by Rachel Olsen 21. August 2014 06:46



Why hire talented people and not fully utilize them?


Can we fully utilize the people we hire if we’re not listening to them?


Listening is an important leadership responsibility that rarely appears in the job description.  Yet the higher up the corporate ladder, the more critical listening becomes.


In fact, executives are reported to spend as much as 80% of their day listening.  Those who listen well to their employees are in a much better position to lead an increasingly diverse workforce, in an increasingly changing marketplace.


Listening skills underlie most leadership functions: developing teams, making informed decisions, problem-solving, and meeting customers’ needs.


As a leader, you want to know what your team is thinking, what’s got them stumped, and how they’re adapting (or not) to challenges.


That requires asking open-ended questions such as, “What is your biggest challenge currently?” Or, “Can you think of two ways we could improve X?” Or, “How can I best support you as we complete this project?”


The best leaders are both proactive and strategic in their listening. Listening well makes leaders effective because they can:


·      Anticipate potential problems and proactively address them.


·      Overcome performance slumps by giving timely, informed advice via feedback and coaching.


·      Stimulate creativity and gather ideas.


·      Allow employees to feel heard and supported, building trust and loyalty. A staff that feels appreciated willingly does more than is expected.



If you are leading a team, be sure you are also listening to your team. Ensure they feel understood, valued and heard.


Nothing replaces face-to-face communication with your employees, and the Forté suite of products can be a strategic tool in your listening effectiveness. Forté's on-going adapting updates can indicate when it may be time to sit down for a one-to-one conversation.


Forté will also teach you, as their leader, how to best communicate with each individual team member—based on their key strengths and motivators—allowing you to draw out the potential in your team.


Call or email The Forté Institute today to explore how we can help you develop a proactive listening strategy, and keep your finger on the pulse of your team.




Forté Institute's Rachel Olsen is on faculty in the Communication Studies department at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. She is also a trained and certified coach.





Forte | Teams | Leadership

by Rachel Olsen 28. July 2014 16:21


I nodded my head “yes” as I read an article by Monique Valcouat at The Harvard Business Review titled “You Can’t Be a Great Manager If You’re Not a Good Coach.”


(Note: We’re proud to say The Harvard Business School is a Forté client.)


Here’s an excerpt from Valcouat’s article:


“If you have room in your head for only one nugget of leadership wisdom, make it this one: the most powerfully motivating condition people experience at work is making progress at something that is personally meaningful. If your job involves leading others, the implications are clear: the most important thing you can do each day is to help your team members experience progress at meaningful work.

To do so, you must understand what drives each person, help build connections between each person’s work and the organization’s mission and strategic objectives, provide timely feedback, and help each person learn and grow on an ongoing basis.


Regular communication around development — having coaching conversations — is essential. In fact, according to recent research, the single most important managerial competency that separates highly effective managers from average ones is coaching.”



If you’re a leader, it’s great to see these clear, prioritized, research-based objectives for your role. But if you’re like most leaders, at the same time, you feel uneasy because you’re not sure how to coach your people. 


You make decisions about products, purchases and budgets, you keep your team working on task, you deliver quality on schedule, but you’re not confident you are actually developing your team.


How do you help them grow? How do you help them relate to each other and adapt in the most authentic ways? 


Forté can help.


Imagining a few questions you might have after reading Valcouat’s excerpt, let me explain how Forté can help.


Q: How can I understand what drives each person on my team?


A: Give them each the Forté Communication Style Profile Benchmark survey. It helps both them and you understand their communication style, leadership style, self-motivators, de-motivators, and much more.


You’ll both receive a copy of their profile results and it will certainly reveal what drives them—as well as how they are currently adapting on the job, and how they are most likely being perceived by the team at this time.


Q: How do I provide timely feedback to my team members?


A: Coaching is not a once-then-done process, neither is Forté. Your team can take the Forte Adapting Update survey simply and quickly as often as every 30-days, providing automated feedback in regular intervals.


This Adapting survey will instantly reveal how they’ve been adapting to their work demands and environment – both recently and over time. You’ll both be able to see how well they feel they are currently meeting their goals, feeling resilient in the face of challenges and change, and more.


You can use this report as a jumping off point for a regular conversation with your direct reports. You don’t have to remember to administer this survey, it can be delivered to their email inbox automatically at the prescribed intervals.


Q: How do I know the best way to communicate with those I am coaching?


A: Once the Forté Communication Style reports are done, you can run Forté Interaction Reports between you and each of your team members. This tool shows both of you how to best to communicate with and adapt to one another. Forté is all about recognizing each other’s strengths, and building productive relationships that last.


Q: How do I help my team members reach goals and improve on an on-going basis?


A: Utilize the Forté Performance Coaching report. One of our exciting new tools, this simplifies and codifies the coaching process for you and your team.


Each coachee receives pre-session questions to prepare them for the session. You receive a coaching strategy, checklist, and plan that is in line with each team member’s main strengths and motivators as revealed by their Forté profile.


You’ll be guided and empowered like never before to specifically coach each team member to top performance.


Often, coaching is the difference between a leader who gains commitment from their employees and one who only gains compliance. Regular communication around your team members’ development is essential.


Make a plan to have consistent coaching conversations with your team members.


Call or email The Forté Institute today to explore how we can help you coach your team or organization to excellence.




Forté Institute team member Rachel Olsen is on faculty in the Communication Studies department at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, as well as a trained and certified coach.




Forte | Teams

by Sue 18. February 2013 19:50

March 13th & 14th Hoop Morgan, Facilitator

Reserve your seat now


Certification I Outcomes

Attendees will be certified to interpret and apply the following Forte elements:

  • Forte Primary Profile
  • Current Adapting Profile
  • Current Perceiver Profile
  • Current Logic
  • Current Stamina
  • Current Goals Index
  • Strength Intensities
  • Strength Pair Combinations
  • Forte Interaction Reports
  • Forte Team Pulse Reports
  • Forte Profile Model
  • Forte i360 Preview
  • Forte Performance Coaching
  • Forte Resiliency Model


by Rachel Olsen 12. September 2012 14:42

Just a quick note to thank all of you who've completed Forté Validation Requests, the follow-up email sent the day after you complete your Forté Primary (Benchmark) Report or your Forté Adapting Update.

Many of you add comments to the validity rating, and those comments have proven extremely useful over the past 30 years as we continue to update and upgrade The Forté Suite.

Just this past week, for example, we have updated some of the text at the top of page 3 of the Forté Communication Style Report and there are also updates on page 5 of the report. These updates are based on your Forté Primary Pattern and the intensity of your pattern. Do keep in mind that our technology allows updating a single word, maybe a sentence or an entire paragraph. These updates occur when we have a statistically significant consistency in feedback/questions/suggestions on a per pattern/intensity basis.

Again, thank you for your continued input as we continue to build the highest levels of accuracy and validity across the entire Forté Suite of Communication IntelligenceTM tools to meet your individual and organizational growth. 

Onward and Upward!

C.D. "Hoop" Morgan, III, Founder/Chairman, The Forté Institute, LLC



by Guest Blogger 15. June 2012 13:53

The Forte Communications Survey helps teams to understand that communications differences do not have to create performance barriers. I had a terrific experience with the Forte tool while working with a distribution center management team for a large organization (400,000+ employees). The vice president in charge of the center told me that the team was having difficulty, that communications had deteriorated and people were not getting along well. He asked if I could help him restore the teamwork and camaraderie to the way it was.

Using the Forte Communications Survey, I created an interaction report for every member of the group. After they selected their motivators and de-motivators from their survey, we broke the group into pairs and assigned each to discuss the best way to work with and motivate one another based on the Forte recommendations. I'll never forget one extraordinary discussion between a person who had high dominance and another who had high extroversion. The high extrovert of course wanted to talk in every encounter with the high dominant. The high dominant wanted simply to move on with business and felt that the extrovert was wasting his time. In turn the extrovert felt as though the high dominant did not like him. Once they understood their communication style differences, they experienced an “ah-ha” moment realizing that their discomfort was simply due to different styles and that they could adapt their communication to accommodate each other's needs. The remainder of the group had similar experiences. Because our time was limited, we could only pair off twice so the group decided that the team members would, on their own, meet in pairs to discuss their Forte results.

After 30 days, the vice president called me and said that the group had turned around completely. They once again were experiencing the fun and teamwork that they had previously. As a consultant, we rarely have a "one call cure" but in this case it actually happened!

Vince Racioppo Center for Expert Performance, Inc.

www.expertperformance.com 847 831 3182

Do you have an experience to share? A favorite motivational quote? If so, we'd love to hear! Please submit to: clientservices@theforteinstitute.com




by Rachel Olsen 6. March 2012 19:46

Welcome to our new website! You will see a number of changes and added features; database administrators will notice a number of database changes after logging into company sites. We will be offering 30 minute web and database overviews twice per week through the end of March... please contact clientservices@theforteinstitute.com to reserve your spot!

Many thanks to all web content contributors... we could not have completed this project without your help and support!



by Brid Bourke 5. March 2012 20:08
Today's workplace environment is characterized by reorganization, mergers, acquisitions, downsizing, and a global market that operates on a 24/7 clock. This level of evolution suggests that most leaders and employees will experience both successes and setbacks in varying degrees during their careers. How do people respond to setbacks? How can you measure your ability to persevere? The need for a resilient workforce: leaders and employees alike, is very much a critical organizational challenge.

Several years ago Forté launched its Resiliency Report. While the report is new, Forté has been measuring Resiliency for over 33 years. It is a correlation between the current stamina and goals index. The report identifies who has increasing resiliency and who has decreasing resiliency as an individual or a team since the last Forté Communications Style Survey was completed. This feature is available to all Forté clients so companies who have many staff on their Forté site can run this report against their total database to get a company 'snapshot' on current resilience.

Resiliency is the ability to manage well or bounce back from adversity. Individuals vary widely in their ability to adapt to different situations and their ability to rebound. Additionally, an individual is sometimes more resourceful and adaptively effective than at other times. Forté is the perfect tool to capture this as it can be updated every 30 days and Forté presents trends over time. We all have been there, those days when, by midafternoon, we are ready to call it a day or moving through the day in a highly effective, energized manner. The key is to validate the individual drivers for one's resiliency and reinforce them, and many times share these learnings with others for their benefit, as well.

The most positive outcomes we have seen with those leaders who have used this reporting feature with their teams or team members are:

1. Focuses the leader on increasing overall resiliency in the team;
2. Triggers the leader to concentrate 1:1 conversations on specific feedback;
3. Identifies the most relevant and powerful team solutions for this group of people right now, moving team development from nice to have trendy stuff to focused cause and effect development.
4. Clarity on goals and results.
5. In-depth understanding of how the environment and the leader are impacting the level of 'up-for-it' in the team.

For more information about the Forté Resiliency Report. Click Here 


Forte | Resiliency | Teams