Welcome to Valerie's Blog

Nearing 20-years of experience, Valerie has run the gamut of training and dedicates Merrill Consultants to one simple task; doing it better than the other guys. This blog distills the experience she's gained into palatable posts on how to better manage training and achieve the work/life balance myth that eludes so many of us. website [...]

By |June 7th, 2009|Company News|Comments Off on Welcome to Valerie's Blog

E-learning versus classroom learning

There are pros and cons for each of these learning methods. A pro for e-learning is it can be done at any time anywhere and can be repeated easily. However it can be expensive and may go out-of-date or not even be used depending upon the culture of the organisation. Generation Y will love it, especially [...]

By |July 16th, 2012|Company News|Comments Off on E-learning versus classroom learning

Virtual Teams

So much has been written about Virtual working or remote working and in particular in my learning and development sector. We have a virtual team for marketing, support and website updates and I see the team face to face 2-4 times a year because one is in the wilds of Essex and the other in [...]

By |June 7th, 2012|Company News|Comments Off on Virtual Teams

What do you look for in an exceptional trainer?

“First seek to understand and then be understood” – Habit #5 from the book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People from Steven Covey.  This is what we do.  A trainer is a complex creature with many skill sets.  Whatever their field, their knowledge is wide ranging and to a great depth, enabling them to pull on varying resources to explain a point to help understanding. A good trainer is welcoming and warm to delegates.  I remember years ago an evaluation asking “is the trainer responsive to your needs’’.  Although I laughed at the time as did a few delegates I fully understand/stood what that company was seeking.  I want to be treated as well as I can be and I seek that for those who work with me. […]

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By |May 18th, 2012|Company News|Comments Off on What do you look for in an exceptional trainer?

The Johari Window

As a trainer and training manager involved in Microsoft and Bespoke rollouts of systems I become involved in change management.   We work alongside and contribute as much as I can to help speed up integration of content/ideas. Over the years I have seen tools and heard many theories to make changes more successful.  I do like the The Johari Window concept is particularly helpful to understanding employee/employer relationships within the Psychological Contract. […]

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By |September 26th, 2011|Company News|Comments Off on The Johari Window

Working with the Reinvention Diva

I was recently interviewed by The Reinvention Diva Sharon! http://www.thereinventiondiva.com/podcasts/valerie-merrill/ Sharon got me talking about my life, it is so strange to go back 25 years to review what happened and what did I do and why did I!? […]

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By |August 4th, 2011|Company News|Comments Off on Working with the Reinvention Diva

Excel Customised


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By |June 25th, 2011|Feature|Comments Off on Excel Customised

Bespoke Software

Bespoke software can vary from a slightly tailored standard product, to a completely new business application, written to a client’s specifications. Usually bespoke software sits somewhere between the extremes: many products can be altered to fit the needs of a particular industry or company processes; some are designed specifically with that in mind. […]

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By |June 22nd, 2011|Feature|Comments Off on Bespoke Software

Emotional Intelligence in Leadership Workshop


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By |June 13th, 2011|Company News, Feature|Comments Off on Emotional Intelligence in Leadership Workshop

Outlook with Time Management

Duration: 3.5 hours No of delegates: 6 […]

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By |June 13th, 2011|Feature|Comments Off on Outlook with Time Management

Training Needs Analysis No 2: Know Thy Change

With all training needs analysis it is often some change or reorganisation that prompts the analysis.   Could be a merging of departments or companies.  Could be a new piece of software or an upgrade.  Could be a new process or way of working.  Whatever it is:  Decide, Define and Deliver what that change means to your community. […]

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By |June 7th, 2011|Training Needs Analysis|Comments Off on Training Needs Analysis No 2: Know Thy Change