The People: Oksana Smilka
Oksana Smilka is a partner and coach based in Lviv, Ukraine. As the COO of Scalr and a certified analyst, coach, and instructor in Agile Leadership, she has built a thriving network of associates and clients. She’s been a member of the global TTI Success Insights network for seven years and began to collaborate directly with TTI SI in 2019.
“Oksana has shown a very high level of commitment and professionalism since day one,” said Vanessa Boettcher, Vice President of Global Distribution at TTI SI. “I was always impressed by her work ethic and the business she was building. Despite the language barrier, Oksana quickly jumped to make the most out of our reports and participated within the network.”
The Problem: Life Interrupted By War
When war struck Ukraine in 2022 and disrupted the lives of millions of people, Oksana was moved by its effects on the women around her. She knew she could use her talents to help.
“All my life, I have lived in a society where there are a lot of stereotypes and limitations about what is wrong and what is right, what you can do and what you can't do,” said Oksana. “That was imposed on Ukrainians by the Soviet Union, and it didn't help us to be ourselves or manifest our best skills and talents.” That cultural impact combined with the devastation of war means a lot of Ukrainians have lost “their inner pillars of support.”
“War is not only a huge challenge— it’s also pain and grief,” Oksana told us. “But the bigger the challenge, the more immense the transformation.”
The Solution: Support Needed to Endure
Enter Progresiya and Femunity! These two projects were conceptualized by Iryna Rubis, a coach who surveyed the needs of Ukrainian women.
Progresiya and Femunity included individualized coaching from psychologists, mentors, and career consultants, as well as the development of peacekeeping, crisis management, and risk management skills. It also connected women with a network of allies to Ukraine from more than ten countries.
The 220 participants were trying to maintain and, in some cases, rebuild their lives as a result of staying in Ukraine throughout the war.
“Most of my programs and coaching sessions are based on the TriMetrix EQ assessment from TTI SI,” Oksana said. “I combined the result of this assessment with individualized coaching approaches to go deeper and increase participants’ awareness, motivations, behavioral styles, values and beliefs, emotional stability, and their understanding of themselves and others.”
Through this work, Oksana truly realized her life mission: to change people's mindsets through self-knowledge and the courage to be themselves, helping them to live fulfilled and meaningful lives.
Oksana also launched her own project, “Me 2.0”, in partnership with People First Club. The seventh season of this course will be conducted in February 2023.
The Results: Undeniable Growth and Real Resilience
The results of this work have impressed all involved.
“What Oksana and all involved in their projects have achieved is incredible,” said Vanessa. Their work has supported vulnerable communities and helped rebuild connection in a terrifying time, and it positively affects every woman involved.”
“As a Ukrainian woman, I’ve had my own challenges with my health, work, finance, and relationships before the war started. I’ve come to a place of happiness in my life as I continue to work towards my goals according to my values. Despite the war, I live the life I love, and I want others to be able to do the same. Having internal support can carry you through difficult times.”
The participants involved got so much value from the assessments that the project garnered interest from other coaches and organizers. Oksana plans to continue her work with her corporate clients and wants to dive deeper into axiology and neurobiology. She is also currently developing a new project with Ukrainians who relocated to England because of war.
“To get up and out of a very challenging time, you have to dig deeper,” Oksana said. “You have to establish your values and your identity, and you have to build new skills to become a stronger, more resilient version of yourself. In my opinion, that’s the most important effect of this work because the results are inside of us. No war can take that away.”