Tag Archives: Benefits

May EFAP News: Keeping up with Your Connections

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Are You an Effective Communicator and an Active Listener?

We are busier today than ever. Technology keeps us updated and accessible 24/7; however, all of our high tech resources have created several communication challenged individuals.

Communication is a two part process consisting of someone effectively relaying their message and someone else actively listening to receive the message. In order to successfully send and receive a message, both segments need to be operational. Let’s break communication basics down into five categories:  interpersonal skills, problem solving/leadership, public speaking, written communication, and active listening.


A recent study by Career Builder identified that companies reported 52% of recent college graduates, hence new employees, lack interpersonal skills. Graduates struggled with conversations, making eye contact, listening, and even basic business appropriate dress and personal hygiene. Companies shared that during interviews many graduates couldn’t execute a firm handshake or properly introduce themselves. Be aware of your body language and facial expressions, and practice interviewing and presentation skills until you feel comfortable with them.


Millennials have grown up with highly structured and scheduled lives. One down side of this is the lack of opportunities for problem solving and leadership. If situations are always defined for you, and groups always pinpointed, then it is difficult for leaders to emerge. Independent thinking and problem solving has been stifled in our present world where most problems are left to be solved by an internet search. Challenge yourself and others to brain storm and problem solve in a “low tech” way.  Just use paper and pencil or the dry erase board. Offer opportunities for mixed groups to work together; you may see glimmers of the next great leader there.

Corporate leaders must be skilled in explaining concepts enthusiastically to others. If you can’t clearly communicate a concept, then you will never be able to “sell” it to others, and you may lose credibility as your audience could just interpret it as you don’t even understand the idea yourself.


The Career Builder study also identified that 41% of recent college graduates lacked public speaking skills. Some are born with this talent, but the majority of us must work at it. Preparation, practice, repeat. Not only does this apply to public speaking, but simple professional tasks such as answering the phone or introducing yourself. For the most part we live in a very casual society; however, polished, precise responses in public, within interviews, or on the phone can make or break the deal.


Instant everything has taught us to shorten words and ignore grammar. Professionally, you need to ensure your message matches the media. Reports, emails, and business documents should all contain proper grammar, correct spelling, and appropriate capitalization. Write it, read it, proof it, spell and grammar check it, then walk away. When you come back proof it again before you send it, and if you can run it by someone else for review, go for it. Informal style in normal business communications is not acceptable. If you are using social media for campaigns, then you have the opportunity to be less rigid; however, still following old school rules will help you look professional.


The best way to demonstrate active listening is to focus on the speaker and their content during the conversation/presentation, . Even asking questions aids in active listening. But if during a conversation, all you can think about is what you should say when you get the opportunity to pipe in, then you are internally focusing on your own thoughts and not the message of the sender. Practice active listening, remove all distractions, and completely focus on the speaker.

Most importantly whatever you are communicating about be sure to let your passion for the subject show. “Effective communication is 20% what you know and 80% how you feel about what you know.”

– Jim Rohn

FREE Webinar:
Communicating in Relationships: 5 Steps to the Best Fight Ever

May 17th

12-1pm and 3-4pm EST

11-12am and 2-3pm CST

10-11am and 1-3pm MST

9-10am and 12-1pm PST

Wouldn’t it be great if you could express yourself well in a fight and ask for what you really want and need? In this practical, research-inspired workshop you will learn how to transform your next conflict into a conversation that leaves both parties feeling heard and respected.

REGISTER TODAY! Space is limited
Click on the time you would like to attend above.

You can also log on to

www.HelloE4.com with your username and password. On the homepage, click on “UPCOMING WEBINARS,” and follow the easy instructions.
Unable to make it to the scheduled webinars?
We have them archived for your convenience. Visit www.HelloE4.com click on E4 University, then click on Webinars to search by  webinar title. 

e4health administers the College’s EFAP program.  To access their comprehensive web site, with many tools and articles, go to the e4health web site.
Username:  middlebury college
Password:    guest
Or call them at: 800-828-6025
(phones are answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week)

MSA April Newsletter


Achieving the American Dream

Home ownership raises many uncertainties in today’s market, especially when loans are a key factor; however, our class provides the information you need to consider, whether you’re buying your first home or are back in the market to buy another. Join us to find out what to expect from your realtor! You will understand down payment requirements, learn about credit implications, and realize the importance of shopping for the best mortgage terms. Attend for tips to make educated financial decisions about home ownership and loans.


READ: Planning for Home Repairs
Every home will eventually need repairs, and it can take a huge bite out of your income if you don’t plan accordingly. Here’s how you can prepare for the costs…
read more

WEBINAR: Live Financial Forum
Join us on May 25th for the opportunity to ask our panel of experts any financial question you might have and get the answers you need…


REWARDS: Take Action and Win!
You get the chance to win cool prizes, when you engage in the MSA program, work with a Money Coach, and attend webinars.
learn more




(Apr. 12th)

The second installment of our investment series bridges the gap between beginner and advanced. We will help you get more comfortable with making decisions, like whether to increase contributions to your retirement savings or move those funds to a brokerage account. Learn why you need to adopt different philosophies and strategies to achieve your investment goals. This class will also cover the types of costs you incur based on your investment choices – from commissions to management expense ratios. Whether you are investing by yourself or with a financial advisor, you are best-served to have a plan that includes strategies, time frames, and expectations. Join us to expand your investment knowledge.



READ: Priceless Financial Guidance
Mallory’s income was reduced, and she had to rely on credit cards just to get by… until she started working with a Money Coach. See why she said it was priceless!
read more

READ: 4 Tips for Investment Strategies
Whether you’re new to investing or not, now’s the time to consider your investment strategy and how these four factors may need to be altered for optimal success….
read more

WEBINAR: Financial Peace of Mind
On April 28th, come hear about your opportunity to work with a Money Coach to overcome financial stress and achieve your financial dreams.

REWARDS: Take Action and Win!
You get the chance to win cool prizes, when you engage in the MSA program, work with a Money Coach, and attend webinars.
learn more



April– June 2016

  • Thursday April 7, Davis Library 150D
  • Wednesday April 13, Davis Library 150D
  • Wednesday April 27, Davis Library 150D
  • Wednesday May 11, Davis Library 150D
  • Thursday May 19, Davis Library 150D
  • Wednesday June 1, Davis Library 150D
  • Tuesday June 14, Davis Library 150D
  • Thursday June 30, Davis Library 150D

To schedule an appointment with Erik Moreau, please call the Field Support Team at (800) 732-8353, M-F 8am – 8pm (EST).




Can’t reach your financial goals? Having a hard time with your credit report and credit score? Come along with us to gain the knowledge you need for better finances. We can help you create a realistic spending plan to achieve your financial goals; moreover, you’ll have an understanding of your credit reports and credit score. Because finances affect your whole life, we make sure that you leave with support and confidence when it comes to spending, borrowing, and saving.

READ: Less Stress & More Moneyquote

Assessing your lifestyle and how it aligns with your budget can help you maintain financial control. Here’s how one member assessed her finances with her coach, and improved her situation.  read more

kidREAD: Back to Basics

If you want to get ahead financially, you have to get back to the basics. That’s why it’s worth your time to review the fundamentals and to assess whether or not you’re using them correctly. read mbikeore

WEBINAR: Financial Peace of Mind

On March 24th, come hear about your opportunity to work with a Money Coach to overcome financial stress and achieve your financial dreams.

w-moneyREWARDS: Take Action and Win!

You get the chance to win cool prizes, when you engage in the MSA program, work with a Money Coach, and attend webinars.
learn more



From MSA- The Keys to Less Stress and a Happy Life

Karly-635x357Want the keys to less stress and a happy life?  Karly found the answer when she started working with a MSA Money Coach, an experience that has enriched her finances and her life.  The best part?  The keys are within your reach as well.

Karly had $58,000 in debt keeping her from a care-free life.  Any money left over each month got swallowed up by bills and unexpected expenses.  To make matters worse, Karly and her husband just had a baby, bought a new house on the West Coast, and realized they were fifteen years away from retirement with absolutely no savings.

Needless to say, they were desperate to turn things around.

When Karly entered the MSA Financial Wellness program (offered through her employer, a university of California), she started working with a Money Coach, Rachelle, who gave her hope for a better life.  “I came to MSA with a lot of debt.  My Money Coach helped me put together a doable plan to tackle the debt [and] has been very instrumental in getting me on a livable spending plan….  For the first time in a while, I see a light at the end of the tunnel.  I am so grateful for her guidance!!!”

In a nutshell, Rachelle’s answer to Karly’s problems was a budget and an accountability partner.

With Rachelle’s help, Karly hit the ground running:  “Rachelle is always so encouraging and a cheerleader for my financial accomplishments.  She can be firm when necessary but, again, in a way that empowers you and makes you feel like you can accomplish the task!!!”

So what did Karly accomplish exactly?  And how did they use a budget to create a stress-free, happy life?

Rachelle and Karly took an in-depth look at the family finances: income, expenses, debts, savings, and goals.  From there, they made an action plan and started to see the fabulous results.

  • They calculated that Karly could put $1,700 towards debt each month.  Originally, Karly was set to pay off debt in eight years, but now she can wipe out the debt in less than half that time, and the new plan has already allowed her to reduce her overall debt by $12,000!
  • Karly didn’t have any kind of savings, so Rachelle helped her allocate money each month just for that purpose.  Now she has close to $6,000 in emergency savings and $2,000 saved for irregular expenses.
  • Rachelle connected Karly with another Money Coach who is a retirement specialist.  They talked about additional contributions to retirement accounts and were able to meet Karly’s goal of $6,000/month in retirement income.

As Karly put it, “Rachelle is wonderful!!!”  She works in the real world, acknowledging that things happen, and we should enjoy life as well as plan for future enjoyment.  She has helped me to really take a look at all the extra expenses that pop up throughout the year and put these in my budget.  She’s also helped me to be honest about my spending habits, but did so in such a gently way, focusing on the positive of this knowledge.  I truly feel prepared for any emergency.  She coaches me and keeps my mind at ease through the bumps.  She is constantly reviewing my spending and offering ways to curb expenses.”

Even when Karly didn’t realize how much she was spending on discretionary items and got overloaded with surprise expenses, her Money Coach was there to get her back on track.

Rachelle explained that spending changes from month to month, so reviews are necessary for peace of mind, and, who knows, you may get a pleasant surprise.  Karly sure did.  When Rachelle helped Karly reassess her spending, they found that Karly had $600 left over every month (That’s $7,200 a year!), to which Rachelle suggested putting a portion towards savings and a portion towards debt.

All in all, Karly found the direction and relief she was looking for:  “[My Money Coach] has changed my view of a budget.  It’s not a painful drudgery, but a key to less stress and a happy life.  She often reminds me that I should not dread my budget, and if I do, we should tweak some things.”

The accountability and accomplishments Karly gained, through the MSA Financial Wellness program, were too great to let go, so Karly has continued reaping the benefits well beyond her employer-funded period.  In fact, she’s been working with her coach for several years.  She has also taken advantage of other parts of the program, like meeting with a tax specialist and signing up for ID Monitoring (MSA’s identity theft protection services).

Karly achieved financial peace of mind, and you can too!  Talk to a Money Coach today for the keys to less stress and a happy life.  Call 888-724-2326 today.