Journey of Three - Christina Lee

Christina uses her behavioral style and tension-reaction learnings during her class' team-building competition with Geoteaming. 

Assume good intent.  That statement has been a game changer for me lately.  Tension-reaction behavior is not uncommon in our workplace due to the nature of our team work, deadlines, and competing priorities.  While I now am more aware of and appreciate the fact that the teams I work on have a mix of Controllers, Persuaders, Analyzers, and Stabilizers, I have definitely let the behavior of others get to me in the past and taken things personally during stressful situations.

Last month’s Behavior Styles (Part 2) session emphasized how people with different Styles have different tension-reaction behavior and how someone’s preferred Style can change during tense situations. I had never really given this much thought before and instead tended to jump to the conclusion that sometimes people were being difficult purely just to be difficult and that we were all possibly letting our egos get in the way. Sadly, I often assumed that others did not have good intentions. I did not take the time to think about preferred Behavior Styles and how those presented themselves during tense situations. I most certainly did not think about how my preferred Style was affecting others in those situations or how I could flex my preferred Style to meet the needs of the Styles I was working with. 

As a Stabilizer-Analyzer, the first thing I tend to do in tense situations is I withdraw and check out. Conflict stresses me out and I prefer to avoid it if at all possible.  Eventually, in order to keep avoiding conflict, I acquiesce and give in, even if I don’t agree with the decision that was made.  While this gives the appearance that I am okay with everything on the outside, I actually often internalize what happened and stew over it for quite awhile. This sometimes leads me in remembering the situation worse than it actually was which then leads to more resentment.  I’m sure it also leads to frustration from Controllers or Persuaders that I work with who want action rather than withdrawal and who want me to be willing to disagree and share my actual thoughts more often.

Over the last month I’ve really focused on pausing during tense situations and reminding myself that in general, most people are doing their best and do not have ill intent.  The things they say aren’t necessarily personal jabs that are meant to be offensive.  They aren’t being lazy by acting or not acting a certain way. It’s just that we all handle stress differently.  As we learned in the class, our differences in Styles become even more apparent during tense situations. Rather than take things personally (internally) and withdrawing, I have focused on being more flexible and working on Bridge Styles based on the situation. Reminding myself to assume positive intent in others has really helped me give more people the benefit of the doubt which in turn has helped me focus on being more flexible to meet the Style needs of others, helping to reduce tension-reaction behaviors rather than contribute to them.

Journey of Three - Katherine Martinez

Coming into the Personal Branding and Network for Leadership session, I was very excited at the opportunity to work on my brand and improve my networking skills. Speaking professionally about myself is something I struggle with from time to time. This can surprise people as I am generally not a shy person; I enjoy conversing with others and value relationships. My cultural background doesn't encourage self-branding, so the takeaways I learned from Colleen Fukui-Sketchley's session really helped me gain a better appreciation for branding and how it can help accelerate your career.

The morning began with Colleen facilitating an exercise with the group to assess each other's perceived strengths and attributes. This was a very interesting exercise as the environment was very open, honest and safe. When I volunteered to have the group assess me, I was glad to hear that they perceived my strengths to be driven, dynamic, confident, a thinker, and passionate. Hearing that from my peers reassured me that I displayed an authentic identity. What I enjoyed the most during this exercise was hearing my peers' assessments of each other; it was inspiring. When it comes to your brand, you are in control. If you don't display certain strengths and attributes that are apart of your brand today, it doesn't mean that you can't working on developing new strengths that enhance your future brand. 

Who you are, what drives you, and what you can contribute are key elements to your brand. However to elevate your brand, you need to be able to network effectively. The Q&A panel with the executive mentors really helped put context around the importance of branding and networking. Lorraine Yu shared a few examples that she had in career where her brand was not reflecting who she really was. How she was able to work through it, identify her true brand, and transition into a career was very helpful for me. Your career is not always going to be smooth sailing, it is how you chart your course after a set-back that is the most valuable. Chee Chew and Nyle Miyamoto were very inspiring on how to stay authentic. Don't be afraid to be yourself and don't shy away from reaching out to those who may not be familiar with your cultural background.

Since attending this last session, I have been inspired to update my internal one-pager I use for my information interviews. I find myself more self-aware of my environment and identify opportunities to reach out to individuals who I would have never thought of reaching out to prior. As with everything I'm learning in this program, practicing and pushing myself outside my comfort zone is how I will grow. Looking forward to continuing my career development!

Alumni on the Move - June 2017

Linda Sok Asian Discovery, Class of 2016

Linda Sok

Asian Discovery, Class of 2016

Linda Sok has been working for The Boeing Company since 2007, starting off as an interior mechanic. Due to her leadership abilities, she had progressed her way through the ranks and into management. She has always been a key player in any area she was placed and has earned her way to being promoted as a Tactical Senior Manager. Originally from Texas, her path took many turns. With the heart to go into nursing, she attained her RN degree only to find she didn’t fit the role. Continuing with her search, she eventually worked for Heath Techna, which provided interiors parts to Boeing, but she later settled inside Boeing itself.


 
Bea Querido Rico Asian Discovery, Class of 2013

Bea Querido Rico

Asian Discovery, Class of 2013

The EDI training, experience, and network inspired me to be a stronger leader and step up to run for office. I'm so grateful for the coaching and tools provided by EDI to help me take this leadership step.

 

Bea Querido Rico recently left her job at the Port of Seattle to run for Port of Seattle Commissioner. Learn more about her story and the plans for her campaign at www.rockitbea.com

Journey of Three - Stefanel Castro

Gamification: the concept of including game-like elements to non-games in order to motivate participation and engagement. I know what this concept is now after having “googled” it and I have to say that I feel kind of deceived by the EDI team and the facilitators. For an entire day, I played a board game and ran around downtown Seattle (wearing a really stylish bandanna) geocaching! All fun and games…I thought! In reality, using these games as educational media, I learned about Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and was able to experience firsthand the power of behavioral adaptability for team bonding while trying to reach a goal. The audacity of these people to sneak in learning while I think I’m playing is preposterous ;)  

Now that I’m done with my rant, let’s talk about the learning…Our session started with a board game on EQ. The board game was an excellent vessel that progressively expanded on the concept of EQ and provided very helpful tools to improve our EQ. EQ has two major components to it: the “self” and the “social” sides. My main takeaway is that the key to EQ truly is knowledge, acceptance, and, more importantly, awareness of one’s thoughts, behaviors, biases, etc. Only when we truly know ourselves and understand how we think and what makes our emotions swing – self side – can we actually allow ourselves to not be reactionary but make conscious, rational decisions when interacting with others based on how a situation is developing – social side. Believe me, there are occasions where the Puerto Rican spice within me wants to come out. Having this knowledge and awareness gives me the power to control situations in a manner that leads to a more productive work environment and better relationships.   

After the board game, we went onto geocaching as a team. I will start by saying that The Lucky Siete (our team) came in second place, but the real win of the day was how much we learned through the execution of the game. If you have never geocached before, I’ll give you the scoop…You go around diverse locations looking for clues and completing challenges. Everything about the game promotes team building. Starting by defining goals, moving onto designating roles, continuing to strategic planning, and finally, when you think you have it all figured out, resorting to “on-the-spot” decision making, creates a setting where working as a team is the only option to succeed. It was amazing to witness how we fed off each other’s energy, and organically switched roles. Without knowing it, we capitalized on each other’s strengths and worked around our weaknesses. Meeting the goals we had set was the priority and we creatively came up with ways that maximized our chance of reaching them. The funny thing is that I am realizing more and more of what we actually did as I type this down, and to me, it is the perfect reminder of the following undeniable truth…When goals are clearly defined and a team is having fun, is committed and empowered, the team’s greatest potential is unleashed.

I am excited for what lies ahead and to continue to share my journey with you. Today, I’ll leave you with this final thought…let’s gamify our lives and go all in (specially our personal and professional development), new learning is at every corner waiting for OUR next move!   

Journey of Three - Katherine Martinez

Katherine's EDI team reinforces what they learned about behavioral styles in their Geoteaming activity.

Like a coin there are two sides to emotional intelligence, self and social. The self-side is the awareness of one’s understanding of who you are, what you stand for, and how you want to be perceived. The social-side is the acknowledgement of other people's perspectives, willingness to support, and building/maintenance of positive relationships. From Thursday’s EQ session, both the 'Quest for EQ' Board Game and Geoteaming scavenger hunt helped me assess both my self-side and social-side.

My emotional intelligence is linked to my natural behavioral style of being a stabilizer-controller. My social-side is something that has always come natural to me. Thus when people first meet me, my level of engagement with them can be viewed as strong leadership quality. This can be a double edged sword for me. How did I traditionally lead? By developing strong personal relationships as a means to motivate others and accomplish tasks. Why is this ineffective for me at times? Under pressure, my behaviors can shift to be very direct and blunt which is off-putting for those who perceive me as friendly, warm and personable, prior to a situation.

What I struggled with before starting the EDI program is why my behaviors and actions change in a high stressed environment. Why do I become someone that I don’t think I am? It was during the board game that an AHA moment happened. During the game, we had an emotional intelligence self-assessment. It was through the self-side portion of the assessment that I realized that I don’t have a clear understanding of who I am in certain situations. While I am first to applause others on their accomplishments, my own accomplishments aren’t something I value enough at the same level. Recognizing others' feelings and wanting to understand why they feel the way they do is more of a priority than my own at any given moment.

My realization is this, while is it great to have a strong social-side, my self-side must be just as balanced to the social-side, if not more. An effective leader can inspire and lead others by embodying the values in which they expect others to have. Being more self-aware and self-guided in situations at work is something I have to continue to practice! I do believe that by focusing on my own feelings and valuing them just as high as I value others will also help continue to build my confidence and distress myself during key situations at work.

Journey of Three - Christina Lee

Christina flexes to different styles in her EDI team.

Over the last month, I’ve had the opportunity to continue developing skills in areas outside of my comfort zone with the goal of becoming more effective working with and leading others. One of the primary areas of focus for me revolves around decision making - specifically, making decisions in a timely manner without having all of the information available to me. This is VERY challenging for me.

At our Behavior Styles workshop, the self-assessment indicated that my primary Behavior Style is Analyzer-Stabilizer. It was eerie how spot on the style pattern description was for me! One of the statements that really spoke to me was, “Making the ‘right’ decision is important, even to the point of not being able to make any decision.” At work, I want to continue analyzing things until I have uncovered every possible detail that could affect the outcome of a decision. In teams, I often want to do all of the work so I know what exactly was done every step of the way. I know this is not realistic or productive because there is not enough time to do this. It is not a good use of resources. Even knowing this, it is still my natural tendency to gravitate toward wanting to work this way. At the same time, the Stabilizer in me has a strong distaste for confrontation and always wants all parties involved to be happy, which can also lead to indecisiveness.

My intent at work is to provide the most value to my group and company by performing studies that are detailed and accurate and make sound decisions based on the results of those studies. My intent is to do the RIGHT thing. It is also my intent to do this in a non-confrontational environment. However, the Behavior Styles workshop reinforced that although my intent might be positive, the impact of getting caught in the details could potentially be negative to others, especially when working with people with different Behavior Style preferences. I need to choose to be more flexible to meet the Behavior Style needs of others (especially Controllers and Persuaders) and this means making decisions in a timely manner (that are still sound and based on engineering judgement) without feeling the need to uncover every last detail to confirm that I’m right and without the need to make everyone happy.

At a recent training I attended at work, we discussed what makes us trust a leader, and a lot of emphasis was placed on decisiveness. Like so many other things, this is unnatural for me, but I’m hoping that with intentional practice it will become easier. I need to remind myself that even when making decisions without all of the details, by using sound engineering judgement, I usually come to the same conclusions that I would have from digging into the details further. More importantly, I realize that I need to be more comfortable with the fact that I might not always make the right decisions. I need to work on toning down my strong fear of failure.

Meeting the Behavior Style needs of others and being more decisive will have a positive impact on others and myself, and increase my credibility. It will result in increased trust, which is an integral part of being an effective leader and team member. So, here’s to being more decisive and becoming more comfortable being uncomfortable!

Alumni on the Move - May 2017

Ji Li Navigation, Class of 2016

Ji Li

Navigation, Class of 2016

I recently changed my role at Boeing Portland and became the Production System Transformation Manager. It was an exciting career opportunity I had been thinking about. But when it finally came for me to make a decision, I had some doubt in my mind. It wasn’t a job I had in the past, and it required some good organizational and navigational skills which wasn't necessarily my sweet spot. After careful consideration, I decided to get out of my comfortable zone and take the opportunity. So far, it proves to be the right decision. I am able to apply my strength in strategic thinking to help the organization, accelerate winning, and learn how to see the business at a much higher level and with a broader perspective.

I attribute part of my decision above to what I learned from my EDI Navigation Class, knowing what I want and being intentional. Because I learned so much from my EDI experience, I encouraged one of my employees to apply to EDI, and currently she is in the Portland Asian Discovery Class of 2017.

For people who like career advice, I recommend following your gut. You know what’s right for you; be intentional with your choice and don’t let other unnecessary things get in your way.

Journey of Three - Christina Lee

At the EDI Portland Kick-Off last month, the portion of JD Hokoyama’s presentation that really stuck with me was about how our values influence our behaviors and how those behaviors result in perceptions and ultimately how others judge us.  Some of my values include respecting authority and having group harmony.  These values result in behaviors such as staying quiet in meetings and rarely challenging authority or disagreeing with peers, especially in large group settings.  I used to be satisfied with this, thinking it’s okay, because I’m just being true to myself.  However, I now realize that this type of behavior impacts others’ perceptions of me, which can lead them to making judgements about me that could potentially be career limiting, such as appearing like I’m not interested, not engaged, not knowledgeable, etc.  I can still be true to myself while also changing people’s perceptions of me. Although it is out of my comfort zone, I have been making more efforts to speak up in meetings, contribute more ideas, and also let peers know if I don’t necessarily agree with what they are proposing. I realize things are not going to change overnight and that it is going to take a lot of practice.  It is painstakingly uncomfortable (for me) at times and I still struggle with sounding confident. However, I have noticed that I’m getting slightly more comfortable doing this and am hoping to continue to make progress in this area.

At the same time, I am also trying to be more aware of the judgements I make about other people, especially if I am having trouble seeing where they are coming from or why they are approaching things a certain way.  I noticed that I am more understanding when I take time to step back and consider the person's values and how that might be contributing to their behaviors which I’m perceiving a certain way. 

I’m thankful that the kick-off last month opened my eyes to this subject more and helped motivate me to practice working on my behaviors as well as how I perceive and make judgements about the behavior of others.

Journey of Three - Stefanel Castro

I discovered that I am a dolphin in an owl costume!

You might be asking yourself right now “What does that mean?”, or you may be telling yourself “Stefanel is completely crazy”, but I want you to understand that this apparently nonsensical statement has been a great realization that is already helping me tailor my behaviors when dealing with my peers and leaders.

Before you reassure yourself that I must be crazy, please allow me to explain. During our first EDI session after kickoff, Linda Callecod came in and explained to us the concept of behaviors styles and their characteristics. How did I get to animals? Well, during our session we explored  the idea that people can be grouped into four major behavioral style profiles – controllers, persuaders, stabilizers, and analyzers -  and those profiles, in turn, can be associated with specific animals – lions, dolphins, Saint Bernards, and Owls, respectively.

It turns out that I classify myself as a dolphin (aka persuader), but the nature of the work I do forces me to be an owl – an analyzer. My natural behavior is to really care about people and who needs to be involved to successfully meet goals. However, as a manufacturing technology developer, I am driven every day to be focused on the details and the rigorousness of the information available to make decisions. I will not lie. I was taken back when the answers of my own assessment suggested me to be an owl. That did not make sense to me, but it triggered deep self-inspection that allowed me to reach the previously stated conclusion and proudly embrace it. Yes… I dance along the boundary of prioritizing sometimes answering “who?” and other times “why?” There are days where information oversharing is the norm and others where quiet overthinking dominates. In occasions, I will choose the agility of quick judgments based on hunches or, in contrast, I will sometimes slowly and intensely analyze details and facts. This paradoxical state of being is who I am and I’m glad I’ve been provided with the tools to understand it.    

This session provided me with the knowledge to develop enhanced awareness not only of my behaviors and natural tendencies but also the behaviors of my peers and leaders. This awareness gives me the power to “show up” and project myself in a manner that addresses the needs of my colleagues while always being true to myself… after all, being a dolphin in an owl costume is already pretty cool.      

Journey of Three - Katherine Martinez

Katherine.PNG

Self reflection is something I did not do very often until I started the EDI program, especially when it came to my personality and how my behaviors affect others in the workplace. Linda Callecod’s introduction to Behavior Styles really spoke to me about why behavior identifies are important to every professional. Perceptions influence behavior and if I am striving to be a genuine leader then adapting my behavioral styles at work is critical to my success.

My AHA moment was how other perceived me. During training, we had the opportunity to assess each other. I was pleasantly surprised to hear how people identified me based on limited interactions and physical mannerisms. I often feel like in a professional environment, individuals aren't able to see who I really am. It was refreshing to hear that others perceive me the same way as I want them to.

Identifying myself as a stabilizer-controller, I realize that my behaviors of being considerate, "wanting to please" and "wanting to be liked by others" can lead me to be overwhelmed when dealing with confrontation or "having to displease others."  I want to adapt my behavioral styles at work so I am not being viewed as shy or indecisive. 

These past few weeks, I have been self reflecting with the fact that I can be too timid and not direct with certain peers whom are very strong controllers. I have been working and practicing on finding a balance; when I need to display controller type behaviors to be more effective in certain situations. I have definitely felt more confident in meetings as of late. I have been forcing myself to speak up and get my points across in a direct precise manner! This is big for me! I realize that I like the feeling of being more direct without having to be someone I'm not. I am surprisingly optimistic that with more practice, adapting my behaviors to certain situations will come natural to me thus shaping me into a more effective leader!