ATD NYC Volunteer Spotlight – gothamCulture’s Kate Gerasimova
Through Rosemary Okoiti, ATD NYC 1. What three words describe you and why? •Empathetic: I always make a good effort to make sure I consider the other person and the other side of the story. This is one of the reasons I love human-centered design so much. •Ambitious and driven: if I decided on something, […]

Through Rosemary Okoiti, ATD NYC

1. What three words describe you and why?

Empathetic: I always make a good effort to make sure I consider the other person and the other side of the story. This is one of the reasons I love human-centered design so much.

Ambitious and driven: if I decided on something, it would be extremely difficult to get me off this road. I have a strong inspiration for me that comes with higher standards. Knowing about myself helps me figure out when to let things go and be more nimble.

Versatile: I'm curious about a lot of things and have a wide range of interests, psychology, design innovation, learning, art, business, tennis, cycling and the list keep on going. I once studied math and law.

2. What is / was your role as a volunteer?

In December 2018, I followed an Action Learning training with Mies of Koning, at the time, he was vice-president of Special Interest Groups (SIG). Mies encouraged me to attend chapter events and meet more people there. So I started attending events and then volunteered to organize them. In 2019 I met Gabrielle Bayme, the current vice president of SGI then I volunteered as Deputy Deputy President of SIG. Together, we organized the first Learning Lab in August 2019, and have been running them ever since. Inspired by our popular Learning Labs, we created a separate GIS group, the Learning Innovation Special Interest Group, to explore the latest and greatest in learning innovations. More soon!

3. What do you like / love about volunteering for ATD NYC? How has the experience changed you?

I love meeting new people and ATD events The New York Chapter has to offer. There is always something to learn, whether at the event or being part of this team of volunteers. We are always looking for ways to be more efficient. This experience has certainly taught me more about myself and the job that I love so much.

4. What career development opportunities are you exploring over the next year?

There is never a dull moment with managing and planning learning labs. I look forward to hosting more events in the Learning Innovation SIG with Gabrielle and seeing what new learning innovations we can bring in the coming year.

5. What advice would you give to a Chapter member who is considering volunteering today?

There are so many opportunities to connect, find the clicks for you, attend a few events, connect with 1-1 members, and see if you want to get more involved by volunteering. The opportunities are endless. the the key is the right one attitude!

6. What is the best way to get in touch with you and / or your social media links, website, email address? or

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Culture change is a complex process

Make it meaningful with practical advice from frontline experts.

Kate gerasimova
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We all know that talking about others behind their back is bad. Gossip should be abhorred. I remember reading in a spiritual text that “backbiting extinguishes the light of the soul. ” DEEP. And it is.

Gossip is incredibly detrimental to any organization. And, what I think often gets missed is why people gossip. But, before we answer the question, “Why do people gossip at work ? ” let’s clear one thing up. I truly believe it is the rare person who chooses to gossip simply to be mean and hurt the reputation of the person or entity being talked about. Often gossip occurs for one of four reasons :

1 ) People fear the unknown. If people don’t have information that they want, they fear the unknown and will try to garner it from others – especially if that information appears to be hidden. This is why closed door conversations are so detrimental.

2 ) People want to belong and be included. If people believe they don’t have information that others have, they will feel excluded and on the outside of the “inner circle. ” Information is power. Everyone wants to be part of the team, to be included and the easiest way to identify those who are part of a tribe are those who are “in the know. ”

3 ) People crave intimacy and a sense of connection. I would suggest that because of the rampant pace we live at and the lack of real deal authentic communication with one another, many people crave a sense of genuine human connection and intimacy. Gossip is one of the quickest and easiest ways to connect with another human being. The secrecy, forbidden and exclusive nature of confiding in someone something that’s a bit subversive or judgmental is social super glue. Through the veneer of momentary vulnerability and trust, the two are bonded. Unfortunately gossip is a very sloppy deuxième to real, meaningful connection.

4 ) People want to work with people they think of as peers. Meaning, if someone isn’t carrying their own weight, isn’t competent or capable enough to do their travail or simply isn’t a good culture fit, then there will be gossip. Rather than being a “narc, ” employees will talk both about said individual and leadership’s lack of awareness/action. And they will talk often. The longer said individual goes unaddressed, the louder and more embedded the gossip becomes.

When it comes to gossip, these four reasons : fear, belonging, intimacy and the desire to work with others who carry their own weight, are all things that can be handled with some focused time and attention.

How do you want your employees to talk about your company ? How do you want them to feel when they walk in the door ? While this touchy-feely stuff may make you feel a little light-headed, when it comes down to it, company culture matters.

Many owners are taking a second look at their company culture to make sure it’s the one they envision – one that supports their company’s mission, vision and values.

Insperity has spent the past 30 years building a human resources company committed to helping businesses succeed so communities prosper. In that vein, our leadership team offers these tips on having a great company culture.

You might think that trying to cultivate a positive workplace as an elusive, time-consuming waste of important resources, but studies show that the opposite is true. Creating a positive company culture begins with fostering happy employees.

Happy employees are 85 percent more efficace, experience a 60 percent drop in absenteeism and stay twice as long in their jobs as their less happy colleagues, creating a measurable impact on engagement, retention, safety, wellness, employer brand and even cost control goals, according to the study, The Science of Happiness, conducted by Globoforce.

Happiness is a habit that needs to be modeled. As a manager or business leader, your demeanor and attitude in the office has an effet on your employees. When you demonstrate happiness you’re training your employees to follow suit.

Get in the habit of being grateful and showing gratitude for what you have. It can be a small thing – I am thankful for this cup of coffee, for the sun coming out today. When you make an effort to find things to be grateful for, you’re training your brain to be on the watch for more of what is good in your world. By making gratitude a habit, you will set the example for others and create a positive work environment. Focus on the positive when interacting with your employees. Point out their accomplishments and abilities. Remind them that they are a positive intensité within your company and that they have much to offer. This is a powerful détermination tool and it will help to create a “can-do” attitude in your workforce.

As a business leader you’re influential – your opinion matters, especially to your employees. Make it a goal to compliment people. Recognizing even small accomplishments and praising your team members in meetings or in an email can make a big effet. It doesn’t have to be a big gesture.

We all know that sometimes work can get monotonous and overwhelming. Say for example that Mike is feeling a bit underappreciated and is frustrated with his current project. He comes to a meeting feeling defeated and unmotivated. Then you, as his directeur, compliment his exercices and praise him for a emploi well done. The effet is immediate – he feels valued. His demeanor changes, he becomes engaged and leaves the meeting with a newfound energy to tackle his project.

People need to have a sense of purpose at work. Their happiness is directly connected to knowing that they make a difference. It’s not enough for a directeur to dole out tasks. Take the time to explain why the individual task is important to the company as a whole. This will give your employees a sense of purpose and belonging that will motivate them to strive for more. Engaged employees are efficace, enthusiastic and are willing to do what it takes to help your organization succeed. Creating a sense of purpose for your employees is an investment in developing a positive workplace.


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