Guli Bazahova, Candidate of Psychological Sciences and teambuilding professional, has become the new president of SKOLKOVO Women Association. Ms. Bazarova is a graduate of the Lomonosov Moscow State University. Today she heads the Institute of Practical Psychology at the Higher School of Economics and manages her own psychological centre. She is a professional with high credibility. In her interview with the EWC journalists, Ms. Bazarova shared about her new positions, challenges businesswomen beginners usually face, and reasons of crises experienced by many companies. 

— What was the first event you hosted as president? 

— On May 17, we had a business breakfast. Anna Reznichenko, former president of SKOLKOVO Women Association and current president of SKOLKOVO Association, presented me in my new position. The business breakfast was in an active format. I gave participants a task to describe a message to be published on Facebook, which would make people in comments recommend its author to other people. This task helped us know one another much better. 

For example, we all knew about Anna Reznichenko’s translation bureau ‘ANS-Lingua’. We thought it deals with English and German only. After reading her message on Facebook, we realised her bureau provides professional translators and interpreters in the English, German, Italian, Spanish, and Chinese languages. Another participant, Adelle Khalilulina, bakes products without sugar and gluten. She works in an audit firm belonging to Big Four. It turned out that she knew much about intracompany communication and analytics, as well as about good nutrition. 

During the event, the participants discussed joint project. For example, Adelle Khalilulina and an employee from HASBRO together thought about providing children with diabetes with gift bags from Father Frost. All in all, that simple exercise gave birth to so many ideas! 


— What plans do you have with regard to your new position? 

— My main task is to organise a space where women would learn, exchange experience, communicate with interesting people, and motivate one another to further development. I will continue Anna Reznichenko’s work. In addition, we will fulfil new ideas. Creation of an anti-crisis psychological centre is one of them. Sometimes even the most successful women have problems they can’t share. This platform will help them in difficult situations in family and personal life, as well as those at work. In addition, we are planning to launch a special programme of support of women aged 45+, which is extremely important. 

— What challenges do women face when starting their businesses? 

— After a woman says “I will cope with everything”, after she overcomes her fear and uncertainty and starts believing in her potential, her energy helps her in everything. However, some challenges may occur. The fist of them is challenges in teambuilding, mistrust of the business partners. It often happens that business partners do not figure out all details at once and then understand they have different concept of the process and result of their business. 

The second type of challenges concerns family problems. It happens that a husband doesn’t support his wife’s business. People often discuss balance of the two fields: family and business. However, there is the third side, which is ‘me’. That is why our Association is developing a programme within the Institute of Practical Psychology at the Higher School of Economics. The programme will focus on the three components: ‘family’, ‘business’, and ‘me’. 

— What tasks to you address at the Institute in addition to managerial ones? What trainings do you organise? 

— The Institute with high-qualified psychologists, coaches, and career advisers is a fine resource for our association. It is important for me to not only manage but develop it as well. In addition, I work with top managers and conduct strategic sessions. 

— What advantages do the Institute’s graduates have? 

— Studying at out Institute has its bonuses. Firstly, its 39-year guarantee. After finishing the programme, our students can attend its lectures again for free during this guarantee period. All programmes are constantly developing. That is why I find it important for those people always to follow the trend. For example, our Personnel Management graduates often attend the course of labour law. You can see our love towards our students. Education is something more than business for us. 

The second thing is that we provide employment to 90% of our students who are in search of work. We are in active communication with consulting companies and employers. Since 1996, our Institute has earned good authority. That is why our graduates are in demand. In this regard, we seek to keep our education standards on a high level. 

The third feature of the Institute of Practical Psychology at the Higher School of Economics is working with real clients and customers. We also provide traineeship to properly check occupational aptitude of our students. In fact, I receive quick feedback from companies interested in work with starting employees. 

And yet, not all those wishing can join SKOLKOVO Women Association. 

— Yes, that is true. So many people want to join us but can’t afford it yet. We will launch mentoring projects exclusively for those who have chosen their professional path but can’t enter the Association. The graduates who achieved major success, will become mentors. 

Do you have your own projects? 

— Certainly. I have a training and consulting company. It trains top managers and contributes to efficiency of teamwork. There are so many courses, conferences, and forums today. However, as we found out, many people there do not know basic things. For example, phases of organisation development, personnel typology, principles of delegation, reasons of ‘professional burnout’, etc. This is like building a 3- or 4-storey building without foundation. As a result, they work a lot but have poor outcome. Understanding that, companies often invite us for us to provide them with professional training. 

I am also engaged in family consulting and deal with relations between children and parents. The clients can entrust to me all their secrets. I have high credibility at SKOLKOVO and I am proud of that. I also provide individual consultations, that is why I usually don’t serve more than two families a week. 

— How to find time for family? 

— SKOLKOVO Women Association’s mission is not only to make people more successful but also to make people happier. It is important that women fully implementing their potential do not forget about their prior function: creating harmony in family. There is always time for priorities. We serve as loving and caring partners for our husbands, prototypes of wives for our sons, and examples of womanhood for our daughters. 

Marina Kachkalova, news agency of the Eurasian Women’s Community

Translated by Nikolay Gavrilov