Pochi Garcia Orsi | The Designer’s Mindset: Embracing Change, Collaboration, and Mental Health

Mar 27, 2023Dianne Eberhardt

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Dianne: Hello everyone. Welcome to Pixelated Perfect podcast. I am super excited I have Pochi with me. Thank you so much for being here.

Pochi: Thank you so much for having me.

Dianne: I'm super excited to talk to you. So to give everyone a little intro about Pochi she is a super-talented product designer based in Buenos Aires. She's really into the research discovery and innovation of design. She has a very cheerful personality and she really likes everything to be super fun, makes everything fun. She also does a lot of creating training sessions for interviews and she loves to lead workshops, so I'm excited to talk to you a little bit about that. Also, she's a super curious person, so PO's always kind of changing jobs and challenging herself. That's also a big topic that I think everyone's going to find super valuable. So, so, so, so excited. You're here. And yeah, so let's, let's kind of kick it off. So I'm gonna start with a pretty broad question for you. So, what does being a designer mean to you?

Pochi: Oh, oh my God, that's a really good question. Means so much and for every one of us maybe means something different. I believe that every one of us design ourselves every time we look at the new, we choose where we want to wear or make a decision. So basically designing is making decision. That's why basically for me, we are all designing something. Then I have this point of view that in a working environment, the one who makes the design mostly are relationship with or has the, the point of view or something, something that is visual. I'm the kind designer that tries to focus in the strategy and what people will think and what's going to work. And it's not only a screen, it's also a process. Designing processes, designing roles, designing the way we interact with each other is part of the UX process for me. The kind that I, and then I screen, not that I don't, it's that a whole process. We're gonna start asking questions and try to understand what's happening, try to understand what will work, what we want as a team, and then what we want us a business and then what the user wants. So there are a lot of questions inside of that. And for me, design is all that process. I'm not only in charge of the design, my coworkers are also in charge. Does that make

Dianne: Sense? Yes. I love it. Breaking down that whole question, so many, many thoughts while you were saying it. The first one is, I love how you basically said design is making decisions and like we all are designers, right? If you think about it, like your clothes, to, I was, I had another podcast when we were chatting about once you open yourself up to design, design is obviously everywhere. And once you open up your mind, it's like everything you see from a billboard to a menu to any app you're using. Like it's just surrounding us 24 7. And so we all are making those conscious decisions of how to interact with design. And so I love that. That's like a very good broad Yes, it's broad, it's everywhere. Everyone is essentially a designer. It's so, so, so true. And then kind of breaking out of the work environment, I think that a lot of more junior designers, and I would love your opinion on this, is like they come into design and they don't necessarily think about it from a strategy site or a business perspective. And so I love how you define design and its process. It's like every step to get you to that screen. It's not just what that screen looks like. It's everything involved in that. And there's a lot involved to get you to that endpoint that so many people don't even realize is part of, part of design. Yes.

Pochi: I think that's a really fine part of my job. It is not only thinking of the output, that maybe the output is the screen, but the outcome is what we, as a team, are respecting from that. So extreme, maybe just a screen with input and ahu or something, but then it makes a, or a purchase or it means something. So it's not only a stream, it's never only

Dianne: Right, right. It's like what is, what is the problem you're solving before you get into the solution of designing a screen, you first have to understand what it is you're trying to do there. So yeah, like you said, purchase, like what is the end goal of the user? Where are they going after that screen? What are they, where are they coming from? All those things are so, so important to like the product design process.

Pochi: And that's why I, when I used to interview my coworker or work with me, one of the things that I really love to do is ask questions and let them ask questions. Because for me it's most important, the most important thing is how you think, how your mind is wired. I really feel that being a designer is not being, I dunno designing an ad or design a so or is the way you think. Yes. And then you do think

Dianne: Yes. Yes, totally.

Pochi: The most important part.

Dianne: Yeah. So I wanna, I wanna kinda break this down a little bit. Kind of like you talking about process and everything is like when you approach a new project, what, what is that process for you and how do you work with your coworkers, which you've mentioned a couple times are like a big part of it. So like, I know this is a very broad question, but maybe at a high level, like what do you do? How do you approach something like that?

Pochi: That's a really good question because it's something that we are scared of. The beginning is so scaling.

Dianne: Yes.

Pochi: Oh my god, what, what should I do with this? And I learned,

Pochi: I think last year, I think it's not a really old knowledge that every project and every company has their maturity level. And that's something that you should understand. I can ask my coworkers in a really small startup that I dunno make the whole process of design research metrics and everything come down. This is not necessary right now. So the main thing that I try to understand is what do we need at this moment? Cause maybe it's a really small thing. Maybe it's just a screen to someone to put some values and that's it. Here you are, use it and then tell me if this is working. If you need more, everything is a process. So you can tell us, you can involve part, part give value in a really short term and a really small way. You don't always have to go all the way.

Dianne: Yes, yes. I think that's so true. Yeah. Sorry. Keep going, keep going. I love it. Keep, keep going. ,

Pochi: The main thing for me is to understand what we need right now. Cause I'm really being everything and I'm going, I'm always going to try to have the north in my head. The whole picture is in my head. I need to have that because it's where we're going. But I'm not going to ask you as a business person, as a person, as a developer what we are going to do. I have that because I need to understand, but then I'm going to ask you to just do this part. We're gonna see what comes next. But this part is important right now. Right. It's not the best design I have ever made. No, but it doesn't matter, right? It's not needed.

Dianne: Yes. Yes. Totally. I think that a lot of times when you approach a new project, you do think you have to have the full picture, the whole picture. And there's a lot of tension that comes from designers feeling like they need that because maybe the stakeholders don't know that. Like you say, maybe it's something like starting small and just asking those little questions. Like if you're trying to ask a huge big question, solve this huge problem,

Dianne: People are gonna be confused and you're not gonna get what you need out of them. And then you're gonna blame them. They're gonna blame you. You're gonna end up building something that doesn't make sense. And so I, I love how you're like, and your head, you're, you're part, you have to pick up that information for yourself. But you know that if you approach that conversation with your stakeholders or the developers or whoever, they're not gonna be able to give you that information. And so you recognize that. So you ask the questions you need to ask and that's how you're gonna get to a result that's gonna get you further. So then you do that little piece and then you do another piece and then like slowly it'll come together and it'll like form and scrum and agile. You'll move quickly and pivot and, and all the things that go along with this kind of process in general.

Pochi: Things take time. And that's the thing that I am really anxious about. So that's really something on the fence and that's ok.

Dianne: Yes.

Pochi: I remember who told me this, but a white or a or flow in my process is an invitation to chat. So whenever I enter a call, a meeting with my coworkers, I show things. I try to materialize things because that's the way I communicate and that's the way I invite them in so they can explain to me if I'm understanding correctly, if that's what we are thinking. And sometimes when you are in the UI phase, when you are only working the interface, the way it looks is really exhausting to have that kind of feedback. Like, oh, I don't like this color.

Dianne: Yes,

Pochi: I don't care if you don't like this color. Tell me about this work.

Dianne: So yes,

Pochi: It's frustrating sometimes when you have that kind of feedback because I really need to understand if this is what you need.

Dianne: Yes. Is

Pochi: What do you need? We are about the color, don't worry about it. What we need, let's talk about the real things that we need to talk about. That's one of the main things that I really like to do. Invite people in. For me, I'm the only designer right now in my company. So being able to share my work and to invite people in, in the process and understanding what the solution needs, the client needs, we need. It's really important. Cause Yeah, it's a startup. Everything's happened so fast, right. And it's like, why, why are we doing this? Someone remembers it. Why are we doing this part team focus? Like we need this. Remember here, that's what we're doing.

Dianne: Right. Right. It's like our job is like, is like we're facilitators, right? Like I love that you said that you, it's like an invitation to chat, chat. You show people at every stage so that they can give their opinions and feedback and you're collaborating together and you're able to facilitate that because it's almost like you're, you're manipulating them in a way where you're, you're asking, you need feedback on something specific. So you're presenting it to make sure that that's the feedback you're getting, you're asking the questions to get the feedback that you need at that stage.

Pochi: Yes.

Dianne: And that's our job.

Pochi: Also really important things that I need feedback in a different stages of the process. It's different feedback, right. Maybe if we are, if you really need to understand if the color is right, for example, we are going to be talking to our final users. We are going to make tests or something like that. I don't know if it's a right way to ask a developer if the color is white, right. Developer is going to gimme a different kind of feedback. If I'm able to use this API for what I need, it's a different kind of feedback. I'm not saying that I don't trust the developer that is going to tell me I don't like this color. I have that under account cause we're all users.

Dianne: Right?

Pochi: Of course I'm going to listen to you, but I'm not going to change the color until I have evidence from the final user.

Dianne: Yes.

Pochi: So it's a different kind of favor that is all viable, but in different stages and in different ways.

Dianne: Yes. Yes. A thousand percent. I think this is like a great conversation for designers that sometimes are like, I don't know where to start, which is where this conversation started in like, I don't know how to make sure that I'm getting the feedback I need or that I am presenting things at the right stage. And so I hope that this conversation is helpful for people like that, who are like, oh, sometimes I feel stuck or I feel like I'm not getting what I need or I'm thinking too big a picture and I'm not getting the answers I need. So I love everything you said. Love, love. So I wanna kinda, so I have a question kind of pivoting a little bit, but something you said kind of sparked this is you were like, things take a long time and us as humans, especially in 2023, everything's supposed to be quick. We move fast. Like that's our expectation of the world. Like we can't just sit here in silence. We always have to be doing 10,000 things. And so I think that's interesting. It's like things do take time. And knowing a little bit about you in this like your career and how you kind of keep jumping and moving around, how do those two things kind of mesh together as far as knowing things take time and you having this need to like to explore and learn new things and jump to new new experiences?

Pochi: That's a really good question and it has to do with so many things. I'm really reckless, I guess that's the world. I used to live in the city where my whole family was born. Then I moved to Marta. There is a city that is, I think , a few miles away. Then I moved back to La Plata and now I'm, so I move not only from, I move a lot, my things move, move. Every time that I make that kinda decision, it has to do with I just feel that it's a really strange thing to say, but I, I need to do this. Mm-Hmm. and I go and do it with the jobs that I had. I think the pandemic has a lot to do with that. Because it was a really, really good time. Right? I really struggled with the feeling of being comfortable with feeling engaged with what I was doing. That's what happened when I entered a company, I immediately knew that it wasn't a good idea. Mm.

Dianne: Yeah. And I

Pochi: Was trying to film that, yes, I really want to be here.

Dianne: Right?

Pochi: That's a really difficult thing to have, to have some fear. I have that image that I see Right. Something in my head. See yes, this is it. Yeah. I found this really specific role that I'm really strategic in, but I really like to also get involved with how things are done. And it's a really wide role. And sometimes people only ask for the screens that we need. And I was like a problem for them because you were asking a lot of questions and I didn't know and I didn't know the answers. Just gimme the screen and I am not that person that just works because I'm gonna review this. I don't work well with that. I need to understand Right. What I'm doing and why. I also felt I used to work in software factories mostly and then I started working on a product now on a product design.

Pochi: And that was a really huge change. Yeah. Cause now really in the whole process and I know everything and I understand things in a really different point of view that made me understand so many things. I really like being able to help in a really short way. Because you can work in a different way, how can you say it? In banking, closing, helping different things. I really need that part of my job. But the way you get engaged when you are in a product and everything depends on you is completely different. Mm-Hmm.

Pochi: I think to fill that responsibility I need, in my case, I really need to feel comfortable in the way I work and with the people I work mm-hmm. and I, I get that. I dunno. In Mateo, that is my company nowadays, I'm really comfortable with them. We laugh, we get drunk. I make jokes all the time about people that I really trust because they are really comfortable. Yeah. And that kind of relationship is not easy to have. I'm from Argentina, most of them are in Dubai. And so no, we have, we have this trust.

Dianne: Yeah.

Pochi: And it's really difficult to have that. And many of the companies that I used to work for, they weren't my people.

Dianne: Right. Right. Yeah. I mean I think it's like when you know you found the right job, it's like that culture fit, it's like feeling that comfort, feeling. Like you can go in and have those conversations as a joke. However, whatever is important to you, I guess like in general, whatever's important to you, you need to make sure you find that in the company you're in, find that culture fit for you because it's so, so, so important. So would you say, like for you, a big piece of it is culture, but also you just like to have this feeling and this knowing when it's time to move on or when you need to experience something else.

Pochi: Yes. I really imagine in my head and in my gut it's like, ok, this is time to move on. Yes. First of all, I need to say this, being a woman in this world is a whole thing. . So for me it's really important

Dianne: Yeah. To

Pochi: Feel respect, to feel comfortable. That's a really huge thing for me. So if I'm not comfortable being a woman, I'm bisexual also. So that's another topic that Right. Being in a community is really important. So Right. Is my struggle. Is my struggle. For me, it's really important to be who I am. Yes. I'm, I work with everything, with all this.

Dianne: But I think that's great.

Pochi: I know all the companies.

Dianne: Yeah. Like I think you have to know your, it's like you know yourself, you know what you're looking for. You know who you are and you're not willing to change or be anyone else. So you have to find an environment and the environment has to find you. That makes sense. And I love that. And I think all of us, I mean especially women as, as a woman too, it's like finding that is super, super important. It's, it's key to feeling,

Dianne: I mean, to everything in every, not even in a work environment, like feeling comfortable, finding people, finding places, whatever it is that you feel comfortable and safe and you feel like you can be yourself. I think that's like a great lesson. Especially for like people maybe out of school or looking to get into their first or any of that stuff. It's like, don't change yourself to fit into something else because you're never gonna be happy. Like know who you are, find out who you are and find the people in the environments that make you your best version of yourself, I guess.

Pochi: Exactly That. That's a huge insight into life.

Dianne: Yeah, totally. Totally. It's like the older we get, the more like comfortable and the more experiences and the more like, I wish I could go to like Youngme and say like, hey, like don't do this thing because you think you're supposed to like, or don't feel like you have to change yourself to fit in. I think we all probably have that moment of like looking at our, our younger selves and feeling, feeling that way at some point.

Pochi: Yes. That you helped ourselves in the past.

Dianne: Yes. Yes. Exactly.

Pochi: I don't regret anything. I don't regret it because I learned so much. I don't regret every job I had, I learned a lot from every mistake I learned. So that's why I don't see that, oh, I shouldn't have done that.

Dianne: Right, right. That's well said. You wouldn't know if you didn't have those experiences. I feel like failure or like negative things that have happened in your life, like have made you who you are and Yeah. Like I don't think changing those things would ever be something to do. It's like to learn from it or to understand what doesn't work for you or what does work for you.

Pochi: Well that's a really good thing that I learned in this past month. I guess whatever you are working, you shouldn't feel scared of failure. Cause it Yes. Won't work. No one is perfect. Well this is a really important part for me. I started improv conversations like in the theater.

Dianne: Okay. Yeah. Yeah.

Pochi: I learn a lot from my teacher and from my team. They're the best. And one of the things that I kept from that is that don't be afraid of failure. And Gabriel, my teacher always says everything that your coworker or your friend is, and that is a gift. So drink them. And that's so cute and that's so amazing. I try to do that improv and we, and we make a lot of things is incredible. But then I try to apply all that in my everyday life. Don't be afraid. I improvise a lot in my everyday life and before you gimme me. So like this initial thing that everything is going to blow up at some point.

Dianne: Yes.

Pochi: And I love that feeling. And more fun. It's healthier and I think things get better with that point of view that everything will be alright. I think your mind works differently when you feel better. So if I'm not afraid to fail, I want to fail. It's

Dianne: Right. Exactly. Yeah. It's all a mindset. I think that's really powerful what you said. It's like if you don't think of it as failure, if you think of it as a learning experience or like you don't have these expectations of what you should be doing. Everything's more fun and easy and you feel more comfortable making those mistakes or however you wanna define them.

Pochi: This is one of things I learn a lot with the implementation and with that feeling of, it's not liberty, but I feel lighter. Like everything, I don't know. Nothing is so terrible.

Dianne: Right, right. It's like a frame. It's like mine. I feel like improv was like, like therapy for you. It feels like there's so many amazing takeaways you got from improv.

Pochi: Yes, I do. One of the things that we have to understand when we are practicing is that you don't have to say no to your, to your team, to your teammates and you, you need to have this move. Like always accepting. And that's the thing we don't usually do. We don't have that thing most of the time when you are having a conversation with someone, the word no, it's a really normal thing to say no to things. Or maybe someone is telling you a joke or someone is saying something and the first word that you said is no. And why are you saying no.

Dianne: Right.

Pochi: That's what we need to say that

Dianne: Because it just automatically makes it negative. It's like turning it into a hard line or something.

Pochi: And also one thing that you have to have under consideration when you are acting is that everything that is happening is the truth. But maybe you are acting like we are aliens and we are, I don't know, eating people and that's the scene that you are paying for. And when you are doing that, that's completely true.

Dianne: Right.

Pochi: That's it. You are 18 boys because you are aliens. Yes. And someone else approaches and that person has to understand that everything that is happening is true. You don't doubt. It's like we're aliens let go.

Dianne: Yes. You're aliens eating people. That's it. Take it. There's nothing you can do about it. It's real. Join,

Pochi: Join us and let your ego go.

Dianne: Yes, yes.

Pochi: Let go. That's wonderful.

Dianne: So what do you think is like, I mean we just talked about a lot of awesome things from improv, like life skills, how to be the best version of ourselves. How can we apply that to our everyday jobs? I think a lot of what you said, we've already kind of talked about how it applies, but like, I don't know, I guess this idea of going into something and accepting it's true, like you were just saying like we're aliens eating people. I think that's interesting to think about in our careers and maybe our work environments. Like what are your thoughts on how you could take that concept and apply it to maybe a tough conversation with a stakeholder or like a disagreement with developers?

Pochi: That's really fun because when you, in your everyday job, you always encount gun issues or problems and you need to fix them or find a solution in a really, in the best way possible, but really quickly. And for me, your problem helps you with that.

Dianne: Yeah.

Pochi: To have the activity of fixing things the way we can. There is not a perfect thing. It's not a perfect solution. We have this problem, someone comes to me and says, Hey, this is not working. Okay. And we, because I'm not the only one. Improv has this team thing, improv is a team. I work with other people. Of course I ask questions, certain things, everyone is gonna tell me something, I'm gonna ask questions. Mm-Hmm. . So what's the problem? What is the condition? What time do you have? It's like asking questions and making something about it.

Dianne: Yeah.

Pochi: Do anything. That's the first step for fixing things. Do something.

Dianne: Yes.

Pochi: Yeah. I feel improv helped me a lot with that.

Dianne: Yeah. I, that kind of struck something in me as, I feel like another part of design is sometimes we feel like we have all these steps we have to do or like all these things we need to do before we can do something. Like, we're like, oh wait, before we do something, we need to gather more data or we need to do a wire frame or all the stuff. But sometimes you have to throw all that out the window and you just have to literally do something . And I feel like we do that in our everyday life. Like everyone was like, oh wait, not yet. It's not time. We have to do these things before we can do the real thing. And it's like, no, just do it. something, do anything.

Pochi: It's really different, when I work with people, I understand the seniority that I don't like that word as much, but I understand the experience that people have with the attitude towards problems will try to make everything like the Bible says or will try to approach it in a really close way. This is the way this problem is going to be fixed. And I think when you have more experience, you know all the processes, you know all the words, you know, because you started and you know, we know when you know, but when you are working, it doesn't matter. We are going to fix this. Okay. Do this. Okay. Right. .

Dianne: Yes.

Pochi: Then you need to see the whole picture. Because if we are going to put ourselves to like to invest a lot in this problem, maybe we are not seeing all the pictures, like fixing it and then trying to understand why it happens. But you don't need to stop everything that we are doing to do research because this thing is not working.

Dianne: Yes.

Pochi: Come down.

Dianne: Yes.

Pochi: Understand, understand the problem. If maybe we shouldn't fix it at all, maybe it's not a problem even.

Dianne: Right. That's true.

Pochi: Let let, let's talk about it a little while and then we can talk if this is a problem, if we need to fix just with a really weak, I don't know, model input, whatever is really like small thing and then we, we will say, but maybe because we then you test or you'll see the, the metrics and you realize it's not a big deal. Okay. Right. So it wasn't a problem.

Dianne: Right. Right. No, well said. Yeah. I I think this goes back to like kind of going with the flow, like trusting reality. Like don't overthink it. Like taking little steps, things take time. Like you're gonna get there, everyone will get there. Just keep moving forward. in some way

Pochi: And always listen to people that are really using your product, your service, whatever. Because maybe for us, say big deal and then when people are using your product, it's not

Dianne: Right.

Pochi: Oh, okay.

Dianne: Right, right. Like where did the problem stem from? Was it like someone that was randomly like, oh, this is a problem. Or is it actually from data and people using the product and they're telling you it's a problem? Where, where is this coming from? before you, you dive into it for sure. That's interesting. Yeah. I have, so I have a question about going back to the job changing aspect of it. So for you, what would it be like to say that someone is like, oh I really, I wanna, I wanna do it. Poochie doesn't keep changing jobs and I, I really like that. Like what would you say to someone in a, like what would be bad about that? What, where would you suggest not changing jobs or when is a time when it's not necessarily the best to like to jump to a different job?

Pochi: If there is a chance for you to grow some aspect of you in that position, in that company, give it a chance because nothing is perfect, not even a company. Perfect. There is always an issue. Problems. That's a common thing because we are human.

Dianne: Right.

Pochi: Whenever it's like it knows how to say it, it's not like it's hurting you, but you are not having a really good time. Whenever it's a health issue, of course.

Dianne: Right.

Pochi: Stop it, change it, talk. You shouldn't be feeling that way. For me, it's a really important thing. Mental health is a really important thing. So if you are feeling overwhelmed, if you are not having a good time talking, think, I don't know, talk to you, your friend, to your boss, wherever it's really important to, to take care of your mental affairs. And most companies don't.

Dianne: Right? Totally. So

Pochi: Your mental health is completely important. So if, if a, a friend is having issues in his, her job, my first concern is their mental health. And then, if they're having a bad week or a bad project or something that could be, I like to fix the problem, but somehow it helps you to move away from your comfort zone.

Pochi: It helps. Maybe you are not having the best time of your life, but it helps, it's helping you understand the new, a new part of your role. Or if you are, you are understanding that, I don't know, ui, it's not your thing or UX is not your thing. Right. And if you can do something with that information, that's a good thing. You don't need to change jobs because something doesn't fit you, you or doesn't. I dunno. But that for me is a big difference. Yeah. You can learn from a lot of problems and things that your, your role, your everyday job gives you and then you have your mental health.

Dianne: Yeah.

Pochi: And it's a really thin line because, eh, I dunno, work gets you, at least for me because it's really important and I really like it.

Dianne: Yeah.

Pochi: So whatever I am, I feel overwhelmed. I try to stop. I tried to think about something else, like trying to go for a walk. I have these tools that time has given me.

Dianne: Yeah.

Pochi: So, maybe the problem is not the other one is not the project. The problem is that I'm not in a world state of mind. I'm, I'm not good with myself. So I need to step back and think of something else, or read a book or watch a movie or whatever that is working for me. And then when you come back to work, it wasn't that bad bag.

Dianne: Right.

Pochi: Making decisions when we are angry or sad is not a good thing. So in a rush of a moment, it's not a good idea to quit.

Dianne: Yes. Yes. Well said. I totally agree with everything. And I think it's like, I think it kind of goes back to our previous conversation that there's two, there's like the importance of having a good culture. Like you have to find a company that you feel comfortable with that values you, that you get along with. Like, that is so, so important. And that's gonna help with your mental health as I think that's like a really big piece of it. And like, if you found that and there's something that's like you're struggling with or thinking about, it's like, I guess it's like reframing. So some of what we talked about about improv, it's like how can you reframe this? Like what can you learn from this experience? How can you grow? And that's going to help you kind of make that decision of, okay, I'm in a great culture and maybe this is really hard, but things being hard is not bad. It's good to be challenged sometimes if it's in the right environment and mentally in everything, you feel good and you're being challenged and things aren't easy, then you're growing and that's awesome. And it's hard. sometimes it's awful, but it'll be worth it. Hopefully

Pochi: Maybe you understand that at that point in your life it is useful for you. You are having a really bad time, but you know that you will learn this and then you will move on. Yes. Or maybe they change you in a, for a different project or maybe they move you to a different department or things that will happen.

Dianne: Right.

Pochi: But for me, all that is going to be useful if you talk to yourself like, yeah, how, how am I doing with this? This is what I want. And then if you talk to others, that's for me the culture thing. We need to talk, we need to, to say to our boss, to our leader to say, this is going on. I'm going to tell you a story from last year, please. Year. My, my mother was, my mother was sick and I was eh, and I wasn't ready for that. And the moment my mother told me, the first thing I I did was talk to my boss and I said, I'm crying right now. This is happening. And I really don't know what's going to happen. Yeah. And they were awesome.

Dianne: Yeah.

Pochi: And it was so amazing. It saves your time, doesn't matter. Anything's going to be okay. Your family first goes with your mother. Yeah. My mother is perfect. Now everything is fine. But at that moment, yeah. The way my coworkers made me feel, it was so important. And what I did was I called my best friend and I said, I really need to go to your home. Okay. And I sat there and we talked, and nothing happened. Right. Like, nothing important happened, but I really felt that I needed to do that. Yeah. Go to my best friend and talk to her, explain what was going on. It wasn't like a long disease. It was like two or three months. I never stopped working. At the moment that my mother entered surgery, my whole team knew that and they were completely okay with it. And then the next day I was working

Dianne: Right

Pochi: In my parents' house because they needed me and yeah. To leave besides work. And that balance sometimes is not easy to have.

Dianne: Yes.

Pochi: And I needed them to know that I was going through a rough time.

Dianne: Right.

Pochi: I believe that if my weight changed, I don't know if I was different, but I would feel more calm if my coworker knew because maybe I could choose not to tell them, but I felt like they know that this is not a good time for me. That this is a really hard time. I think in another moment of her life I wouldn't, because it's like, oh, they are going to think that I'm going crazy, that I'm going to quit, or I know. Right. And it's not that your mind, your family is important to you and you need to talk.

Dianne: Right.

Pochi: And for me, that's a really new thing because after the pandemic we started talking about mental health.

Dianne: Right? Yeah. Yeah. I think that's powerful. Yes. I, I think your story is definitely like, it's like it's 2023. Like a lot has changed. And the workspace, like we're all people, we all have lives and things and going on and of course we have ideas of how we should all be performing for ourselves and for our colleagues. But there's so many other factors that are involved. And if you don't feel comfortable sharing that with your team, your boss, then you're not in the right environment because you spend so much time at work. And if you don't feel that level of comfort in a job or a person or these people you spend all your time with, I feel like that's definitely gonna lead to, you're gonna leave eventually. Like you're not gonna be able to stay there cuz it's gonna add up. Like if you have a problem like family or whatever and you can't speak to someone and they don't and you can't tell them, Hey, I'm not pro, I'm probably not gonna be as on as I usually am. Then they're gonna be like, oh, this person isn't doing their job. But they don't even know all these things that are going on. And so it's like trickles. It's like this whole effect that happens if you don't have that trust in people in your job.

Pochi: This is like a lack of communication or information that I'm not going to perform. Yeah. As well as I did. Cause I'm having a rough time and you should be able to say that. Yeah. Not that we have our bad days. Yeah. We have good weeks or bad. And that's completely normal,

Dianne: Right? It's

Pochi: Not a thing for a headache. I dunno.

Dianne: We're human, right? We're not robots as much as we might one day. Everything is turning into AI right now. Today we are people and we all have our problems and we all have our days and it's okay. And I like to say, yeah, go, go.

Pochi: I wait. Ah, communication for me is key because I have bad days. I get really angry. Sometimes I'm not, not listening properly or maybe I sell something that someone didn't get and if they come and say, I didn't like this, oh, I'm sorry, I won't do it again. That for me is gold.

Dianne: Yeah. Yeah. Having that, yeah.

Pochi: It's amazing.

Dianne: Yeah. It's kind of weird how the history of the work environment is so backwards. It's like you don't talk about things, you don't communicate clearly. You kind of say you, you don't get to the point you're like, oh, I have to be careful or I can't say this or I can't do that. Even though your first reaction is to do the exact opposite. Like it doesn't really make sense. And I'm really happy that all of this is like happening now and we're able to build a better culture in our work environments because it doesn't make any sense how it was

Pochi: No it doesn't, we're humans, everyone is different. Maybe something that for me is not a big deal for someone else is really harsh and is not prepared to listen. And it's, it's a really tricky thing because someone has the right to say something and someone else has the right to feel we are with it. And that balance is really important because if I said something that someone I don't know felt uncomfortable with, I'm going to ask for forgiveness. I'm going to try to explain it, but I'm going to stop being myself. I'm going to try to do my best.

Dianne: Right.

Pochi: And that's for me.

Dianne: Yeah. It's

Pochi: Like you're who you are and you need to, it's like a puzzle. You have LJ shape and everyone else has another one. We're going to try to put the pieces together if possible, but it's not the perfect form.

Dianne: Right, right. No, I agree. Totally. I think it's like, I guess like, kind of one of the last questions to ask as we kind of end this conversation is like, where do you see the work environment going or where are you, where do you expect things to continue to improve on like this culture peace and going into jobs? Like what, where should companies go from here to continuously make their culture better for everyone?

Pochi: That's really important. And I know that I have, I'm blessed to have this job because I don't, I know that I'm a convenience, so I know that I'm really blessed. But life should come first. Your life, your health should come first and work should balance with it. So I know myself enough to know that I don't work eight hours straight because it doesn't make sense. Yes. It's a lot. I can have eight interviews in one after the other because my brain will explode. Yes. How do you know yourself? That's why communication is so important. The rest of the team should be clear with me because they have to tell me what I, what they need from me and then I have to figure out how to do that and understand what is the best way to do it. So if eight o'clock I'm at and no one is working, it doesn't matter. I'm going to be working at 8:00 PM or 4:00 AM I don't know.

Dianne: Right.

Pochi: We, I really believe that the nine to six working hours should end. It doesn't make any sense.

Dianne: . Yeah.

Pochi: Then we can figure out how to arrange, I don't know, a part of your day to have meetings. Right. And to be able to get to know your coworkers and talk and whatever. Because for me it's really important to talk and to play games. Yes. Important for me. But nine to 60, like why Right. In my home, I really feel that my work most of the time is like a problem solver. I have to solve things and I am, if I don't feel like it, if I don't, I'm not right.

Dianne: Yes.

Pochi: I'm not going to speak here on my computer.

Dianne: Right. Okay.

Pochi: Eight o'clock.

Dianne: Right. No, . Exactly.

Pochi: It doesn't make any sense.

Dianne: Yes,

Pochi: It's Saturday and if it's Monday, I dunno if it's any part of the week, the day, arrange yourself the best way here. You, you know, you work.

Dianne: Yes.

Pochi: Yes. For me, that's the key. But I know that I have done a lot of work with myself and I know how I work.

Dianne: Right.

Pochi: I understand that. Not, not everyone is like that ,

Dianne: But I think that's powerful. I think for the listeners of this podcast, it's like what is your ideal work schedule? And I talked to our team, the designers. It's like when is your on time? So for instance, when I feel like I'm in my zone, it's like 11 to two or something like 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM. I feel like that's like, I'm not a morning person. I'm not a night person. I'm like a weird afternoon person. And so when I have something deep to do, I'm gonna do it at that time and I'm gonna rearrange my schedule because I know that that's what I do best. And I know that if I have to do some simple design work, I'm gonna do it at like 6:00 PM after I'm done with everything. Cuz my brain, I don't really need to have my brain on or it's something simple and I can just like to do it. And like, not everyone's the same to your point. And you have to figure out what that looks like for you. And so I love what you said. I totally agree. I don't think you have to sit at your desk from like nine to six every day. Especially what's the saying? It's like people get their best ideas in the shower. Like, I don't know, maybe you like showers and that's where your deep thinking is like great do that

Pochi: And that's great. Or maybe you have a family, you have kids.

Dianne: Right.

Pochi: Everyone's reality is different. And I think work should, should apply. It's not the other way around. We shouldn't apply to work, work should apply to us and to our way of living.

Dianne: Yes.

Pochi: Yes. I'm also blessed because I don't have kids. Right. So I can be working all day long. No one is going to come and talk to me. I'm hungry.

Dianne: But Right.

Pochi: Whenever I'm working with someone who has kids, it's like, oh my god, how nurse?

Dianne: Yes. . Yes.

Pochi: Is it possible you have another soul trying to get your attention while you are working? It's like go, go talk to your kid. We talk later,

Dianne: Right? Yes. They get to make the schedule. Yes.

Pochi: Go talk to yours is nothing worth it. Yeah. So for me it's really, it isn't the key, the whole thing is going to function better whenever work applies to your job.

Dianne: Yes.

Pochi: I know that. It's insane what you're saying. Right. But

Dianne: I love what you're saying. I believe in that. I like to take the lead and try to change the work hours. Like I completely agree with everything you're saying. I think that's a great future outlook. Like how can we make our work fit into our schedule so that we are the most productive we can be in all aspects of our life, whatever we wanna achieve. I think that's really powerful.

Pochi: And I also believe that that will help us to do our stuff besides work. Yes. As for your mental health, for your health in general, we should be able to do other things . I don't know if you like to dance, if you like to write, if anything is going to help you in any way, it's like doing one other thing. Yeah. Find out what makes you happy and go and try to do it.

Dianne: Yes.

Pochi: But for me it's a really huge insight.

Dianne: I love it. Yes. Well said boss. But you will, thank you so much for I feel like we got really deep. I feel like we talked through so many things. So many like I love Yeah. Like the conversation went like, not ju we started talking about processes, design process and we moved into like culture fit and improv and like life skills and I mean, we ended with Yeah, like the future of work and how everyone should be thinking about work in a different way so that they have that balance in their life. So this is very enlightening. So thank you so, so, so much for taking the time to chat with me.

Pochi: It was amazing. I was afraid because I don't talk in English as much as I used to. So maybe, I dunno if I speak correctly or, oh,

Dianne: Your English was perfect. Oh my gosh. Are you crazy? It was perfect. It was perfect. It was great.

Pochi: I'm glad I really had a wonderful time. I could keep talking for hours.

Dianne Eberhardt

Dianne Eberhardt

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