November’s Quick Poll

November 17, 2010



Use LinkedIn to Grow Your Business

November 17, 2010

Article by Judy Lee

They have become household names. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Despite their popularity, many struggle to use these popular social networking platforms to their business’ advantage.

If this sounds like you, you’re not alone.  Many growing businesses need some help in this regard.  This month, we hope to shed some light on where and how to focus your attention in this new world of social media by providing some useful steps on how to get started.

Which site should I focus on?

Focus on LinkedIn. It is a professional network with a business focus rather than a personal one. No updates about weekend activities, cute kids, or pet peeves. Consultants and coaches alike are already using LinkedIn to engage with colleagues, clients and prospects alike. Your presence and strategic use of LinkedIn can reach over 80 million members including the movers and shakers like leaders, decision makers, and even executives from Fortune 500 companies.

With the right approach and actions, LinkedIn can garner fruitful returns such as targeted leads, business opportunities and give you a heightened reputation as a consultant.  Here are some ways that you can boost your presence and engagement on LinkedIn.

Step One:  Sign up!

How do you sign up?  Register on LinkedIn for free.

Once you’re there, you’ll want to create your profile so that people know who you are and what you do. They’ll know you will be there to connect with them and answer any questions they may have.

Step 2:  Optimize Your Profile

□    A professional picture goes a long way. This is the first thing that people will notice, and it serves as your first impression. It doesn’t have to involve an expensive photo shoot. You could even ask a good friend who enjoys photography to take your picture.
□    A title that clearly and concisely reflects who you are and what you do is crucial for others to place you in an arena of work.
□    A summary and experience of yourself is written much like a resume. Ensure that it is complete but keep it relevant and concise with keywords for online search.
□    Give yourself online credibility with hyperlinks to your other online activities like your website, blog, e-newsletter and even your Twitter account.
□    In this day and age, word of mouth is still very strong. Build your credibility with recommendations from colleagues. If someone recommends you, it’s good etiquette to write a recommendation for them.

Some great examples of optimized profiles come from a few of our very own MHS trainers:

1)  David Cory, Emotional Intelligence Training Company  

– Title is descriptive and contains keywords
–  Incorporates Twitter application
–  Requested recommendations
–  Includes links to his website
–  Personalized LinkedIn URL

2)   Marcia Hughes, Collaborative Growth   

–  LinkedIn has a WordPress application to showcase and drive traffic to your blog. WordPress is an online journal, set up your blog.
–  Participates in events

Step 3:  Optimize Your Network

□    Search for groups that will add value to your business and join one or two to start off with. No more and no less for now. The reason is that while you will eventually have a collection of groups to call your own, the few groups that you initially join will provide you with a good testing ground.  By focusing on a few to start, you can more easily make the time to be a strong participating member and engage with other members via discussion posts.
□    Be aware of group “size” since a larger group would have greater breadth and depth of members with greater influence for you to engage with.
□    Look for connections that have similar interests within the groups that you have joined. For example, connect with Diana Durek and Daniela Kwiatkowski to engage with some of LinkedIn’s strongest players in the EI arena.
□    Engage in discussion posts for eg. Post questions and/or contribute to the discussions to show your interest along with your expertise in emotional intelligence as applied in coaching and consulting.

Step 4:   Optimize Your LinkedIn Routine

□    Make it a regular part of your routine to be engaged in the LinkedIn communities, it takes a bit of trial and error to get your footing in a new environment.
□    Employ less of a sales approach and more of a ‘I’m here to help’ approach by becoming that online leader with your knowledge and presence.
□    Include LinkedIn on your website, business card, and email signature.
□    Include a LinkedIn App on your phone to stay in touch with your new connections wherever you are. 

Step 5:   Join Us!

□   We would be remiss if we didn’t mention the importance of joining MHS’s newly updated Emotional Intelligence Connection LinkedIn site!

Our goal for this site is to drive conversations amongst professionals like you around the subject of EI, coaching, consulting, leadership development and more…  It’s also a fantastic way for you to make new connections and hopefully generate new business opportunities. Become a member of The Emotional Intelligence Connection now!

Join our Webcasts: HCI and ASTD

September 17, 2010


Saving Millions through Selection: A US Air Force Special Report

The United States Air Force (USAF) recruiters were suffering from high rates of first-year turnover. In their efforts to increase recruiter retention, the USAF used MHS’s EQ-i assessment of emotional intelligence to study the differences between successful and unsuccessful recruiters. Using their findings from the study, the USAF developed a pre-employment screening system that led to a 92% reduction in first-year turnover and resulted in $2.7-million in training cost savings in the first year alone. Learn more about how the USAF achieved these results through accurate emotional intelligence testing for better selection and cost savings in this webcast.

Register to learn live
Wednesday, Oct 20 2010 3:00pm EDT
Not free on Oct 20th? Recasts of webinar  
Thursday, Oct 21 2010 7:00pm EDT
Thursday, Oct 21 2010 11:00pm EDT
Friday, Oct 22 2010 3:00am EDT
Friday, Oct 22 2010 7:00am EDT
Friday, Oct 22 2010 11:00am EDT

 Live Webcast from ASTD - Sponsored by MHS

Using Competencies and Indicators of High Potential in Succession Planning

In this webcast, Dan Tobin, author of the ASTD book, Feeding Your Leadership Pipeline: How to Develop the Next Generation of Leaders in Small to Mid-Sized Companies, will discuss how to create a competency model for your company’s future leaders and how to identify high-potential candidates for future leadership roles in your company. He will also discuss how to select from your model the key competencies you will seek in future company leaders and then how to rate current employees on their potential for those positions. 

Register to to learn live
Thursday, Sept 23, 2010 2:00pm EDT

Exclusive Webcast for ASTD members via 

Understanding the Stages of Change

September 16, 2010


An Article by David Cory, MA

Most people don’t take the EQ-i or other assessments expecting to change their lives. As training, coaching, and employee development professionals, the role of facilitating change is exactly our goal. We don’t want people to come and experience our development initiatives and then carry on doing what they’ve been doing. We want them to change, but we often don’t think carefully enough about what individuals must go through to make positive changes in their lives. This is where “The Stages of Change Model” (Prochaska, Norcross, DiClemente, 1994) can be a very useful tool to remind us to diagnose where a client is in the change process so we can provide the right kind of support at the right time.

The Stages of Change

  1. Pre-contemplation – The person hasn’t thought about making a change yet
  2. Contemplation – The person is thinking about it, but unsure how to proceed
  3. Preparation – The person is choosing between alternative courses of action to formulate a plan
  4. Action – The person is implementing of the plan to change
  5. Maintenance – The person is working to maintain new behaviors
  6. Termination – The person is no longer necessary to work at maintaining new behaviors 

EQ Coaching using the Stages of Change

Once you’ve determined a client is in the Pre-contemplation stage about improving their EQ, your job as a coach is to create the awareness of the need for change. EQ-i scores can assist with this task. A manager might be making their numbers, but increasingly alienating direct reports and not making the connection between their behaviors can damage relationships. The coach will link the negative issues that the client is experiencing with the emotional intelligence skill deficits to raise awareness of the need for change.

A client in the stage of Contemplation needs to make a commitment to making a change before they can proceed to the next stage. The EQ-i reports detail and support their manager’s observations of the connection between their behavior and the damaged relationships. This can conclude in thoughts about making a change, but it is uncertain if they can change or even if they want to make the effort. The coaching professional will focus on how the benefits would outweigh the costs to the client by increasing their EQ.

In the Preparation stage, a client along with the coach will need to consider all the possible ways of making the required changes and reducing these to achievable steps toward developmental goals. These steps and goals become the ‘action plan’ for EQ development, and they should include reviewing the interactions between the EQ-i scales and subscales.

In the Action stage, the coach supports the client in making behavioral changes in reference to his or her EQ-i. Starting with small, safe, and supported changes and moving to larger, ‘bigger risk’ changes. The ‘baby steps’ will draw the client closer towards the developmental goals outlined in the action plan and EQ-i report.

The stage of Maintenance helps to remind the client that they will ‘cycle back’ or relapse into old behaviors, and that this is an acceptable and even necessary part of the change process. It offers the coach and client opportunities for learning more about triggers for old behaviors. Also, it gives an even greater awareness of how and why the client drifts back into old behaviors to reduce the likelihood in future. To further evaluate the changes or “non changes” in behavior, the client is advised to repeat the EQ-i assessment. Since emotional intelligence is a dynamic, the latter assessment results can be compared to the first one to understand the client’s progress.

The stage of Termination suggests that there will be a time in the change process when the client need not work at ‘maintaining’ the change as the client will eventually become ‘unconsciously competent’ as regards the new desired behaviors.

Putting it into Practice

An example of how the ‘Stages of Change Model’ has helped me in my own coaching work is a time when I was speaking with a manager about improving his relationships with his direct reports. After sharing more of his thoughts and emotions, I was puzzled that he could not relate to a conversation about an action plan to address this situation. Then, I realized that he was still in contemplation about the change itself, and he had not yet made a commitment to making the change. Hence, I had to go back to the previous stage and focus on the benefits to him personally and to the organization until he was ready to make a commitment before moving on to a discussion of the action plan for change. 

The benefits to using the ‘Stages of Change Model’ in your client work help you to:

  • Remind yourself as a coach to be patient with your client
  • Understand that the changes are ‘client dependent’
  • Facilitate understanding and acceptance
  • Reduce the likelihood of you getting ahead of your client
  • Allow you to offer coaching that matches the client’s readiness for change

For more information on the Stages of Change Model, see the book Changing for Good by Prochaska, Norcross, and DiClemente, 1994.

About David Cory

David Cory is the President and founder of The Emotional Intelligence Training Company Inc. (EITC). David is a leadership performance consultant specializing in individual and organizational performance improvement. In addition to a Master of Arts Degree in Adult Education, David is certified as a trainer/facilitator with several leading corporate training companies such as Achieve Global and Development Dimensions International. He is a Certified Trainer in the area of Emotional Intelligence with MHS Inc. and is considered to be an international expert on the integration of emotional intelligence and leadership development.

David’s expertise includes:

  • assessment of learning needs;
  • design and delivery of customized performance improvement interventions including the development of personal and interpersonal effectiveness skills, leadership skills, presentation skills, and team effectiveness skills;
  • psychometric assessment for recruiting, screening and employee development;
  • facilitating team building and strategic planning sessions;
  • conference and meeting key note presentations, and;
  • executive coaching (one-to-one and group/team).

Also, music has always been a big part of David’s life. Ever since he started singing, he’s been using his musical talent to touch people’s lives. He’s recorded an award-nominated album of original music and has incorporated music into corporate training and speaking to rave reviews.

Help… My Client is Brilliant! Coaching People with High IQs

September 16, 2010


Written by Wendy Gordon
Based on an interview with Researcher & OD Consultant Katie Ziemer, MOrgPsych
Contributing Editor: Diana Durek, M.S. Senior Advisor

It’s happened to nearly every coach: the moment when, just after meeting a new client, you realize this person has an incredible brain. Vocabulary, experience, expertise—perhaps even arrogance —it’s all there. And then comes the sinking feeling that you’re not sure how to work with this person.

It’s not that he’s far too successful or perfect (on the contrary, he may already be setting off your interpersonal alarm bells); it’s the gut feeling you have that you are about to put a concerted effort into this relationship, and he will stonewall every effort you make. So why the emotional wall? And more importantly, what can you do to engage this person in an effective relationship?

[Read the full article…]

From “Performance Problem” to VP: How EI Coaching Saved a Career

September 15, 2010


As part of our Partnership Program, we asked expert coaches about their experiences in applying the EQ-i in their coaching practices. This featured article showcases the expertise of MHS partner, Kelley Marko.

An Article by Kelley Marko, MBA, MA

A Vice President of a service organization approached me several years ago about one of his senior managers I’ll call Jim (his real name has been protected).  In my initial conversation with the VP, I was advised that Jim already had “one foot out the door.” If his behavior did not soon change, there would be no other option but to let him go.  Further discussion revealed that Jim was incredibly smart; he was a brilliant strategic thinker and often had the right intention. However, he was prone to put people off with his abrasive nature and he frequently created a high-stress work environment for others.  Despite these challenges the VP was not yet willing to give up on Jim. Instead, the VP was intrigued by the opportunity of supporting Jim in developing his EI through executive coaching as a way to deal with this challenging problem.  Jim and I met, and we began a coaching relationship after several frank discussions.  Two years later, Jim has not only kept his job, but was subsequently promoted to a Vice President position based on the significant turnaround in his leadership behavior that he credits in large part to the focused development of his EI. 

The following phases of development  were developed from my education and trial-and-error experiences as a professional executive coach that helped support Jim along his journey, and they may help others who are faced with a similar challenge.

Phase 1: Ensuring Suitability, Willingness and Proper Motivation for Coaching
The first step with Jim was to ensure that he actually wanted to be coached and was not doing this simply just to please his boss or as a quick fix to save his job.  Experience has taught me that if the coachee is not fully committed to the hard work, a natural part of personal development, then coaching will not be successful.  Also, focusing on the future and how things would be better for Jim and others  was more helpful than focusing strictlyon what he was doing wrong today.  Educating Jim about what coaching is and is not and what he could realistically expect to experience through a personal development process supported Jim in making his own decision on whether to proceed.  Establishing an environment of strict privacy and confidentiality between the two of us also allowed Jim to be vulnerable, more open and honest about balancing his wants and needs with those of the business through our upfront discussions and our ongoing coaching relationship. 

Phase 2:  Up Front Orientation, Assessment and Specific Goal Setting
Before we could begin our official coaching sessions we needed to establish where Jim was at day zero.  To find out, Jim spent the first month doing activities that included EQ-i and 360 assessments, a personality type assessment, and reflective questionnaires.  As we debriefed these assessments and questionnaires, Jim benefited from starting to see common data points from many different sources that he translated into common themes of both strength and development.  We acknowledged that it would be impossible for Jim to address all identified themes, so we then worked through a process to help him choose the three most meaningful and important objectives that he wanted for himself through coaching.   This approach ensured several things:

  • Jim was driving the process
  • It was in his own language
  • It was aligned with his motivations while still meeting organizational needs
  • We could continue to measure progress over time.   

Phase 3: Ongoing Coaching Plus Measurement Against Progress Over Time
Ongoing coaching with Jim consisted of no less than two sessions per month. Several things helped Jim be successful through the process of coaching and the hard work of personal development:

  • Committing to full engagement in the process by authentically wanting to be coached to develop his EI
  • Focusing on the future and how things would be better for him and others helped anchor his willingness to proceed
  • Being realistic about the time required to achieve noticeable behavior change
  • Acknowledging that he was not engaging in easy work and giving himself permission to struggle as part of his development 
  • Balancing transparency with confidentiality by allowing Jim to determine what specific details he wanted to share about our sessions with others including his boss
  • Sharing his coaching objectives with his boss and other key identified stakeholders in his development so that they had a sense of what he was working on such that they were less likely to misinterpret his behavior as he tried new things
  • Teaching others in the workplace about some of the tools, techniques and frameworks that he was learning about through coaching
  • Asking “what worked well?” and “what would you do differently next time?” to reinforce his learning and development
  • Checking in on progress against his three specific goals and objectives on a regular basis and changing or augmenting these objectives when needed
  • Celebrating his successes and not letting him off the hook with his accountabilities and commitments in mind during coaching

Today, Jim is a successful executive who truly appreciates the value of emotional intelligence in his workplace.

ABOUT Kelley Marko MBA, MA, Consultant, EQ Coach and Learning Facilitator

Kelley is President of Marko Consulting Services Inc., a leading Canadian firm working with organizations worldwide in developing high-performance leaders and enabling sustainable and meaningful change. Kelley’s ultimate focus is to move his clients to strategic and informed action that impacts the bottom line.

Kelley draws on his prior experience as a professional management consultant with PriceWaterhouseCoopers and partnership with McKinsey in the area of organization and change strategy.

Kelley is also a Professional Executive Coach and a Master Trainer and Coach of Emotional Intelligence (EQ). He has had the pleasure of working with organizations in North America, Central America and Europe and has worked with hundreds of leaders across diverse industries to improve their skills and competencies and improve the success of change initiatives within their organizations.

Top 10 Coaching Tips

September 15, 2010


An Article by Jan Hovrud

Coaching isn’t easy. Here is a list of Top Ten Coaching Tips from one of our esteemed partners from the MHS Partnership Program, Jan Hovrud.

1. Know the organization through the coachee’s eyes
Have the coachee map out the organization and his/her position.  This is an easy exercise that gets the coachee talking about something that s/he is very familiar with. It is critical for the coach to understand the dynamics of the relationships in the organization.

 2. Use a triad of instruments
Build perspective and self-understanding by integrating three instruments.  My favorites are  the EQ-i, MBTI Step II and an internal 360 degree instrument.

 3. Use a continuum approach
Once you have identified the critical behaviors necessary for the coachee’s success and intended career path, have him/her visually mark where they are on a continuum of those behaviors.

 4. Step Away—guide, don’t direct
Sometimes this is the hardest thing to do.  Discovery is the key to helping the coachee make necessary changes.

 5. Build on strengths
This is nothing new, but I find coachees tend to magnify their weaknesses.

 6. Notice behaviors in the moment and link them to improving performance
Say, for example, “While we have been talking, I’ve noticed that you ___.  How does this affect you at work?”

 7. Explore good and bad examples
Ask about what the coachee has learned from previous best and worst leaders.

 8.  Think of jazzy ways for the coachee to remember the points of the session
i.e. ‘Bullets for Bob’, ‘Notes for Nancy’, or ‘Memo’s for Mike’.

 9. Create a learning association with an item on the coachee’s desk
This works great for visual coachees.  For example, a family photo may be used to remind him/her of the need for work/home balance.

 10. Encourage the coachee to find a trusted ‘insider’
This gives them another opportunity to receive feedback on specific growth areas.

About Jan Hovrud

Jan Hovrud, President of Training Werks, Inc.,  is a client-oriented professional with over 18 years of experience in course development, interactive workshop facilitation, coaching, leading and managing.  Her expertise in business best practices and psychological instruments bring tangible business results for her clients.  Her focus is on fostering teamwork, setting high standards for performance and building contributions of individual team members. 

Jan’s work has centered on shifting paradigms, self-reflection and leadership processes.  She is certified in many psychological instruments that enable leaders to see themselves and understand how to achieve higher levels of performance.  Her certifications include the following instruments and concepts:  EQ-i, EQ-i 360, MBTI Step II—Master Practitioner, TKI (Thomas Kilmann Conflict Instrument), FIRO-B, CDP (Conflict Dynamics Profile) and the William Bridges Change Transitions Model.  Jan has extensive knowledge of the EQ-i having coached and facilitated training for over 3,000 government and private sector leaders in this instrument.

Jan travels coast to coast on a weekly basis for clients.  She and her husband have dual residences in Park City, UT and Seattle, WA where they enjoy everything from the Watsch Mountains to Pike’s Market.