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Natalya Tylka - soft skills coach in Skillers recruiting agency


Natalia Tylka’s name is known by many representatives of IT recruiting and HR in Ukraine and Belarus. And during the last five years, about 150 leaders of technical teams have also participated in her training annually. Natalia always has an attentive look and a luminous smile. It's time to learn more about her!

 Tylka has been training for 10 years, becoming a mentor for more than two thousand specialists. Each training is unique, and this is one of Natasha’s feature. At the beginning of her career, she worked as a recruiter at Venbest Recruiting; later she was reassigned by the American company Foyil Securities on the position of Head of HR. While working there, Natasha attended  courses for trainers from Open Mind Technologies, and the first practical coaching experience for two years was gained while she was working with the staff of VENBEST Group of Companies; the goal was to develop the skills and necessary mindset for sales managers, heads of departments and regional branches.

Along with this, Natalia Tylka has begun to conduct open trainings for recruiters as part of the first school for IT recruiters in Ukraine. The idea of its organizing belongs to Yulia Tupchiy (managing partner of Skillers recruiting agency), who invited Natalya to join the School module, dedicated to negotiating skills with candidates during hiring and conducting interviews with IT specialists. Igor Glinyanyi, Skillers COO, has also been taught there.

How did the trainings were growing up?

After the start of the IT Recruiter School, the entire team of its mentors was invited by separate IT companies to launch corporate trainings for their recruiters. Since then, for example, Natasha has long and warm professional relations with the Belarusian EPAM Talent Acquisition team. By the way, Minsk office of the company hosts Natasha’s open trainings, in which HRs and recruiters from Belarusian IT take part, till today. After trainings for recruiters and HR specialists, Tylka gradually has being expanded her training audience to the level of team leaders and technical leaders, project managers and IT company executives. It has happened due to the fact that after visiting her open trainings, and getting useful insights for themselves, HR managers began to invite Natalia to solve inner companies’ problems. This happens through trainings and development of problematic issues related to leadership, management, communications and stress-management within development teams.

“Requests for corporate training may seem similar at first. So, one of the most popular topics for training recently is the communication of recruiters with Hiring Managers. As for team leaders, they prefer management communications and leadership. But while digging deeper, you understand that not all problems are obvious at the beginning of the "path". Therefore, in most cases, I firstly communicate with the customer, and then conduct interviews with future students of the training. After that, the picture becomes more complete, but it is the final points I always get at the training. Due to the fact that in the training I communicate with each participant, identifying precisely his or her “headache” and stoppers, finding unique and completely targeted solutions; so with my approach it’s impossible to limit myself simply retelling famous “best practices”. I’m immersed in the specifics of the company and each individual team seriously and deeply. I listen to people, explain the causes and consequences of their actions and other people, and sometimes I live with them for two days of training, denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Everything they can and what they need to make it easier after training easier, more interesting! ”

Dozens of trainings are held annually, but thanks to new faces and coaching creativity, no topic gets boring. A sense of humor is also important, because you cannot teach adults without it: “I still remember one of the early trainings with Yulia Tupchiy. We trained Global Logic recruiters, and there were about 40 experienced professionals in the room. We wanted to warn up participants immediately, that they all are surely smarter than both of us, and we admit it. Therefore, at the beginning of the training, we made a “crown” gesture - we went out to the participants in paper crowns, introduced ourselves and demonstratively took them off in agreement that the trainers with so many smart people are just people. Our behavior caused a smile and disposition among the participants, so we’ve started easily. And so we ended up with the song! Imagine 40 recruiters from different locations and everyone singing in a chorus “Oh, whose horse is it standing!” (old Ukrainian song). It’s impossible to forget it even after years. ”

Secrets of effective training

Interactive training is always difficult, because definitely there will be people with opposite problems and expectations. Natalia describes one of the main tasks of the coach as: “returning people to reality”. Because a lot of people by virtue of hopes and ideas about how it should be ideally, often deny it and see what is happening in a “slightly” distorted form.

“Training is a three-layer cake:

  • the first layer is the training materials, which I often give to visitors during the training, and which is a structured takeaway of any training;
  • the second is all that I will tell during the training. Usually I take problems and questions from the participants, so my speech is never just a theory; it is the answers to everyone’s exciting questions;
  • the third (the most important part) is the conclusions that everyone will draw from this training for themselves.

We maintain contact with many students even after several years. Some of them admit that they are still “caught up” by insights after the trainings in months, and sometimes years later.

I’m convinced that there are no skills separate from the person, everything is interconnected. And it is important to bring a person to a reboot. My main secret as a coach? I am a storytelling master! :) I have a life story and an example for each participant. ”

In addition, Natalya shows any problem from the inside, without using template or miraculous methods:

“I entered trainings with many years of experience in the practice of self-knowledge and awareness, so I never say things someone advises in books, but I haven’t tried myself. I know the experience of a person in a given situation from the inside firsthand. Everything develops our soft skills in life around us. You can study communication and negotiations in everyday communication with children, you can learn all the rules of effective decision-making on a maternity leave, you can understand the benefits of using “I-statements” in conversations with your husband. I do all of this. My trainings are based primarily on my understanding and life experience.”

As for unsuccessful trainings, they can be due to difficulties with setting the goal of training by the client:

“I had one unsuccessful training. The HR director of the client’s company wanted to influence its chief executive officer, using my training, to shift her, so called, “thinking paradigm”. But they didn’t tell me about this goal in advance, and CEO was clearly not ready to say goodbye to her paradigm, and even in front of her subordinates, and raised a riot right at the training.”

Trends in non-technical IT education

Natasha has been working with the IT field for five years. With rare exceptions, trainings are held for other areas. Most customers come for team training, because most often IT team leads grow out of ordinary employees.

“I can also say with confidence that any training, no matter what topic it is started, always ends up with the topic of professional burnout. Many people are burning with the idea of working 24/7, without differentiation life and work, and everything that burns has tendency to burn out...”

 From a certain level, a specialist doesn’t need to be taught; but he needs to improve some details:

“IT is specific, because its representatives don’t like wasting time, they need facts. They are very smart people, often skeptical, who can say directly in trainer’s face, for example, that the “sandwich method” in delivering feedback is a complete nonsense. In coaching, you generally need to be prepared that during the training you won’t feel always good and pleasant. The main thing is to remain open to communication and listen in order to understand. ”

A little quiz with Natalia Tylka :)

“Whom would you call your favorite speaker?”

- I can’t single out someone, but I read and watch a lot of interviews. In fact, I am interested in people as a species.

- What are your favorite books?

- “Stone Slash”, “The Incredible Pilgrimage of Harold Fry” by Rachel Joyce, and “The Shine” by Margaret Mazzantini. One of the lastest is Camila Shamsi's “Home Fire.”

- How do you maintain a balance between family and work?

- First of all, I maintain a regime between communication and its absence. The day after any training I spend as passively as possible: in my bedroom, avoiding communication even with my children.

- What would you advise your colleagues?

- Learn to hear yourself, in each day to focus on the inner feeling that they are following their Path. :)

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