Hank Multala, President of Adviser First Partners, Kristi Sachs President of WorkFlow Mindfulness
Hank Multala 00:01
Well, I'm here with Kristi Sachs. Kristi, thanks for allowing me into your day to day and taking some time to chat with me.
Kristi Sachs 00:08
No problem. Hank thank you for having me today extremely excited to discuss that mindfulness with you.
Hank Multala 00:14
Wonderful, well. I'm excited to spend time with you also. And I think that it's been quite evident in our conversations that lead up to this time together. What inspired me to reach out to you is, is in my few years’ experience with mindful meditation and all mindfulness and meditation and selfishly since I can decide who can be the guest, I really thought it would be nice to create awareness and other areas that may have a greater and a broader benefit to the audience, regardless of the industry that they may work in. And since I consider myself a, I would say, an advanced novice, to the mindfulness and meditation side. Nobody's going to listen to me running my mouth until I got a pro on the podcast. So I really appreciate this time with you.
Kristi Sachs 01:04
Hank Multala 01:05
So as people hear about mindfulness, or meditation or relaxation, I still think it conjures up an image of a hippie, or someone doing yoga, or everyone's a vegan, they're in a Jainism or they use mushrooms, or, or some other stuff, you know, depictions made by others. Well, in full transparency, I'm vegetarian and Buddhist. So I don't know if that necessarily defies, you know, I'm sitting here define the typical characterizations I just made, but probably support them. But perhaps it's best to start with clearing up some of the misconceptions that exists. So fill us in. Even though this chat is not about meditation, this is about mindfulness. What is mindfulness? And since the word of is often associated with meditation, what is meditation?
Kristi Sachs 01:58
So mindfulness is understanding how to be in the present moment. And when I got started, one of the things that I found is that when people talked about meditation, most people would cringe at me. And they'd be like, oh, no, I don't I don't do meditation, because I don't want to be alone with my thoughts. So meditation. And it's beautiful when you start to really understand mindfulness in life, that there's so many interpretations of what a word means. And meditation to some people is, you know, they're calming, it's their drug, it's what calms them down. It helps them to deal with problems that have happened throughout the day or throughout their lives. And then some people, it's just that peaceful place of silence. So I think that it would be based upon who you're talking to. But the thing that I found with mindfulness and meditation, and why you kind of hear them hand in hand is because most people don't understand that you need to understand mindfulness before you can truly get into that meditation place. Because mindfulness is helping you understand that conversation that's happening in your head, when it does get silent, and you don't have people around, distracting you. So those two words together, for me is a beautiful synergy, which helps me and the people that I work with get to a place of understanding that, you know, the internal conversation is probably the conversation that we pay less attention to but has the most power over life. So my mindfulness is understanding the thought process, understanding your perceptions, understanding your feelings. And then meditation is in the beginning, a place where you kind of tear down everything, and it can be a very scary place. But once you kind of get past that and understand mindfulness and bring that into your meditation practice, that's when you can get past those beginning phases of meditation and get truly into that place of that experience of Zen that people are looking for. But I think a lot of people turn away from it because they don't understand and practice mindfulness first. Because mindfulness takes you to that place where you're, you're, you're getting involved with some of that stuff that you've kind of tucked away, that you didn't want to get involved with. But when you get into meditation, and you're not mindful of it, that's where those things start to come out. And you really don't understand how to kind of get out of those thought processes, because you're stuck by yourself, and having that internal conversation. So for me the difference, the definition of mindfulness is truly being present in the moment. Meditation is understanding that in that silence, you can find that happiness and peace that you're looking for. And together, those two things can bring you to that Zen or that epa, that that place where everybody's kind of searching to find. I like to call it peace and contentment. When you put those two things together, that synergy will take you there, but you must understand that mindfulness and meditation there's a lot of tearing down Have your ideas and can make you uncomfortable in the beginning, but understanding that once you get over that uncomfortableness, you will find that peaceful place.
Hank Multala 05:08
Right, right. Yeah, I did experience that. I mean, it is a little scary to be alone with your own thoughts when it's quiet, and there's no outside influences. And I think you get used to be pretty, I got used to it quick, I'm not saying everybody's gonna experience the same thing. But it's extremely helpful. So I do want to get into the business, you founded, of course. And we'll be spending a lot of time regarding that. I know you have a very personal story that eventually brought you down the path you're on. And going back, I'd like to ask if you don't mind, sharing with us, the story and really the foundational change that led you to make mindfulness a foundation of your personal well-being.
Kristi Sachs 05:52
So I started mindfulness, I guess I don't even know, about, I'd say, six, seven, maybe 10 years ago, I kind of stumbled upon it. But my entire life, I grew up in a family that was incredibly competitive. And, you know, there was always that, that happening in life. And for me, I was overly sensitive. And I took what people were saying at heart. And I remember my father always saying to me, like, you know, you got to get up, you got to go out and do it. But you know, go to school, and do these things that you need to do, because that's what we're supposed to do. So that's what I did. I kind of took those feelings away and just kept moving forward, you know, just kept moving. And in the beginning, when I was younger, I had a lot of anxiety. It runs in my family, and no one really explained it to me. So I just kind of figured that's what everybody felt all time .
Hank Multala 06:46
That's the way everybody feels all the time. Because that's what I see day in and day out. Right?
Kristi Sachs 06:49
Yeah. So it's not something that I thought was different. And then throughout life, you know, we have our problems. And I didn't really know how to deal with those problems, but I just knew to keep moving. That's kind of how my mindset was. And in my 30s, my best friend from high school, she passed away suddenly, and it really shook my world, I was already in a place of depression, anxiety, and stress, which I think a lot of people get stuck in. And then you have some blow like this that comes in and it just took my feet from me, I kind of just fell. And in that space, I really started to think about my life and what I was doing. And, of course, my internal conversation was horrible. I constantly was putting myself down and saying I wasn't enough, because in some place, I made a boundary stating that if I wasn't saying these things to myself, that I wasn't pushing myself to become a better person. And that was kind of my foundation. So when that trauma happened, I went back and I, I started trying to kind of figure out what was happening in my life. I got stuck in my head, I got stuck inside, I was working from home. And I was at a place where I didn't, I was afraid to just walk out my front door, I allowed fear to just consume me because it was just easier than having to deal with everything that was happening And there was a point where I, you know, I went out and I tried different things I met with different people I was trying to figure out, like, What is wrong with me? And how can I make these changes? And one of the biggest changes that happened was this idea of that this is the only moment that's real. And when someone said it to me, it shook me and I was like, huh, I never really thought about that. And I took a moment and started to think about that. And I started to realize that my thoughts were destroying me. And my perception of life was based in this idea of the past. And this idea of the future. But I didn't really understand this present moment at all I was never here was I call it robot mood, like I was daydreaming in this place of negativity, my body was doing what I needed to do everyday cook, you know, clean, and
Hank Multala 09:01
You're just got you going through the motions of life.
Kristi Sachs 09:04
Exactly. And when everything kind of shook up and I started paying attention, that kind of opened the door for me to try to understand my thoughts, which I didn't really know I was doing mindfulness. I didn't understand it. But I did understand that I needed to be quiet. And I would sit in silence. So after about a year, year, and a half of just stumbling upon this and having some ideas about it is when things started to shift and change. And I started to realize that my internal conversation was so damaging that I had to figure out how to change that. But I didn't even know how to start that process. And with coming into studying and reading books and coming to this place of understanding, a thought that was where everything kind of shifted. And I started to understand that just because the thought popped in my head didn't necessarily mean I needed to get involved. With it. And then I started to understand a lot of my thoughts weren't even mine, it was a lot of stuff I would just pick up throughout the day throughout my life. And I started to understand and separate that when that thought came into play, I started to realize I didn't really need to think about it. But then the next step was, how do I get rid of it? And that's where I got into that the meditation and just kind of listening to my internal conversation, having started to have conversations with myself of like, what is happening in my mind. And then after I kind of got a concept of it, I started looking into these feelings I was having, which blew me away that I sat all day long and hate and disgust and anxiety. That was my daily flight. That's why I woke up in that. And I started to realize that wow, there's, there's a way that I can make changes, but there's a lot of work that I had to do. And that opened the road for mindfulness. And as I said, I did a lot of this by myself, I did meet different people who taught me different things. And I think throughout life, we meet those, as I call them, teachers,
Hank Multala 11:10
We have them all, both positive and negative.
Kristi Sachs 11:13
Exactly. And that's what I did, I kind of took that path and started this journey. And it brought me to a place where people started to see change in me. And I had a friend who owned a yoga studio, and she's like you, you know, you seem different. You know, what are you doing? And I'm like, I don't really know what it is. She's like, why don't you come over and show me what you've been doing. So I did a little class, I kind of put something together and just showed her like my routine. And she did it. And she called me the next day and said, I don't know what you just did to me. But we need to teach everybody this. And what I'm going to do is I'm going to have a class, and I think we just call it meditation. And she put five people in that class, I taught them what I knew for myself. And I realized that I changed every one of their lives by what I taught them. And I said, okay, this is what I'm going to do for the rest of my life, which led me on the path of what am I doing. And it came to be that it was mindfulness. I was understanding mindfulness and utilizing mindfulness and then implementing the meditation into it to just increase what I was doing with the mindfulness aspect of it.
Hank Multala 12:19
Right. Yeah, I know during meditation, the thoughts come in, and you're supposed to record mindful meditation, at least I know, there's, you know, six, seven different types. But yeah, the thought comes in you recognize and you let it go. You don't you try not to have any attachment to it and focus on breathing. And, and so how, how have you seen the use of mindful mindfulness really improve your own work and your own personal life?
It's been amazing. I was very reactive. So as soon as I was triggered by anything I attacked, it was just my mechanism. And I, as I said, I stayed in this place of hate and anger. So I had to protect myself from everybody. That was just kind of how my mindset was. So when I started to understand mindfulness and utilizing it, it changed the way that I approached everything in my life. And being in sales, I sold real estate, most of it, living in that space of you know, closing deals, making money, you know, getting everything done, it was just a place that I went to, because I needed to make money to survive, which you know, that's where I was taught. But then when I started to understand mindfulness, I started to understand that I had a gift. And in the end, my only responsibility at this point was to teach as many people as possible a to breath, because that's, that's my biggest thing. If you get nothing from me at least learn how to take those breathes Yeah. And, and then that next step is just introducing the idea to people, so they don't have to live in the hell that they've created in their brain. Because once they separate themselves from that idea, and they truly are in the present moment, that's when they truly start to live life in the way that they choose to versus the way that they've been told to so
Hank Multala 14:04
Right, So I know you mentioned on your site, and I mentioned it in the introduction, that the only the only issue that matters is the present moment. And I understand that through meditation that mindfulness is the here and there now from but from your experiences. Where does the past play into this process? If at all, I know you can use the past as a as a learning tool. But does it from your perspective, does it really have a place?
What we learned from our past, but it's, it's the idea of what we do is we bring the past with us from moment to moment, and we wear these glasses of the past. So one of the things that I noticed when I when I work with people is that their perception of the present moment is based on what they know they only know you only know what you know, I mean, that's just how it is. So you make assumptions which become facts to you throughout your life, which I call boundaries or planting seeds, so your kind of throughout life must make decisions for you to move forward. So the job that you might have the person you may be with, you know, the color of your hair, the shirt you're wearing, all the different decisions that you've made, is based usually in a place that you've kind of made this boundary back in the past. So the past is constantly in the present moment. So when you start to be mindful, and you start to understand, when you're sitting in the present moment, and someone says something to you, and you have that moment, as I would call it, a trigger moment. And, and you kind of leave the present moment and think about the past moment, you're bringing the past into the present moment, and you're not actually seeing what's happening. And I see this a lot with relationships. And when if we want to look at it in, in a business-to-business place, it's the relationship between a manager and an employee, an employee, with an employee, a boss with an employee. So it's just that idea of that relationship. And when you're having a conversation with someone, and they kind of give you that trigger, and you start to say, Oh, this reminds me of somebody who did something to me in the past, you've now made an opinion about this person based on the past incident, which could totally have nothing to do with the present moment, which causes that disconnect, where you start to have those arguments or sometimes if you've ever noticed, you're talking to someone, and you take a moment, you might go What are we what are we arguing about? I think we're agreeing with each other. But I just feel like that we just were arguing just to have for the sake of argument
Hank Multala 16:36
We hear each other we're not really listening.
Kristi Sachs 16:38
Exactly, exactly. And that's what I've noticed throughout my life is that the past, we learn, you know, we learn, we grow, and that's great. But what we must learn is to, when we're in the present moment, not to bring past experiences, or future ideas into it, that are going to manipulate what is happening. manipulate your perception on what's happening. Now, yes, we're gonna bring the past in because that's how we learn. That's how we've grown. But to understand how to take that step back and say to yourself, okay, what's happening right now I feel triggered, I see that it's based on an experience. But do I need to bring that into this present moment? And, most likely not, because this person is not the person for the situation that you experienced in the past. And that's what mindfulness teaches you is how to separate those things. So it doesn't all become mucky when you're in the present moment.
Hank Multala 17:36
Right, right. So I really appreciate you sharing your personal experience, and what prompted you to, you know, to change that course in your life. I began my process in mindfulness probably, or I should call it awareness, I will call it mindfulness yet. You know, about 15-17 years ago, when a Navy buddy of mine my closest friend, we started having great conversations about life and health, and, you know, in-depth conversations, which I love and, and he started changing his diet. And on a side note, he was 6' 3" 250 pounds, and a former running back for Naval Academy. And, and through our discussions, you know, he became a vegan over the years. And you know, during that time that I became a vegetarian, and about our three, four years ago, I started taking yoga with my wife who's been doing it for gosh, decades. And then the peacefulness I found in yoga led me to really to meditation and then specifically to mindfulness and mindful meditation. So I know you mentioned it a bit earlier. But what led you to take your personal experience, and apply it to a broader audience and starting your company Workflow Mindfulness?
I think it was just based on the idea of that, for 4 years of my life, I lived in a horrible place, and nobody taught me how to get out of it. And I just assumed that that's the way I was supposed to live my life. And coming into mindfulness, you know, I always teach the thought process first. So you understand the thought, how to get on what a thought is, how to get off a train of thought. And then what I learned through that is tapping into this idea, this buzzword, I'm starting to see more and more is this emotional intelligence. But it's the idea of when you're in that mindfulness state that I was able to lessen the internal conversation in a negative place. And then I realized that hey, I can take this to that next level and change the way that I'm feeling. Because one of the things that he didn't grasp was that we have control over feeling which is funny. I say that to people. I it's a trigger I get I can get lashed at. People will come at me for saying that. Yes, of course, we're going to get triggered and feel no emotion based on the experience that's happening. That's just for humans. That's how we are but it's understanding and that's that idea of emotional intelligence that there's a pause. And when I first started, the pause was very quick. Now the pause sometimes for me feels like it could be five minutes, that in that moment, when everything is happening, and things are starting to take me in a negative way, I kind of practice that pause, take those breaths, pull in the mindfulness, and I feel the emotion if it's negative, but I allow myself to say that in this moment, I'm not going to allow myself to stay in this negative space. Because a, I like it my energy, I like to have it, I don't like to give it, it's especially important. So I'm not going to argue with someone or I'm not going to go into a space where it's going to take my energy from me because that, to me is gold. So I'm very particular. And it makes sense of how to move forward in a situation. And I always have come to this place of I call it flipping the script. So staying in a space of negativity is exhausting. But watching it and saying to yourself, I don't want to feel this in this next moment, this next moment, I want to feel peace and contentment, which is my favorite combination. That's what I can switch to. And people don't understand that they're, they're able to do that they're able to say that in this moment, I'm angry and frustrated. But how do I stop that momentum, so I don't blow everything out of proportion. And that's just taking that breath and having that, that pause. And once I started to utilize that, I was able to change the way that I approached work, you know, waking up in the morning, and I mean, I woke up every morning and being in was in a state of Oh, I don't feel like doing this. And now it's more of the idea, I wake up in the morning. And I'm grateful because I really allow the day to present itself. And if it ever is in that negative space, I understand how to process it and understand it and get the information I'm supposed to. But usually the day is just peace and contentment because that's what's happening, you know, it doesn't have to be constant. And that shifted the way that I started working. And being in real estate I was, you know, waking up in the morning, constantly out there hustling and trying to get business because no one was doing that. For me. That was that's how real estate is. And then when I kind of shifted and started understanding mindfulness, I walked away from that kind of world because I just wasn't fitting with me anymore. But the way that I approached my business now is that my information to it, and I, my main goal is just to help people understand the process. So they can start living the life that they want to live. And that's that shift of, I'm living my life based on the way that people told me to live. And then coming into the space of I'm going to start living my life the way that I want to live it and instead of, you know, working 50 to 80 hours a week, people start to understand that time is precious. So they can do the same amount of work. If they're not distracted, they're not pulled out of the moment based on a thought or trigger an emotion, they can truly be in that moment and have those conversations and they may only have to work four to five hours today to make the same amount of money or more money. Because now they're totally tuned in to what is happening.
Hank Multala 23:08
It's more the more the proactive, you know, instead of being reactive to everything. So you had mentioned, and I know you talked around a little bit, you mentioned the word a couple times, but emotional intelligence, what is emotional intelligence, if you could just put a, you know, a descriptive behind it, and how does it benefit those who have the understanding and awareness of how powerful it is.
So emotional intelligence, there's a, if you go and check it out, there's a beautiful breakdown, and it all is about self. And then it kind of comes down into this place of everyone else. So emotional intelligence is understanding yourself. When I started doing this, I one of my very first classes, I was talking about emotions. And I started to realize that everyone in that room saw that emotion different, they were using the same word, but they were feeling it differently, which opens my eyes to understand that when I'm speaking to someone, I may be feeling an emotion and think that they're feeling the same emotion. But I'm starting to understand that our emotions are completely different. The words are the same, but they're different. So emotional intelligence is in the mindful space of first understanding your thought process because your thoughts or your perceptions, whatever your thinking is what you're perceiving. And then coming into the space of understanding that I don't have to sit here and worrying to be stressed out about something that I did, you know, I don't know, an hour ago, 10 years ago, five minutes ago, which I would do, I would analyze that repeatedly. So what I do now is I'm able to understand that if I want to sit right now and let's say have a conversation with someone I can pull that that idea of peace and contentment and I can fit in that peace and contentment. So the emotional intelligence is let's say, if you're sitting and you're talking to an employee and that employee is triggering you know, sometimes people have, you know, somebody that just triggers them by whatever, and sitting with that person and you're being triggered, and you want to, you want to react to those, those feelings that are coming up because of what this person saying, the emotional intelligence is saying, I'm not going to be triggered by this, I'm not going to start a confrontation, because we have a goal that we need to meet. So as this person is giving me their information, I'm able to sit there and allow the information to come to me, but I'm not going to take it in and allow it to destroy me. So then in that moment, I can say, okay, I need to get to this goal with this person, I've listened to everything that they told me, which is beautiful, because they're giving you everything that that you need to help them get to that goal. And then then giving it back to them, but in a way of peace, and happiness, and safety. That's the shift. And that's the idea of emotional intelligence. And when you go to these big companies, and they're looking for leaders, this is big for them. Because look, we are all going to be triggered in a positive or negative way. And if you're sitting in a boardroom with 50 people, and you're trying to get your point across, and you're doing it in an aggressive way, the people are going to feel that and they're going to be turned off by it. So understanding that you're going to give the same information, but it's coming from a place of peace and, and safety, they're going to be more willing to listen. And that's the kind of leaders that I think most people now are starting to look for, versus that kind of pushy, ego-based leader, they're looking for that empathetic leader. And that's that beauty that with my company that I'm starting to see, and I'm starting to see them grow in such a way because they are empathetic, and they're understanding the needs of their clients, their employees, the people that they're working with, so I would say what it is.
Hank Multala 26:51
So you work with individuals and companies both large and small. And for this moment, I'd like to focus on what you have phrased what I've read about his workflow, mindfulness leader, how our mindfulness and emotional intelligence, crucial skills in the workplace for leaders and managers to have in both everyday situations as well as extremely critical circumstances.
Well, I think from the just the very beginning of your day, if you're a mindful leader, you're understanding the approach of how you're starting your day. And it you know, most people are waking up, especially now because everything's kind of been changed. And there's, there's everyone's coming into, like a new way of starting their day. But it's the idea of, how am I waking up in the morning? And how am I approaching what I'm about to do for work? am I walking into work aggravated and frustrated? am I bringing in a fight that I had last night with my significant other my bringing my children, you know, any, any aggravation that I've had? am I bringing that into my workplace? Cuz that's exhausting. Because what are you going to do all day, you're fighting that inside of your head all day. So you're trying to stay in in the moment and pay attention to what's happening in your workspace, but you're getting pulled out of it because of the past and the things that have happened because these things haven't been resolved yet. So it's understanding when your workflow mindfulness leader, you're walking into a place where you already understand that separation, and then you're able to sit and be in this space of work and focus on work. And when those thoughts come into play of what happened yesterday, or I got to get milk, I got to pick up the kids, I got to take them to the soccer game or whatever, for whatever was happening after work. Those things are pulling you out of the moment, and it's distracting you. So it's keeping you from attaining those goals that you want to obtain in the day. So then when you leave work, you're aggravated with yourself because you haven't attained the goals that you wanted to obtain. And that's one idea, but the main idea is that when you're a leader, people are looking up to you for guidance. And when you have a team and you're coming into work frustrated and irritated, they're going to feel that and then you have first and they may be coming into work with the same kind of mindset. So now you're sitting at a table with people that you're trying to get to a goal. And you must get over these first hurdles of separating work from home, distraction, cellphone, social media, all those things. You're now as a leader, trying to keep everybody focused on that. And if you're aggravated and frustrated, you're only going to get more aggravated and frustrated throughout the day.
Hank Multala 29:30
and you get home you're wondering; I didn't accomplish crap today. I didn't do anything.
You have no energy for the things that you want to do because the exhaustion doesn't come into play because you ran a went round and you were, you know, typing or whatever the exhaustion comes in, because you are constantly fighting these thoughts all day long, and people don't realize that this idea of think about it, you're sitting on the couch, and you start to think about something that happened two days ago. And you're thinking it, so you're perceiving it, you're reliving it. Well, what is your body doing it? Your body is going through it all over again. So how many times a day? Are you reliving something or future? You're making something up? Worst case scenario, I was good at that. What is the worst-case scenario? I'm going to live through that through my thoughts and perception. And I'm sitting on the couch. And I've just exhausted myself because I put myself through an example that I'm going to have to say like 95% of the time never happened.
Hank Multala 30:30
Right? Right. Yeah, I've I was it was it; I think it was Mark Twain who said, I've had numerous problems in my life, most of which have never occurred. So you end up worrying about a lot of things. So I could see what the, you know, short term, and long-term problems that this may cause for employees and customers and the bottom line. So if a company is in the situation you just described, and they contact, you can walk us through what you do, when you come in, and how you work with the companies.
Everything I do with workflow, mindfulness is organic, I don't have a cookie cutter plan for each company that comes to me, because what I do is I sit down, and I talk to the company to find out their pain points. So just because it's a company, I still kind of look at it as it's an individual, I come in, I talk to the managers, I find out what the problem is, I listen to what they have to say, I put that together, and then I take those pain points, I take them back to them and say this is what I'm finding is your pain points. This is the idea I have for us to work on making these things go away. So in the end, everything that worked for mindfulness does is always in an organic space. Because every company is different, every person is different. And I have the basis of mindfulness and the tools that I put together. But when I walk into a company, I may not present the tools, the same way that I presented to the company beforehand, or some of the larger companies, I might go in and work with a specific group and work with them in one way, but then go into another group and present it in a totally different way.
Hank Multala 32:09
So yeah, just like personalities are different, a cookie cutter approach would not work.
Kristi Sachs 32:14
No, no. And I think that that's one of the problems that I think people are trying to find that quick fix. So they're looking out there, and they're seeing some Oh, this is this is something that'll work, it's a quick fix. But when you are really coming into these pain points, it's understanding that you got to go back to that empathy part and see what is what is the pain point for that division, that part of the company or the company, but being able to take that step back and look at it and say, okay, it may be something that's more in the idea of feelings that is, is happening in this group. So maybe they're doing well. But there's one or two or three people that don't know how to process their feelings correctly. So what do they do, and I call this vomit, they vomit the problems when the person next to them, and then that person to the person next to them? And then it causes this kind of kind of chain reaction. So everyone might have walked into work happy. But that one person doesn't know how to process that information is now spreading that through the entire group, and then taking it to that manager level of understanding. As a manager, you must come back to that empathetic leader standpoint, instead of that ego-based standpoint, because nothing is getting fixed with the quick fix of the band aid. It's got to come in and say, okay, why is this person may need to talk and I need to be that manager that's going to pull that person aside and say, what's happening, what's going on today, and just allowing, and it's so some of this stuff. So simple, just allowing someone to just verbalize their problem. And as a manager, not allowing it to affect you. So you know, that's hard sometimes, because you're going to get triggered. And if they're talking about work, you may, you know, as a manager go, Well, that's my fault. And I don't want to hear them say that. But just being able to have that empathy to take a pull back and say, give me what's wrong. Listen to what they have to say. And then give it back to them in a way that they can hear it for themselves. And then set up one or two different techniques that will help them throughout the day, which is going to change the entire environment for the group because they're no longer passing this, this toxicity through each other. They're looking at each other and go was that a bad phone call? Yeah, that was a hard phone call. Let's take a moment. Let's take a couple breaths. Let's just forget about it. And let's start the next phone call in a better place. And that really helps support that group and take them to that next level.
Hank Multala 34:38
Right yeah, I don't these quick fixes these band aids I mean, you know some of these issues or feelings or, you know, they've manifested in people for years and now suddenly want an immediate fix, which it really can't be done. So now when a company in the associates or employees have gone through your coaching and they need to be aware of how to make use of the coaching you've provided. So what should an ideal workplace look like? Or how should it function once the leaders or the managers have the skills and recognize those skills and become workflow mindfulness leaders?
So after I work with a company or just the leader, in general, what happens is there's the shift. And it's the idea. Like I said before, it all starts before they walk in the front door. And it's understanding that you can drop everything at the door, and then come into work, and be focused on what you must do at work. And the managers are just there to just remind them, hey, you know, maybe we can all take a moment and breathe, take some breaths here, send out an email, hey, I just was thinking maybe everybody take a moment. And just take a couple breaths here today. And like I said, before, it comes back to that idea of breathing. If you learn nothing from me, take those breaths, learn how to breathe, because those breaths are slowing the thought process down, it's kicking in those chemicals that our body has for us to be able to make it through the day that we don't utilize. So when you are in that space, and you're utilizing mindfulness at work, that's where their shifts come into play, you understand how to walk into work and be focused on work, understand how to put that phone down and not be distracted by that, though, how to get back to what you're doing. So one of the one of the big things that I get with managers is they're constantly distracted. So they have things that they have to do. Plus they have a group of people they must take care of. And people are calling them sending them emails or walking into their offices. And one of the things they say to me is how do I get back on track after somebody comes in and dumped stuff for me or I get triggered or aggravated? How do I get back to that space, and it goes back into that breathing, taking that pause, and putting yourself back into the space of what you were working on before you were distracted? So it's the idea of putting a pause. So let's say you're working, and you're reading, you're writing out an email, someone comes in and distracts you, you deal with that. Now you got to go back and put your mind back to where you were while you're writing the email. And they're saying takes about 20 minutes, once you're distracted to get back into that space, to where you were before you were distracted. And with mindfulness, you can understand that in your head making that okay, right now I'm going to pause this email, I'm going to turn to this person, I'm going to focus on this person right now, this person's left my office, I'm going to dump everything they just said I'm taking the information that I need, I'm going to let go of everything that has triggered me and bothered me because it's over. Now it doesn't exist, I don't need to analyze it any further. You learn how to let that go. Take those breaths, come back, hit that unpause button, and then get back into the email. Because you had you weren't you were distracted, but you weren't taken away from what you were doing in a negative way. Because usually I get distracted, the first thing you think is Oh, man, now what was I thinking? What was I doing? You know, and then when you're trying to go back to it, you even more aggravated because you're like, oh, I really had a great idea. Now I can't even remember what I was doing. And that's that idea of when you're mindful, you're able to say, okay, I'm gonna pause this, I'm going to shift into this space and do what I need to do, I'm done with this, dump it, I don't need it anymore, come back into this space, take those breaths, and get back into what I was doing. And that's being mindful in that and then that emotional intelligence comes into play because you're not taking whatever just happened that distracted you and getting on those trains of Oh, now I'm not gonna be able to get back into this on my phone, or I'm know I'm going to go walk around because at this point, I can't even remember what I was doing. So, you learn how to get off those trains and get back into that present moment to where you need to be to get the things done that you need to get done.
Hank Multala 38:50
Yeah, the tape keeps playing over and over in your head, which you want it to stop. So, from our discussions, I know two areas that I can see that that can be positively impacted I should say, once the skills and mindfulness are applied, and that the is that the impact of the customers and obviously the bottom line of a company so can you give us a maybe an example of one of your favorite stories about how your unique program has helped to transform a company.
One of my favorite stories, when I first got started, I was fortune 500 company kind of came into my world and I was working with one of the wellness leaders and he was like, can you come in and I want you to meet the wellness committee and then we want to put you in front of our collections department. And I was like okay, and you know, when I was younger I did collection so I kind of understand where you know what they were dealing with. And I went in on that with the wellness committee and they were like, absolutely we need to get you in front of this is our most stressed out. Part of our company is the collections department. And of course, I mean, think about it, you call people for money
Hank Multala 40:04
Their never fun conversations with people on the other end of the phone,
absolutely not these people are carrying whatever horror stories that they're hearing on the other side of their line. They're, they're analyzing it, and they're trying to make sense of it. And the way we do that is we put it into our own life. So if that person is like, you know, my kids sick, I don't have money, I can't pay this bill, can you please stop calling me this person is now taking that into their own personal life and thinking, Oh, my goodness, if my kid was sick, and you know, and they're going off on these trains, so by the end of the conversation, and they hang up, they're just full of whatever emotion that that person on the other line gave them. And they don't know how to let go of that, you know, and then they're carrying that with the conversation they're having with the person next to them, then they're taking that home. And then that just gets heavier and heavier throughout the days, the weeks in the years, because no one's really teaching them how to let go of that. So when I went into the department and started teaching, it was three sessions, the first group came in. And after I do a five-minute exercise, brain exercise, which just kind of brings your awareness to thought and how to allow the thoughts to come into your perception and let it go. So it's just that first five-minute exercise. And after the exercise, I kind of, you know, give a moment for everybody kind of understand and be in the present moment, because after the exercise you truly are in the moment. And I had people that just kind of raised their hand and was like, what just happened? What did you just do to me?
Hank Multala 41:37
your permission to do that. And no one ever told you, you had to keep that thought in your head.
Yes. And what happened, it was so buzzy, they got so excited about it. And afterwards, you know, I stay in contact with the company, and we do what I set up emails that they can send out throughout the week, just to reinforce everything that I taught. And one of the things that I got back is that people started realizing that they were ruining each other because of the phone calls that they would have, and that they needed to give it to someone and they were just passing this negativity throughout the entire you know, department and after that five minute exercise throughout the week, they started helping each other so that the person next to you know, their friend, cuz you know, you become friends with the people, you're with eight hours a day, you know, someone gets off the phone, and the person next to them can see, Oh, goodness, they didn't have a good call. But instead of asking them to, to reverbalize, give them the information, they would just look at each other and go was that bad. And they Oh, that was a bad one. And they would just end each other and smile and say, okay, let's take a couple breaths. And let's prepare for the next call. And they started working together. And what I got back from the company was that they saw a 5% decrease in call out, which was huge for them. Because most of these people were calling out at least once a month. And now they were starting to see that shift in the idea of that they wanted to come to work, and they weren't carrying all this garbage with them home. And they had that separation from work and home. And it was for me when I because it was one of the first companies that I was working with, I started to realize that these are the people who need me the most, because they would never walk into a mindfulness class, they would, they wouldn't even fathom that. But for their company to bring that to their attention. I changed their life, not only in business, but I changed their life in their personal life. And I made them excited to come to work because I know that was always my biggest thing was I didn't want to get work, you know, Sunday night. I was like, oh, now I was already destroying myself at like two o'clock in the afternoon on Sunday, because I had to go to work the next day. So I ruined, you know, Sunday night altogether, because I was living in in the state of anxiety because I was trying to prepare myself for the next day. So that that for me was one of the eye-opening experiences that I realized that companies, especially now that companies need this more than ever, and they are looking towards their leaders, their managers, their owners, and their bosses to have this implemented because of what we just went through, that they are no longer in a place where they work for a company that's not helping them when they need help.
Hank Multala 44:22
Right, right. And I could see that. I mean, there's huge benefits personally even though you learn the tool, how to use that tool at work you can apply personally so outside of the corporate engagement. I know people may want to engage with you on an individual basis to see how mindfulness may benefit them personally. So how do individuals engage with you? Do you teach classes do you have coaching programs people can sign up for what's the process?
My first step is I have a free 20-minute consultation on the business side as well as the personal side individual side. At my on my website, it's workflowmindfulness.com You go there, you sign up for 20 minutes, and then I contact you, and we have a conversation. And that's the best way to get started in my mind, because I get to first see if you're even where you need to be, because a lot of people, they just need little tools. And sometimes, you know, they may not have the money that they need to get into one of one of the programs, but that 20-minute conversation is going to help them. And for me, that's what I love, you know, if I'm getting in touch with someone, and they're calling me, and they're like, you know, I heard you on a podcast, I heard you speak. And I really don't know what mindfulness is, but I'm in a bad place. And they give me this information in that 20-minute phone call. And at the end of it, I give them a tool, that might just be all they need for me, and that's why I like to have that open, where we can have that conversation. And then there's that space where they must come to terms with the fact that when you start meditating, and you start to utilize mindfulness, you're changing your life. And some people are afraid because their depression, their anxiety, and their stress has been their best friend throughout their entire life. And now I'm telling them to look at their best friend and tell him to hit the road, because now we're going to bring in peace, contentment, and gratitude. And these are three feelings they probably haven't felt in years, because they got rid of them early on, because they couldn't deal with the outcome of it. So it's the idea of that 20-minute conversation is for both of us to just have that conversation and say, yes, this is something I'm ready for. And if they're not, that's okay has given them the tools that they need to make it wherever they need to go. And that's, that's that beauty. I love that, that idea of the conversation, because like I said, everyone is different. And in that 20 minute, or I mean, sometimes it goes an hour, you know, however long it should go. But it's the idea of having that first communication, and just opening their eyes into what they can accomplish. And if they're even ready to do it because what I teach is mindfulness. I'm not that coach, I'm not saying hey, you know, you do a great job, let's talk about what you did last week, you know, that's not what I'm teaching, what I'm teaching you is how to get to this present moment, how to be aware of your thoughts, your perception, your feelings, how to disconnect from your past ideas, how to not overdo yourself, and let go of the expectations of the future. And to truly be able to navigate through your moment-to-moment process with that emotional intelligence, and, guiding yourself in the way that you want to go. So you can see everything that you want in front of you, instead of missing everything, when we get pulled out of that present moment. So that's the best way to get in touch with me is on the website and set up for that phone call.
Hank Multala 47:42
Yeah we'll mention it at the end too.
Hank Multala 47:45
So once someone has a tool from your coaching, it's similar to like a carpenter, you know, tools are ineffective if they're just sitting in a toolbox. So how do they learn to incorporate the tools in our daily lives, I would think for, you know, for those, it could be for those who perhaps are typically reflective on their work and personal lives, and they know that the tools are there, but what are maybe one or two simple things to do to make sure, you know, they use those newly found tools in one's personal toolbox.
So the way that the programs are set up, if it's individual we meet, like, once a week, and then I just give them that tool. Well, I usually have like three or four tools, because you're only you may utilize two of them. But I like to give them the option to choose which one they want to use, based on the information they gave me in the contact is, is that they go in, and they use it, they go out and they they'll utilize that tool throughout that week. And then they can decide if it's a tool they want to use or tool they don't want to use. And then they can add it to their, you know, their toolbox. But how to get them to do it is once you kind of start using a tool, there's like there's, I don't know how to describe it. I want to I always say magic because everybody wants magic to happen in their life. I feel like they're looking for that magic moment. There's a moment when you start utilizing a tool that that magic moment happens. And that epiphany happens when you go whoa. And that's what's going to do for them to say this is I like this tool, I want to utilize this tool, I want to work with this tool. And this is something I'm going to add but these other tools, I don't really understand quite yet, or I may not understand it all. So I'm not going to use those tools. So it's that idea of once you use the first tool, which is like I said breathing, that's the first tool that I emphasize. And most people once they set those timers for three times a day and that week and they start taking those breaths, that's when they were like wow, what just happened? You know, I was just in a state of panic and frustration and my alarm went off to take my breath and I took my breath and now I'm sitting here in this nice space and I'm thinking what was I doing? You know, why was I in that space of that negativity? So just that first tool opens the idea of like, wow, there's a lot of stuff I don't know about. And I'm interested in finding out more.
Hank Multala 50:10
Right you just don't give a new carpenter, or you know, toolbox full of tools and say, here, go at it, you know, you got to learn one at a time. And some things work, and some don't. So, you know, since I'm a veteran, I always have an interest in how specific services are available or helpful to veterans and or their families and communities. So I know from what I have read, mindfulness has greatly improved the lives of veterans. Tell me about your experiences, and veterans you've worked with, and correct me if I'm off base on this, but I would believe that considering the instances of PTSD, in the military, or from the military, higher rates of suicide, that a program such as yours is, it's not just useful, it could be a lifesaver.
Kristi Sachs 51:00
Yeah, I, that's, that's my, that's my passion. I work with that. I volunteer with them. And it is, it is amazing, because
Hank Multala 51:13
thanks for doing that, I must tell you,
Kristi Sachs 51:15
oh, no, thank you for doing what you do. So it's just, you know, that's just how I feel. I feel like, you know, you're out there doing what you need to do to give me the life that I want. And I want to be able to give you back that that space that you kind of get locked in, when you come out of military into back into the you know, I don't know, what would you call it the
Hank Multala 51:38
It's military to civilian? In the military you view it as two different societies, there's military and civilians.
Exactly. So what I found, and because I'm not in the military, and I think that in the beginning, some of them were like, well, you don't know what I went through, because you weren't in it. And I said, but that's the beautiful thing, I'm not going to assume I know what you think. And that's that shift that happens when I start working with Vets. But what I found is that what happened is, you are they you're trained to be so aware of everything, it just to watch someone that is in the moment and can navigate themselves through the moment they hear they see everything is just so emphasized, it's amazing for me. So it's, I take a little different twist to it, because I'm, I'm bringing them to the moment, but I'm showing them the moment differently. So instead of being in the moment where you're, you're in that state of I must protect myself, I must be aware of everything, it's more of understanding that I can be in the moment and allow everything to happen around me, but not have to react to it. And that's like the shift that I see when I start to work with that. And one of the most interesting is I work with a lot of vets from the Vietnam War. And one of the things when I started I found is none of them were sleeping, but it just was they would take maybe three to four hours. That's what they got sleep wise. And for me, if you're not sleeping, I want to teach you to sleep. Because in my opinion, sleep is the most important thing. Because what you're doing while you're sleeping is you're getting rid of a lot of this stuff in your subconscious you don't need anymore. And if you're not getting into that rest, you're not doing that. So what are you doing? You're trying to do that while you're awake, which is exceedingly difficult if you're if you don't understand mindfulness or just understand it at all. So what when I when I started working with the vets, that was my first goal was why are you not sleeping. And a lot of it had to do with how they were preparing themselves to go to sleep. And what they were doing was they were analyzing and thinking about everything. And they didn't know how to kind of slow the thought process down understand what the thought is. But then the second thing was a lot of them didn't want to go to sleep because of the dreams they were having. And that was like, you know, I'm okay getting my three to four hours of sleep because I'm not dreaming. And one of the reasons I don't want to sleep is because I don't want to have that dream. And when I started to realize that the conversation that I had with them was teaching them that dreams are there for us to purge stuff we don't need anymore. And I know a lot of people are like, you know, you can analyze your dreams, your dreams are telling you stuff. But that's not how I approach it. I approach it with the idea of you're having this reoccurring dream, and then you're waking up and you're working with your therapist or whoever you're working with, and what are you doing, you're talking to dream again, you're talking about it, you're giving it life in the present moment because you're thinking about it and you're verbalizing it. So that's great to get it to where it needs to be. But it's coming to that next step to understand that when you're having those dreams and you're in those dreams, how to kind of wake yourself up out of that train and then when you come out of it, how do I get myself out of that panic. Some of these dreams are very vivid, and there, you know, they're reliving things that that are you know, for most people they can't even comprehend. So it's the idea of just giving them that space to say, hey, let's talk about that dream. When you have the dream again, and you're in it, tell yourself, you don't want to have that dream anymore. And they're like, in the dream, I'm like, not at first, but you'll start to get there. But the second thing is, how do I prepare myself to go back to sleep after I get pulled out of a nightmare? And I, I'm sure people have had nightmares. And when you have a nightmare, you wake up, you're in that panic state. But how do I get myself to go back to sleep? And that's going back into that space of understanding, whatever just happened in the dream, we're gonna let it go? How do I, how do I disconnect that from my present moment? How do I tell myself that that's not real anymore? So that's the beauty of teaching mindfulness to vets is teaching them how to be in that civilian state, not to be over hyper of everything that's happening around them, and then utterly understanding and that goes back to that emotional intelligence of understanding your emotions. Because in those high stress situations, you don't have time for those emotions, you go somewhere, you know, and then afterwards, you know, you may have some space to do it, but a lot of that, that they don't like to talk, they don't have that construct. So it's giving them that safe space to either have the conversation or giving them the tools to have that conversation with themselves. But then really understand, and that's one of the tools that I teach how to get in there, get to that, that seed that was planted, how to rip it out, and then get the weed that went through everything, pull it all out and get rid of it and replant something beautiful. And, and one of the things that I said, I'll never forget this, I was working with a gentleman. And he just every night he was fighting, you know, he's in his dreams. And he's fighting. And I looked at him and I said, I'm going to tell you something, are you ready? He's like, yes, like, you do not have to fight anymore. You've done enough fighting. There's no more fighting. You don't have to fight anymore. And he looked at me and he's like, can you say it again? And I said it again. And he took this huge, big breath, and he let everything go. And he goes, that was the nicest thing. I think anybody ever said to me goes because I've been fighting for 50 years. And nobody told me it was okay to stop. And I was like, well, then I'm going to tell everybody then. And I say,
Kristi Sachs 57:12
Oh, my that's one of the first conversations I say is that you've done what you needed to do. And now it's time for you to enjoy life because you deserve it.
Hank Multala 57:21
Right, Yeah, I see those experiences too, because I volunteer at the Veterans Hospital when you see those, so I'll keep my last question short. So what's your final word, perhaps for our listeners? Or is there something that you would like to share, that we did not have an opportunity to touch on, during our time together?
I guess the main thing is breathing. That's the main thing, if it just, you know, pay attention, how many times a day you're taking those big, deep breaths, you know, because we live in fight or flight, we don't take deep breaths. But the second thing is to start paying attention to your internal conversation, how are you talking to yourself, you know, are you best friend or your worst enemy. And if you start to pay attention to that conversation, it's eye opening. And it really is going to start opening your ideas of how you're, you're perceiving life because of how you're perceiving yourself. So seeing yourself is not enough, you're not hitting your quotas. You know, you feel like that you're letting your team down, or wherever you are at in that space, and it's negative, start paying attention to that, because you don't have to live there. You don't have to live there. And I lived in that state of worthlessness for so many years, that when I started to realize that I was the one doing this to myself, I was my I blew my mind, because I blamed everybody else for what was happening. But it all came back to that internal conversation. And I catch myself you know, if I make a mistake, and I hear my you know, I the first thing I say is, oh, that was stupid. That was dumb. I pause in that, and I go, no, you taught yourself something that was stupid or dumb, done. And I have that that conversation. So instead of looking at yourself as an enemy, bring that self-back in and think of yourself as your pet, you know, how do you treat your cat, your dog? How do you treat your children? How do you treat your best friend? And if you're not doing that for yourself, you're missing something.
Hank Multala 59:21
Right. well, Kristi, I wanted to thank you again for your time today. It's been a pleasure from my perspective, to say the least. For those of you who are interested in finding out more about Kristi and workflow mindfulness, you can visit our site at workflowmindfulness.com. Please don't forget to subscribe to our podcast, A chat with Hank on Stitcher, Google podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you may listen your programs. I hope those who have listened have taken away how valuable mindfulness is in improving your daily lives for those who elected to be part of their lives and for those around them, and Kristi thanks once again for your time today and really sharing your thoughts with our listeners. I've really enjoyed our time together.
Kristi Sachs 1:00:06
Hank, I'm so grateful for the opportunity and to be able to get in front of your listeners and if I like I said, if you take anything, just remember to breathe,
Hank Multala 1:00:16
To breathe. Okay? Thanks, Kristi. Take care
Kristi Sachs 1:00:18
You too. Bye.
By Hank Multala, Founder, Adviser First Partners L.L.C. on 07/12/2021 3:03 PM