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Claudia Cordova-Rucker: I'm an Empowered Passionista

We never know what to expect when one of our guests nominates another Passionista for us to interview. We had a feeling that Claudia Cordova Rucker would be generous of spirit since she has built a career around helping women relax and feel gorgeous at the award-winning beauty oasis Aqua Skin and Nail Care and Estetica Mia. But we never anticipated that she also has created an inclusive work environment for her employees. Claudia's journey hasn't always been easy. But she's faced each challenge with a positive attitude and a willingness to adapt that has allowed her to transform problems into unique opportunities. In our interview with her for The Passionistas Project Podcast, she talks about how she fearlessly puts the ideas together to create something bigger. Here are some excerpts. Passionistas: What are you most passionate about? Claudia: I'm most passionate about finding what's alive in people. Really being very aware when I'm connecting with them and really listening to what are their needs themes, you know, like what is really important to this person and what do they need to thrive. And I think we're all so busy and we're moving through life at such a quick pace, that to me, the beauty is just to slow down when I meet someone and just really be present and listen to them and say, wow, what do they need to thrive? And then to come back and say, how can I be a part of that? What can I offer while still being aware enough that I have to ask permission? Not just go into strategy and analysis for them, but to really listen and connect with them and saying, Hey, do you need someone to listen? Do you need advice? What is it that's alive in you? And how can I meet your needs? And that's what I'm really passionate about. And gaining that awareness and then bringing that to the workplace. That's when I thought, Oh my God, this is magic. This is my purpose. This is really where I want to spend my time and be very intentional about creating these beyond ordinary business work environments. Passionistas: Talk about how you bring that into the work you do. Claudia: I have a high need for peace and harmony. Uh, so it was really an identifying my own needs and that, and then realizing that when I either a went anywhere to be a customer or be in my own workplace, felt some disharmony that really affects me on a really deep level. So it was really that like, aha moment that I kind of could pick up on that, that I thought, okay, well how do I go and change this? At first it was implementing open book, business management and transparency. And so that's what I thought would fit. And then I moved to know, Oh, we need a training program that's going to fix that. But it wasn't until I picked up the phone and spoke to Catherine Cooley, she's a nonviolent communications coach that I actually realized, Oh my God, this is the answer. And so we really bring that into the workplace by starting with communication and how we communicate. And we use a communication style, which it seems kind of dry. It's actually much more than that, but it's called NVC or nonviolent communication. As the founder of the company, you figure out what your needs are and then you really hire for people who share means. So for us in our organization, I have a high need to contribute and our team also has a high need to contribute. And the way that we do that is through a really connective beauty experience. And so there's a lot of layers to it. But I would say that's at the foundation. It really is how we communicate and how we honor what's alive and the people who we collaborate with.

Listen to Claudia's full episode here.

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