Alexis Pokorny is our guest for this epsiode. Alexis’ background in sales at Cisco, and how she turned around a team using mindfulness and how she rolled out a mindfulness program for Cisco’s 70,000 employees. This program became her passion, and she launched Open Deltas to help more teams incorporate mindfulness into companies from mom and pop shops to Fortune 50.
We ask Alexis for her goals of Open Deltas. She helps people see that the ways they are working isn’t sustainable.
How does Alexis structure her day to work smart? She focuses on 3 high priority items per day, setting priorities when she is most important, and getting them done first or putting them in her calendar.
Meetings- they take over, but Alexis tells us how to help us keep meetings, and things like Slack, Twitter and other “productivity tools” from getting us distracted and keeping us from getting our priority work done.
Awareness helps us know how much we’re using different apps--screen time will show us how much time we are on different applications, and can help us be more aware of how much time we’re spending on different applications.
Teach clients how to work with you- show them how much you focus on them, and remind them that you will do the same for all of your clients. Tell them when you check your email, and then what to do in an emergency.
How to find the best focus methods for you. Alexis shares her method of teaching mindfulness. She discusses the Open Deltas techniques, and talks about different methods of being present in different parts of work- as a leader and an employee.
We talk about how not everyone can meditate- it’s about learning to be present and finding what works for you in terms of being mindful of your time and interactions. You can color. You can run (moving meditation). You can improve your happiness by knowing what works for you.
Next, we ask Alexis how to bring a team together, and building a cohesive mindful team. First, she recommends being a self-aware leader. Are you listening to your people? Do you see and hear your teammates and your customers? Alexis gives tips on how to make sure you are listening.
Poor performers happen- we dive into dealing with self awareness and conclusion around poor performers. Compassion and empathy- not coddling- to look at people who aren’t performing and help them get to a better place.
Being mindful allows us to manage up and down effectively. Metrics oriented for managing up and people oriented as managing down.
Using our instincts and focusing on what someone says helps us to see if they are going to be a strong performer on the team. Sales is about identifying problems for customers and caring about solving them. When we make it too much about numbers and making our numbers, we lose the customers.
When we’re all engaged and on board moving towards helping customers with the value our company has, we are diverging from what our PR campaigns are saying, which isn’t authentic to our customers.