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#ItStartsWithConversation: On Authenticity, Happiness, Mentorship, and the Present Moment

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authenticity, happiness, mentorship, and the present moment

Conversations are powerful things. In an ever-moving world, real conversations open our eyes to new perspectives, strengthen our relationships, and help us grow.

At Highspot, we believe in the impact of authentic connections, which is one reason why we work to empower teams to elevate customer conversations. We also know that this impact extends far beyond business.

Whether it’s with a stranger, a salespeople, a mentor, or a friend, a single conversation can change everything. In a new series, we’re exploring these pivotal moments. Below, four of our employees share conversations that have transformed their lives – and that just might inspire you, too.

“Authenticity has transformed my relationships.”

abby de vera, highspotIn college, I had the chance to study abroad in Rome. One night, my professor and I began reflecting on the Italian obsession with authenticity for their wines, olive oil, people, culture – everything! I realized that was one reason why Rome is still so beautiful and enticing today. It’s always authentic to itself.

In my career now, this kind of authenticity is huge. I manage people who are often in their first job out of college, which can be a really difficult transition. If I’m not open and real with them, it will be impossible for us to connect and for me to help them grow.

In all relationships, work-related or personal, I always try to be authentic – to go deeper and get to know people, places, customers, and companies for who or what they really are. Authenticity has transformed my relationships. 

–Abby de Vera
, Manager, Account Development

“If you can’t find a spark of happiness in the moment, you’ll miss it.”

thomas luce, manager of engineering at highspot

Years ago, when I used to do private security, I found myself working for the Dalai Lama. Given the complicated politics of the time, the atmosphere was fairly severe and everyone was serious all the time.

Except one monk. He was hilarious. He would play jokes on the security team as a way to break the tension – and it worked. After one particularly funny incident, I had to ask why he did it. He said that no matter what happens, and no matter how serious the situation is, it will pass eventually. There’s no point in constantly worrying.

He also told me that good things will also come to an end –  if you can’t find a spark of happiness in the moment, you’ll miss it. It’s important to take advantage of every moment and learn to enjoy the ride.

–Thomas Luce, Manager, Engineering

“Real happiness comes from sharing joy with others.”

josh yim, principal product analyst at highspotA few years out of college, I had a nagging feeling that my life was missing something. I was working at a major company, travelling the world, and doing interesting work. But I wasn’t happy.

At the suggestion of a mentor, I took a trip to Angkor Wat – a temple city in Cambodia. While exploring, I saw a girl of about eight or nine years old – almost the same age as my niece. It was the middle of the day. She should have been in school. Instead she was selling soda to tourists for 50 cents a can.

I bought two cans and gave one to her. You wouldn’t believe her smile. But what she did next surprised me. Despite the rarity of the treat, she immediately shared it with her friends.

Our quick exchange taught me something I’ve never forgotten. There can be satisfaction in having everything, but real happiness comes from sharing joy with others.

–Josh Yim, Principal Product Analyst

“As a leader, mentorship is everything to me.”

I had the opportunity to intern for the SVP of Publishing at Cosmopolitan. She was a fearless female leader in a cutthroat industry. Once, she let me shadow her on a pitch for a major client – a unique opportunity to learn at an early age. haley katsman, vice president of growth and account development at highspot

I watched her navigate and successfully close a very complex sale and was instantly hooked. Afterwards, I was able to ask her questions, and she taught me how sales was a way of helping clients solve their problems. I learned that building strong relationships is incredibly important regardless of industry or career.

That conversation totally changed my career trajectory. I realized I wanted to help people solve problems and more importantly, inspire others to do the same. Now, as a leader, mentorship is everything to me. I strive to be the fearless leader for my team that she was for me. I teach my team that tenacity, curiosity, creativity, and empathy will help when you don’t have years of experience to rely upon.

Often, hyper-growth companies approach early-career employees with a sink-or-swim mentality. But I want to invest in my people, and help them grow. And I’m proud to work for a company that empowers me to put people first.

–Haley Katsman, Vice President, Growth and Account Development

It Starts with Conversation

Throughout the ages, conversation has remained the bridge that connects our individual selves to those around us. A great conversation has the power to spark ideas, forge relationships, and even determine our next step. They may not happen every day, but when they do, we never forget them.

Do you have a conversation that has impacted your life? Share your story with us on social media using the tag #ItStartsWithConversation – and be sure to check back for more stories from our Highspot team.

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