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


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!

Alumni on the Move - April 2017

Hang Chen Asian Discovery, Class of 2008

Hang Chen

Asian Discovery, Class of 2008

Hang Chen recently became a logistics engineer in product support of commercial derivative aircraft programs at The Boeing Company. The career transition presents an excellent opportunity for Hang to bring his technical and leadership skills in a diverse talented team in a growing business. Hang is currently leading a process development effort in his new team and looks forward to working with his new manager and team.  Hang previously was a structural analysis engineer at Boeing, where he supported and led projects and teams in aircraft development, testing, production, and sustainment.

Throughout his career, Hang credits his managers, mentors, peers, EDI, NAAAP-Seattle, Boeing's Emerging Leaders Development Program, BAAPA, and Boeing's 6 Step Group Mentoring Program in providing him the training, networks, and experiences to grow his career and to help others. Hang thanks the late Ted Yamamura, BAAPA Puget Sound past-President Michael Vu, and other mentors and role models who provided him encouragement, opportunities, and mentorship.

For career development advice, Hang recommends the following three items: Be a continuous learner, try new things, and help others grow. A great vehicle to facilitate all three is to take on and to lead side projects. Side projects can lead to Nobel Prizes (like James Watson and Francis Crick's DNA double helix model); improve ways of doing things (like Gmail thanks to Google's 20 Percent Time); revolutionize new business (like Bill Boeing's passion for aviation that led to The Boeing Company); or can open new career opportunities. As a side project, Hang led a team/project to improve first time quality in aircraft production, and the side project helped his getting the new job. So take a risk and create a future for yourself and others!

Cynthia Tuan Asian Discovery, Class of 2014

Cynthia Tuan

Asian Discovery, Class of 2014

I was part of the EDI 2014 Portland class. Since graduating, I’m still working at the same design agency as before, Tether. What I enjoyed most about EDI was how each class gave insight and practical tools that you could incorporate into everyday life. About a year and half ago, I earned a promotion and am now Associate Creative Director for their Portland studio. Often and at random moments, learnings from EDI comes up. But the most valuable thing I learned, is the importance of speaking up. Especially in today’s political and social climate, it’s become ever more important to stand for who you are, be able and willing to talk about race and stand for equality.

PechaKucha was founded in 2003 by a multi-lingual architecture company in Tokyo. They wanted to create a fun but succinct format for presenting. A PechaKucha is a simple presentation format where you show 20 images, each for 20 seconds. You talk along with the images, but the trick is that the images advance automatically (whether you’re ready for it or not!)

PechaKucha Nights brings people together and allows them to informally share stories. Since its origin, it has grown to over 900 cities around the world. Last fall, I was invited to share my story at PechaKucha Night in Portland. I hadn’t spoken in front of an audience since representing my EDI classmates at graduation so I jumped at the chance.

Each PechaKucha Night has its own theme. That night, ours was around “Voyages.” I shared what it was like growing up bi-cultural, my journey, and what that looked like for me. It took about a week to put the presentation together, it entailed multiple text messages asking my dad for this photo or that. Leading up to the night, I practiced several days before. It was crucial to time the content well and be concise because the slides advance automatically!

There were ten people lined up to speak that night. A week or so before the event, the PechaKucha organizers sent out an email regarding presentation order; if anyone had preferences on when they’d like to go up. I immediately volunteered to be one of the first, I wanted to get it out of the way! I knew with my nerves, going later would mean it’d be nearly impossible to enjoy anyone else’s presentations. That morning, I got an email saying due to a scheduling mishap I was slated to go second-to-last. Just before panic set in completely, they wrote back, all was righted and I ended up being the first to go!

My advice to others is to always test the A/V beforehand. An inopportune time to find out the microphone you’re speaking from needs to be held really, really close is when you’re already live, in front of audience, giving an auto-advancing presentation, there’s no pause button!

Marci's Column - February 2017

Last chance! This is our last call for applications to enroll in our 2017 Leadership Discovery Programs. If you thought it was too late, it’s not! We will take applications until February 28th. Thank you to our entire EDI network for your referrals and for spreading the word about our programs. We are looking forward to meeting the Class of 2017 at our upcoming Jumpstart events.

Aside from our programs launching in March, there are many other events and initiatives that we are excited about and will be sharing with you throughout the year. 

Mark your calendars for Wednesday, May 10th. This is Seattle Foundation’s GiveBIG day.  This will be our 4th year participating and once again we are doubling our goal to $20,000. It’s one of the only times you can “stretch” your dollars. The more money EDI raises the higher percentage of matching funds we receive from the Seattle Foundation.  We encourage everyone to donate on May 10th and help us raise more money in one day than ever before!  I know that you are all up for this challenge.

We are also in the process of launching our Ambassador Boards (A-Board) in both Puget Sound and Portland. These are alumni boards that will help EDI with alumni engagement, recruitment and hosting events.  We look forward to introducing our A-Board members soon!

Alumni on the Move - January 2016

Amber Waisanen Asian Discovery, Class of 2010

Amber Waisanen

Asian Discovery, Class of 2010

Amber recently joined Microsoft as a Senior Business Manager, Office RoB, with the Office Marketing Business Operations team.

Looking back over my career to date, I’ve always been in the marketing field, as I’ve enjoyed the creativity and innovation I’m able to bring to the table. I’ve worked in a variety of different industries and have been fortunate enough to continually be exposed to new cultures, experiences and leadership. A few years ago, I found myself working in the healthcare industry. I’ll openly admit this industry wasn’t my favorite, nor was it my passion, but it taught me a great deal about marketing in a heavily regulated industry and gave me a new found appreciation of the industry. As with any organization, there was a period of a tremendous amount of change, not only in leadership within marketing, but the organizational structure, team dynamics, and my role and responsibilities. At this same time, a former EDI colleague reached out to me (thanks, Julie Pham!) to share a consulting opportunity to do Microsoft...and in Xbox. I thought to myself, this is the perfect combination: I love marketing, I’ve been wanting to work at a large organization and in the tech space, and I’m a Xbox gamer at that. I figured what’s the worst that can happen, I apply, maybe they don’t think I’m the right fit, maybe I’m not what they’re looking for, but I knew I would face a bigger loss never knowing and not trying. Next thing I know, I’m invited in for an interview with the team, meet the hiring manager and then before I know it, I’m working at Microsoft. From there, I worked on two huge launches for the company, Xbox One and Windows 10. I had incredible opportunities to travel the world, participate in awesome industry events such as E3 and PAX, meet some smart and talented people across the company, and really make an impact with the work I was doing. You would think my career couldn’t get any better...but it could and I was anxiously awaiting to see what opportunity would present itself.

Fast forward to today, I started another consulting opportunity at Microsoft back in spring 2016, joining what I didn’t realize would be my full-time team down the road. However, this time, it wasn’t in was business operations. Now business operations isn’t totally unfamiliar to me having gone to the UW Business School, however, I’d never been in a role or even on a team that was purely focused on business operations. Let’s be real, business operations isn’t sexy, it’s not fun and no one gets excited about implementing processes and operational infrastructure in to the organization. I was determined to make the most of it though, so I utilized it as a learning opportunity that pushed me out of my comfort zone and allowed me to develop new skills. I learned that our team was the heartbeat of the organization, and we helped every team operate more efficiently and seamlessly as ever. As I continued working with the team, I realized I was in a unique position of learning how business gets done in a large organization such as Microsoft and what could be more valuable to someone who’s looking to become CEO of an organization one day. In addition, I was a part of an amazing team with great leadership in place and knowing that at the end of the day, my work was making a difference. Several months in to my new role, I was approached on considering full-time opportunities within Microsoft and happened to find an opportunity available on our team. I knew this was the opportunity I was waiting for, so I applied for the role, interviewed with the team, played the fun waiting game and well, the rest is history.

Reflecting back over my decision, although it was ultimately me who had to take the first step in showing interest and applying, I’ve been fortunate enough to have a wealth of mentors in my life that have helped me progress to where I am now. Every new journey I’ve embarked up in life, has been because of the tremendous support I have around me. The support comes from people who believe in my abilities to do great things and encourage me to take on challenging roles. These are people I am thankful to call my mentors, squad, A team, friends, and family, and best of all, part of my EDI family!

Here’s my advice to you, the person who is reading this, who may be looking for some words of encouragement, a sliver of hope, a little motivation to get you out of your comfort zone, and just knowing someone supports you.

  • First off, remember you’re never alone. There is always someone in your corner, rooting for you, cheering you on and supporting you every step of the way (hint: your EDI family). The decisions and actions you take, reflect on yourself and impact those around you.
  • Second, never settle. If you find yourself feeling comfortable and stagnant, do something, anything. Challenge yourself to be better than the person you were yesterday. Know that you as a single individual can help contribute to making an impact and influencing change. Keep in mind that change doesn’t always have to be big, sometimes it’s the little things that help you on the right path to lead to bigger opportunities.
  • Third (and the most important), live life intentionally because our time on Earth is shorter than we think. Your only regret in life will be wishing you had done something or thinking you had more time, because the reality is you don’t always get a second chance and time doesn’t last forever. Take advantage of the opportunities that come before you and don’t be afraid to embark in to the unknown, sometimes the most exciting part is discovering something we never knew existed or creating a solution that we didn’t think was possible.

Most importantly, have fun and take risks. Every day will bring a new challenge and a new opportunity to continuously improve and innovate yourself, your team and your organization.

Alumni on the Move - November 2016

Claire Mak Asian Discovery, Class of 2013

Claire Mak

Asian Discovery, Class of 2013

Claire Mak was recently promoted to Manager of Prototype Development, Product Validation Engineering at Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA). She is currently the Vice-Chair of the Asian Resource Network, one of the many Employee Resource Groups at DTNA. She also hosts the monthly PMI Roundtable discussion at DTNA.

I am attributing my success to the “can-do” attitude my parents instilled in me. It wasn't until EDI that I discovered that my “ability to speak up in meetings”, “questioning status quo” and “don’t take no for an answer” attitude wasn't normal for Asians. My biggest A-HA moments from EDI are self-awareness and personal branding. I have been working on improving “my brand” since April 2013. The fact that I am aware of my strengths and weaknesses and able to articulate to the interview panels what I have done to improve myself has definitely set me apart from my competitors.

I have always known that I want to move into management. EDI has given me the tools, tips and tricks, and showed me the path to get there. Last year, when I was given a troubled project, I was able to use all the skills that EDI has taught me. I had to perform under intense pressure, effectively communicate to all levels of management, resolve conflicts , leverage my network, and frequently present to CEO levels. I am happy to say because of my EDI training, I came away with flying colors. Upper Management took notice of my abilities, and then it was a matter of time for the right job to become available for me to move into management.

I want to take this opportunity to thank the mentors that I have met through EDI, and to Marci for giving me the opportunity to be the Program Chair for the 2015 and 2016 Portland Asian Leadership Discovery Program. I am now a better leader, manager, mentor, mother, and friend because of EDI.

Nyle Miyamoto Asian Discovery, Class of 2002

Nyle Miyamoto

Asian Discovery, Class of 2002

Congratulations to Nyle Miyamoto for receiving the 2016 Achievement in Leadership Excellence and Nobel Impact (ALENI) Award from NAAAP-Seattle! In his acceptance speech, he shared his formula for developing one's leadership potential where,'LP = ExRxR', where one's Leadership Potential is determined by one's Experience, Relationship Experience, and Reptuation. At the end of his speech, he asks the audience, "Are you pudwater or Fiji water?" What are you?