Daniela Puertas: “To treat work only as the implementation of tasks is dishonest. At work, you are a person”

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Our guest today is Daniela Puertas, psychologist, member of the international association of facilitators, founder of the educational project for teenagers TEENS.

I think we need to start right away with the basic questions, because. Perhaps some do not understand what is falsification. You are a member of an international association of facilitators. Could you tell us in more detail what it is, what it is for?

– I’ll start with history. Previously, I worked as a psychologist, since my main specialization was working with groups, at that moment I was looking for new methods that would make my work more effective and randomly got to the seminar simply because the title was interesting. There was something I didn’t know. At this seminar I got acquainted with the idea that there are technologies, there are methods, there are tools, you can say techniques that allow groups to work very logically, work with their motivation, with their needs, with their thinking in order to help them quickly. jointly effectively achieve the results that they plan for themselves.

After five years of study, I started working with teams in different business sectors and now I can say that facilitation is a system of theory and practice, a system of methods and tools that are scientifically based, proven, that allow:

  • rally the team
  • connect the minds of different people,
  • assemble a team and focus them on one goal,
  • allow the team to develop solutions that will inspire,
  • lead the team to the result, so that people take responsibility for the task and complete it as efficiently as possible.

– Danela, how to create a sense of community among the team, how to direct everyone to get results? Are there any general rules?

Of course, there are general rules. Because there is a psychology of groups, there is a psychology of a team. There are some basic points that are necessary in order for the people in the team to feel good. At the same time, I agree that each individual case should be considered and studied separately, because people work in different areas. The team may be at different stages of development, there are a lot of different details that are important to pay attention to.

If we talk about what is important for the team to be cohesive, I can highlight a few points out of a hundred that we can apply.

The first moment is transparency and open vision, when the manager, leader, owner, forms plans for the development of a project or team. It is very important that everything is transparent for the team. Where are they going, why are they going, what will they do, and so on. This is the first moment. For an adult, in order to move towards the goal, it is important to see where he is moving.

Даниэла Пуэртас

Daniela Puertas

The second point is very important. Now is a time when everything is changing a lot and people, if you want strong people who are motivated, who are really ready to contribute to the common cause, it will be important for them to participate in decision making.

And the third point is limitation. Each of us spends a lot of time at work, perhaps even more than with our family. We live almost a third of our lives in the work process and it is impossible to treat work simply as the implementation of tasks. It’s not fair to yourself. Therefore, first of all, a person works at work!

In order for the team to be cohesive, on the one hand, it is necessary to consider the team as a whole, on the other hand, so that the individual has the opportunity to realize himself, so that he sees that he is accepted, that he can be different, and so on. And these are also the things that can be implemented.

– Daniela, tell me, do all companies need communication sessions? Or at what stage companies need it, how to understand that it is needed or not.

You know, there is an idea of a school teacher that everyone needs his subject and that it is the most important. I have no such idea. I started my career as a psychotherapist (by the way, this greatly affects how I work with teams and with people). I learned one big rule, I only work with a request. Often the leaders or the team do not yet know what exactly they want, but they understand that it is necessary to invest in the team, invest in the development of the team spirit. Let’s say the crisis has shown that there can be various problems, but if you have a strong team, then you can survive it. It became clear that people are the main resource of the company. If the team or the leaders have formed this idea, then we are already ready to work, to identify what exactly is needed, what goal we will pursue in working with the team.

– Daniela, you are also the founder of an educational project for teenagers. That is, on the one hand, you work with teenagers, on the other hand, you work with companies, with adults, absolutely people. Tell me, is it more interesting to work with children or with adults?

– It’s so hard to say. I, unfortunately, will not be able to say with whom it is more interesting to work. Probably, at the moment I have different roles. Because the educational project is my soul. We started working 9 years ago and we already have graduates who are already working for us as psychologists. I mean, it’s a whole topic. And of course, when there is an opportunity to influence the lives of children, when children come with technical difficulties in communication or do not know who they will become in the future, when our programs help them become confident, develop creative thinking, help with choosing a profession, then of course we see this very great sense and will continue to work. We have plans at the moment. I teach classes, work with the team, that is, in fact, I am the author of our program, I deal more with strategic issues with partners and writing programs in this direction. Unfortunately I don’t work with children. It was such a strong-willed decision related to the development of the project. In general, there is not really such a big difference with whom to work with, with children or adults, there are just different tasks. So I love both so much.

– They say that at the moment, in order to become successful entrepreneurs and in general to realize oneself in life, it is very important to develop emotional intelligence. Do you include emotional intelligence training in your courses? Do you agree with the statement that now it is so important?

– Emotional intelligence has actually been in science for a long time.

I studied the topic of intelligence 10 years ago as a student. At the moment, emotional intelligence is relevant. Because before, it was in our post-Soviet environment that they totally did not pay attention to this. That is, more of us are taught in school that you will know mathematics very well, you will be a good person. But then we understand that for some reason sometimes losers are leaders of excellent students. This happens because often bad students ran down the street, skipped school (I don’t agitate either children or adults who study poorly), I just mean that children used to get more negative experience and, accordingly, when they grew up, they came and started working, then they already had a stock of certain knowledge, how to solve any issues, how to negotiate. At a time when excellent students were able to solve problems well and often failed to cope with communication tasks. Therefore, the topic of emotional intelligence is now so vividly in demand.

But there is another point, balance is important! Emotional intelligence is wonderful when combined with other types of intelligence. When you have some area of expertise in which you are well versed, increased emotional intelligence is very cool combined with social intelligence: how do you feel about people, how much do you understand social processes, group processes, leadership issues, and so on.

Therefore, I believe that it is necessary to develop in a balanced way, of course, we include training in emotional intelligence in our programs, we have special exercises for this. Also, we have a whole course that is aimed immediately at the development of emotional and social intelligence.

– I agree with you that balance is needed in everything. Tell me, are teenagers ready to become students? That is, do they want to go to higher education? Or, perhaps, do you have information on university graduates, are they ready to go to work? Or do they want to start their own business?

Даниэла Пуэртас

Yes, I can tell from my observations. We have a direction called “Vocation for teenagers”. And our task is to make it clear to as many children as possible in what they want to develop. This is important for the child, it is important for the country in which we live, because the more people do their own thing, then, of course, the economy, culture, it will grow. There are statistics that 80% of students, not even graduates, do not imagine themselves in their chosen profession by the third or fourth year.

Most of the guys believe that education is very important and it does not depend on the university. A child is not prepared if he initially chooses something that is not close to him. Wherever you study: abroad or at the best university in Ukraine. You are faced with such statistics. Therefore, very often people are not ready to work in the specialty in which they study, because they do not have the ability to do this or they are not developed, or the problem is that they initially could not answer the question, “What do they want?”. This issue needs to be dealt with separately.

The second point about business instead of work. Now there are a lot of different programs for the development of small and medium-sized businesses. That’s why I think a lot of people have this idea. Many people want to find a profession that they would love, get joy, get money easily and preferably invest little time in it, which is unrealistic.

I think that you will agree with me that when you were doing what you love, when you really understand the purpose and meaning, then you do NOT want to work there LESS! You want to work more efficiently, can be balanced, you like it!

For many, entrepreneurship is a quick option, something easy, where you don’t have to work. And this, I would say, is a road to nowhere. Both for the economy and for the individual. Therefore, I am for entrepreneurship, which first has an idea! When a person finds some idea for himself, what he would like to do, and then he realizes himself in this way. Or the second option is an economic need. But in this case, resting there will not work.

– It was just a great interview! It inspired me. Your words resonated in my heart! Thank you so much again for your time and interview!

– Thank you very much for inviting me. Best wishes!