Friday, December 18, 2009

Be Fearless About Your Goals: TV Interview of Coach Colette

In case you missed watching it live, you can still see the interview of Coach Colette on Fearless Business TV by show host, Valerie Gurka. The segment is about setting SMART Goals for 2010.

The other guest expert on the show is Jake Matthews from 10e20 - who offers strategies to leverage Social Media to market your business or side hustle.

The last segment is the ULTRA LIGHT LAUNCH with Graham Lawlor from Ultra Light Startups - who provides practical tips on how to pitch to business investors. This segment also features Jennifer Takaki from The Pickle Club - who dellivers a 1-minute pitch for her online community.

Hope you enjoy the show! Let us know what is your favorite part.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Coach Colette is Fearless About Goal Setting - December 17

Hope you're having a great week. As you look ahead to 2010, what are your TOP 3 Priorities?

In 2009, many people were impacted by the downturn in the economy. Yet, hope springs eternal! There are many glimmers of hope to create new opportunities in 2010. Are you READY?

To be successful in growing your career, business (or side hustle), you must be able to reach the right people to let them know how your skills and talents add value and meet their needs.

Can you identify your next best GROWTH OPPORTUNITY?

TOMORROW, tune in at 11:00 AM EST for my appearance on Fearless Business TV, an interactive web-TV show hosted by Valerie Gurka. I'll be sharing tips to help you set SMART goals for 2010 and narrow down your long-term priorities into small, achievable steps.

Here are the details:
Thursday, December 17, 2009
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM EST

Monday, December 14, 2009

What Matters Now: Take Time to Reflect

I was fortunate today that I changed my view on Facebook to "Pages". As I scrolled down the list, I came across a post from Seth Godin's blog describing a new FREE ebook called What Matters Now. It contains brief but compelling ideas from over 70 big thinkers (Elizabeth Gilbert, Jacqueline Novogratz, Guy Kawasaki).

The ebook includes many simple truths, plus several ideas to make you go "hmmmmm ..." as you reflect on 2009 and prepare for the New Year. I'm taking on Seth's challenge to help spread these ideas to 5 million people.

I'm only half-way through the ebook, but thought I'd share my TOP 3 Ideas so far:
  1. EASE: Even as a stress management coach, I can chuckle at Elizabeth Gilbert's suggestion to make time to "meditate but secretly nap" to ease off the gas and build in some "me-time." I can't be mad at her because sleep is SO important, and is also rejuvenating for your soul.
  2. 1%: Jackie Huba and Ben McConnell talk about the "One Percenters" -- the small group of folks who spread the word about new ideas, trends and concepts. Even as a vegetarian, I had to love the "Bacon Salt" story that spread like ... porkbellies? My question to YOU is: Who will be YOUR One Percenters in 2010? In my career and business coaching sessions, I've called these people your champions -- those people who will go the extra mile to create a buzz about your talents and accomplishments.
  3. UN-Sustainability: Given that my mission involves helping people achieve sustainable results, I was particularly intrigued by Alan Webber's flipping of the script. He suggests we identify and un-mask the UN-sustainable systems that "represent the dead weight of the past." From this essay, my question to YOU is: What will be UN-sustainable for you in 2010? What dead weight do you plan to lose?
Download the ebook NOW, and as you read the ideas and concepts share your favorites here on the blog; or tweet me @Coach_Colette.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

AGENDA for Land Your Dream Job Teleclass - TONIGHT

Join me tonight at the FREE Land Your Dream Job teleclass TONIGHT at 8PM EST:  Here's the agenda of what you can expect:             o Your Core Values: How They Relate To Your Work

            o Your Top 3 Strengths: How They Add Value to Target Market

            o Your Top 3 Champions: How They Can Help You Make Connections

            o Your WOW! Factor – How to Create a Buzz and Get Noticed

  • Creative Visualization: Life With Your Dream Job
  • Q & A and Info about FREE products/tools
Tweet me your search questions and join the discussion on Twitter using the #LYDJ hashtag.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Professional Holiday Parties - Tips to Help You to Shine

As the holiday season is now upon us, it seems timely to share some tips and ideas to help you navigate the professional holiday party scene. As I have shared many of these tips before, I thought I'd encourage you to (re)review my blog post: Tis the Season to be Jolly ... NOT for Career Folly.

You'll notice that the post was written in December 2005 (yes, I've been blogging for over four years now!). I think the tips are still appropriate; what do you think?

In today's economy, I'd probably add a few more suggestions:
  • Determine which of the events will give you your "biggest bang for the buck." You'll want to budget for holiday events just as you would any other networking events. Survey all of the events in your area that interest you, and prioritize them in order of relevance to your 2010 personal/professional goals. Perhaps one well-selected "high-ticket" event will expand your network more than several lower cost ones.
  • Be a connector – help others to meet relevant contacts in your network. Networking is also about what you can give -- and, 'tis the season to give! If people see you as someone who is helpful, they’ll be more likely to help you. This relates to my next tip ...
  • Be conscientious about your follow-up. LISTEN more than you're speaking when you meet new people. Take note of their interests and goals. For those people with whom you'd like to stay in contact, make time to share information that would be helpful or interesting to them.
  • When someone asks, “What’s new?” be prepared with an answer that might make someone say "WOW!" We all have experienced some challenges this year; and yet, inspiring stories are always good to hear. This might require some additional thought -- think of the good things that have happened this year; think of the positive people in your support circle; think of the small wins you've already achieved. I'm confident you can come up with a couple of ideas.
Please share your thoughts, ideas and other survival tips here on the blog or tweet me @Coach_Colette.

And, BEST WISHES to you and yours for a

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Coach Colette Helps You Land Your Dream Job on December 10

In 2009, the battle for talent was fierce. The trend will likely continue into 2010. Are you ready? To be successful in a job search, you must be able to let the right people know what skills you have to offer. Can you position yourself strategically so that key decision makers will pick YOU?

Join us for a FREE, practical teleclass to learn how to leverage your top skills and talents, and communicate your WOW! Factor to prospective employers. This teleclass is co-sponsored by the Own Your Power Community.

Thursday, December 10, 2009
8:00 PM - 9:00 PM EST

Register NOW - Click HERE

Post your career and job search questions here on the Competent AdvantageTM blog, or tweet them to @Coach_Colette using the hastag: #LYDJ.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Coach Colette Helps to Form Nonprofit Action Network

I'm delighted to let you know that my company, InStep Consulting LLC, has created an alliance with a diverse group of highly-skilled consultants called the Nonprofit Action Network. This multi-disciplinary group is dedicated to helping nonprofits address operational and funding challenges to achieve sustainability in 2010 and beyond.

Each of the 16 Nonprofit Action Network members brings a unique skillset and years of experience to our clients, having worked with over 370 different nonprofit organizations. Specific areas of expertise include:
  • Brand Development
  • Executive Coaching
  • Financial Management & Fundraising Strategies
  • Governance Training & Consulting
  • Marketing Communications
  • Organizational Development
  • Planned Giving & Endowment
  • Social Networking
  • Website Design & Development
The Nonprofit Action Network works with clients on three distinct levels:
  1. Providing individualized, direct services to create healthy, thriving nonprofits.
  2. Assembling diverse teams to provide a multi-pronged approach to meet client needs.
  3. Serving as thought leaders in our areas of expertise, advancing issues that are important and relevant to nonprofits through public speaking, articles and other media.
In addition to our own consulting practices, members of the Nonprofit Action Network are committed to making the world a better place. In 2009, we have proudly provided hundreds of hours of pro-bono services to the nonprofit community.

So, check us out online and meet the members of this fantastic new team! And, spread the word, if you know of nonprofit leaders who can benefit from our multifaceted expertise. Thanks!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Words of Thanks from Coach Colette

I can't believe that another year has almost concluded. I'm sure I say this every year; but it really does seem like it hasn't been that long since I created my 2009 vision board. Now, it's Thanksgiving and nearly time to get my vision for 2010 in focus.

As I reflect upon this past year, here are a few of the things I'm most thankful/grateful for:
  • I'm grateful for the opportunity to have spent much of this past year traveling the country and getting to meet so many wonderful people who are dedicated to improving their communities.
  • I'm grateful for the chance to collaborate with some fantastic, talented people in the design and delivery of training programs for our mutual clients.
  • I'm grateful for the clients who have included me into their worlds and allowed me to be a part of their future vision of a better world/work environment.
  • I'm grateful for all of the people who participated in my parents' 50th Wedding Anniversary Celebration - both in person and virtually. These include my friends who helped me, their friends who shared favorite memories and thoughts, our extended family, and the people who worked to make the event a success.
  • I'm grateful for my parents, and for each celebration (large and small) we're able to share together.
  • I'm grateful for my friends who continue to stick by me and cheer me on in my efforts (despite my mood or actions).
  • I'm grateful for my own persistence and perseverance (ok, stubborness!) that enables me to continue even when I'm not sure of the outcome.
I'll close with the last part of the daily affirmation I've read to myself this year:
I give thanks for the immediate, complete, divine fulfillment of my desires. This or something better comes forth with perfect timing according to God's rich good for me.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your special ones!

Monday, November 09, 2009

Making a Change? What is 1-Degree of Transformation?

What a ride! In the past month, I've been to Minneapolis, MN; Long Beach Island, NJ; Decatur, IL; and St. Louis, MO. The PLA - "Turning the Page" Tour (and one team building retreat) really made me qualify for road warrior status! It's been fun, though. I love traveling the country and meeting my rowdy librarians -- and, yes, they know that's how I refer to them! :-)

The sessions I facilitate help public library directors and trustees demonstrate how they help solve community issues. I help them develop compelling stories about residents who have benefited -- or whose lives have been transformed as a result of a library service (like FREE access to computers).

Over the past year, I've talked a lot about transformation with participants. And, I've cautioned them to not be overwhelmed or disheartened by the word or concept -- because it can seem really big. "How can I find people in my community whose lives have been transformed?!" My advice has been to focus on the impact of even the most basic of services.

What do I mean? The person who submits a successful online job application via a free computer at the library may have experienced a significant economic, personal and/or professional impact from a "basic" service (computer access). The transformational story shares the before & after situation of this person - with facts and anecdotes that will "hook" us into wanting to know more about what the library does.

In St. Louis, we also discussed the challenge of transforming opinions or perceptions. "If the people in my community think our library only has books, how can I let them know we do so much more?" Again, we cannot be discouraged because the task seems daunting or too much to take on. We can focus on making the smallest change first -- the 1-Degree of Transformation (not to be confused with 6-Degrees of Separation, LOL!).

I began using this phrase and participants really seemed to respond. What's the 1-Degree of Transformation that will begin moving things in the right direction? I think it's a relevant strategy to consider for your work with other people, as well as for your own goal setting and personal development. For example, here are some questions to think about:
  • Clients/Colleagues/Supporters:
    • What small change in behavior/perception would be most relevant right now?
    • What would making that small change do for your working relationship? 
    • How can you help facilitate that small change?
  • Goal Setting/Personal Development
    • What small change in your behavior/perception would be most relevant for you right now?
    • What would taking that small step do for your outlook on your situation?
    • How can you make that small change?
What do YOU think? Let me know your thoughts and reactions to this 1-Degree of Transformation. And, as you try it out, let me know how it goes -- either comment here on the blog or tweet me at Coach_Colette.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Competent Advantage Blog Gets a Makeover!

Fall has definitely arrived here in New York City. Although you may wonder how I even know this given my recent travel schedule - now that the PLA Tour has resumed! Last week, I was hanging with the librarians in Minneapolis -- ironically during the big Vickings-Packers game, and the first Twins-Yankees playoff game.

Here in the Big Apple, the leaves are beginning to change and fall from the trees. There's a distinct chill in the air that I can feel as the wind blows through the bulky sweater I've now started to wear over my clothes. ANYHOO, I thought I'd leverage the theme of change and give the blog a fashion-forward makeover, LOL!

You'll notice in the header that I've included the logo for the Competent Advantage TM Career Workbook. I thought it might be helpful for you to see the model on a regular basis, to give more context to my article posts. I've also re-ordered some of the links on the right toolbar - to give you a better sense of why I've included them. They are primarily links to other resources, like my podcast channel, aStore (book recommendations) and partner websites. Take a look at the changes on the blog, and let me know what you think!

I'll be traveling the country through November, mostly facilitating leadership and communication sessions for the rowdy librarians! :-) So, please don't feel like I'm ignoring you. Feel free to follow and tweet me on Twitter so we can stay in touch more often. OK? Cheers, Coach Colette

Monday, September 14, 2009

85 Broads Goes the Extra Mile to Fight Breast Cancer

Yesterday was the Komen Greater NYC Race for the Cure. It was phenomenal to be in the company of survivors, family members and supporters of this cause. There were so many great people with great energy! Here's a brief update and photos from the day's festivities.

First, I'd like to send a huge THANK YOU to the team at Ducale restaurant on Columbus Avenue. They hosted our 85 Broads - Komen NYC team for a wonderful pre-race breakfast. As we were power walking, many members remarked about how great were the coffee and (fresh-squeezed) orange juice. Here are some team members at the breakfast.
Here's a group photo of the 85 Broads - Komen NYC team in front of Ducale before we made our way to the starting line.

THANK YOU to Krista for bringing the 85 Broads water bottles that kept many of us refreshed as we ran and power walked the Race!

And, I'm so excited to report that the 85 Broads - Komen NYC team has exceeded its fundraising goal of $3,500 USD! On behalf of the team, I'd like to send a big THANK YOU to all of our donors!! The great news is that we can continue to receive donations until October 31, 2009. I'd love to see us go the extra mile and raise $5,000 before then!
Because, TOGETHER, we WILL Run Breast Cancer out of Town!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Coach Colette is Back in the Classroom

It's Back to School season, and the Coach is back in the classroom - virtually and in person! In addition to my client seminars (and the upcoming PLA "Tour"), I thought I'd share info on two upcoming public events. Would be great if you're able to join me.

1) Tuesday, September 15 - 12:00 PM EDT

You can listen to me chat LIVE with host Deb Bailey at Dial in to ask me questions about how you can achieve sustainable results in your career and personal life: (646) 929-0160; or TWEET ME your questions in advance of the show and I'll respond on-air.

Power Women Magazine is an online publication about women by women for women on issues that are important to women worldwide.

2) Tuesday, September 22 - 6:30 PM EDT
What has poor communication cost you in your career, business or personal relationships? Learn how to Achieve Communication Breakthroughs! Join me for an interactive presentation as I develop your skills to:
  • Resolve interpersonal challenges diplomatically
  • Communicate goals and expectations clearly
  • Motivate others to share in your vision
DWC-NYC is a chapter of the Downtown Women's Club business network that makes professional networking affordable, effective and fun!

I look forward to seeing YOU in September! :)

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

85 Broads-Komen NYC Team is Half-Way There

You can only imagine how excited I was to log into the 85 Broads NY - Komen Race for the Cure page this morning and find out we've achieved nearly 50% of our fundraising goal!

That's right our 28 team members have secured 42 gifts to bring us even closer to our $3,500 target. I'm so proud of the efforts of these fantastic women in our FIRST year of building a team (in only 2 months, I might add). I can't wait to walk with everyone on Sunday!

I'm also grateful to the supporters who have brought me 37% of the way towards my $250 Challenge. And, my FREE Assessment offers still stand for donors who contribute to my Challenge before Race Day on September 13th. Read my earlier blog post for more details on how to claim your Thank YOU!

Together, we WILL Run Breast Cancer Out of Town!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Stress in the City: Is Cuddling the Answer?

Forbes recently released its report on America's Most Stressful Cities. Topping the list for the second year in a row is Chicago -- followed by Los Angeles, New York, Cleveland, and Providence, RI.

Life factors considered in the study of 40 of America's largest metro areas were:
  1. Unemployment figures (Bureau of Labor Statistics - June 2009)
  2. Cost of living figures (Council for Community and Economic Research)
  3. Median home price declines (National Association of Realtors - 2008-2009)
  4. Population density (US Census)
  5. Number of sunny and/or partly sunny days (NES-DIS - 2007)
  6. Air quality figures (US EPA - 2007)

As a native New Yorker, I can appreciate our ranking in the Top 5 of metro areas. However, you know that I'm a big proponent of finding creative, proactive ways to manage your stress. A lot of this has to do with your self-perception and self-talk.

Most of the life factors on the list are not things we can actively control -- EXCEPT that we do have a choice about where we live. In today's tight job market, you may challenge me on that a bit. "I HAVE to live here because of my job." But, remember, once you start to view your situation in terms of what you "HAVE" to do, you've already given yourself an extra burden of stress. The choice still exists; hopefully you're able to choose your best option at the particular moment in time.

From the career/job search perspective, I've written before about the value of focusing on the things you can control - your physical and online career presence, and your marketing collateral.

From the personal wellness perspective, I've written about the importance of flipping the script to create a more positive viewpoint. That may mean changing how you think about your situation, letting go of the "SHOULDs", or allowing space for things to be less than perfect. [I know, the horror!]

Social supports are important, too. One interesting link in the article was to a video about a new trend of hosting Cuddle Parties. Apparently taking heed of the value of physical touch in reducing stress, these parties have been held in the New York and San Francisco areas.

Would you attend (have you attended) a Cuddle Party? Comment here or tweet me your response and to share other ways you deal with stress.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Support our Komen NYC Team, Get FREE Career Tools

I've decided to create a fantastic offer to help YOU AND the 85 Broads NYC/Tri-State Chapter team for Komen Race for the Cure.

From today through RACE Day (September 13, 2009), I'll give away one FREE Competent Advantage TM Assessment or e-Workbook, or one FREE Stress Management Health Assessment to anyone who supports my $250 Challenge for the Komen Race for the Cure.

If you are able to contribute:

  • Up to $15.00 you will receive a FREE Competent Advantage TM Career Assessment

  • From $16.00 to $25.00 you will receive a FREE Stress Management Health Assessment

  • From $26.00 to $30.00 you will receive a FREE Competent Advantage TM Career e-Workbook

For more information about these tools, please visit our InStep Consulting Online Shop.

All you have to do is visit my Komen page before September 13th, make a pledge to contribute and send a copy of the email that confirms your contribution. Send the confirmation to []. (Limit one FREE tool per donation.)

Thanks in advance for your encouragement, support and participation. Together we will Run Breast Cancer Out of Town! Regards, Coach_Colette

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Coach Colette & 85 Broads Will Run Breast Cancer Out of Town

DID YOU KNOW? One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. Breast cancer knows no boundaries -- not age, socioeconomic status, geographic location or ethnic background.

As chair of the 85 Broads NYC/Tri-State Chapter Health & Wellness Committee, I'm so excited that we have launched our FIRST annual team for the Komen NYC Race for the Cure!

On Sunday, September 13, 2009 at 9:00 AM, the Greater New York City Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure will hold its 19th Annual 5K Run/Walk in Central Park. On that day, over 25,000 New Yorkers (including over 1,600 breast cancer survivors) will come together to run breast cancer out of town!

How Can YOU Help?
  1. If you live in the New York area, become a part of our team. REGISTER online by August 31, 2009 at Be sure to click on the "Join a Race Team" tab and select the 85 Broads NY as the team you wish to join. Click HERE for the direct link.

  2. Consider making a contribution to support my $250 Challenge. DONATE online by October 31, 2009 by clicking HERE for the direct link.

  3. Encourage your family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues to support the Komen Race for the Cure. Share this post with your social networks.

While there is no minimum fundraising amount, if every participant were to raise $250, Komen Greater NYC would be able to award as much as $500,000 more in grants to local community breast health programs and provide more funding for research.

I'll keep you posted on the progress with my $250 Challenge and the 85 Broads NY team as a whole. And, I'll be thinking about how to prepare myself for the race day. I haven't decided if I will walk or run .... any suggestions? Tweet me your ideas!

Thanks in advance for your encouragement, support and participation. Together we will:

Monday, July 13, 2009

NEW Podcast: What's Your Personal Brand?

Summer is upon us; but the InStep Consulting team realizes that even if you're on vacation, you're still seeking relevant, helpful information in today's tight marketplace. So, we're continuing our NEW podcast series, InSide the HR Studio, to offer an insider's perspective on career transition and success.

We have a special guest InSide the HR Studio - Kaliym Islam, Vice President of DTCC Learning. His career has spanned across internal Learning & Development to his current role in which he oversees the design and delivery of the company's external training programs and products, including e-learning, instructor-led training and documentation. These efforts help to strengthen DTCC's relationship with its customers by keeping them abreast of the varied financial products and services it offers.

In the podcast, Kaliym and I discuss strategies to Create a Buzz and define your personal brand in the workplace. We also talk about the ways to leverage social media tools (like blogs and podcasts) to communicate that brand to a wider audience. Kaliym shares personal stories about his ascent within DTCC and how he created an "advisory board" that has provided great insight as he has navigated his career.

Tune in to the podcast to find out what Kaliym's personal branding motto ICEM stands for. [HINT: the "I" stands for Identify -- but you'll have to listen to the podcast for the rest of the terms and how the motto can help YOU define YOUR personal brand!]

Then, share your thoughts here or tweet me your brand on Twitter!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

VOTE for InStep Consulting in MyBizCounts Contest

Coach Colette and the team at InStep Consulting are seeking your support! Please VOTE for our mini commercial in the Contest sponsored by Sage Software, Inc.

You can submit ONE vote per day from TODAY until July 31, 2009. The Top 20 commericals at the end of the voting period will enter the final round to compete for $20,000 in cash and over $4,000 in software prizes! If we win, it will expand our capacity to help YOU achieve YOUR GOALS even more! We'll even take your input on the types of products and services you'd like to see us develop should we win this contest.

FYI: when you get to the voting page, our video is in Row 3, second from the left!
Thanks for your support! :)

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Take Some "ME-TIME" at 2 PM EST TODAY! Win $25 Makeup Gift Certificates

Just for fun, ladies! Coach Colette has decided to participate in a LIVE Multimedia Show with Katja Presnal of Skimbaco Lifestyle TODAY at 2:00 PM EST. The show is part of e.l.f. cosmetics BlogHer stories series produced by Why tune in? Well, you've just got to love her business slogan/motto: "Live Life to the FULLEST!"

Katja will be sharing fashion tips - perhaps you'll gain some ideas for creative but professional attire for interviews? Or, maybe, just ideas for ME-TIME fun and summer gatherings. She also will be raffling $25 e.l.f. cosmetics gift cards - perfect to save a little cash while still rewarding yourself.

Don't you deserve some ME-TIME today? Then, relax, refresh and tune in HERE for some fun ideas today at 2PM EST! Tweet me to share the cool tips you receive and definitely let me know if you WIN one of the gift cards. Good luck!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Get Tips to Launch Your New Business: TOMORROW in NYC

Have you considered starting your own business, or making your 'side hustle' a legitimate venture? Then, join me TOMORROW from 5:30 PM at The Entrepreneurs' Circle: Interactive Discovery Workshop Series.

If you think that entrepreneurship might be your NEW path, sign up for The Entrepreneurs' Circle. You'll hear success stories from business owners who have made it, and gain tips to avoid the isolation many entrepreneurs often feel.

The Entrepeneurs' Circle Workshop will feature four groupings that are tailored to your' stage of business development:

  1. Pre-Idea
  2. Initial Development
  3. Development
  4. Established Business

Each group will be led by a trained and specialized executive, small business or life coach. I will be there to lead participants in the Pre-Idea phase through discussion and 'laser coaching' activities to help explore the transition, identify their unique 'competent advantage' in business, and create a buzz about their upcoming new venture.

Jump out of your comfort zone and SIGN UP TODAY! Space for this event is limited due to the individualized attention being provided by the coaches.

Bring your pad, pen, paper, or laptop -- This is a working session! See YOU TOMORROW!"

Monday, June 15, 2009

NEW Podcast: Need Answers for Tough Interview Questions?

The team at InStep Consulting continues to offer timely information via our NEW podcast series called InSide the HR Studio. This special series features senior corporate HR leaders who provide an insiders perspective on career transition and success.

Our current guest is Mary Crisafulli, Chief Talent Officer with ClearVision Optical. Her charge is to retain, develop and grow a "leading team" within the company. She and her team manage all training efforts, including management and technical training, and the content for the company's national sales meetings. In addition, Mary leads the more "traditional" HR initiatives including payroll, benefits, and employee events.

Most relevant to this podcast, Mary also spearheads Recruiting for ClearVision; bringing in talented people, "onboarding" them and helping them to develop via formal training and "on-the-job" learning activities.

In this podcast, Mary and I discuss how you can prepare for and best respond to Behavioral Interview Questions. You know ... the questions that often begin with "Tell me about a time when you ..." Tune in for suggestions on how you can actually use these questions to your advantage.
Mary also shares the recruiter's perspective on other "tough" interview questions -- why she asks them, and what she's really hoping to hear. Are you a "job hopper"? Gain some ideas on how to position your previous experience in an honest, but compelling way.

After listening to the podcast, let me know your thoughts and reactions. What interviewing do's or don'ts would you like to share?
Interested in learning more about job opportunities at ClearVision? Visit their Careers page.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Why I'm STILL Not a Cookie-Cutter Coach

Perhaps since I'm preparing to teach a Coaching Skills for Managers workshop this week, I've been thinking more about my own coaching approach and philosophy.

I'm reminded of an article I wrote almost two years ago called: Why I'm Not a Cookie-Cutter Coach. It was prompted by an encounter I had at a networking event at which I was challenged by an attendee to come up with my Top 5 Tips for Reducing Stress. You could imagine me experiencing a similar situation today; only the request would probably center on my Top 5 Tips to Find a New Job.

Ironically, my epiphany about this situation didn't come from a debate about the tips themselves; but from the frustration exhibited by the person with whom I was speaking. Somehow, his perception of my credibility changed because I didn't just rattle off 5 ideas from the top of my head. Instead, I chose to ask questions and learn more about the fictitious "client in distress" he described. You can re-read the article for more details and my response.

In the upcoming Coaching Skills workshop, I'll be discussing with participants how to strike a balance between probing (to learn of concerns, goals, needs) and telling (to share tips, recommendations, guidance) with their employees. Being mindful of this balance is important for both internal managers and external coaches -- both of whom want to help facilitate positive growth and results.

I stand by my earlier affirmation: I'm Not a Cookie-Cutter Coach. Each client is unique and each situation has different parameters. I'm not aware of any "add-water-stir, one-right-answer" that will work for everyone. I do know that I'm really good at listening, and can help others flip the script to achieve their biggest dreams. I know this is my calling because I enjoy asking provocative questions to learn more, and help my clients surface their true concerns, goals, needs, dreams, and aspirations.
Perhaps this makes me a "start from-scratch" coach? :)

Monday, June 08, 2009

Competent Advantage Blog Now on Kindle

Like the portability of the Kindle, but don't want to miss out on my blog updates? I've got GREAT news! You can subscribe to the Competent Advantage TM Kindle Edition.
That's right! After you subscribe, blog posts will be auto-delivered wirelessly to your Kindle and regularly updated so you can stay current.
Curious about the product? Check out the Kindle Amazon' s 6" Reader HERE!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

NEW Podcast: Functional Resume Helps Tell Your Story

The team at InStep Consulting continues our NEW podcast series called InSide the HR Studio. This special series features senior corporate HR leaders who provide an insiders perspective on career transition and success.

Our current guest InSide the HR Studio is Patrice Funderburg, Manager of Diversity & Inclusion for Lowe's Companies, Inc. Patrice has direct responsibility for integration of Lowe's Diversity & Inclusion Strategy and Operating Platform, with a specific focus on diversity staffing, retention programs and measurement, as well as supplier diversity initiatives.

In the podcast, Patrice and I discuss how you can increase your marketability with a Functional Resume. We share strategies to help create working documents that encourages an interviewer to draw the right conclusions and ask questions that help you talk about your BEST skills.

So, take a listen and let me know what you think! To help you create your BEST CV, we're also in the process of launching a NEW Resume Review service. EMAIL us if you'd like to get more information on this new service.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Know the 9 Early Warning Signs that Stress is Negatively Impacting Your Life?

It's Your Time to take simple steps for a longer, healthier, and happier life! This is the theme of 2009 National Women's Health Week, a health observance from May 10-16 coordinated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office on Women's Health (OWH) to empower women to make our health a top priority. Important steps include:

It is also important to be aware of warning signs that stress (about finances, job status, personal life) may be adversely affecting your emotional or mental well being --or that of someone you care about. These signs include:

  1. Persistent Sadness/Crying
  2. Excessive Anxiety
  3. Lack of Sleep/Constant Fatigue
  4. Excessive Irritability/Anger
  5. Increased drinking
  6. Illicit drug use, including misuse of medications
  7. Difficulty paying attention or staying focused
  8. Apathy - not caring about things that are usually important to you
  9. Not being able to function as well at normal tasks

If you or someone you care about is experiencing these symptoms, you are not alone. These are common reactions to stress, and there are coping techniques that you can use to help manage it. These techniques include ways to:

  • Manage your reaction (e.g., deep breathing, meditation and positive thinking); or to
  • Re-think your situation (e.g., creative visualization, journaling, self-esteem building).
  • You can also take positive action to change your situation - on your own, or with the help of a coach or counselor (e.g., problem solving, communication role-plays, goal-setting, action planning).

Women are often the caregivers for our spouses, children, and parents and we forget to focus on our own health. But research shows that when we women take care of ourselves, the health of our family (and our community) improves.

I thought we can use some inspiration to Spring Cleanse ourselves for a healthier mindset. So, I found an article by Swami Saradananda about the yoga principle of Saucha (physical and mental purification). Enjoy - and here's to your health! :)

Monday, May 04, 2009

Get Career Tips from HR InSiders - NEW Podcast Series

I’m delighted to announce the launch of a NEW podcast series called InSide the HR Studio. Now that the rules of the game in the workplace are in constant flux, I’m hosting this special podcast series with senior HR leaders who will provide an insiders perspective on career transition and offer relevant tips on how to succeed in today’s workplace.

Our first guest InSide the HR Studio is Bernie Frazier, Vice President of Talent Acquisition for Fleishman-Hillard, a global PR consultancy. Based in St. Louis, Bernie manages all recruiting efforts for Fleishman in the U.S., Canada, Latin America, South America and Australia. In addtion to being responsible for their U.S. immigration program, she also manages employee relations and a team of corporate recruiters.

In the podcast, Bernie and I discuss how companies have changed their recruiting strategies, and are using different ways and places to advertise open positions, and new strategies to source candidates. Bernie also shares specific tips to enhance your LinkedIn profile and leverage Twitter to increase your visibility in your industry. For example, Fleishman Hillard started using Twitter to post job opportunities, and recently hired someone via Twitter.

Want to learn TweetDeck can help you in your job search? Then, tune in to the podcast!

Bernie shares some tips to help you "think like a recruiter, not a candidate" as you network: "Don’t be too aggressive or too desperate; hold on to your confidence. Recruiters are overburdened nowadays, so be sensitive."

After you listen to the podcast, if you want to learn more about career opportunities at Fleishman-Hillard visit: Or, check out their Stand Out Blog with more thoughts from their recruiters at:

Thursday, April 23, 2009

NEW Podcast: Are You Ready to Work with a Coach?

Did you know that individuals who engage in a coaching relationship can expect to experience:

  • fresh perspectives on personal challenges and opportunities,
  • enhanced thinking and decision making skills,
  • enhanced interpersonal effectiveness, and
  • increased confidence in carrying out their chosen work and life roles

These benefits have been identified by the International Coach Federation.

To give you even more perspective on this topic, I'm delighted to share with you a NEW podcast called: Are You Ready to Work with a Coach? It's a conversation between me (founder and Head Coach of InStep Consulting LLC) and Andrea Bradford. Andrea is also a seasoned executive coach and career management professional who helps clients value their personal strengths and define their professional goals.

In the podcast, Andrea and I discuss the benefits of working with a coach to help achieve your personal and professional goals. We also share thoughts on how you can ready yourself to get the best results from a coaching relationship. If you've ever considered hiring a coach, you'll definitely get some insights from this podcast.

After you've listened to the podcast, let me know your thoughts and if you'd like to learn more about our coaching programs. You can "tweet me" on Twitter - just search for Coach Colette. Or, you can complete our Contact Form to arrange a FREE introductory call to discover if coaching with InStep is right for YOU!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Coach Colette on Career Communique Radio, 4/19 6PM EDT

Are you looking for tips on how to showcase your accomplishments in an interview or performance review meeting, present yourself with confidence at professional networking events or gain recognition in your company or industry?

Blog Talk Radio is hosting What’s Your WOW! Factor? featuring me on Sunday, April 19, 2009 from 6pm to 6:30pm EDT. Join Annemarie Cross and Keith Keller of Career Communiqué Radio as they interview me LIVE all the way from Australia!

I'll be discussing how to leverage your strengths and create a buzz about your accomplishments, and how you can position yourself for new opportunities to achieve your career and professional goals.

If you have any questions you would like answered BEFORE the show, leave a message on the Competent Advantage message line at: (214) 615-6505, ext. 6717 OR you can tweet the coach on Twitter at:

During the show, the live chat feature will be operational on Career Communiqué Radio; alternatively you can ring in live and share your question/comment with Annemarie, Keith & I on: (914) 338 0714.

And, remember to pop across and join us at our InStep Consulting Fan page on Facebook: Looking forward to chatting with you on Sunday!

Monday, April 13, 2009

NEW Podcast: Are You Too Proud (or Shy) to Brag?

I'm proud to share with you a podcast in which I was interviewed by Stacey Shipman for her Back to Your Senses show.

In this podcast, I share practical answers to frequently asked questions about self-promotion:

  • What is your WOW! Factor? How/when can you share it?
  • Why is it important for both business owners and career professionals to create a buzz about your accomplishments?
  • What are effective ways to self-promote without appearing “pushy” or “arrogant”?
This last point is particularly relevant given our current situation - I'd argue that now is NOT the time for you to be bashful about highlighting how you can add value to a prospective employer or new client. While self-promotion can sometimes be a challenge, I provide simple steps you can take TODAY to start promoting not only yourself but your values as well.

And, I've renewed my 140-character pitch challenge to all of my listeners and readers. Whether you are a job seeker or business owner, tips in this podcast will help you network and promote yourself to success!

After you listen to the podcast, please share your comments and feedback. You can tweet me on Twitter or share your 140-character pitch here on the blog.

Coach Colette Wants to Hear from YOU!

At InStep Consulting, you know you can expect an honest, responsive partner in your growth and success. We want to help you achieve sustainable results! So, we've created a message line to capture your questions, comments, challenges and success stories.

Give us a call at: (214) 615-6505 ext 6717 to share a success story, or request a topic for a podcast or blog article.

Since the rules of the game are in constant flux, this spring I’ll be hosting a NEW podcast series called InSide the HR Studio to provide an insiders perspective on career transition and offer relevant tips on how achieve sustainable results in today’s workplace. These shows will feature conversations with today's leading HR professionals.

If you'd like to have YOUR question answered on the air, call us at: (214) 615-6505 ext 6717.

You can remain anonymous; however, we'll be offering a SPECIAL GIFT to callers who leave their email at the end of their recorded message. I look forward to hearing from YOU! :)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Change Your Thoughts to Spring Into Success

Believe it or not, Spring arrives on Friday. Are you ready?

As the seasons change and the temperatures get warmer, are you thinking about ways to get back in shape? And, perhaps, have you started to feel guilty for the "comfort" foods you ate during the winter months? If so, STOP the negative thoughts and flip the script now!

I invite you to tune in to a new podcast I've published with Cynthia Stadd, a holistic nutrition and healthy life coach and founder of Cynfully Healthy. It's called No More Brain Candy: Change Your Thoughts, Improve Your Health. We talk about how your thought patterns connect to your overall health and wellbeing.

This year has been a period of transition for many of us - whether it's been a change in your employment status, business growth/revenue, or personal relationships. And, if you've spent time during the winter "hibernating" a bit from the elements, it can be easy to get trapped in feelings of anger, guilt or frustration.

Take care - as we enter the second quarter, you may be "should-ing" all over yourself - I should be farther ahead by now; or I should have accomplished more of my goals by now. If so, STOP the "should-ing" and flip the script now! It may have a negative impact on your health. As Cynthia and I discuss on the podcast, even if negative/self-doubting thoughts aren't centered around food or body image, they can still create bad habits such as "mindless eating."

  • Take advantage of the Spring to get a change of scenery - can you eat lunch outside, take walks in your neighborhood, or visit local parks on the weekends?
  • Think about one important goal. Take some time to envision what it will be like when you have achieved it. It’s important to create a clear vision of your success.
  • Keep the image/feeling in your mind and make at least one positive, affirming statement about it. By defining and articulating your success, you’ll help to attract the resources you’ll need to make it a reality.
And, if you're still a little skeptical -- after you listen to the podcast, you may want to read a related article by Darrin Steen called What You Think & Speak Can End Your Life or Save It. He probably doesn't mean to be so dramatic ... or does he? Share your comments and thoughts here or tweet me on Twitter.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Nice Gig if You Can Get It - New Podcast

I recently published a NEW podcast called Consulting Gigs: Freelance Your Way to Your Next Role. It's my recorded interview with Laura Smith Dunaief, a fellow career transition consultant who also helps people to consider career alternatives and then effectively position themselves in the job market.

In this podcast, Laura and I talk about the benefits of taking on freelance gigs while you're in between full-time opportunities. We talk about the so-called "perks" of the consulting lifestyle, and also dispel some of the myths. And, since any gig is a chance for you to highlight your competent advantage, we discuss ways you can maximize your value and exposure from these opportunities.

Many of you may recall that I re-ignited my business via consulting gigs after I was "downsized" six years ago. It was February 2003 and I'd just shipped back the laptop, printer, etc. to my former employer. I felt I had two professional options:
  1. Attempt to find another job
  2. Attempt to sell my skills in the “open market” as a consultant
What did I do? I began to leverage the contacts I'd built in my external consulting role, and promote the skills I'd gained as both a training manager and facilitator. I started sending out email campaigns to showcase my talents and reaching out to colleagues to find out who might hire a contract trainer. Back then, I gave myself until the end of the year to make the freelance consulting option work for me. As they say, the rest is history; I've been building my practice ever since.

For me, I found it thrilling to discuss concrete ways I could add value to a project -- which to me meant focusing more on my comparable work, even if for a different industry. Of course, I know you can have those same conversations in interviews for full-time employment [in fact you'd better be focusing on highlighting your transferable skills in your interviews!]. Perhaps it was the sense of adventure I felt while auditioning for my first few freelance training gigs that kept me motivated to keep consulting.

Do you need a little help to step out of your comfort zone or put your "shingle" out there? In addition to listening to our consulting gigs podcast, I'd also suggest you read an article by John Carpenter called The Advantage of Having an Adventure Attitude. Try to view your transition as an adventure worth your time, energy and creativity. Discover new ways to freelance your way into the role of your lifetime!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Create a Buzz: Build Your Brand with Video

I've just discovered a great resource to create videos called Animoto. It's a user-friendly site that enables you to upload relevant images about yourself or your brand, and include a fun music track. I created this short video about InStep Consulting and our approach to test the functionality.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Coach Colette to Speak at Women For Hire DC Expo

I'm really excited about my upcoming presentation this Thursday at the Women for Hire Career Expo in Washington DC. Ironically, when asked to "pitch" my presentation, I decided to focus on Create a Buzz: Brand Yourself in 140-Characters (or less). You may recall that this was the subject of a recent blog post.

Well, I really had to practice what I'd pitched. How? After being accepted as a speaker, the marketing coordinator asked me for a 1-sentence bio and a 2-sentence description of my breakout seminar! I kid you not. Learning how to create short, compelling pitches is a skill you'll want to master whether you're in the job market or looking to reach new clients for your business.

Want to know what I wrote?
Title of presentation: Create a Buzz: Brand Yourself in 140-Characters or Less
1 sentence bio: “Coach Colette” Ellis helps leaders leverage their passion, power and relationships to achieve their personal and professional goals.
2 sentence description: If you’re looking for a new job, you’re engaging in self-marketing, and the product is YOU! Learn how to create a compelling pitch for your “brand” and use Social Media/Networking to help promote your goals and accomplishments.

If you know of any women job seekers in the DC area, please encourage them to attend this fantastic, FREE career expo. I'm looking forward to being amongst a group of fabulous movers-and-shakers who want to achieve meaningful results in their careers!

Monday, February 09, 2009

How Do You Keep Your Brand On the Grid?

What are you doing to keep your brand - personal or professional - on people's radar? Given that we're all being bombarded with messages from so many sources, how do you keep people in your network informed (but not overwhelmed) about your goals?

I'd invite you to listen, download and share my latest podcast called: How to Stay on the Grid: Networking 2.0. This is a discussion with Adrian Miller, President & Founder of Adrian Miller Sales Training.

In this podcast, we discuss the new rules of the game of networking 2.0 - which is about more than just using various social media tools, like Twitter or Facebook. Adrian and I talk about the difference between linear and circular networking, and explain which approach can be more effective in helping you to become a true connector. And, when you listen, you'll find out why being a connector is a crucial component to your personal and professional success.

So, take a listen and get some concrete tips on how to take your networking skills to the next level. You may also want to read an interesting article on Identifying Your Networking Strengths and Weaknesses by Ivan Miser.

After you have listened to the podcast and read the article, share your networking success stories - tweet me or post them in the comments.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

What's Your 140-Character Pitch?

What ARE you doing to promote your personal or professional brand - in 140 characters or less? I'm sure you've gotten quite prolific at texting or tweeting your latest commuting adventure, weekend escapade, famous person sighting, etc. in 140 characters or less.

But, can you use Twitter and/or other microblogging sites to create a buzz about what you're REALLY doing -- or perhaps seeking -- in your life?

The idea for this post hit me this morning around 7:15 AM [long story]; so I decided to Google careers in 140 characters. And, I discovered some interesting things. I came across a tweeter called The Media is Hiring, who "helps media employees who have been laid off find new work 140 characters at a time."

I also found a story about a woman named Chelsea Winkel who apparently found her job via connections she made on Twitter. Of course, when you read the story, you'll see that it took a bit more than just creating a Twitter account. Her Problem Solved blog and website both explain how she can add value in her industry. But, the connection with her new employer was sparked via Twitter.

Seems like Chelsea took Stephen Baker's advice from his Business Week Blogspotting blog, when he challenged us last May to write 140 character resumes for ourselves and famous people.

In essence, we're all now challenged to come up with 140-character pitches (instead of 30-second elevator speeches). As you know, I aim to practice what I preach, walk the talk, etc. So, I've come up with my (initial) 140-character pitch: "Coach Colette helps business leaders leverage their power, passion and relationships to achieve meaningful results in 140-characters or less."

What do you think? Tweet me your 140-character pitch at Coach_Colette.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

What will be YOUR Call to Action over the Next 100 Days?

Yesterday, we all watched history in the making with the swearing in of the first African-American President of the United States. The energy at Times Square was electric - even in the cold. When I stopped to take this not-very-clear picture of the jumbo-tron in Times Square, one woman asked me if we could take pictures of each other as the "moment" happened.

I hope she found another person to exchange with as I honored my RSVP to watch the event at Tonic with DL21C members and friends. Thanks to Mark, Adam and Penny for sharing their table on the second floor!

Now that Change has come to America, I feel proud and inspired. For the first time, I added the NEW to my Favorites! I also feel an almost overwhelming sense of responsibility to be an active participant in the Rebuilding of America. As we know, President Obama and the new Administration will be facing some steep challenges to Rebuild America. The world will be watching his actions over the Next 100 Days.

What will be YOUR Call to Action over the Next 100 Days?
  • How will you leverage your power and my passion to create your world as you desire?

  • How will you share your valuable gifts that others can receive only from you?
I've also started this discussion on my Facebook page. Please become a "Fan" and share your goals, ideas and dreams! And, as you accomplish your goals, keep us posted on how you're doing.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Healthy Habits for Your Mind, Body & Spirit

It's a new year -- you want to be productive and focus on your goals and priorities. To improve your personal and professional success, you must look at yourself as a whole person: MIND, BODY & SPIRIT. Let's take a peek at some tips and tools to help you develop Healthy Habits for a Healthy Mind, Body & Spirit!

Your health is one of your most important assets. Being healthy increases your likelihood of achieving all the other goals you've set for yourself. Have you thought about your health coverage? Most of us have coverage through our employers; but employment is not a guarantee for health insurance these days. And, if you have recently experienced a change in your employment status, you want to ensure that you will be covered for basic checkups, and/or for unexpected events. Check out a few strategies from the Dolans on how to Get Healthy and Wealthy in 2009.
Let's face it: you're more creative when you're not stressed out. Reducing your stress can improve your health. Why? Stress can cause changes in your body and make you more likely to get sick. Learn about the connection between some common ailments and stress.

The goal is not to do away with stress, but to learn to lower your arousal levels and develop active ways to manage with it. A lot centers around how you perceive your situation when you encounter one of your triggers. Your mind will go through a series of internal questioning and processing:
  • "Have I experienced this challenge before?"

  • "What are the 'stakes' in the outcome?"

  • "How confident do I feel about my ability to resolve this?"

All of these factors will determine what your reaction will be to the situation. These can include physical responses (such as tension, aches, pains or breathing problems) and emotional responses (such as poor concentration, anxiety, or sleep disturbances).

Health Resources & Tools
Assessments can help you track progress towards your goals and make healthier decisions.

The Wellness Inventory is a "whole person" assessment that can give you a holistic view of your emotional, physical and spiritual state of being. Learn more about how one investment can give you access to the inventory, personal action plan, Wellness Journal and other tools to support your personal growth for the whole year!

The Stress Management Health Assessment can help you recognize situations that cause you stress in your different roles, and identify how people around you do or do not provide support. Learn more about a comprehensive tool to help you recognize your stress triggers and identify how they may be impacting your health.

Want to incorporate some of these healthy-living strategies into your plan? Through health assessments, interactive workshops, and coaching sessions we can help you take action steps to acheve your health and wellness goals. Contact us today to discuss our individual and group coaching programs!

Monday, January 05, 2009

What 3 Words Will Define 2009?

I've been working to refine my 2009 Goals, as mentioned in my post from last week. Recently, I gained inspiration from a post I read on the Women'sDISH - DWC blog that led me to a challenge posed by social media guru, Chris Brogan. He suggests identifying 3 Words that encompass your 2009 goals.

The concept is brilliant because it forces you to think deeper [hint, you'll be seeing that word again soon] and broader than your specific tasks. It also helps you to create an affirmation or mantra that you can repeat to keep yourself motivated when you hit bumps along the road. Well, it wasn't easy, but I came up with my 3 Words -- started by reviewing business goals and brainstorming on what words could reflect those and give me some inspiration. So, here they are:
  1. Deepen – my connections with my family and friends; and with my clients and the people I attract into my network and circle of influence to create a true InStep team
  2. Platform – build a visible platform from which to share my knowledge, skills, gifts and abilities; and to promote the knowledge, skills, gifts and abilities of my team
  3. Leverage – my power, passions, skills, abilities, gifts, network to build the business and world I desire
I've created a daily task in Outlook that will remind me to check my passions and reaffirm my 3 Words.

In addition, I've revisited my Strategic Attraction Plan to adjust for 2009 -- realized that a missing piece was concrete marketing goals. So, I'm raising the bar for number of blog posts and podcasts I'll create. And, I've added at least one target for direct marketing.

What are your 3 Words for 2009? What are your 2009 goals? Post or tweet me @Coach_Colette.

BTW, there's still time to share your 2009 goals on our survey to receive your FREE assessment (until January 15).

Thursday, January 01, 2009

January 1 - A Day of Meditation

I was inspired by doing some research on the The Official Kwanzaa Web Site about the last day of Kwanzaa, January 1. It's intended to be a day of meditation and self-reflection to explore some of our deepest issues, concerns and values.

On this New Years Day, I thought I'd share the three primary Kawaida meditation questions to inspire your internal journey. They are:
  1. Who am I?

  2. Am I really who I SAY I am?

  3. Am I all I ought to be?

2008 was a year of self-reflection and introspection for me. I hope to continue my internal journey in 2009 so that I can be of continued help and service to the world.

I do wish all of you great blessings in 2009. I'll close this post with a link to The Odu Ifa Meditation to inspire us all to "give continuous attention to the future; and let us give deep consideration to the consequences of things."