. That doesn’t seem any different from Boomer or GenX leaders.

    So, no, Millennials aren’t overly entitled and they’re not lazy. They’re well-educated, flexible, and ambitious.

    Here are tips to best develop this generation of leaders:

    1. Take time to understand your Millennial workforce and move away from traditional best practices.

    2. Create forums for collaboration and listening. Millennials can see what needs to be improved. Take them seriously and listen. Include them in generating and implementing solutions.

    3. Understand that as Millennial leaders age and are in the workforce longer, they are likely to develop views and attitudes about themselves and the world that more closely align with those of previous generations.

    Linda St. John is Founder and Principal of LSJ Leadership Coaching, a Worcester, MA firm that specializes in employee retention in health care Linda’s work focuses on developing mentoring programs, redesigning organizational functions and, when necessary, removing organizational “deadwood,” all with a focus on helping client companies hire and keep the right people.


    Linda is co-lead of the Central Mass. ATD Leadership Special Interest Group (SIG). Join the Leadership SIG on October 5 (7:30-9 am, Central One Federal Credit Union, Shrewsbury) for a presentation and discussion on humanizing virtual teams.


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