How PLEXIS’ Maui Mindfulness Retreat is Enhancing my Effectiveness at Customer Care in Tech Support
By Michael Meenaghan
Six Plexicans recently attended a free, 10-day PLEXIS Mindfulness Retreat held on Maui. All six of us received an enormous range of benefits from the retreat, and I would like to share a little about my experience and how it has transformed my effectiveness at customer care through my work in Technical Support at PLEXIS.
The PLEXIS Mindfulness Retreats
Jorge Yant, the CEO and founder of PLEXIS, recently published a post, On Mindfulness in the Workplace, announcing several exciting new employee mindfulness opportunities. One of these additional opportunities is the nonsectarian PLEXIS Mindfulness Retreat which is hosted free of charge in Ashland, Oregon, and on Maui, Hawaii. Jorge created a nonprofit called The Quepasana Foundation for the purpose of “expanding awareness through silent meditation in the Vipassana style.” Vipassana, meaning, “to see things as they really are,” is a meditation practice with over 2,500 years of history. Learn more about Vipassana retreats as taught by S.N. Goenka.
For Plexicans, Jorge not only extends the company-wide invitation to attend these retreats free of charge, but he also devotes an enormous amount of his personal time and energy to personally lead these retreats. To me it really says a lot about Jorge. He doesn’t just talk about mindfulness; he is investing a lot of time and money into this and into us. This is clearly his passion. To me this is truly progressive leadership, and I have seen definite results already.
Quepasana as Jedi Warrior Training
The mindfulness retreat, Quepasana, is a unique and creative combination of classic Vipassana meditation along with three different types of yoga and sustainable living practices. Just as in the Vipassana tradition, participants commit to Noble Silence during the entire course. This includes not only verbal and nonverbal communication, but it also means we were not allowed to use any electronic devices. We lock up our cell phones, tablets, and computers before the retreat. When I got my phone back at the end of the retreat I realized this is the longest period I have spent away from my car and phone since I was a child.
Jorge told us with a smile that the Quepasana retreat is Jedi warrior training. By about Day 6 I realized this isn’t a metaphor. It takes tremendous strength and courage to undertake the challenges of a retreat like this. And each one of us rose to the challenge to come out of this completely transformed and enlivened. This retreat is excruciating and exquisite and magical all at once.
Practical Takeaways for PLEXIS Tech Support
After my first week back at PLEXIS in Tech Support I realized I had come back to PLEXIS as a different person with a distinctly stronger set of skills.
First, I believe I have a greater capacity to speak the language of empathy and compassion in addition to the technical jargon needed to address an issue. What I’ve noticed about Tech Support in general is that it’s a lot easier for someone to answer technical problems in technical terms, but it makes a tremendous difference if you have the capacity to drop in a few, well-placed words of compassion and empathy. It creates a human-to-human interaction that is sadly too often missing in many companies’ busy tech support services.
Additionally, I am positive that this retreat helped me become faster and more efficient in my turnaround time. Over the past year I have utilized quite a few of the PLEXIS wellness offerings for stress reduction, peace of mind, and enhanced productivity. This retreat gave me even more tools for this. A lot of people don’t realize how much work Tech Support does behind the scenes. When I have an issue that needs to be resolved I set up a series of scientific tests to try to discern the problem, and it frustrates me when the results don’t arrive after, say, 15 trials. Now I know that I can literally take a five-minute break when I’m feeling overwhelmed by this sort of thing, and that’s all I need to get really centered and get back to work tackling the problem.