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April 8, 2020

3 Ways to tap into Emotional Intelligence to Build Resiliency and Navigate Disruption

by Stephanie Klein, Executive Coach

The coronavirus, like the financial crisis of 2008, is an enormous disruption that affects each of us in different ways and yet, we have been living in a VUCA World [Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous] for a long while now, and only one thing is certain:  it’s here to stay. 
I have been in each of your shoes, as I served as a CMO in financial services over a span of 15 years, attaining my first CMO “dream” position just months before the 2008 crisis. Over the past 2 years, I have shifted towards transformational leadership, becoming an Executive Coach and Certified Teacher of Search inside Yourself (SIY), the Google born mindful-based emotional intelligence program, backed by neuroscience. I will also be publishing my first book later this year, “Waking Up on the Right Side of Wrong”, about how the most challenging, disruptive experiences can transform our lives in positive ways.
My mission now is to support leaders like you, igniting your potential to propel beyond functional to optimal with more emotional intelligence (EI) and awareness. EI is more important now than ever, as you work tirelessly to navigate uncertainty with your teams and client communications.  EI builds from this simple yet profound insight:  when we shift from auto-pilot to aware, we can make more effective choices in each moment.  I hope you will find these Top 3 practices both practical and useful. Globally, across 50 countries, we have found they can help build resilience, effective teamwork and communication, while better managing stress. 
  1. Dial up Empathy. In 2012, Google set its internal data analysis capabilities to discover what makes the best teams. One particular norm stood out as the greatest predictor of team success: “psychological safety”, where team members feel understood by others and free to speak up and take risks. When you create an environment where people can voice their concerns and feel heard, you set the stage for creating the strongest, collaborative teams.
    • Check-in Exercise:  Start meetings by asking everyone to check in with one word that summarizes how they are feeling in that moment. This practice allows everyone to feel seen and accepted, without judgement.
  2. Three Breaths. While we teach many “micropractices” as part of the SIY program, this is my favorite, as it is practical, highly effective and freely accessible to anyone at any time. Even in under a minute, you can notice a slight shift in your mental state. 
    • First Breath: Breathe deeply, bringing gentle attention to the breath
    • Second Breath: Let your body relax
    • Third Breath: Ask, “What’s Most Important Now?”
This practice works well before a big meeting, when you feel triggered by something someone says or does, even as you transition from work to personal life (which may now happen very quickly with non-existent commutes!).
  1. Moment to Arrive. This is simply a quiet moment to fully arrive before starting a meeting. You can invite people to sit in silence for 1 minute or practice the 3 breaths exercise. We find this enables everyone to more fully align mind and body, so they can be more present during the meeting. Often used in technology companies and leading organizations practicing Mindful Leadership, they cite better productivity & communication.  
I invite you to stay in touch on Linkedin, where I have more information on how I can support you for 1-on-1 or group coaching, leadership programs or customized workshops. Additionally, I will periodically post articles and resources, as well as developments on my book launch. 

- Stephanie
Special Offer for CFG Members
30-minute complimentary coaching session; contact me at:
Stephanie Klein is an Executive Coach who is passionate about igniting leaders' untapped potential to propel beyond functional to optimal. Stephanie has taught the SIY program to leading business schools and non-profits and will bring into professional service organizations, including the financial services community where she was a 3x Chief Marketing Officer.
In 2020, Stephanie launched Mindfire Mastery to “fire up minds” with emotionally intelligent awareness and resilience to empower leaders’ forward momentum.  She will also publish her first book, “Waking Up on the Right Side of Wrong”, about how the most challenging, disruptive experiences can transform our lives in positive ways.
Stephanie has three decades of leadership experience at Fortune 500 companies organizations, including Hallmark, United Airlines, Kraft, Alberto-Culver, Coca-Cola, Cboe Global Markets and Northern Trust. Stephanie received her B.A. in Psychology from Duke University and an MBA in Marketing from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.  She received her Executive Coaching certification through the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC), where she also became a master practitioner in Energy Leadership Index Assessments.  Stephanie is a graduate of the Players Workshop of The Second City, an avid traveler and enjoys biking along Chicago’s lakefront.

For more information on the Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute
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