5 December 2022, New York, USA - The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) office in New York hosted the third and last training session of the Columbia Law School 2022 Fall Series entitled “Leadership and Self-Awareness” in collaboration with the Columbia Law School Mediation Clinic. Gathering more than 100 participants, the event aimed at understanding one’s leadership style and approach as wee as the importance of self-awareness.
The event started with Mr Marco Suazo, Head of UNITAR office in New York and Professor Alexandra Carter, Professor at Columbia Law School delivering welcoming remarks to participants. The session then continued with an overview of leadership qualities, styles, and approaches, self-awareness, cultural intelligence, active listening and facts, feelings, issues and interests, led by Professor Alexandra Carter’s team members from the Columbia Law School Mediation Clinic. The workshop also included interactive exercises.
The first presenter, Mr Brenton Browne discussed leadership qualities that should be possessed and examined ways to become an effective leader. He also touched upon leadership styles, that mainly are critical thinker, warrior, visionary and nurturer. He then analyzed the strengths and weaknesses of each approach. Mr. Browne then introduced a group activity to determine individual leadership styles of attendees in the room. Then, Ms. Shuman Li introduced the two main leadership approaches (top down and bottom-up) and their usage ramifications. She also explained the various reasons causing different leadership styles, including characteristics of different leaders, the nature of relationships between leader and others and the social environment, to name a few. Attendees were then invited to perform leadership exercises, to determine what kind of leadership skills they would use to address each presented fictional scenario.
Ms Shuman Li explained how self-awareness and leadership go hand-in-hand, through better confidence and decision-making, stronger relationships and effective communication. She also examined self-awareness from an internal (how we see our values, passions, aspirations and impact) and external manner (our understanding of how others see them) and analyzed introspection. Then, Ms Sonia Helen Pascale explored cultural intelligence and debriefed on the three components of cultural intelligence, which are cognitive, physical and emotional. She also explored its importance in leadership and negotiation, through ten factors including time sensitivity, style of communication and emotionalism to name a few.
Then, active listening and its value in leadership and self-awareness were discussed. Active listening can be non-verbal (eye contact, posture, facial expression) or verbal (asking clear questions, acknowledging feelings and what is being said). Finally, the speakers were also able to guide participants on how to discern facts, feelings, issues and interests by examining two hypothetical situations. The presenters differentiated five types of issues including control over resources, preferences and nuisances and values to name a few.
The event ended with Mr Marco Suazo and Professor Alexandra Carter delivering concluding remarks, thanking all participants for joining the workshops held since October 2022 and inviting all members across the United Nations to take part in the UNITAR-Columbia Law School Series next Spring 2023.