Since high school, Rich Raffals has been coaching people to build the competencies
required to succeed. As valedictorian, Rich was afforded
the opportunity to coach and tutor fellow students to master study skills
and topics they felt were beyond them—everything from English Literature,
Grammar and Poetry, to Analytical Geometry and Calculus. Not only did
these students succeed, they also discovered abilities they didn’t think
they had, while learning how they best learn and to believe in themselves.
At the top of his class in engineering school, Case Western Reserve University paid Rich to coach and mentor fellow students. He also did similar paid work as a consultant in the campus computer labs. On a volunteer basis, however, Rich expanded beyond the academic into career coaching: self-assessment, résumé writing, job search, interviewing, and job offer negotiation. (He modeled mastery of these skills by securing competitively sought after internships at IBM as a sophomore, and at Texas Instruments as a junior. Upon graduation, during an extremely tight market, he landed a coveted position with a cutting-edge Silicon Valley company.)
After graduation, friends and colleagues continued to seek Rich out for assistance with their careers and life path. Over time, people have consulted him for coaching in ever more varied facets of life: relationships, career and cultural transitions, work/life balance, foreign travel/jobs, spiritual growth, stress management, emotional healing, Repetitive Strain Injuries, starting a business, traumatic experiences, parenting, surgery, loans & home purchase, financial planning, and more.
Again modeling what he coaches, Rich has made two successful career transitions, bought a house in Palo Alto, survived a RIF without missing a mortgage payment, traveled to 22 foreign countries, started his own successful business, built several successful communities, and enjoyed months of vacation per year.
To better understand himself, other cultures, his own culture, and how to best live life on this planet, Rich went to live in Spain, in the jungle with a tribe of Amazon natives, and in an ashram in India. In addition to many traditional self-assessment explorations, Rich fasted alone in the desert for 3 days during a “Vision Quest ” to discover his life path, and has spent 10 continuous days in silent meditation to investigate the origins of human suffering, its opposite, and the true nature of reality. Rich has also done significant personal work in both individual and group therapy. Through this years-long journey to his authentic self and ideal life, a unique set of values, beliefs and spiritual practices have evolved which are serving him quite well. At times, Rich even gets accused by people of, “...having more fun than anyone I know and still always looking for ways to have more!” To which he replies, “Then, aren't I exactly the person you want as your personal coach?”
In short, Rich has journeyed within and around the world to learn “who he is” and “how to best live his life.” He's applied what he's learned to coach hundreds of others to find their own answers to these questions and overcome whatever specific challenges they encounter along the way. It’s not something he was taught. Rather, it is who he’s always been, what he's always done, and what people have always come to him for—regardless of his official job title at the time.
Rich has augmented his special gift and innate talents with the highest
quality professional training available. In addition to 10+ years of
non-professional coaching, Rich has 5+ years of professional Co-Active Coaching
experience, as taught by the International Coaching Federation-accredited
Coaches Training Institute. He has also trained with Coach University,
New Ventures West, CoachVille, and Thomas Leonard (founder of Coach University
and CoachVille). Rich has worked with Laura Whitworth (co- founder
of The Coaches Training Institute and author of Co-Active Coaching), to refine a next-generation leadership/coaching model called "The Bigger Game," and to co-author a book on the same.
Among his many other teachers, Rich counts each of his past and
present clients. Also, Eckhart Tolle, Carolyn Myss, Carl Jung,
S.N. Goenka, Challenge Day, Tim Corcoran, Byron Katie, Gil Fronsdal, Carl Rogers,
Michael Harner, Outward Bound, Robert Bly, Dr. Wayne Dyer, Jack
Kornfield, Viet Nguyen, James Redfield, Peter Bigfoot, Dick Sutphen,
Joseph Campbell, Dan Millman, M. Scott Peck, M.D., Katherine Woodward-Thomas, Dr. Joe Dispenza, and the indigenous Achuar and Shuar people of the Amazon rainforest.