Featured Member: Dr. Kristina Zaragoza
A retired Peace Officer, Dr. Kristina Zaragoza uses her expertise as she continues to work with individuals and organizations in the public sector.
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The Art of Communication
I started training, coaching and mentoring while working in the public sector. I received positive feedback and I really enjoyed helping others grow in their positions and receive promotions. I also served as the Tactical Communications Instructor for sworn staff.
At that time, my department was suffering from very low customer service ratings, which led the director to request employees with direct customer contact attend one of my tactical communication courses. Her request led to a six-month assignment during which I traveled around the county teaching public service employees the art of effective communication, de-escalation techniques and customer service. The feedback I received indicated the employees really enjoyed the training but more importantly, they learned the importance of quality customer service.
I received many follow-up emails from employees who told me how my training helped them help others in need of public services. After my assignment ended, so did the customer-service training. I received request after request for additional training but my department no longer felt the training was necessary.
Continuing My Work
It was at that time I started Professional Employee & Administration Resource (PEAR), my training and development business. I knew there was a need that had to be filled. Today, as Principal Owner and Facilitator, I have the privilege of training public service employees all over the State of California.
My areas of expertise are organizations and the people who work in those organizations. Leaders, followers and teams are all people I enjoy working with to help them reach their full potential, individually and together!
The Importance of Positivity
Surround yourself with positive people. Whatever your idea, your project, your business, positive people can make all the difference. It is easy to fall victim to the “Imposter Syndrome” or other voices that serve only to block your ambitions. Your ability to hold a positive state of mind and being is imperative to achieving success.
Often the most challenging part of my job is connecting with every participant in my training classes. It is important to me that every person obtains the information he or she feels they need or want. When participants tell me how the information I shared makes a difference in their professional or personal life, that is most rewarding!
Looking Toward the Future
My future goals include writing two books, one on public-sector leadership and the other on workplace bullying. Working in the public-sector for 28 years, I have seen a lot and experienced a lot.
I would like to use those experiences to improve the public sector, one individual at a time. Part of that vision is to improve the experiences of those needing public services.
I can also see myself working for an organization that values leadership at all levels and allows employees to be creative in thought and actions. I love to feel the energy and synergy when employees are given the freedom to reach their full potential. If there is anything I can do to help you or your organization, please don’t hesitate to contact me!
The IAW has helped me by connecting me with other women who are supportive, are willing to give advice and share their experiences. My advice to other IAW members is to commit to viewing the website at least an hour a week to ensure you are aware of every opportunity and information available.