My name is Uwem Akangson. Im a Motivational, Conference & Public Speaker. I am also a Soft Skill Trainer. I am a Customer Complaint Handler and a Customers’ Ombudsman. By this, I train Customer Care, Legal and Marketing Officers of organizations on resolving customers’ complaints.
I am the Founder/ CEO of Ruach Ha’ Kodesh Training & Consultancy Services. We help organizations improve on the proficiency and productivity of their workforce. We reduce their cost of operations, reduce their customers’ complaints and delight and retain their customers.
I’m really honored and elated that you found time to check out my website.
Thank you so much. I do not take this for granted.
I hope you do find some of my articles engaging, educative and or thought provoking. I would like you to spare a few moments at the end of any of the articles to let me have your feedback on any of the articles you have read.
Your feedback means a lot to me. It would help me improve on the contents for your reading pleasure.
In The Beginning…
My earliest recollection of myself would perhaps be at age 3 or 4. My Dad has left half of his breakfast for me as he usually did, but I was very fascinated about going to school at that age, instead.
I had gone the day before with my senior brother and liked the idea of them having milkshake with biscuits at break time.
It beat everyone’s imagination how I was able to navigate the route to school, a distance of perhaps 3 kilometers, having been to the school just once before. My nanny crept up behind me and snatched me up just as I was walking into the gate of the school premises. I got the whooping of my life, but it made me start school earlier than I ought.
I would say I attended the best of schools back then and I really impressed with my grades. This must have given me the impression that life was a piece of cake flying through schools and picking the best of Grades possible and even having double promotions a couple of times.
I started out as a lawyer. That was because my parents ambushed me into accepting to follow in my Grand Dad’s footprints. He was a lawyer and a Magistrate. He used to make me laugh a lot. He declined the appointment of Ugandan Chief Judge (which was accepted by Late Justice Udo Udoma) because he’d been in England for nearly 10 years. Unfortunately, I really don’t have any photographs with him back then. He was a great guy.
I was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1992 and I did my National Assignment serving in the Legal Department of an Oil & Gas Company. I really wanted to be retained there after the service year, but I wasn’t that fortunate. I was amongst 3,000 applicants vying for the office of Community Relations Officer. I made it to the last 4. That wasn’t so bad!
After trying my hands on a few contracts and supplies and burning my fingers, I went to work as a Counsel in a Law Firm where I learnt the art of advocacy. I caught on very quickly and started winning several high profile cases. I had risen from the lowest courts in the land to the highest and I actually got some very impressive rulings and judgments. I also lost a few.
In search of passion, laced with career…
Litigation and legal practice wasn’t very lucrative, money wise for young lawyers back then, but we learnt the skills of advocacy from the great lawyers who were trained from England. We learnt fast but it was time to decide if we wanted to keep earning the paltry sums paid and enjoy the skills of advocacy pleading clients’ causes or we wanted some other aspect of legal practice in the corporates spheres that could earn us a lot more to quickly settle down in life.
I chose the later and went to work in the Banking & Finance Industry. It felt very good earning good money and able to buy my first car, switch to a better accommodation and to handle my sphere of duties. I set a record by being promoted within the first six months of employment. Rather than just being confirmed, which was what should happen, I made the promotion list because I had crashed the pending litigation cases from 120 cases to 65 cases. This was unprecedented. The Executive Director back then insisted I must be appreciated with a promotion. This set me on fire.
My work routine became mundane at some point without much challenges anymore. I found time in the middle of this to commence my Masters Degree Program In International Business with Paris Graduate School of Management (PGSM). I earned the highest score in Organizational Behavior and was one of the best graduating students from my class.
I was enjoying mediation and customers complaint resolution. Another commercial bank headed-hunted me as their Customers’ Ombudsman and within a span of three years, I had resolved and closed over 3,540 complaints. I became quite savvy in Complaint Handling and in 2009, the commercials bank sent me for training in Charlotte, North Carolina to become an Organizational Ombudsman. I learnt the Trust of An Ombudsman, Conflict, Dispute & Complaint Resolution.
I found passion in Complaint Resolution. It was intriguing to me how I was able to resolve customers complaints making them happy that they didn’t have to go to court. So I became an Arbitrator and a Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, UK and subsequently, a Member of the International Bar Association and a Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management.
Switching from Private to Public Sector…
Sometime in 2012, I felt I had learnt enough as an Ombudsman. I could do this as second nature. Indeed, I was training bank staff, the Marketing, Accounts’ Officers and back office staff on what to do to resolve customers complaints and how to escalate them to my office as the Customers’ Ombudsman. It was time to move on.
In September 2012, I accepted the offer of HR Director in the Federal Government Agency, in the Aviation Industry. This was the deep end now. It was a very intriguing experience for me. The Public Sector is completely different from the Private Sector.
I was warned that what worked in the Private Sector wouldn’t necessarily work in the Public Sector. I made some friends and enemies as well. I tried to reform several things and to introduce several projects. Most of it was unsuccessful.
Working in the Public Sector is an experience one needs to have to be completely rounded. I was slow in learning the politics.
I wasn’t very ambitious because I lost a clear opportunity to have become the Acting Managing Director of the Government Agency when I became the longest serving Director and the most senior Director, when it was time to replace a serving Managing Director.
I did not achieve much there, because I didn’t have a lot of cooperation. But I learnt a lot from them and especially my course at the Harvard Business School on Negotiation & Deal Making.
That gave me a lot of fulfillment as I started my DBA with Argosy University in Internetional Business. This gave me a lot of exposure and to better understand the business world.
I won several laurels in my service in the Public Sector. Some of them took me by surprise especially when a South African Organization recognized the services I was rendering and came to honor and recognize me. I won over three awards and some of them I had to travel to receive the awards. Some coincided with other engagements and I had to send representatives.
The high point of my Public Service was when I met the great Kenneth Firnbank. The Complaint Resolution Expert who resolved the oil spillage at the Gulf of Mexico. The author of several books especially “Who Gets What”? He was a Guest Lecturer to my Class at the Harvard Business School. He expounded a lot to us on how he handled negotiations and mediation.
Gift of Public Speaking & Facilitation.
It would be fair to say that I discovered my gift of Public & Conference Speaking while in the Public Sector. I was speaking at virtually every function and before long some Consultants observed this gift and started inviting me to Co-facilitate at the Soft Skill Trainings on weekends.
At this point several organizations had heard of my speaking abilities and my training skills. It caused me to do a lot of research and to prepare slides that would meet the needs of the audience. I was speaking to an informed audience like middle level management of Industrial Banks staff and their expectations where really high.
I trained mostly on Emotional Intelligence and it’s impact in the work place. I learnt a lot myself in the course of the research and training. I found that a lot of employees were buckling under the weight of lack of Emotional Intelligence.
After each of my classes, I would have to give personal extra lessons to some of the staff who couldn’t ask some questions publicly but needed help. I was glad to be of service and the feedback was encouraging, but humbling.
Highpoint of Soft Skill Training.
I would say I was enjoying the extra income that came from these weekend gigs of speaking engagements. At some point, I had to be booked and paid in advance if I was to attend the Soft Skill Trainings.
I observed that the organizations being trained wanted to reach out to me directly. I thought this was improper because I was training because a Consultant who got the job invited me to speak.
I was intrigued when an Advertising Company invited me to speak on Glocalization. I had just learnt the concept myself from my DBA Class. I was so impressed by their request that I postponed my trip to the US to handle the Soft Skill Training.
I felt so good about this Soft Skill Training even though the honorarium was not so good. This was because I was speaking alongside a Manager from Google and the feedback was very impressive and encouraging.
Indeed the CEO took several photo shots with me and promised to reach out for further Soft Skill Trainings.
Setting up a structure that works…
I could not cope with the spate of speaking engagements. I would say I had spoken publicly over a hundred times at this point and in 2017, I decided I had found my niche and it was time to take it to the next level.
The Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) engaged me as a Lead Consultant to speak to the Young Leaders from 9 West African Countries on Leadership & Accountability.
I researched this deeply and by the time my session was over, I’d been invited again and again over and over both to speak in Lagos, Nigeria and Accra, Ghana.
At this point, I had become very comfortable in my skin and I was then developing several modules to train several organizations that were now needing my services.
Including a Catholic Church that invited to speak to the Empower the Youth. To date, I’ve designed and developed over 50 Soft Skill Training Modules and some of them are bespoke to meet the needs of the organization.
I have to organize my itinerary in such a way that the speaking engagements don’t clash and to space them out enough to give ample time to plan and develop the modules to ensure that the standards are as high and meeting international standards.
Sometimes the schedules are heavy. This has caused a development of Online Webnair Trainings as well as Personal Coaching & Mentoring Classes.
I also speak at International Conferences like the Customers’ Experience Management Conference 2018 where I spoke on a subject I tagged: “Is the Customer Really King?”.
This was very engaging. When I was done, the room was charged and a lot of questions were fielded on the subject.
The beauty of my job is that it enables me to give back to society through the trainings and to connect with people in diverse industries. It also gives me a humbling experience to learn from other people and other speakers as well.
In spite of the forgoing, I believe I have a flair for writing as well. Which was why I decided to design this Blog to also connect the dots by writing life experience-changing articles that helps me connect with my reading audience.
The interest of my readers is very key. I evaluate everything I want to write on and access from past write-ups, what the perception of my audiences would be. I would only write what interests my audience. This is why I’ve always solicited feedbacks and suggestions to enable me sharpen these skills.
My joy and gratitude to God is being able to impact knowledge gained in over 27 years of practice and working in diverse industries from Oil & Gas, Banking & Finance & Federal Government. In the course of my trainings, I’ve designed benefits to organizations that seek for our training modules.
We have also founded the Ombudsman Institute, Lagos. This is intended to enroll all Ombuds’ Officers who pass through the training processes to becoming Ombuds’ Officers to be honored with more trainings as Ombudsmen.
I have to thank my family for being tolerant and accommodating me in these these busy schedules and travelings. I’m thankful to them. Especially my wife who is so understanding and covers up for me by making good excuses to the children when I’m absent. But I make up for these by spending quality time with the boys.
Above all, I give God all the Honor & Glory for depositing these skills and talents in me to be able to use these skills for humanity as well.
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