Daniella Chrysochou

I grew up believing I could be an astronaut, a forensic psychologist and a firefighter.

I soon realised not everyone felt as empowered to dream. So I decided to become a psychologist to help others overcome the challenges they faced, and become the best versions of themselves.

Upon completion of my BSc in Psychology, I wanted to reflect on my learnings to better understand what my role could be in shaping other people’s journeys. I took a research assistant position in my university where I conducted studies with individuals who were deemed high-risk for developing schizophrenia. I hoped this would help me see how mental health affects one’s decision making. I then experienced the impact societal and external conditions have on one’s confidence and autonomy when I volunteered for 3 months in South East Asia. I coached high school graduates who were about to launch their careers, taught at a special needs primary school and also mentored women in multiple psychiatric hospitals, helping them build life skills such as reading, writing, pottery classes, singing and interacting in groups. This humbling experience taught me how I took my feelings of empowerment for granted. So I decided to focus my career on just that – empowering people to excel at what they do.

After finishing my MSc in Occupational Psychology and Psychiatry at King’s College London, I joined the world of business where I saw the potential to apply my learnings on human behaviour, mental health and self-determination.

During my time in Capco, I have taken on an Agile coach role in a multinational investment fund manager and an international investment bank. I leveraged my psychology background in coaching the leadership team to shift from a manager mindset to a leader mindset, and guide them in defining the North Star for their team. I set up multiple agile delivery teams, upskilled a team of 30 project managers in agile behaviours and trained them in their new roles as they transitioned to the new ways of working.

I delivered behavioural assessment tests to improve team cohesion and performance, building high performing teams that succeeded in maintaining collaboration, transparency and productivity throughout the pandemic and working remotely. I embedded constructive feedback behaviours, coached them in adjusting their behavioural profiles to those of their colleagues to enhance communication and setting up praise boxes to provide positive feedback and acknowledge their colleagues’ contributions.

After months of finishing these projects, I am still in touch with the clients who regularly share updates on their personal lives and send pictures of their kids. Although they were at first sceptical of my ‘fluffy’ ideas and praise boxes, they now openly talk about where they map on the emotional cycle of change, ensure their colleagues’ peaks and troughs are shallow and entrust their teams to shape their continuous transformation journey.

My experience so far has bolstered my ambition to drive change in the business world through psychology; to remind people they are fully empowered to be their best selves at work, whether that is being an astronaut, a forensic psychologist or a firefighter.