Educational Resources: Connecting the Dots Annual Conference
(The schedule is tentative and may be revised.)
Touch the Sky
Eleni Kelakos, The Eleni Group, Keynote Speaker/Speech Coach/Public Speaking Trainer
Reflecting Eleni’s background as a professional actor, singer and songwriter, Touch the Sky is more than a lecture — it’s an energizing, interactive keynote experience that weaves together original songs, stories and simple strategies that will encourage you to re-connect with your passionate purpose, and to fall in love again with your valuable, chosen work. It gives you a fresh perspective and the tools you need to bring out the best in you (and in others) on a daily basis. It focuses on four areas: why who you are and what you do is so important; the value of perspective in overcoming internal and external obstacles; taking charge of what you can control by making a choice, taking action and being accountable; and spreading your contagious, “can-do” attitude to others. You’ll leave more committed than ever to realize your potential, and make your unique difference in your work and world.
Do you shrug off your accomplishments and abilities? Do you back off from confrontations? Do you hesitate to ask for what you need or deserve? Do you sound less mature or capable that you really are? Does your body language diminish your authority? Too many remarkable people hold themselves back from making the difference they were born to make. This session is designed to help you commit to your worth and purpose, so you can lead with influence. Not only is it motivational, but it’s filled with tools and techniques that help you use your words, voice and body language to let others know that you mean business.
2. What is Your Story? Creating the Chapters of Our Careers
Diana J. Wong, Ph.D., C.E.O. and President, Sensei Change Associates, LLC; and Associate Professor of Strategy and Organization Development, Eastern Michigan University
This highly interactive professional development session engages participants in impactful storytelling forums that focus on meaningful and powerful moments in the workplace. The story themes will address work/life balances where people have significant career growth experiences. The unpacking and processing of stories allow for deeply embedded knowledge to surface critical insights for career development. The purpose is to leverage talents and strengths of the past to create opportunities for writing new chapters for future aspirations.
Buying a home isn’t always the best decision, even if you think that you’re ready. There are benefits to being a homeowner such as tax deductions and building equity, but there are also potential disadvantages you should consider like coming up with the money for a down payment, managing the monthly mortgage payments and ongoing home repair. Come and learn about this as well as how to prepare for a mortgage during this time of low interest rates.
4. Strategies for Parenting (and Grandparenting) Challenging Children
Cynthia Ewell Foster, Ph.D., Director, University Center for the Child and Family (UCCF); and Clinical Assistant Professor, U-M Department of Psychiatry
Parenting can be one of life's greatest joys and one of life's greatest challenges. When children struggle with attention, temperament, or behavioral difficulties, parenting (and grandparenting) can be an especially challenging job. This session is designed to teach strategies and tools to decrease the arguing, increase children's compliance, and, most importantly, to help kids feel successful. Learn how to have less negative and more positive time with your children and grandchildren.
Learn what you can do to succeed in meeting your healthy eating goals. Discover what has worked for over 6,000 people who successfully lost weight and kept it off for at least one year! This session offers great strategies to assist you in your weight loss goals, whether you want to lose or maintain your weight. This presentation is not a “diet” approach, but rather healthy habits you can practice for a lifetime.
If your stomach flips over at the thought of having to present an idea to an individual or group, you are in good company. You can learn to eliminate nervousness and connect with your audience. This workshop will show you how to harness energy through physical presentation skills — sure to enhance your style so you can connect with any size audience, even an audience of one. You will: learn how to use your EYES to maintain your train of thought and make a connection; discover how your VOICE is used to emphasize the importance in your message and give meaning to your words; and experience how to move your BODY with purpose and make a statement.
2. Reinvent Yourself!
Discussion leaders: Deborah Orlowski, Ph.D., Senior Learning Specialist, U-M Human Resource Development; Janell Kilgore, M.S.W., L.M.S.W., Faculty and Staff Counselor, U-M Faculty and Staff Assistance program (FASAP); Diane Griffith, L.M.S.W., A.C.S.W., Medical Social Worker, UMHS; Sherry Root, M.A., Music and English, retired English teacher; and Lynne P. Lande, M.S.W., D.C.S.W., Samaritan Counseling Services
Are you facing or do you anticipate facing a life-changing event? Are you wondering how other people survived – and thrived – after something similar? Come to this session and join a discussion about managing life-changing events such as an illness, loss of a long-term partner, loss of a career, etc. You will: learn how others faced challenges, determine what might work for you, and leave feeling more inspired and capable of thriving.
Knowing that volatility in the stock market is inevitable, we'll discuss it, including examples of notable market downturns in the past. We’ll then identify some options for managing your 403B in the midst of changes in market conditions. U-M Benefits staff will also be available during this session to answer questions.
Temperament is a consistent style of reaction that a child demonstrates across a variety of situations. Children are born with their own unique temperaments which are "hard wired" and endure over time. One child is shy and cautious while another seeks out stimulation. This session will identify nine characteristics of temperament and give suggestions for dealing with children (infant through elementary-age) who are both wild and mild. There will be ample opportunity for questions and discussion.
This presentation offers mindfulness as an antidote to stress. First, we will see how the stress gets formed and how it affects our body and mind. Then we will learn what mindfulness is, how mindfulness helps us and how we can cultivate mindfulness with a brief experiential exercise. We will also learn the conditions that are found improved by mindfulness training, and do a review of the scientific findings.
This workshop will provide you with leadership assessment tools and strategies, to help you move from where you are to where you need to be to address current realities. U.S. workers are competing with many forces – global workers, outsourcing, unemployment, Baby Boomers and Millenials – and new and different skills are necessary. We'll explore ways for you to develop an emerging leadership, based on highlighting and appreciating your strengths.
2. Tips and Tools for Fostering a Positive Work Climate: Success Stories from U-M VOICES of the Staff
Charlene Erickson, Administrative Assistant, U-M School of Dentistry; Hope Link, Contract and Grant Specialist, U-M Medical School; Katie Ehnis, Human Resources Manager, U-M Alumni Association; and Lenny A. Ureña Valerio, Assistant Director, U-M Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies
Please join the U-M VOICES Work Climate Team as we describe positive ways to handle difficult work climate situations, followed by a group discussion. We will focus on resource possibilities to assist you in creating a positive work environment, while promoting individual growth and acknowledging the obstacles we face at work. Attendees will have the opportunity to participate through electronically interactive questions. Presented by U-M staff members, for U-M staff members.
In this session, we will identify sources of income, evaluate expenses and strategies to fill gaps, and discuss important considerations for savings withdrawals. U-M Benefits staff will be also available during this session to answer questions.
This session offers insights into why a person’s communication, behaviors and emotions change with dementia. The intent is to help you develop effective communication strategies and become highly responsive and creative in challenging situations. The following topics will be addressed: setting up successful conversations; responding to inappropriate verbal and physical communications; strategies to support a person in distress; and how to give bad news.
5. When “Tweens” Get Social: The Parent’s Perspective
Matt Snyder, Communications Specialist and New Media Lead, U-M UHR Communications; and Shawn Sieg, Social Network Tech Developer, U-M UHR Communications
Both Matt and Shawn are fathers of "tween" daughters who are avid users of social networks. They will discuss their approaches on how to allow children to be connected on platforms/apps like Instagram, while also setting ground rules to help keep them safe.
Your mind and body can work together to make life easier for you – regardless of size, shape, age or physical condition. By tending to your body, you can relax your mind; and by relaxing your mind, you can tend to your body. Mental and physical well-being can be fundamentally improved by learning simple tension-lowering techniques – accessible to everyone – to apply throughout your work day. Note: this is an activity/chair yoga session, so please wear comfortable clothing.