I’ve always been interested in how the body and mind work together. As a sales professional, understanding human behavior and psychology are a big part of the job. Before working in this industry, I was a physical therapist, focused on understanding and healing the body. In my new role as Sales Manager of Training Services at Salesforce, I’ve been able to mix both these skill sets in how I manage my team.
Over my career, I’ve come to realize that the top qualities that make a sales team successful – high performance, high speed, competitive nature – are also what can make them quite vulnerable. Everything we do is so tied to metrics, right there on a dashboard for everyone to see. There are no secrets in our performance, good or bad.
Whether you’re high or low on the board, you have to be really strong and emotionally resilient. Finding balance in the workday can be tough!
Thankfully, Salesforce has tools to help. Soon after starting here in January 2017, I learned about the Wellness Center at headquarters, where you can take meditation classes led by an instructor. It was a lightbulb moment. I thought, my team needs to do this!
I said to my team: Let’s give this meditation thing a chance. There were a few skeptics at first, but together we set a new goal for ourselves. For at least 20 minutes a week, we would meet up for a guided meditation session. Since then, we have rolled out digital guided meditations that occur three times every hour, so there are even more opportunities to be mindful.
Immediately we felt the results. Taking a mental health break gives us a moment to breathe, stretch, and get away from our desks and devices. After each session, we feel focused and more productive, a definite calmness.
“I have always considered myself a mentally tough individual and I have to admit I was initially skeptical attending mediation sessions. However, I found that attending meditation as a team can be a vital component to the work week. It gives us time to recalibrate, focus our minds, and reboost our energy levels. No matter if it is work, daily life, or relationship stresses I strongly believe it is very valuable to decompress your mind.”
Geoff H., Training Sales Account Executive
“In a fast-paced sales environment, having 20 minutes to meditate on a Wednesday helps me to focus, clear my mind, and be more productive when I get back to my desk.”
Kat M., Associate Training Services Account Executive
“I think it is very important to be able to use meditation and mindfulness techniques in your daily life to ensure you are present and in the moment. This is not only for your work life, but also for your personal life. Having access to this at work is a great benefit.”
Matt W. Training Sales Associate
We try to go down as a team once a week. It’s on our calendars, and we always try to bring a new member of our wider team. Like all goals, it’s important to keep at it. Even the skeptics became believers. And we’re sticking to it: I’ve accidentally missed one session, and my team held me accountable and called me out.
As a manager I’ve realized how important it is to be open and sensitive about our vulnerabilities -- and not be afraid to address them head on. An overwhelmed employee may not want to look weak in front of their manager, but these feelings are important to share, so that we can find a solution together.
We have a responsibility to support our teams’ wellbeing. Leading by example, encouraging meditation, having regular walking one-to-ones, or taking that half hour to go outside and take a break are important. I want to challenge all managers to use their intuition, and be brave in terms of suggesting ideas like this. Team-building doesn’t just have to be happy hour at the bar ... it can also be a happy and healthy 20 minutes of calm. The best part? You don’t need onsite meditation classes to do it – just find a conference room, pull up a guided meditation on YouTube or Spotify, and just breathe.
Learn more about our #SalesforceOhana culture at salesforce.com/careers.