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The Experiences that Strengthened My Leadership Skills

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At one point in Project Lift at which I am a volunteer, we organized a trip to a big park in Istanbul, there were approximately fifty kids. In the end of the day, and while we had been waiting for the buses to come to take the children back to their home, we have been informed that the buses still need more than thirty minutes to arrive. After twenty minutes the children started resenting and fidgeting they refused to stay together, every one of them wanted to run and play away but we needed them to stay close to the main door where we can see them. It seemed that the situation is going out of control. Therefore, someone had to act, and the person in charge got confused. Thus, I tried to find a game by which I can attract children attention and let them have fun at the same time, i.e. train game. Therefore, I shaped them into lines according to their age and we played ‘copy me’ game to keep them enthusiastic, while we were playing I tried also to remind them of the bus rules. Of course, I was not alone but I was the one who was responsive to the situation, and I was able to take the lead of the volunteers’ team. It was amazing how we all worked together with harmony in order to save the day.

Furthermore, In March 2017 I have been selected for ‘Young Mediators as Game Changers’ training programme, a programme implemented under the support of U.S. Embassy which aims to support mediation and peacemaking skills among Turkish and Syrian youth. Afterwards, we initiated a society of university students to be local mediators in our own communities and to take active roles in issues using peaceful intervention methods. We tried to turn the struggle of being a refugee in Turkey into something successful by diminishing the gap between the two communities (Syrian and Turkish) focusing on what unifies both communities. I also always tend to take an active interest in discussions and debates, I was also able to develop both my communication and presentation skills through organizing presentations and chairing events in front of large audiences in several occasions (e.g. ‘Istanbul Development Dialogues 2017: Risk and resilience’ with the young mediators’ team).

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In addition, when I was in my BSc degree I established, in the factory where I used to work part-time, a mentoring program to train new employees how to use the complex multi-disciplinary machines., which helped in cutting the annual turnover by 40%.

Eventually, leadership is a two-way relationship between the leader and the team. To accomplish things that one of them alone would not have done on their own. And I believe that I have got the seed of influence, leadership as well as dealing with change and problematic situations.

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