Member Spotlight | Dilyana Domuschieva
HR (Happy Rebel), EQ Preacher, Trainer, NGO Supporter, Coach, Founding Member of WomenH2H and Contributor
I work as an HR: setting up processes that inter-wind different aspects of the organizational life in a way that serves best the people and the business. I love to be the rebel that offers unexpected ideas that can really make an organization stand out. So far I have had only one brave and kind manager to go that far and call this part of our collaboration “exciting”.
I am so lucky to find like-minded and brave people also outside my formal work who are more than ready to dare, rebel, and help organizations and people stand out together with me
In this respect, 2020 has been really eye-opening for me. Meeting and co-creating with brilliant people that share the same cause and passion should be at the center of my life path!
The dreams that I wish 2021 turns into reality are:
Deliver EQ (Emotional intelligence) training.
Help organizations stand out as a rebel consultant.
Contribute to causes that I am really fond of: NGOs and youth.
Nature lover. People Lover. I am Bulgarian, half-Danish at heart.
I spent 7 years in Denmark. At that time- this was ¼ of my life. I love the way Danes think. I love Danish design. I love the smell of the sea while riding a bike.
The hardest thing in my life so far was getting into and graduating from Copenhagen Business School, but it was the best time of my life. The biggest change and the biggest gift. It was like giving me legs to walk and then wings to fly. Not only because of what I learned but how and with whom I learned.
The next big moment in my life was working in HP. The people that I met there set expectations that became standard for all my aspirations. I always look for a great team first. A team of kind people and brilliant experts.
Having my children! After all said and done – my greatest teachers.
Learning energy - my biggest window to life so vast and joyful.
When it comes to the role of women today, what inspires you and what keeps you up at night? I am convinced that male and female energies are the yin and yang of everything. I believe that these energies complement and balance each other. I believe that we all, men and women, carry different parts of them.
What is “male” and what is ”female”? Even if it is more common that women are caring, nurturing, relying on their emotions to guide their inner needs (if they listen and are able to decipher them), it does not mean that it is something that men are not.
It is only through male role models that I have managed to find the balance with my feminine part, and also through amazing women – to find my authentic self.
That is how I see the role of both men and women today.
What keeps me up at night, filled with enthusiasm: seeing authentic men and women who are not afraid to understand and express their true best selves.
What’s your goal around that and why is it important to you? Why is that a priority for you right now? Working as a strategic HR, I have witnessed how great ideas often fail; how some companies are light years ahead, and others continuously fail in terms of business and/or people. I believe workplaces should have individuals who think of the future, who have visions and plans and structures on how to achieve it based on informed and data-driven proposals. Still, I believe that emotions complete the yin and yang in decision making. Emotions guide us: what is ethical and what is not, what is ego and what would be a real achievement, what demotivates me and what allows me to have a real impact, what I want on my CV, and what I want to be as a person, what are the values I want to be remembered for...
That is why I am such an ardent proponent of EQ (Emotional Intelligence). Organizations are often driven by power motives, usually unintentionally. What if power is balanced by the legacy motive: "What do I want to leave behind me for others? How do I want to be remembered as a person beyond my material achievements?"
We have a saying in Bulgarian “One bird does not bring spring”. One person is not enough to bring change, nor his/her powerful words, nor his/her genius ideas, nor his/her actions.
It is only through the power of support and like-minded communities that we all succeed.
That is why I believe men and women should work together, complementing each other. Like-minded people should work together, enhancing each other.
Change does not start top-down. It starts with individuals coming together.
I know it sounds idealistic, but just try it - in practice.
What are the biggest challenges you’ve personally had at work? How did you try to overcome them? Over the years I often asked myself “Why would he stop this, it is for the best of his team?”, “ Why would not s/he give me the freedom and trust after I have earned it?” Why would she never support my ideas, but only stress my mistakes?”, “Why is she avoiding me, I have only been nice to her?”, “Why would he deny my proposal, and a year later get to the same idea?”, “He is at such a high position, but keeps on stealing my ideas and not giving me credit. Why?” I would blame it on others' egos, insecurities, fears, or temper…
Still, what finally dawned on me is that my biggest hindrance has been my approach to it.
I have always been super enthusiastic and passionate about everything I do, jumping head over heels in delivering results. But results come second. I have missed important moments: I have missed spending enough time to acknowledge the people around me: those who really need it and those who really deserve it, those who want to support me, and those who strive for the same cause. But also to give others the chance to do the same for me. Who or what would have made it easier? What do you wish you would have done then? Oh, I could not be more grateful for everyone that I have met – in my life, at my work, and most of all – my kids. Debra Corey's words guide me in everything I do “The components that make an engaging culture are actually things that we learned in childhood: (…) telling the truth, trusting people, admitting it when you are wrong, and being kind to people”.
I have so many names and stories but will reveal them on another occasion:). I will only give away one moment of enlightenment, that changed my life:
I was new at a role. I have had almost a year with managers that kept on pushing me against a group of managers and kept on saying “Come on, how can they not listen to you when you ask them to do it? Why didn't you get to a solution with them? Why would you spend so much time on it?”... Everything changed when a new manager substituted them. I described a similar new situation to her expecting a similar response. To my surprise, her answer was totally different. She just said “Just give them what they want”.
“Just give them what they want” has been my guiding principle ever since.
What people want and need is most important than anything! At work, in life. I learned to listen and watch for it. It might surprise you, but in this way - what is best for me is also never compromised!
Many women are overwhelmed by the constant changes at work, frustrated with conflicts, or disheartened by office politics, drama, and draining emotions. What have you done in the past to help you get through such moments? Oh, I have seen it in men and women. I have seen sly men that buy others breakfast just to be liked while forming groups against other people. I have seen young women rely on their beauty to earn being liked, rather than on integrity and self-worth. I have seen women of status alienate other new women from day one, instead of noticing their own powers and mentoring others. What I have done is stick to my values and to people that support them. I have kept my focus on opportunities that allow me to be.
Who do you follow on these subjects? Are there authors, influencers, leaders, sites, blogs you follow? I love reading books on organizational topics. Any new book that refers to a current topic that I am working on. One of the books that I will always love is the one that Debra Corey personally gifted me: “Build it: The rebel playbook”. I love the big “Reinventing Organizations”! I enjoy timeless ideas like those in “Maverick: The success story behind the world's most unusual workplace”, "The fifth element'..."
I dislike books of the kind of “Seven habits of effective teams”. I do not like trends and recipes. I prefer to read about critical thinking, nurturing organizational practices, systematic approach to processes and decision making, actions over words, wholistic approaches. I like to try out new things that nobody has tried out, but for which I am certain will work.
I also love reading autobiographies like that of Wayne Dyer, Michel Obama. I love poetry like that of Maya Angelou and beautiful Bulgarian poets like Damyan Damyanov, Valeri Petrov, Veselin Hanchev, I love Russian poetry as well – Pushkin and Visocki.
I am new at this, but I love healing energy literature. I love Anne Wilson Shaef; always grateful to Natalia Blagoeva for recommending it to me.
I love using goodreads.com. I have listed some of the books that I have read there, but what I love much more is to add all the books that I want to read.
Do you participate in other women groups or communities? What have you seen work in such communities and what was missing for you? What works best I think is a community that starts with a strong bond and personal value. Then continues with more value and profit for both sides – in terms of shared ideas, support, a common path forward.
I believe our community, Women H2H, is the strongest one I have ever seen in this respect. I have never met so many incredible women in one place. I am convinced we can do great things together!
Moreover: I view it as a really unique community, that brings together women that you will see together in no other place!
I already see and hear about creative alliances among women in our community. I am certain that they will become more and more, stronger and bigger! I will do all I can to be part of this!
I participate in one other community, which is not only for women. It is related to me being a rebel in the field of Human Resources and organizational development.
Speaking about communities, there is another similar direction that 2020 gently pushed me towards. It is more collaborations and co-creation with people, some of them coming from communities. With one of them, I will be creating a course together, with another I will be delivering my course for free, with a third – I am simply humbled to give my feedback.
I offer my free help to people who share my views on life, learning, organizational topics. Even if these are sometimes one-offs, I just love collaborating with such people and experiencing their brilliance!
Why are communities, collaboration, and co-creation important for you? How do you include them in your plan for 2021? I believe every person is unique in the things that s/he does best. I also know that we are augmented and completed by others. I am often an introvert and I love reading and working on my own thing, but what I love equally is time, valuably spent with precious and inspiring people or people that want my help.
All these collaborations of mine led me to set my expectation for her divine majesty 2021. The past year helped me crystallize my dream:
I would really love to become an instructor in Emotional Intelligence. I believe it is the root of everything. I have offered my free help to some NGOs, but nobody has responded so far.
I have an idea of how to help students get ready for life, but I have no idea how to get invited to teach in a university in Bulgaria.
I started learning energy this year, which is already part of my life and is helping me a lot in my life path.
I would love to meet people that are on or have been on the same path and can help me. I would also love to be able to help with everything that I am good at.
Who are your women role models? Why is it important to be surrounded by such? I have not had many women role models in my life, but the few have really come in the right moment. The first one, and probably most formative in my life, is my grandmother. She is such a big part of who I am and want to be:
She loved to laugh. She loved people for who they are and gave them freedom. She saw clearly what is her world and what is not. She loved easily and did not spend time on things she did not love. She saw the joy in life. She always managed to create a safe and loving place for us in her house. I loved going there and just being with her. She has always been so full of life and she did not need anybody or anything to fill her up with joy and love. She always had them spring out of her – in her loud laughter, strong hug, and kind, consoling words.
She died less than a month ago and I still miss her a lot, but I know she is a very big part of who I am.
Later in life, I had a couple of really exceptional women leaders. One of them was my HR Director when I was supporting Denmark and the other one was my Head of HR from Germany. Their understanding, care, and cool calm wisdom have always served me as inspiration.
In 2020, I met my spiritual teacher, who opened a totally new world for me. Meeting Natalia Blagoeva, Nicole Love is part of the same path, I am convinced. Why is it important for me to be surrounded by women role models? I have grown up in a communistic past, which was not very inspirational. Having my grandmother has given me roots and faith. It has shed the brightest light on what is really important for me.
During my journey of becoming who I am now, I met a few women who I admire. They always came in a time when I needed guidance, affirmation, and light.
What activities could we do so that we master together how to get back our zest, thrive on change, lead with grace and confidence and co-create the beautiful workplaces we all long for? I believe we should create and deliver tangible projects, in couples and probably in small groups. As we already do. We should share our success stories in the community to inspire and give ideas to others. I am ready to do the first ones for free at the start. Maybe we can make a project broad – where women search for other women with specific skills and aspirations.
How do you see your role in building this community? And is there anything else you want to add that you think would be helpful for us to know as we are building this community? I see my role as organic as it can be: contributing with one thing at a time, building up until I find my spot. The spot where I will be most useful in the long run.
At this moment I really like meeting amazing women as an editor of Member Spotlight.
I like participating in workshops and meetings in the community and feeling the energy that each woman brings. I have had some amazing 1:1 conversations for which I am utterly grateful.