Second Week of Yale SOM Executive Education Women’s Leadership Program

After the first introductory week, now we are on the second week assignment and the theme is “Self-Knowledge and Self Mastery”. Within this week, I have realized that how my emotions set the tone for my team and what should I do to promote my own emotional intelligence for achieving optimal outcomes for all.

During the course, we have frequently stressed that in today’s fast and disruptive economical conjuncture, there are two notions which cannot and will not be replaced by artificial intelligence: innovation and emotional intelligence! This is one of the main bullets of the program which I will always bear in my mind. While importance of emotional intelligence is on the rise, ability to shift the state of the mind, to regulate negative emotions, to overcome your own sensitivities in a challenging situation remain as the key soft assets particularly for female leaders!

In the first step, it was undoubtedly challenging to recognize, identify and clarify my own emotions and trigger points. By definition, emotional intelligence is the sum of self-awareness, self-management, awareness of others, empathy for others, and of course, most importantly, communication. But in practice, is it so simple? Well, one should come a long way. Nevertheless, I have a map for that, first step recognizing how I feel, what I feel, then regulating them calmly, by identifying the trigger points, dissociating the trigger points from the residue of actual situation. Secondly, listening to my team members, observing them, listening to them carefully till I identify their emotions, as well as reviewing previous incidents, situations etc. to see whether there is a pattern or not, a pattern which would reveal the trigger points of the team member. This information allows me to have a better and more understanding communication with them. We act responsibly as persons who really know each other, each other’s trigger points. Thirdly, I filter my trigger points, find out which ones affect me and my team’s performance the most. Then express them in an emotionally intelligent way, so that we, as a team, can concentrate on what is common, then define the common framework for all of us.

In the scope of first week’s project, I have specified three key moments in my career: My Ph.D thesis defense, a job interview with PwC partner, and the first interview I had in German. I have relied on the same examples for second week, but this time I have already identified the trigger points on these extremely critical moments of my career. I have wondered whether my core values and strengths helped me on these stressful moments or I have already found another way to deal with them. I have realized that my best experiences out of stressful situations had something in common, all were inspired by my idols, real leaders.

At the end of second week, I am completely aware of the fact that my responses to triggers shape my leadership style entirely. No unique magic response to deal with a huge variety of situations, but the effort proves itself by experience.

#ZeynepStefan, #WomenLeadership, #YaleSOM, #SelfKnowledge, #SelfMastery, #ThermostatLeadership

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