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The Wixii™ Project: Lori Kirkland

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 Name: Lori Kirkland
Location: Denver, CO
Professional Industry: Customer Experience Software
Company: Universal Mind
Job Title: VP Experience Transformation

WIXII-ISM™ FROM LORI KIRKLAND: 

“Learning to shut off and detach from thoughts to give my brain a break has been phenomenal.  It also helps me be present in both work & family life.”

LORI’S STORY:

Meet our featured Wixii™, Lori Kirkland.  She is in her early 40s and mother to Addison (8) and Charli (2). She studied Neurosocience & Anthropology at the University of Michigan, and uses her skills daily to help her clients provide a better customer experience.  As a digital strategist, Lori works at a digital agency as the VP of Experience Transformation.  As a leader, she helps companies understand who their customers are and how to create a vision to unify their Customer Experience (CX) across all touchpoints.  Her role has her evangelizing the benefits of good CX and the power of bringing humanness to the forefront of business.

In her spare time, Lori plays guitar with her two little girls and loves to garden.

LORI’S CAREER PATH:

Right out of college, I worked as a Neuroscience Professional Research Assistant at the University of Colorado Health Science Center conducting brain research and exploring the mechanics of aging and Alzheimer’s on the brain.  While it was incredibly fascinating work, I realized that despite my love for the science aspect of the research, sitting alone working in a lab didn’t fulfill me.

I then jumped into technology as a science working for large international companies doing sales, marketing, research. and technology strategy.  Looking at interfaces (the place where humans interact with computers) became my main focus.  That focus allowed me to find the field of CX, which has become my passion and expertise.  Using the skills of my degree combined with my mindfulness practice, I have been able to help enterprise companies improve their relationship with their customers by understanding them better.

 LORI’S MINDSET AND WORK-LIFE MIX:

I love being a mother to my two girls, Addison & Charli, but also realize that I am a better mom when working.  With family being so important to me, I consciously chose to work at Universal Mind because the culture really values the importance of the work-life mix.  In addition, I incorporate a lot of volunteer time to causes that are important to me but allow me to work with my kids.   I do a lot of meditation and conscious planning to be “present” in the moment.

Community:  how do you contribute and add value to the larger world around you?

For awhile, there was a quote in downtown Denver, at the Pavilions, that said “Urban = Creating the pulse of the beat of the City.”  I live by this saying and believe it is my job to create cool things in the city.  I am blessed to live in a really cool neighborhood, Whittier, in downtown Denver where we are creating new areas and vibes for Denver.  Because most of my family is out of state, I rely heavily on my neighbors and community to support our family as whole, which means we give a lot back to the community.  For almost 10 years I have been on the board running our local Denver Urban Garden with over 90 gardeners and growing.  I help write grants, mentor new gardeners, and keep the operations going so the community can enjoy the space.  I also was a volunteer Board member for Whittier Neighborhood Association and run the newsletter, moderate the Facebook group, and handle communications.  Each of these contributions involve me working with my kids to do things like deliver newsletters, attend community events, and organize ways to improve our neighborhood.  We look at volunteering as a way to improve community relations and contribute…oh and we get to do it together.

How does your current mindset/attitude empower and/or frustrate your ability to thrive in your work-life mix?  How has your mindset/attitude toward life changed over time?   

I think that every person needs to learn how to clear her/his mind.  Practicing Mindfulness and learning how the brain functions as a machine has allowed me the capacity to take on so much more.  Learning to shut off and detach from thoughts to give my brain a break has been phenomenal.  It also helps me be present in both work & family life.

What advice would you give an earlier version of yourself?

If I could give my earlier self some advice, it would be quit holding myself to unrealistic expectations.  As I have gotten older I have found myself telling the voice in my head “slow down, it doesn’t have to be perfect.”  When I come home after a crazy day at the office, my kids aren’t feeling well or are crying, and I have a headache…let it be ok if the house isn’t picked up or I don’t make a gourmet meal.  This is time to go and get hugs from my kids and just “Be” with them.  Let go of some of personal expectations that I can do it all, all the time, all at once.

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