Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Brief Reflection on 2010

Sam Javanrouh,
Today, my daily Enneagram message inspired me to take some time to reflect on 2010. The message had a compelling reflection prompt and a personal exploration question all wrapped into one! So, I thought I'd share them both with you:
  • Reflection Prompt: Reflect on 2010 to see how you've grown and what issues still block your way to deeper transformation.
  • Exploration Question: Has there been a theme during 2010, and do you see a pattern for your future challenges [and opportunities]?
For me, I believe that I have grown spiritually by committing to and completing the Chopra Center 21-Day Meditation Challenge. Since August, I've been meditating and/or reciting my gratitude list nearly every day. And, I use the mantras I've learned to "flip my script" and counteract any negative self-talk. I believe that this new perspective has continued to motivate me to explore new possibilities for my business and be open to attracting new potential partners.

You know that as a coach I believe in transparency; so I'm choosing to share my personal transformation challenge (of letting go) with you. I believe I'm blocked in allowing certain things to manifest in my personal life. It is a continual process for me to affirm my future vision, set my intentions and LET GO of the exact manner in which these things will manifest for me personally.

The primary theme for 2010 is based on one of my 3-Words for 2010 -- global. You've read about my global library project, plus new global partnerships I formed this year. I do intend to deepen and expand my global relationships in 2011, and do more traveling as well. I need to get out (of my office) to explore the world and continue to expand my horizons.

I'm sharing this small excerpt of my 2010 reflection and 2011 visioning, even as I've been aiming to unplug during my snowy "staycation" this week. I'm still pondering what will be my 3-Words for 2011; and have yet to create my 2011 vision slideshow. But, I didn't want the year to end without a quick message to you. Thank you for reading and for sharing your thoughts and insights with me this past year.

"Each of us is here for a brief sojourn; for what purpose one knows not, though one senses it. But without deeper reflection one knows from daily life that one exists for other people." -- Albert Einstein

Here's wishing you a Fantastic, Fun, Healthy, Happy New Year!
I look forward to interacting with you in 2011.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

For What Are You Most Grateful This Year?

"Gratitude is heaven itself." ~ William Blake

Thanksgiving is often a day to reflect on and share the aspects of our lives for which we are most grateful / thankful. This year has been interesting -- sometimes exhilirating, sometimes challenging, sometimes unexpected.

I had an "A-HA!"moment last evening, reminding me to be grateful / thankful for all of my experiences. It can be helpful to remind ourselves that we are shaped by all of our experiences. It can be so easy to focus on the things that haven't worked, or didn't go the way we wished -- and lose sight of the lessons and insights we've gained. On a higher plane, things are the way they're "supposed" to be.

I am grateful / thankful for this opportunity to reflect on this, and ponder my other sources of gratitude. Here are a few:

I'm always so grateful / thankful for my parents, whose unconditional love is an unspoken source of support and comfort. And, I'm grateful / thankful for the ability to still spend time with them.

I'm grateful / thankful for my friends, whether near or far; many fun memories that can be a great pick-me-up on a challenging day.

I'm grateful / thankful for my clients, whose needs I always hope I am meeting.

I'm grateful / thankful for my global travel and encounters this year -- reinforcing my belief in affirmations and mantras ("global" was one of my 3 Words for 2010).

I'm grateful / thankful for my home and all of its comforts -- even if there are things I'd like to change or improve.

For whom / what things are you most grateful this year?

Feel free to share your thoughts here or tweet me on Twitter.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

NEW Podcast: Get Paid What You're Worth Even in the New Normal

Has the New Normal impacted your ability to negotiate for money?

The message we're receiving about money in today's economy is that it's TIGHT! Consumers are scrutinizing every purchase; and, managers are still nervous about spending. To get ahead, you must be able to demonstrate the ROI and value-add of any additional resources.

The GOOD news, I've just recorded a new podcast to help you! It's my conversation with Kathleen Kingsbury, founder of KBK Wealth Connection. In this podcast, Kathleen and I discuss how you can master your money psychology, and increase your ability to negotiate for what you're worth.

Whether you're an employee preparing for your year-end performance review, a job seeker getting ready to land your next job, or an entrepreneur planning to close your next deal, this podcast has great tips for you!

Kathleen, a certified professional coach and author of Creating Wealth from the Inside Out Workbook, helps clients to bravely look at their relationship with money and to make lasting financial, behaviorial changes.

One money psychology strategy we discussed on the podcast is to figure out which aspect of your brain you typically use when you're negotiating or discussing money: your emotional mind or your rational mind. This will help you understand how you're responding to the other person. Listen to the podcast for the series of questions Kathleen recommends you ask yourself before these conversation.

As always, I want to hear your feedback about the podcast. Feel free to tweet me your money success stories (or challenges) on Twitter. And, if you'd like to share part of your Dear Money Letter here, please do so in the Comments section!

Here's to all of us gettin' paid in 2011! :-)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Shop 'Small' at InStep on Nov. 27 - Get $25 Back

Did you know: For every $100 spent at a local business, $68 returns to the community?

This year, Saturday November 27th is the first-ever Small Business Saturday -- a day to support the local businesses that create jobs, boost the economy, and preserve neighborhoods around the country.

If you're an American Express cardmember, you have an even better incentive to participate: a $25 statement credit when you spend $25 or more at a small business. To participate, you'll need to register your American Express card by November 27th at

Then, visit our Online Shop to purchase one of our career development or wellness tools -- either for yourself or as a great holiday gift for a friend or family member! By shopping "small," you'll achieve HUGE results from our practical, holistic resources.

Please help spread the word, and shop online on Saturday, November 27th!

Thanks for your support!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Do You Know What You Don't Know?

Five years ago when I began writing this blog, I told you why I believed focusing on your competent advantage TM was a great way to build and sustain your career. I've since learned that my "attraction" to competence may have something to do with me being a Type 3 according to Enneagram ... but more on that another time.

My fascination with competent advantage TM also comes from my work in Human Resources / Training & Development, observing how managers have used competencies to determine:
  • Who gets hired
  • Who gets fired
  • Who gets promoted
  • Who gets training - and on what skills/topics
In today's New Normal, I think there are benefits to "going back to basics" to revisit this theme of competence. One framework about how we learn that has always intrigued me was proposed by renowned psychologist Abraham Maslow - known as the Four Stages of Learning. I've listed the stages below with some insights to help you consider each stage, and how it might relate to your learning and achieving your goals in light of recent challenges/changes:
  1. Unconscious Incompetence: "I don't know what I don't know." You don't even recognize that you need to learn how to do something.
  2. Conscious Incompetence: "DING! Lightbulb goes on!" Now, you've just realized that you need to learn how to do something.
  3. Conscious Competence: "I know that I'm doing it." You've just started to learn how to do it, and you're very aware as you keep practicing to get better at doing it.
  4. Unconscious Competence: "It's a no-brainer!" You don't even think about it anymore -- you do it automatically whenever needed.
In today's New Normal, I believe it can be very helpful to use this framework to prepare yourself for new experiences, and figure out the best (and, perhaps, the quickest) ways to learn new things or enter new industries and markets. Here's a brief activity to help you:

Think about one skill or talent -- something that you do very well. Then, ask yourself four questions below to help you recall the four stages (insert your skill/talent in the spaces):
  1. How did you realize that you needed to learn how to _____________________?
  2. How did you find out what you needed to know/learn about _______________?
  3. How did you practice and improve your ability to ___________________?
  4. How do you _______________ now -- in ways that you don't even think about?
When I begin a new project, if I feel any anxiety about it, I ask myself similar questions to recall other times that I've been successful doing it. This not only boosts my confidence, but helps me think of tips, techniques and methods that worked before that I may be able to use again. Does this make sense to you?

So, do you know what you don't know? How will you figure out how to learn it? Share your comments, thoughts and reactions here -- or tweet me on Twitter.

Monday, November 08, 2010

What's Your 2011 Success Plan?

Does it seem a bit early to be talking about 2011 goals? Not really, if you think about it. Once the holidays are underway, you'll be thinking about LOTS of different things. So, why not take some me-time now to begin planning your 2011 Success Plan.

Of course, everyone has their own definition of success -- at work and at home. Our team measures its success by the degree to which we help YOU meet (and exceed) your professional and personal goals. You know we believe in offering POSITIVE, PRACTICAL, and STRATEGIC solutions to help you succeed in today's New Normal.

Let's make a deal -- if you tell me more about your 2011 goals, I'll let you know how I can help. I've created a brief survey to get a better sense of your priorities.

Can you put aside 10 minutes this week to answer 10 questions that will jumpstart your 2011 Success Plan? At the end of the survey, you'll find out how you can arrange an introductory call with me to review your plan and see if it's a right "fit" for us to work together on achieving your goals.

I believe it is possible to create a career and life plan that aligns with your interests, talents and values. It just may not be as linear as you'd originally imagined. I think we're all beginning to learn and accept that lesson as we continue to navigate today's New Normal. What do you think? As always, comment here or tweet me your thoughts, challenges and success stories on Twitter.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

How's Your Want-To? Get Inspired for FREE through Nov. 30

Have you been looking for a little boost these days? Or, searching for insights to keep you motivated as you continue to navigate today's New Normal? Good news -- right now, there's a FREE online Leadership & Influence Summit happening! Originally scheduled to end today, the event has been extended through November 15th.

This online event features brief, inspirational and informative videos from over 30 of the top experts on business and leadership including: Marshall Goldsmith, Michael Gerber, and Keith Ferrazzi. And, they're all "on-demand" so you can watch them on your own time, at your own pace.

I first learned of the program from my good friend, Kevin Carroll (8/31!!!!), who is also part of the Summit. His presentation is about how we can maximize our Human Potential. The great thing about Kevin, though, is that he keeps it real and shares insights from his lessons on the playground and from his grandparents.

I had the wonderful fortune to meet and travel with Kevin during my work on the Turning the Page leadership development training for public librarians. His keynote presentations inspired me every single time I heard them (over 25 times). And, I must admit, that recently I've had to check my "want to"-- that's his grandfather's expression for passion and drive -- as it's been a little worn down. Yes, even the Coach has to do some soul searching every now and then! Kevin reminded me that I am courageous by staying committed to building my business even in the uncertainty of today's New Normal.

Listening to Kevin on the Summit has helped. I also discovered a new potential inspirer, Jon Gordon, whose video is about Positive Leadership. His soup analogy made me recall my grandma's macaroni and cheese -- it wasn't the type of cheese she used that made it so good, it was all the love that was baked in.

When you have the chance, take a look at the videos on the Summit, and let me know what are your favorites! You can share them here, or feel free to tweet me on Twitter (their hashtag is #landisummit).

Friday, October 29, 2010

NEW Podcast: Meditation-Your Secret to Success in the New Normal

Can meditation change your brain? That's a question that neuroscientists have been seeking to answer for decades - and there appears to be some evidence that it can, in a positive way. In today's New Normal, the pressure to perform can be overwhelming. The good news is that you CAN find tools to relax and release your tension and anxiety. Meditation is one of those stress-releasing tools. And one, I'd suggest, that could become your [peaceful] "secret weapon" to overcome personal or professional hurdles and challenges you may be facing.

This summer, I completed a 21-day meditation "challenge" led by the Chopra Center for Wellbeing. I've been meditating nearly every day since then (even while I was out of the country). I've found that it helps me because I'm more easily able to access a mantra or positive phrase to flip my script when things get stressful.

With my newly-regained interest in meditation, I thought it would be great to create a podcast that would help others learn more about the benefits of regular meditation. And, so my latest podcast is my conversation with Stacey Shipman, creator of the audio CD Let it Flow: Short Guided Meditations and author of Experience Less Stress, More Success: Networking for Business. It was great to chat with Stacey again because she really makes it easy for people to learn how to relieve their stress and boost their personal confidence.

In the podcast, Stacey and I talk about the different types of meditation, and how easy it can be to begin meditating using the type you most enjoy. We share tips to remove distractions (internal thoughts and external things) that can get in your way, and discuss how you can build meditation into your daily schedule to help you focus on your true priorities.

So, you know I'm a curious coach! After you've listened to the podcast, let me know what you think; and share your successes (or challenges) with meditation. Where is the best place, and when is best time for you to meditate? Feel free to share your comments here, or tweet me on Twitter. Until we next connect, Namaste!

Monday, October 18, 2010

NEW Podcast: Find a Business Partner Who Won't BLEEP You

So, you've probably figured out that in today's New Normal you can't do it all alone. Whether you're seeking to advance your professional career, expand your business, or launch your new "side hustle," building relationships is crucial to your future success and sustainability. Your ability to develop strategic alliances and identify new partners will determine how well you're able to enter new markets and industries, find new opportunities, and really stay afloat.

In business (as in life), relationship building can be a tricky process. We know when it works, you can't wait for the next project or opportunity to work together! And, when it doesn't work, you can't wait for the project to end - hoping never to work with that person again! We've all been there - it all sounded great in the beginning ... but somehow, things changed and what you THOUGHT was going to happen, didn't. And, now you're left wondering how you got there in the first [*!#] place.

The trick with business relationships: How can you find a partner who won't [BLEEP] you?! 

In this podcast, you'll hear my discussion with Nina Kaufman, owner of Ask the Business Lawyer, and author of The Entrepreneur's Prenup: How to Choose a Business Partner Who Won't [BLEEP] You. Nina is an award-winning business attorney, sought-after professional speaker and online columnist for Entrepreneur Magazine.

From our conversation, you'll learn how to select the right alliance partners, and when you should have written agreements. You'll also gain some tips on how to avoid the emotional and financial pitfalls of doing business with a friend or family member. In the end, ideally, you each want to be able to benefit from the other's skills, talents, resources and connections. In life, there are no guarantees; but we hope this podcast may help you save some time and aggravation.

Take a listen, and let me know what you think. Have YOU ever been [BLEEPED] by a business/alliance partner? Share your comments and BLEEP experiences here -- or tweet me on Twitter.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

When You Assume, You May End Up in Leuven

In some ways, being in Brussels and Paris a few weeks ago was not altogether different than being home in New York City – partly because of the urban environment. I say this not at all to minimize the beauty of the historical landmarks and overall savoir faire of the residents of both cities. While walking around, I felt comfortable and became accustomed to the pace. I almost forgot that I was in another country … almost!

What did I learn? When traveling, don’t assume that things you just “know” how to do will be done in the same way elsewhere. OK, that seems like a no brainer [yes, I know the quote!]; but how often do we do that in our everyday lives – assume that our way of doing things is the only [ahem, best] way? Here are two lessons I learned from my rail travel in Europe – mostly practical tips, but perhaps you may be able to extrapolate some life lessons as well.

ASSUMPTION: How can I, a veteran NYC subway rider, possibly go wrong on the Paris Metro? Try arriving in Paris Gare du Nord on a Friday evening during rush hour with only euro bills, American credit cards, and a long queue of people waiting behind me to buy tickets! Even though I had my hotel destination clearly mapped out by a friend – with all of the transfers – still I ended up waiting in the taxi line for 45 minutes after my third attempt to use the vending machine didn’t work. That’s right; my American credit cards didn’t have the embedded “chip.” [And, I’d already declined the offer for a reserved taxi from the attendant on the Thalys train down from Brussels.] I did manage to make my way around Paris via Metro after that night. On my last day in Paris, I even was able to help another visitor navigate the machine to purchase a carnet (group) of tickets … it was an even trade for their euro coins to change my 5 euro bill.
LESSON 1: When traveling by Metro in Paris, keep a stash of euro coins handy (or travel with someone with a French credit card) so that you can purchase tickets.

ASSUMPTION: If I’m riding on Brussels Rail – it has to be like Amtrak, right? Not, so much! While riding the Metro in Paris, I’d noticed the door button – may have even seen someone use it; but didn’t pay it much attention. I learned this lesson while on a Brussels Rail train returning from a day trip to Bruges. Long story short, I stood in the train vestibule waiting for the doors to open, and watched as the train pulled away from the Brussels-Noord and soon gained speed (I quickly figured out it wasn’t just inching forward to be in line with the train platform). This led to a late-night impromptu stop in Leuven (luckily only about 20 minutes further) before re-boarding a train heading back to Brussels. The funniest part was the reaction of the rail conductor when my friend explained to him what had happened. Although you could see the “silly Americans” expression on his face, he was quite considerate and didn’t charge us an additional fare.

LESSON 2: When on a train in Europe, be prepared to push the button in order for the doors to open. It’s not always automatic!

Of course, now I'll have to plan a trip to visit Leuven on purpose! And, I'm going to be more sympathetic to visitors who approach me for directions or guidance on New York City subways.

What assumptions have led YOU in the wrong direction? How did you get back on track? Share your comments here or tweet me your thoughts on Twitter.

Friday, October 08, 2010

NEW Podcast: Need to Save Time? There's an App for That

In today’s New Normal, time is tight – we’re all always “on,” trying to perform at 100%, on a 24/7 basis. And, technology has changed everything we do – the  constant stream of texts, tweets, and emails we receive actually affects the way we think and work. The good news is that we CAN take advantage of technology to save time and be more productive.

Tune into my latest podcast: Need to Save Time? There's an App for That!  It's my conversation with Tai Goodwin, founder of The Brilliant Network, a mastermind group for women entrepreneurs. A passionate coach and writer, Tai is committed to helping ambitious women grow from bright to brilliant by walking in their purpose and passion. Her articles have been published online at, Careerrealism, and EmpowerMe Magazine.

In this podcast, Tai and I discuss five of the top technology tools that can help you manage your time and achieve your goals more efficiently. Many of these tools will be helpful whether you're working within an organization, aiming to launch your "side hustle," or are a full-fledged entrepreneur. As always, if you have feedback on my podcasts -- or if you use other technology tools to help you get things done -- share them here or tweet me on Twitter! [PS - I'm still using TweetDeck ... when you listen to the podcast you'll know why I'm sharing this! :-) ]

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Narrowing the Global Digital Divide: One Library at a Time

I’ve been a “card-carrying member” of the Brooklyn Public Library for a long time; but my passion and interest in public libraries truly blossomed as I traveled the U.S. the past two years training public librarians and trustees for Turning the Page: Building Your Library Community. I helped these leaders to build and maintain their project and fundraising teams; develop compelling stories that will motivate local residents to raise funds; and effectively advocate on behalf of their libraries with key funders and decision makers.

NOW, I’m excited to announce that I’ve been asked to facilitate the TTP program for a select group of  Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Library grantees. Next week, I will gather in Brussels with grantees from Botswana, Bulgaria, Chile, Lithuania, Latvia, Mexico, Poland, Romania, Ukraine, and Vietnam to lead this training. Attendees will include library directors, advocacy specialists, library association members and supporters, and government representatives.

One of the Foundation’s goals is to narrow the digital divide by “helping public libraries provide free, quality computer and Internet services to everyone who walks through their doors.” It’s truly an honor to be part of this endeavor to help narrow the digital divide – globally! I’m looking forward to learning more about the local needs and brainstorming strategies to ensure public access to the Internet and technology.

Beyond the software and hardware, our focus is on building sustainability – giving librarians and trustees leadership and communication skills to successfully encourage supporters to invest in library services over the long-term. I’ll continue to share updates and “lessons learned” from my journey. Until then, I’ll see you at the Library!

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Coach Colette Offers FREE Strategy Coaching in October

In 2010, I’ve focused on helping you define your key priorities, implement your SMART goals and stay motivated in today’s New Normal. As you know, I’ve offered a series of FREE quarterly events (two teleseminars and one webinar) to help you and your team Bring Your Future into Laser Focus. The next seminar was originally scheduled for Thursday, September 30. Since I know it’s been a challenging year for many of us, I’ve decided to sweeten the deal and give you even more personalized help.

To help you kick start your 4th Quarter results, finish the year and exceed even your own expectations, I’ve decided to replace the September seminar and instead offer FREE one-on-one 30 minute laser coaching sessions! You should sign up if you are a CEO, CFO, Executive Director, Board Chair, or any Team Leader who is responsible for bringing in revenues, setting organizational priorities, or managing strategic projects.

Sign up for your Bring Your Future into Laser Focus individual strategy coaching session so that you can:
  • Create a crystal-clear vision for the business results and revenue goals you will achieve in the 4th quarter
  • Uncover hidden challenges that may be sabotaging your success in achieving these goals
  • Identify ONE task you can execute right after the session that will bring you immediate, positive results
  • Leave the session renewed, re-energized and inspired to share your vision, and encourage active participation and ownership by all team members in your collective success

Being clear on your vision will improve your productivity, morale, and motivation so you'll able to pull your team together to meet current challenges (e.g., higher expectations, tighter budgets and fewer resources, increased need to integrate systems and teams).
If you’re serious about making some real headway for you and your team as the economy rebounds in 2011, sign up for your FREE Bring Your Future into Laser Focus individual coaching session TODAY! I have a limited number of spaces for individual coaching sessions that will begin on Monday, October 4, 2010.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Dealing with Change in the New Normal

As we wind down the summer and gear up for fall, I thought I'd share a mini case on how my team has been helping our public sector clients manage and respond to changes this year -- in the New Normal.

CLIENT SITUATION: Here are some challenges faced by our client, a collective of multi-site human service organizations:
  • Budget and funding allocation modifications are causing changes in programming, staffing and Center operations
  • Centers will need support and oversight from active, capable board leaders who can implement changes successfully
  • Centers will need directors who can capitalize on opportunities to collaborate with new partners and seek out new sponsors and financial support
OUR RESPONSE: Here is how we responded to their situation:
Center Directors and Board Leaders participated in a 2-day Leadership Training designed and facilitated by InStep consultants that focused on Dealing with Change, Project Planning and Board Governance. The training included visioning exercises, goal setting and action planning. Initial feedback after training indicates that 94% of participants felt very or well prepared to develop a strategic vision and successfully manage changes at their organization (compared to 48% before training). As suggested by one of the training participants: “The training show[ed us] that weaknesses will be[come] strengths after implementing the changes necessary to become a successful agency.
A subset of the training participants also took part in four, 3-hour Group Coaching sessions led by InStep consultants over a 9-week period. These sessions helped participants build upon skills they gained in training, and get timely input on their specific issues and new challenges that surfaced since the training. Upon completion, 77% found the additional coaching to be helpful towards achieving the goals they'd identified at the start of the program. More than half were able to accomplish between 75% and 100% of those goals over the 9-week coaching period.
As one group coaching participant remarked: "I have learned to focus on one particular task, as well as seeking assistance from the people around me. I have learned to become more verbal and take the role of the leader - gained confidence as tasks or targets were completed."

For me, personally, I enjoyed watching all the light bulbs go off -- that's how I describe the "A-HA!" moments that happen in group coaching or training sessions. Often, those bright ideas surfaced from peer learning as the participants engaged in dialogue and shared similar experiences. I sometimes witnessed reduced anxiety merely from recognition of "I'm not alone" in certain circumstances.

Was it "perfect"? No transformation ever is -- it's an ongoing process. Will they still experience challenges going forward? Absolutely! Hopefully, they will refer back to techniques for dealing with change from their training or coaching experience (e.g., their ideal vision) to help propel them forward when times get tough.

How are you and your organization dealing with change in the New Normal? How are you keeping all team members informed and aligned with your vision -- even as you may need to flex or adapt to our evolving environment? Post your comments here, or tweet me your thoughts on Twitter.

Monday, August 23, 2010

It's Day 12 & I Feel Empowered

Today is Day 12, and I'm proud to have made it this far. To where? For what? It's Day 12 of the Chopra Center 21-Day Meditation Challenge. This has been a series of guided meditations (audio & video) led by davidji to help promote a daily meditation practice.

While I've recognized the benefits of meditation, I hadn't yet committed to a daily practice. As you know, I've committed to my daily affirmations and review of my vision board. My approach was more of a "just-in-time" meditation practice -- using it when I specifically wanted (or needed) to relax and regroup. Two things from the meditation experience have struck me personally, so far:
  1. davidji's concept of "RPM" -- "rise, p**, meditate" which means you basically meditate FIRST before any other brain-related activity. I'll admit that I didn't start the challenge that way; but have been pretty diligent about doing so for the past 5 days or so. This morning I felt like I had to remind myself to start the meditation first -- only then did I realize that I'm still formulating it as a habit [also possibly because I hadn't followed the RPM concept last Monday??].
  2. Today's focus for the meditation was Ego & Limiting Beliefs: neither of these concepts are new to me. What did strike me was the suggestion to "be kind to your ego." Perhaps it's because one of my 3 Words for 2010 is also kind. I think it was a good reminder to allow and accept all aspects of the self -- to witness/observe without judgment -- so that true transformation can be possible.
The additional guidance and breathing mantras around limiting beliefs also were very powerful for me today. The suggestion to "breathe in possibilities, and breathe out limitations," for example, really resonated and made me feel empowered. [yes, even the coach needs reinforcement and reminders!] I did feel lighter at the end of the meditation as if loads had been lifted from my shoulders.

That's all for now ... I may revisit this later as the meditation experience continues. Feel free to share your meditation experiences with me here or you can always tweet me on Twitter. Namaste!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Coach Colette Goes Global in 2010

Last January, I took inspiration from social media guru Chris Brogan, and followed his suggestion to refine and refocus my key goals and intentions for the year into 3 Words. Of course, I've just now realized that I didn't share with you my 3 Words for 2010. They are KIND (to myself and others), GLOBAL (partnerships and relationships) and JOY (in experiences and encounters).

You can trust that I have been focusing on those words - using the same affirmation strategy as last year, a daily task reminder that appears in my Outlook - which brings me to the point of this article: Going GLOBAL. The thing I'm (still) learning about consistently setting intentions and making affirmations is that you never know exactly how the results will appear. Yes, even the coach can have a "Duh!" moment or two! :)

My first GLOBAL result was working this spring with a fantastic consulting associate from Paris who helped design training materials and activities for one of our Change Management client engagements. The next GLOBAL result was connecting with a dynamic UK-based training firm to explore new business opportunities.

My next GLOBAL connection came early summer via an introduction by a colleague to Enrique Mesones, the founder of Smart Connections, a global executive search, strategy consulting and venture firm. Nearly 10,000 elite executives from top-tier universities around the globe have registered for the Smart Global Network -- a free, membership-only networking environment to view the hottest business projects around the globe, attain business funding, and receive optimal executive education. As a result of my intentions, affirmations (and yes, expertise) I'm now an Executive Coach with the Smart Global Network!

My next GLOBAL activity is one that brings me great pride as it's a chance for me to continue my work with my "rowdy" librarians! In September, I'll be facilitating leadership and advocacy training in Brussels as part of the Global Libraries Initiative sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. I'm still learning exactly what it will involve; and will share more info as things progress. I'll also aim to blog and tweet as much as I can while I'm on the road.

I'm excited by all of these things that have happened in 2010. They are wonderful yet unexpected connections ... and so I will keep making affirmations around my 3 Words for 2010, and aim to let go of figuring out "how" things will manifest.

What are your thoughts? Do you have examples to share of when unexpected (positive) things "appeared" in your life? If you make affirmations, how do you "let go" of the results? Comment here or tweet me on Twitter!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Believe the Hype - Coach Colette is the NY Career Coach Examiner

If you're following me on Twitter, you may have noticed some tweets with links to Just let me confirm – the rumors are true! I am the NY Career Coach Examiner.

I’m sure you’re not surprised that I’m writing about my passion for this subject and I can’t think of anything better than to share that passion with the millions of people who are perusing's content on a daily basis. Well, maybe one thing better, which leads me to my next point.

I would like to invite you to subscribe to my articles so you can stay in the loop; simply click on this subscribe link and you'll be notified whenever I publish a new article. Also, feel free to forward this link to anyone else you think might enjoy my articles. As always, thanks for your support!

In case you're wondering, I'll still continue to blog here about Competent Advantage and Stress Management topics, plus other insights gained from my coaching and consulting clients. [yes, you can breathe a sigh of relief now, LOL! :-) ] But, if you do have career-related questions, feel free to post them here or use the Ask Coach Colette feature on the website. I'll post and respond on my NY Career Coach Examiner site.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

VOTE to Help Coach Colette Get on Oprah's New Network

I’m reaching out to my followers, friends and fans to ask for your support, vote and assistance with spreading the word about my latest endeavor – my video audition for the new Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN).

In case you didn't know, one of my BIGGEST dreams is to have my own TV show. I really enjoy being able to help leaders like you via different media outlets (think of my TV and radio appearances, and my podcast channel). So, when I learned of the opportunity to submit a video audition for the new OWN I jumped at the chance!

The video features me briefly discussing my Competent Advantage coaching philosophy and my goal to help leaders across the country achieve their BIGGEST dreams. I’d love it if you would take a look at my video, and vote to help me have this video seen by the casting agents and Oprah. The URL link for viewing, VOTING and SHARING the video with your network is:

Or, you can search for “Colette” under the audition entries if you have any problems with the link. As an FYI, it may take some time for your vote to be added to the system.

THANK YOU in advance for your support. Please spread the word if you can. I’ll keep you posted on what happens! Cheers, Coach Colette

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Earn More, Save More with our NEW Money & Career Coaching Tool

Here's a video describing my NEW multimedia coaching tool: Your Money, Your Career -- How to Thrive in Any Economy.

Your Money, Your Career will help you discover your strengths and realize new ways to promote your accomplishments to key decision makers in your industry. Your Money, Your Career also will help you reduce your anxiety about saving and investing and improve your personal relationship with money.

But, you must act quickly to reserve your copy BEFORE JUNE 30 to take advantage of our pre-launch pricing at  Also, you can join us TUESDAY, JUNE 29 at 8PM ET for a FREE preview call to ask questions of all four contributors. Sign up for the call at

Your Money, Your Career features audio downloads, my Competent AdvantageTM career assessment, a financial workbook AND a 30-day step-by-step action plan! It was created by four nationally recognized experts: yours truly, Coach Colette, financial coach and author Jacquette M. Timmons, and two other career coaches Jodi Brockington and Malla Haridat.
With a single purchase, you'll get a personalized game-plan -- to help you manage every aspect of your money and your career, in the New Normal. Reserve your copy online NOW to take advantage of the pre-launch pricing at:

Then join us on the FREE Preview Call on Tuesday, June 29 at 8 PM ET!

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Are You Following the Evidence -- in Your Career or in Life?

Did YOU know? While only 16% of all men are over 6'2" tall, 57% of Fortune 500 CEOs are over 6'2". I learned this interesting fact during a recent presentation by Laura Liswood, author of The Loudest Duck.

What does this data suggest to you? Do you see any correlations in your organization?

Let's face it -- we get bombarded with lots of data (or evidence) on trends that are happening in the workplace and the world beyond. How can you figure out what information makes sense for you, or for your team? Following the evidence is about just that -- looking at data or statistics or even anecdotal information and evaluating it to see:
  1. Is it valid (i.e., do you trust the source?)
  2. Is it applicable to your team or organization?
In advance of our upcoming LIVE Follow the Evidence Diversity Training on Tuesday, June 15 (9am-12pm) here in New York, I thought I'd share the recording of the preview telecast.

MP3 File

Our process suggests you take a proactive instead of a reactive approach to gathering information, and seeing how your diversity management strategies work or don’t work and need to be adjusted – not just relying on "long-standing" but never proven traditions.

This time, we're speaking about it in terms of diversity. Yet, this evidence-based approach can be applied to all aspects of personal, team and organizational growth. You'll be more effective if you relentlessly seek new knowledge and insight, so you can keep updating your assumptions, skills and knowledge, and ground your decisions in the latest and best knowledge of what actually works.

How do YOU follow the evidence?

Monday, April 26, 2010

How Do You Respond to Change?

One of my associates came across an interesting animation today from Movement Vision Lab on dealing with change -- and the power of having a clear vision.

Finding tips/strategies to manage and respond to change has been a frequent request from clients this year. So, I thought you also might find some value or insights in this brief video. You know, it might make you go, "Hmmmmm ...."

What are your thoughts, reactions? Can you recognize the various characters on your team? Comment here on the blog below or tweet me on Twitter @Coach_Colette.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Can You Make the Case for Diversity in the New Normal?

The team at InStep Consulting continues its focus on building sustainable teams -- this time, from a different perspective: Diversity.

We recognize that we're now living in the New Normal. Technology has changed nearly everything we do.

Budgets are tighter, time is tighter; and there's a growing need to integrate everything -- communications, knowledge, programs, systems, tools and TEAMS.

The New Normal requires that people work with each other -- perhaps in ways they haven't done so before. Even so, can you make the case for diversity in the New Normal?

If you're serious about making headway for your team this year, join Coach Colette Ellis and Tim Mulvaney on Tuesday, May 4, 2010 at 1:00 PM ET for an informative, FREE teleclass: Follow the Evidence: Make Your Case for Diversity in the New Normal.

Learn how to follow the evidence -- that is, not what you THINK about diversity, but what you can DEMONSTRATE or PROVE -- to create practical solutions that work for your team.


This teleseminar is based on models and strategies Tim and Colette pioneered as Adjunct Professors at New York University, for their graduate-level course: Managing Diversity - An Evidence-Based Approach.

Want to learn how to be a DSI -- a Diversity Scene Investigator? Then, register NOW and let Colette & Tim teach you how to Follow the Evidence!

Monday, April 05, 2010

Coach Colette Expands Wellness Offering to Enhance Your Wellbeing

The team at InStep Consulting is excited to announce that Coach Colette is now an Ayurvedic Lifestyle Consultant through The Chopra Center for Wellbeing. This is a wonderful complement to the Stress Management certification. Now, in addition to offering Wellness seminars and coaching, we're also able to share information about high-quality Ayurvedic products.

Designed by the world's leading experts in the field of mind-body medicine, the Ayurvedic Lifestyle Consultants program provides me the tools to help you benefit from the healing practices of Ayurveda.
Ayurveda is a 5,000 year old healing system from India that is the basis for the Chopra Center products and services. Derived from the Sanskrit words ayus meaning life, and veda meaning wisdom, Ayurveda, the wisdom of life, offers a proven guide for attaining happiness, vitality, love, and purpose.

As a Consultant, I receive exclusive training resources, guest consultation tools, and (yes) commissions on product sales. I also have agreed to conduct myself with integrity and responsibility and uphold a personal commitment to be in service to you. And, I will NOT mislead or create false expectations regarding the value of any Chopra Center products.
It's important for you to know that I've been approached by others to recommend wellness products. And, I've chosen to align myself and my brand with The Chopra Center for Wellbeing. For more than a decade The Chopra Center has been teaching the world how to achieve perfect health by creating harmony between body, mind, and spirit.
Led by world renowned authors, physicians, and educators Deepak Chopra MD and David Simon MD, The Chopra Center for Wellbeing has served millions of people around the world through its educational programs, services, and natural products.
I look forward to continuing to inspire you to greater health and sustainable results in 2010 and beyond!

Coach Colette

The writer of this blog receives compensation when books or products featured herein are purchased from a link to the Chopra Center.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Coach Colette to Speak at Women For Hire NY Career Expo - April 15

Social Media & Your Career: What's Your Strategy?
In today’s 2.0 world, social media has become a primary means of communicating information – like it or not! And, you know that to successfully market any product, image is everything. We decide what to buy based on the impression we have about a product’s quality and reputation. Often, we form our opinions from the product’s packaging – details we find on the label or features we've seen in a commercial.

As you know from our Competent Advantage TM program: "If you are embarking on a job search or seeking to advance in your industry, you are engaging in self-marketing. And, the product is YOU! The quality of your professional pitch can dramatically impact your success."

So, which social media outlets have you chosen to create a buzz about you and your accomplishments? LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook? Whom are you hoping to reach? What image or presence are you seeking to create?

All of these questions suggest that you develop a Strategic Social Media Strategy to help get your information in front of the “right” people in your target industry. For example, you need to be aware of the content of YOUR tweets and posts AND the people with whom you are linked — as 70% of HR executives indicate that they have disqualified candidates due to information they have found out about them via Internet searches. The implication here is HR executives do make judgments based on things they see/read about you on any website — even if it's not your own.
Want more ideas/suggestions?

On Thursday, April 15, 2010 at 10:30 AM, I’ll be leading a Power Seminar at the upcoming Women For Hire NYC Career Expo called: Social Media & The Job Search. Join me to learn 5 Key Tips to incorporate social media into your career management strategy.

For more information and to register, visit:

In addition, you’ll be able to meet Tory Johnson (founder of Women For Hire), connect with top employers and receive a resume critique. All that—and more—and it’s FREE! I look forward to seeing you in New York on April 15th!

The writer of this blog receives compensation when books featured herein are purchased from an ad.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Get Teambuilding Tips for the Tight Economy: March 30th

The team at InStep Consulting continues our focus on teams by offering free, quarterly teleseminars to help you define and execute your team's strategy. If you’re serious about continuing your team's progress in the tight economy, gather your core team members in the conference room and join other strategic leaders on Tuesday, March 30th at 1:00 PM EST for the next 2010 Team Visioning Event!

Here is a video that tells you a bit more about the session and why you should consider attending.

The energy on our January call was phenomenal! This time, we’ll be revisiting your key intentions and top priorities and checking on your progress on your SMART goals. We’ll also explore more ways to keep your team motivated and on-track, especially in a down economy.

As Napoleon Hill says, "A group of brains coordinated in a spirit of harmony will provide more thought energy than a single brain." So, register NOW to join us on March 30th at 1:00 PM EST and Bring Your Team's Future into Laser Focus!

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Leaders: How Do You Keep Team Members Motivated & Engaged?

How do you keep your team members motivated and engaged? The question is an important one for team leaders and managers to consider, especially since U.S. job satisfaction is apparently at its lowest point in two decades. And, this employee dissatisfaction appears to go beyond the survivor guilt often associated with employees who observe their friends and colleagues lose their jobs.


I Can’t Get No...Job Satisfaction, That Is: America’s Unhappy Workers
Research Report #1459-09-RR
I share this information not to alarm you, but to help you consider the potential impact on you and your team.

Here are two questions for you to consider as you refine your goals and priorities for this quarter and during the year:
  • Do individual team member objectives align with the overall priorities? Identifying and mapping individual objectives to team/organizational goals can give team members a “line of sight” from their role and responsibilities to the greater purpose of the organization. It also helps to level-set expectations so that everyone is on the same page about what’s being expected.
  • How do you reward performance? If your messaging indicates that achieving team goals are important, and yet your incentives tend to reward individual performers more, there could be a disconnect. This isn't to say that you shouldn't reward high-achievers; just make sure you're walking your talk and clearly communicating what are your performance expectations.
As a leader, one of your priorities might be to create the right environment for your members to succeed – and exceed their goals. My priority is to continue sharing compelling ideas and strategies to help you and your team to achieve sustainable results in 2010 and beyond.

I’d love if you would share your 2010 team building intentions with me. I've created a Team Building & Visioning Survey to understand which issues are most important to you as a leader. As a thank you for your input, I'll share a free recording of our last Laser Focus Team Visioning teleseminar. As always, post your comments here or tweet me @Coach_Colette.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Leaders Beware! Don't Let Key Intentions Disengage Your Team

I’ll bet you never thought that setting POSITVE intentions or defining POSITIVE values for your company or team could throw your employees/members off track. Well, the research proves that this can definitely be the case – if your team views your behavior as being inconsistent with those key intentions or values, or if your actions make you appear to be hypocritical.

Maybe it’s not “rocket science” per se; but I’ll admit to having a little “A-HA! Moment” as I read about the research conducted by Sandra Cha (McGill University) and Amy Edmonson (HBS). Their research was published in 2006 Leadership Quarterly: "When Values Backfire: Leadership, Attribution, and Disenchantment in a Values-Driven Organization." Yes, I know it’s been a few years; but I think it’s still valid.

What led me to this research today was an HBS Working Knowledge article Corporate Values and Employee Cynicism with a Q&A with the authors. Perhaps the article grabbed my attention given that I recently facilitated the Bring Your Future into Laser Focus! Team Visioning teleseminar designed to help teams set their key intentions and SMART goals for the year. And, now I’m hoping folks won’t get in their own way!

There’s a good chance that people who either participated in the session or who have downloaded the audio are on the right track given that we discussed the value in ensuring that your key intentions are:

Aligned with your overall purpose and needs you’ve identified from your target market

Valuable to provide the most impact in the most efficient ways

Innovative, based on something new you’d like to offer or a new group you’d like to serve

One of the disconnects raised by Cha and Edmonson occurs when there is tension between stated intentions (or values) and the interpretation of those intentions (or values) by team members. For example: perhaps everyone on the team has reached agreement on the what [“We intend to provide a high level of customer service to all of our clients/customers regardless of the level at which they use our services/products.”]. Yet, maybe the team has yet to agree on the how – what it will mean to execute on and fulfill that intention. So, setting and agreeing to key intentions is only a first step; there also has to be dialogue between leaders and their teams, and decisions made on how key intentions will be fulfilled.

Another topic we discussed in the Team Visioning session was how to set SMART Goals that flow out of your key intentions. Another pitfall from the research to look out for is when goals (or values) seem to conflict with one another. Here, team leaders may need to give members some flexibility in how certain tasks are accomplished; or perhaps re-visit the “R” from SMART or the realistic nature of the task.

In the session, we also talked about the importance for leaders to be transparent with members about goals that may be considered stretch goals – targets that are outside the normal realm of how things are done. It’s great to help and encourage people to exceed targets. We also want to level-set expectations so everyone is on the same page about what’s being expected of them. No one likes to be set up to fail.

As a leader, one of your key intentions for 2010 might be to create the right environment for your members to succeed – and exceed their goals. One of my key intentions is to share compelling ideas and strategies to help you and your team to achieve sustainable results in 2010 and beyond.

I’d love if you would share your 2010 key intentions with me – either comment here or tweet me @Coach_Colette.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Have You Defined Your 2010 Social Media Strategy?

Have you defined your 2010 Social Media Strategy? Whether you are a job seeker, career changer, career builder or aspiring entrepreneur, it's important that you consider which social media outlets will best help you create a buzz about you and your brand this year. The good news is there are resources to help you!

Tune in on Sunday evening (1/24/2010 at 5 PM EST) to hear my pals from "down under" - Career Success Radio hosts Keith Keller and Annemarie Cross as they discuss how to select YOUR best social media platform (i.e. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter etc.) and how to leverage your social media platform in YOUR job search, career management or business development.

Guest experts include: Daulton West Jr., Melissa Martin and Coach Colette Ellis.

In addition to sharing how these platforms differ, I'll also be offering tips on how to create YOUR best 140-character pitch to share with the Twitterverse! You may recall this discussion from last February - well, you'll be able to build on those ideas to include the new developments and Twitter companion sites that have been created since then (e.g.,

If you are able to listen in live, the Career Success Radio phone lines and chat room will be open. Ring in via (914) 338 0714 and get expert career advice. You can also listen to the show recording HERE on the blog via the widget below.

If you have a job-search or career related question, tweet us in advance: @Coach_Colette or @careerradio. One question will be selected to be answered live on air the show. And, the Career Success Expert Panel will answer questions in the online forum.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Nonprofit Leaders: Are Your Clients & Volunteers Telling Your Story?

Once upon a time ... So, we know that storytelling is important to building relationships with potential supporters and volunteers. People want to know more about what your nonprofit organization does, and what impact it's having in the community. The more they learn, the more they will begin to trust you -- and that trust can lead to support in the form of their money, resources, or time.

So, what can make it difficult? One challenge for nonprofit leaders is finding those compelling anecdotes that make great stories. How can you capture the success stories that demonstrate the value you're adding to your constituents?

One of my clients helped me to discover one resource that may help you:

This site enables nonprofits to share their profile with clients and volunteers who then post reviews about their experiences with the organization. intends to "help other people discover trustworthy nonprofits that are making a difference."

This could be a great way for nonprofit leaders to collect first-hand accounts from clients and volunteers and extend their nonprofit organization's online presence (there's even a connection to Facebook). If you work or volunteer for a nonprofit organization, take a peek at and see if your organization is listed -- there are over 1 million listed nonprofits, and 2,800+ organizations that already have been reviewed.

Has Your Team Defined its 2010 Vision?

Friday, January 08, 2010

Does Your Team Have 20/10 Vision? FREE Teleseminar: January 28

I'm excited to announce that InStep Consulting is kicking off 2010 with fun, relevant programs. Our featured event this month is our upcoming FREE teleseminar on Thursday, January 28, 2010 at 1:00 PM EST. It's a Team Visioning event called 20/10: Bring Your Future into Laser Focus!

In the teleseminar, you and your core team members will get help to:

  • Clear the Deck and focus (like a laser) on your team’s TOP priorities
  • Identify ONE thing you can do that day to help propel your team towards its most important goals
  • Create a visioning tool that will keep your team motivated throughout the year to stay on track
I'm including a widget so that you can register online and also share the info with your core team members.


Now that you’ve had some time to catch up on things from the holiday and get a sense of what’s on your plate this year, there’s still time to Bring Your Future into Laser-Focus! Think of all the POSITIVE energy that will be created by having everyone on the line all being laser-focused on our top priorities and goals!

As suggested by motivational author, Napoleon Hill: "A group of brains coordinated in a spirit of harmony will provide more thought energy than a single brain."

I can't wait to speak with you and your team on January 28th at 1:00 PM EST!

Monday, January 04, 2010

NEW Podcast: Have More Intimacy in 2010 ... Financially Speaking

We're kicking off 2010 with an exciting feature -- a Competent Advantage TM podcast that is available for listening and download right here on the blog!

This podcast is a recent interview conducted by Coach Colette of Jacquette Timmons, founder of Sterling Investment Management and author of a great new book, Financial Intimacy: How to Create a Healthy Relationship with Your Money and Your Mate.

In the podcast, Colette and Jacquette discuss the importance of coming clean about your financial habits and preferences -- first, with yourself, and then with your partner. Jacquette also shares tips on how to begin those honest conversations with your mate, and how to avoid the emotional and financial pitfalls often caused when love and money interact. Click below to listen or download the podcast.

MP3 File

Once you've listened to the podcast, let me know your thoughts and reactions -- here on the blog or tweet me.
Also, consider: What conversations about money do you need to have with yourself (and/or your mate) to achieve greater financial security (and intimacy) in 2010?