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Learning about Psychology with Kiki Alliston

Learning about Psychology with Kiki Alliston
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This time we have interviewed one of our Key Account Managers at netmind, Kiki Alliston.

Kiki is part of the US team, she is a devoted worker with a passion for people and a love of spreadsheets. Her background in psychology equipped her with applicable skills, such as critical and creative thinking, and an understanding of individual and group behavior.

You have been working in Netmind for a few years now, congratulations!
What does an average day at work look like?

I spend the majority of my time collaborating with customers, along with our experts, to help them identify the best solution to address their pain points and/or objectives.

An average day for me might also include coordinating course materials, supporting operations, or even creating voiceovers for our corporate videos. There are a lot of random hats that I wear depending on what the team needs at any given moment!

As part of the US team, you do fully remote work. What are your feelings about it?

I love working remotely! Not having to worry about my commute saves me a ton of time and stress. I also have a wonderful team here in the US, and we try to be really intentional about staying in regular communication with each other. Plus, working from home gives me more time to spend with my husband and puppies!

What are some tips you would offer someone starting remote work?

Find some good virtual communication tools that work well for you and your coworkers, such as Teams, Slack, Sococo, or Zoom.

Be intentional about communicating consistently with your team members. This could look like weekly or bi-weekly meetings, regular email updates, stand-ups, etc.

And lastly, use something like a Kanban board or another visual management tool to foster a culture of transparency on your team – this can be really instrumental in breaking down some of the communication blockers that naturally come with working remotely.

These last couple of years have been interesting and trying times. How do you think it affected our customers most?

Given the pressure that’s been put on the corporate world in the last few years, I think a lot of folks are realizing that the old ways of working are generally too cumbersome and resistant to change; they haven’t translated well in this new day and age.

However, with the financial squeeze that few have been immune to, I see many companies caught in a catch-22: they know they need to become more efficient, but they’re struggling to implement successful changes due to budget constraints. It’s a hard balance to strike!

What would you highlight about being part of the Netmind team?

The variety! Because we’re such a small team here in the US, we each have to be really versatile so that we can make sure all of our bases are covered.

As a result, I’ve learned so many fun, new skills for my job. For example, I never thought I’d learn how to create and edit audio and videos, but I actually do that pretty regularly for social media or our website – and I discovered that I really love it!

You graduated Magna Cum Laude in Psychology. How does this knowledge apply to your work?

I would definitely describe myself as a psych nerd – it is so widely applicable! This is especially true in light of one of my favorite areas of psychology: family systems.

A little bit of background: family systems theory suggests that the family isn’t just made up of individuals; rather, families are complex systems with observable patterns of interaction. While behavior patterns used to be seen as linear (cause and effect), family systems theory views behavior patterns as circular.

A classic example of linear thinking is, “You’re behaving like a child, so I’m going to treat you like one.” Seems logical, right? But to the person on the receiving end of that statement, the typical reaction is, “You’re treating me like a child, so I’m going to act like one.” What was seemingly an “A → B” interaction actually looks something like this:

In this way, family systems theory is extremely applicable to organizations. It helps me to identify the functional and dysfunctional patterns of behavior between departments, teams, management, etc.

From there, it’s a matter of shaking up the system – usually by way of training or coaching – so that new, healthier ways of interacting with each other can emerge.

This is just one example of how I apply my degree to my work. After all, psychology at its core is people’s study of people. And since organizations are made up of people, it’s all really relevant!

And from your experience, what five tips would you give to someone who wants to enter the world of sales?

  • Persevere. You’re going to hear the word “no” – a lot. Don’t let it discourage you; move on and keep pushing forward!
  • Be quick to respond when folks reach out to you. Ride that wave while the momentum is high.
  • Find a good balance with following up. Be wary of nagging, but also don’t be afraid to reach out multiple times – that’s a necessity in this field.
  • Make sure to tailor your message to your audience. Personalize it as much as possible so that your clients know you see them as people, not dollar signs.
  • Most importantly, be yourself! Lean into your unique strengths, and let them lead you to make meaningful connections with your clients. It’s all about personal, authentic connection!

QUICK Q&A

rodrigo ryan at the office

Favorite slogan: “Be curious, not judgmental.” – Ted Lasso

A song that inspires you: Another in the Fire by Hillsong United.

An unconfessable rarity: I admit to being a big “Grammarista”, because I am probably too passionate about things like Oxford commas. 😅😂

A famous personality you would go for a drink with: My favorite author, Brandon Sanderson. On top of being an incredibly talented writer and world-builder, he’s also a super cool, down-to-earth guy.

Your biggest hobby: Going to fan conventions and cosplaying.

What movie would you like to star in?: My favorite chick flick of all time – Pride and Prejudice (2005).

A place you would love to travel to: Is it too cliché to say “everywhere”? I love traveling, especially if I can learn new things about different cultures! But if I had to pick just one place, I have always dreamed of visiting Machu Picchu.

Confess, what is your biggest pet peeve?: Not listening well. Feeling heard is very important to me.

What that you repeat the most throughout the day: “One thing at a time.” This is an essential mantra for my very ADD brain!

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