Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Ways to continue your learning (Part 2)

In my previous blog post The benefits of continuous learning (Part 1), I focused on the benefits of learning. Now, let’s take a look at how you can accomplish various ways to continue your learning.

Volunteer your services: Joining a non-profit committee is a great opportunity to use your current skills and expand on skills you’re looking to develop. Non-profits are always looking for volunteers to fill gaps.

Podcasts and Webcasts: Since inception, podcasts and webcasts have been a great tool for distant learning. There are many sites that you can visit to find podcasts and webcasts on various topics. They are easily downloadable to your pc or mp3 player and can be accessed at anytime (some charges may apply).

Books on tape/ cd: An effective way to learn during your commute to work or business travel. This method will require you to spend money, but at the same time you’re expanding your learning base. There are books on tape/ cd that you can get ranging from various topics.

Start a reading routine: Whether it’s an online paper, blog or book, start a routine to further educate yourself. Drew, a great friend of mine visits
Barnes and Noble and Borders and reads the periodicals to keep abreast of the current events for free. You can also visit your local library where it cost you nothing.

Attend college classes: There are non-traditional ways to achieve this. Audit classes at your alma mater, local college or community college. If you don’t want to attend a two-year program, you can also get a certification in your field to keep you up on your industry. Many colleges also offer distance learning classes so that you never have to step foot in the classroom.

Seminars and workshops: Another great way to expand your learning base and meet people within your industry. Again, there will be some type of cost associated with it, but sometimes your employer may reimburse the cost.

Try something new: Pursue your wild ideas, learn a skill or craft that you’ve never tried before (dance, playing an instrument, painting or photography).

These methods are a few of many that you can use to increase your learning. Even if you graduated last year or twenty years ago, the learning journey is never over.

Have fun and keep learning!


Reggie Waller is president of RWJ Consulting Group, LLC, which provides business and personal coaching, consulting and training services to individuals and businesses. For additional information call 267-254-6800 or visit

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The benefits of continuous learning (Part 1)

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, with a downturn in the economy, there has been an increase in the amount of admission applications to business schools for advanced degrees. Why wait for a slow down in the economy, loss of job, or even wait until the kids graduate college in order to advance your learning.

“Don’t ever think you know as much as you need to know, or that you know more than the majority so you’re better off and that’s good enough. There will always be something to learn, something to discover. Be humble in your knowledge and continually try to learn as much as you can.”

There are multiple ways to continue your learning without having to put two or more years of your life, job or family on hold and it will not break your bank. Let’s take a look at the value of continuous learning and ways we can go about accomplishing this.

Benefits of continuous learning:

It keeps you alert, more interesting, and your mind sharp: This will be very beneficial especially when networking or having small talk at the water cooler. You don’t want to get left behind.

Meet new people: Allows you to make connections that can link to future jobs, business partner(s), and just new friends period.

Earn a higher income: Learning new skills has a potential to increase your income. What critical thinking and analytical skills do you need in your industry to help you increase your income?

According to
Samuel Odle, “Lifelong learning is crucial to our personal success as well as the success of our organizations. Gaining new skills and knowledge energizes us; it gives us strength to tackle the challenges we face in our everyday jobs …”

Stay tuned for Ways to continue your learning (Part 2)


Reggie Waller is president of RWJ Consulting Group, LLC, which provides business and personal coaching, consulting and training services to individuals and businesses. For additional information call 267-254-6800 or visit

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Need Help Finding Your Bliss? Hire a Coach

I was reading the New York Times and came across yet another article on coaching. As things are changing in the economy, people are looking to coaches for improvement and balance around:
  • Career
  • Money
  • Health
  • Personal Growth


Need Help Finding Your Bliss? Hire a Coach
New York Times
Published: July 5, 2008

BOULDER, Colo. — A 43-year-old man is weary of teaching high school but has no clue how else to make a living. A 67-year-old man wants to leave banking but does not want to retire before leaving a more positive mark on the world. A 52-year-old woman is an emergency room doctor who loves her work but pines for more downtime.

All of them took part in a workshop in Boulder recently that was led by a career “intuitive” named Sue Frederick — a former career counselor who draws upon her dreams, ancient numerology and conversations with spirits to “see your dream job.”

As the economic slump continues, many workers, even those who hate their jobs, are reluctant to look for more satisfying work. But others are turning to nontraditional career counselors and coaches to help them navigate transitions in their lives and careers.

These workers have read the umpteenth edition of “What Color Is Your Parachute?” by Richard Nelson Bolles and have mastered the Myers-Briggs personality test. Now they crave something more offbeat and probing.

Lucky for them, there are as many flavors of career counselors — and more recently coaches, including “psychic” and “intuitive” ones — as there are careers. Career counselors tend to explore psychological undercurrents with clients, and they often have a master’s degree in counseling. Coaches typically come from the corporate world and focus on goal-setting.

It is not just residents of Boulder, a mecca for all things organic and spiritual, who flock to Ms. Frederick’s “career intuition boot camp” and individual sessions in person or over the phone. “I don’t want to come across as a new age-y kind of guy with my head in the stars, because as a New Yorker type that’s the last thing I am,” said Gary Purnhagen, 55, who started his own management consulting business in Manhattan a few months ago after spending 20 years working for companies. “But going to Sue was probably the best decision I’ve ever made in terms of reaching out.”

Several months ago Mr. Purnhagen left a financial printing company that was laying people off. He trolled the Internet for counselors and coaches. When he saw Ms. Frederick’s Web site he was drawn to her big smile and her message that your dream job should make you giggle when you speak of it. Then, call it coincidence or destiny, a consultant friend of his in New York suggested that he check out a career coach named Sue Frederick, and Mr. Purnhagen tossed his skepticism aside. Four one-hour phone sessions and $500 later, he said he is more focused, confident and trusting in his ability to build a lucrative clientele.

Ms. Frederick, 58, trained as a career counselor in the 1970s at the
University of Missouri. She worked at the university and later in the private sector. But she yearned to add to her repertoire her self-described clairvoyance, which she says she discovered when she was a child who would dream about things that would often happen later that day.

Her husband warned that she would lose corporate clients if she called herself a career intuitive, but she did anyway. “Soon I had more clients than I knew what to do with,” Ms. Frederick told the 29 people at a recent workshop.When career coaches jumped onto the scene a decade ago they were looked upon suspiciously by career counselors as inexperienced, brash interlopers. But since 1999, when the International Coach Federation began offering certification training for coaches, their reputation has risen steadily.

Today, roughly 3,700 people in the United States are certified by the federation. But anyone can call herself a coach; in fact, roughly 30,000 people do just that, estimates Diane Brennan, president of the federation. Hundreds of organizations offer some form of coaching certifications.

“A lot of people call themselves coaches because it’s the hot thing to do,” Ms. Brennan said. This factor is reflected in the rates coaches charge — up to $400 an hour. For many clients, seeing a coach feels far more upbeat, even more upscale, than working with a counselor. This makes some traditional career counselors fear they may become obsolete.

“A lot of people see having a coach as a prestigious thing, whereas going to a career counselor is often associated with having a problem,” said Maria Greco, a licensed professional counselor in Boulder with a Ph.D. in university administration.

A coach is more like a personal trainer, who coaxes clients to set and meet their job or career goals. A sure sign that you are talking to a coach is “five steps to” or “seven rules for.” The cover of Ms. Frederick’s 2004 book, “Dancing at Your Desk: A Metaphysical Guide to Job Happiness,” promises “The 7 Secret Steps to Finding Work You Love.”

Joel Garfinkle, a career coach in Oakland, Calif., said his seven-step formula to finding a dream job sets him apart.“It’s all about aligning your natural gifts and talent to your passions that will equal a career that is 100 percent about fulfillment,” said Mr. Garfinkle, with the turbo-charged delivery of a football coach.

What draws people to a career counselor or coach depends on their age, their location and the industry they work in. For instance, even though Silicon Valley has averted the worst of the economic slowdown, some people who have lost their job are asking whether the long commute and the grueling workdays are worth it before they start interviewing for a new job. “I’m seeing more people looking for quality of life, balance and a change that will give them something that’ll be more enduring and more of a natural expression of who they are,” said Norm Meshriy, a career counselor in Walnut Creek, Calif.

Career counselors and coaches also say they are seeing more college students and recent graduates. “Students are very concerned about the amount of debt they are graduating with, the sluggish economy, loss of jobs in numerous areas due to the housing bust, skilled jobs going overseas and fewer opportunities outside the service industries,” Linda Bates Parker, president of Black Career Women, a nonprofit devoted to the career development of black women, wrote in an e-mail. She is also director of career development at the
University of Cincinnati.

At the other end of the career lifeline, a small but growing number of baby boomers are summoning career counselors and coaches.

Keyren H. Cotter, 67, is a loan officer at a bank in Denver. With a Ph.D. in materials science, Mr. Cotter, known as Casey, worked for years in engineering before moving into mortgage banking. But it was not the mortgage crisis that recently sent him to Ms. Frederick’s career workshop. “I ask myself, ‘What’s my legacy? Why am I here?’ ” Mr. Cotter said. “I’m at a period where I’m no longer motivated by money. I’m looking for something with more substance and more meaning.”

In the weeks since the workshop, Mr. Cotter saw Ms. Frederick for a one-hour session. He recalled that when he walked into her office she said, “I’ve been meditating on you. I think you should make movies.” Now he is considering combining his interest and experience in financing with documentary filmmaking.

“It’s too early to know,” Mr. Cotter said. “But I know I’m getting unstuck.”


Reggie Waller is president of RWJ Consulting Group, LLC, which provides business and personal coaching, consulting and training services to individuals and businesses. For additional information call 267-254-6800 or visit

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

AMA Study Finds More Use of High-Level Coaching

I came across this article through American Management Association on coaching and thought it would be great to share.


Thu Jul 10, 2008 6:41 pm (PDT)
AMA Study Finds More Use of High-Level Coaching

by Agatha Gilmore

Today, many organizations aim to grow by accelerating talent development as much as possible. According to a new study by the American ManagementAssociation (AMA), coaching has become one increasingly popular way to do it.

The study, "Coaching: A Global Study of Successful Practices," surveyed more than 1,000 business leaders around the world and found use of coaching as a means of increasing individual productivity was up. Nearly 60 percent of North American companies use coaching for high potentials frequently or a great deal, and about 42 percent use coaching of executives to the same extent. These percentages were higher in the international sample.

Contrarily, only 37 percent of North American respondents and less than 30 percent of international respondents said they used coaching to help problem employees.

"We're all expecting more out of individual performers," said Edward Reilly,president and CEO of AMA. "I think coaching has been found to be another effective tool in terms of talent development, and it makes sense to investin that type of development. It's also pretty clear that the reduction [incoaching for low performers] comes from trend to learner, more competitive companies with probably less tolerance for long-term carrying of people whoare not performing. Extensive amounts of intervention are probably not as common as they might have been a decade or two ago.

"The study's findings also tie into issues surrounding Generation Yemployees' entry into the workforce. These young workers are known for their social networking and their need for mentoring and guidance. Coaching is notonly desired but expected by Gen Yers, but many recognize it's something they must earn in today's marketplace.

"I think younger people see [coaching] as an important part of their long-term deal with the company," Reilly said. "Part of their compensationis the company's efforts to develop them as individuals and as managers."The AMA study also found the type of coaching offered has an impact on theeffect. For example, it appears external coaches can be more individually effective, while internal coaches tend to be more cost-efficient in the longterm.

"[I]nternal coaches often provide lower cost of services, exhibit more consistency in methods and understand the organizational culture," said theAMA study. "However, they may also be perceived as less credible. Leaders may consider internal coaches to be less confidential.

"The study's authors cite a 2007 report titled "Executive Coaching for Results," in which 59 percent of leaders indicated a preference for external coaches, while only 12 percent preferred internal coaches.

"External coaches can bring greater objectivity, fresher perspectives, higher levels of confidentiality and experience in many different organizations, industries and business environments, " they wrote.

Regardless of what kind of coaches an organization chooses, the AMA study showed, in these troubled economic times, organizations likely will find more value than ever in leveraging coaching.

"Generally speaking, our team believes that coaching will continue to expand and mature as an important leadership development practice," said the authors. "We expect that coaching will become one of the keys to developing and retaining scarce talent in the future, and we think companies that learn to leverage it well will have a significant competitive advantage in the global marketplace.

"To see a full copy of the free AMA study, visit and register to view the materials.

Reggie Waller is president of RWJ Consulting Group, LLC, which provides business and personal coaching, consulting and training services to individuals and businesses. For additional information call 267-254-6800 or visit

Saturday, July 5, 2008

We all have had a Derek Redmond moment!!!

When things are not going the way you expected, will you stop and go no further or will YOU be like Derek Redmond (1992 Olympics 400m) and finish what you started?

When we set out on our journey in life, sometimes things happen that are unforeseen. At any point, we need to make adjustments as these situations occur. We can't always do it alone and need the support of others to get us back on track.

Share your Derek Redmond moment and what you did to overcome your obstacle.


RWJ Consulting Group, LLC, provides consulting, coaching and training services to individuals, entrepreneurs, not-for-profits and corporations. For additional information call 267-254-6800 or visit