Enjoy this weekend of great celebration with your family and friends!  Martha Forlines

















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For those of you that are linked up with me on LinkedIn or like the Belief System Institute on Facebook, you know, I am a big fan of Daniel Goleman’s body of work on emotional intelligence (EQ) .  I realized that the employee motivation and engagement methods (Belief System of Motivation and Performance) that I use with leaders and their teams requires leaders to use their EQ to get the most from those they lead.

Ever since we started BLOGGING, you’ve heard and read the importance of “managing/leading to the individual” from Thad and me.  We are all so uniquely different.  As a leader of your uniquely different team members you need to be practicing the empathy and social intelligence with them.  These are two of Goleman’s five components of Emotional Intelligence. I will list the seven qualities of social intelligence I found in a HBR article entitled Social Intelligence and The Biology of Leadership by Daniel Goleman and Richard Boyatzis.  Keep notes  on where you are in the practice of these qualities:


Do you understand what motivates other people, even those from different backgrounds?

Are you sensitive to others’ needs?


Do you listen attentively and think about how others feel?

Are you attuned to others’ moods?

Organizational Awareness

Do you appreciate the culture and values of the group or organization?

Do you understand social networks and know their unspoken norms?


Do you persuade others by engaging them in discussion and appealing to their self-interests?

Do you get support from key people?

Developing Others

Do you coach and mentor others with compassion and personally invest time and energy in mentoring?

Do you provide feedback that people find helpful for their professional development?


Do you articulate a compelling vision, build group pride, and foster a positive emotional tone?

Do you lead by bringing out the best in people?


Do you solicit input from everyone on the team?

Do you support all team members and encourage cooperation?

So, how did you do answering these questions about yourself as a leader?  We are all works in process, so if you zeroed in on the hand full of things that can improve your leadership effectiveness, put a plan together.  If you really want to be transparent, ask your team to rate you on these qualities and include their feedback in your development plan.

You can truly obtain the secret sauce to motivating each individual by being a more socially intelligent leader.

Martha Forlines, Leadership Coach/Consultant


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Think about “nirvana” at work – your team is humming with energy, happy to find the best solutions for your customers, collaborating with each other seamlessly about creative ways to grow the business and you are their trusted advisor and leader.  Now you are asking yourself, “How can this be?”

It can be! The level of employee engagement I described above is tied to a couple of very important things.  One, you, the leader have helped them to tap into what is important to them, their values or motivators that “drive their bus” every day. Matching theses motivators to the work culture and to what is required in the job is how successful leaders select the right people… that in turn create teams that perform like well oiled machines.

Let’s break this down.  Understanding your inner motivations enables you to find intrinsic satisfaction with the work itself. This is an emotional intelligence skill that can be learned.  You, as the boss and your employees can learn how to then connect with these values/motivators so work doesn’t feel like work, but a fulfilling investment of time and effort and results.

So what would it feel like, look like for everyone on your team to be operating from a place of high intrinsic satisfaction?  Of course we all have parts of our jobs that we don’t love to do. If the right balance of the work that is intrinsically satisfying exists, we would be able to stay in the “nirvana” zone.  Companies and leaders that create cultures that understand the value of tapping into the values that are important to their people produce business results that are sustainable for the long haul and attract and retain the talent that enables success.

Martha Forlines, Coach and Consultant – Leading Others


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Finding the right people for the right jobs can be challenging.  It’s a whole lot less arduous using benchmarking tools and Top Grading tools…so let’s assume you’ve got your new “star” employee on the rolls…now what?

Best practice onboarding can make the difference now that you “got ‘em”.  Creating an onboarding process that is consistent with your company mission, vision, values and culture is the best first step.  Let’s take a look at a few of these practices:

1.  Share the BIG picture of the company goals and strategies, so they can see how they fit into this picture to drive results.

2. Set extremely clear performance results and expectations by sharing their job description and accountabilities and sharing the team or department goals and expectations for the year, by quarter.

3. Personally introduce your new hire to key players they will be working with and give them copies of organizational charts and contact information for these key players.  Make sure the key players know the value your new employee is bringing to the organization.

4, Coach and mentor your new employee regularly during their first 6 months.  This builds trust and open lines of communication between the two of you.  Understanding the work flow, political landscape and key knowledge workers is invaluable. If you are not available, make sure you assign another go-to person that can help them with their new job challenges and give them feedback on how they are doing.

5. Make sure they have the appropriate resources to do their job and how to properly use the resources available to them.  Examples of these are SOP’s for their role, policies and procedures, safety rules, training and the company intranet.

6. Lastly, make sure they know what opportunities are available for them to grow and develop at your company.  As a part of the job benchmarking process, your assessment results may have identified skills that could be improved with your new employee. Discuss these with them and make sure they follow through to get the training they need.

Diligence in the onboarding process can improve employee retention, engagement, performance and boost the business results for your team!

Martha Forlines, Coach and Consultant – Leading Others


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In addition to job benchmarking as a process to improve your hiring hit rate, we want to share a couple more tips to avoid the pain of “miss” hires.

Brad Smart, the creator of Top Grading offers a couple of tools that can make a big difference in the quality of applicants that make it through the screening and interviewing gauntlet.  The first one will enable applicants that have lied, yes, I said lied to you in the initial phone screen to self select out of the process – the in depth job history form.

This form requests 28 responses regarding each and every job they have every held, including an assessment of their former bosses, as well as a self assessment of their own performance in each of these roles.  The name and contact information for each of their former bosses is requested as well as the approval for you to contact those supervisors.

Smart endorses the TORC – The Threat of Reference Check.  The finalist (candidates) are asked to contact their last three to four supervisors to have a conversation with you, the hiring manager.  So, now you see why those that chose to not tell the whole truth bail when they see the rigors of going through this Top Grading process.

So, if you want to really improve your hiring hit rate, I highly endorse taking the time to use Mr. Smart’s processes.  If you want a sample of this in depth job history form, you can buy a copy of Top Grading, or email me and I’m happy to send you a copy of the form.  Your final hiring decision is only as good as the information you are able to gather from each of your potential new hires…so use the job benchmarking process upfront, then dig deep with behavioral interviewing techniques, the job history form and lastly the TORC!

Martha Forlines



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I can assure you, I’ve done it – made really bad hiring decisions.  The current data indicates miss-hiring can cost you, the company up to 3 times the base salary for that open position.  NOW that I have your attention…my valued business partner TTI has a wonderful infographic that easily explains a fact based, validated methodology to insure higher success rates in your hiring process called job benchmarking.  See the four steps below to assess the job objectively, then validate the data with a final step of assessing your final candidates against the job benchmarking data to select the most qualified candidate and best fit for the job.  Take a look…

The 4 Steps Of Job Benchmarking - Infographic

Give BSI a call to discuss benchmarking solutions that work to insure greater success in the critical process of selecting employees for your company!

Martha Forlines


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One critical skill for leadership success that repeatedly comes up for my coaching clients is active listening. With your work demanding more of you as a leader, often times with fewer resources and less people, somehow the art of active listening suffers.  With so much emphasis on performance and output, most leaders find their ability to be quiet and listen is hampered. Research shows that leaders believe they listen as much as they talk, when in reality they are doing 80% of the talking in their interactions with others. So getting the “message out” is more important than ensuring you accurately receive the message of your team members.

Assess your own listening skills:  When listening to others,
1. I sit behind my desk and accept phone calls or shuffle papers.
2. I have a hard time concentrating on what is being said.
3. I get annoyed when someone slows me down.
4. I think about what I want to say, rather than what the person is saying.
5. I interrupt and show signs of impatience.
6. I give advice too soon.
7. I avoid asking questions that would encourage the other person to talk more.
8. I make it a point to talk when they are silent.

So how did you do with these questions from the book, Active Listening?  Here are a few quick tips for you to develop an active listening mindset: pay attention to your own behavior and the behavior of the other person, hold judgment on the information being shared and seek to understand, reflect what you heard said to you, ask clarifying questions, summarize what you have heard and lastly share your thoughts with your employee. Active listening also includes paying attention to the nonverbal cues being given to you. Sounds simple, right?

I also want to remind you to join me as I interview Anna Richo, Executive Vice President and General Counsel at UCB, a global biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Belgium.  She is our first Inspiring Leader guest for our teleconference on February 13th at 11:30 a.m. EDT.  You will see that Anna is a powerful executive with much to share with us about her leadership journey!Join me for this complimentary event. You will also have a chance to ask her questions and get tips to further your own leadership development. There is no registration required, so click on the link to get the call in details and please mark your calendar!

All the best to your success,
Martha Forlines

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We are very excited to kick off 2014 with our complimentary “Inspiring Leader Teleconference” (formerly called Inspiring Women Teleconference) featuring Anna Richo, Executive Vice President and General Counsel at UCB, a global biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Belgium with U.S. headquarters in Smyrna, Georgia. She has global responsibility for legal, intellectual property, compliance, privacy, and corporate secretariat matters at UCB.

Ms. Richo received her Juris Doctor degree from DePaul University, College of Law and her Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University. Anna began her career in healthcare with Baxter Healthcare Corporation, where she had a successful 12-year career as Vice President, Law for the BioScience business. She had worldwide responsibility for all legal services for BioScience including commercial transactions, mergers and acquisitions, intellectual property, international trade & customs and government affairs. After leaving Baxter, Ms. Richo spent 9 years at Amgen Inc., where her most recent position was Senior Vice President and Chief Compliance Officer.

Needless to say, Anna has had a successful leadership journey.  Join me for this complimentary event as I interview her and you will also have a chance to ask her questions and get tips to further your own leadership development.

Martha Forlines

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Accountability for delivering on your plan for 2014 is one of your most important roles. It requires many management skills to hold your employees accountable. And the truth is, holding your folks accountable is your choice.

There are 2 HUGE problems with accountability or the lack there of – abdication management and valuing hard work more than achieving results.

The causes behind abdication are giving up on a task or goal, assuming all will go well and not staying informed.

So, unclear expectations, inadequate authority or resources, lack of skills, inadequate encouragement and coaching and inconsistency in holding others accountable all leads to total abdication of key aspects of your role as a leader.

The second BIG cause is valuing hard work more than actual results. Believing effort equals performance, believing hard work is a priority and believing rewards should be based on how hard your work all add up to abdication too.

Here’s 6 steps to enable accountability in how you lead your people:
1. Communicate your expectations clearly
2. Agree on specific results and behaviors and how they will be measured
3. Agree on time frames
4. Clarify resources and authority
5. Set up accountability meetings to stay informed
6. Get commitment from your employee

The difference accountability can make for you as a leader is everything!

Martha Forlines and Thad Green

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Martha Forlines

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