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How My Human Complexity Makes Me a Better Consultant Advocate

By 08.12.19
Reading time: 3 minutes

I wear many hats in the world, all of which influence one another in various ways. At Silverline, I am a Consultant Advocate responsible for supporting a team of consultants on their projects and in their careers. In the Salesforce ecosystem, I am a Certified Admin and App Builder with seven plus years experience as both a client-facing consultant and an internal system administrator. In the larger realm of STEM, I am an Android user, computer-building hobbyist, and I love video games of varying types across multiple platforms. Outside all of this, I am a playwright, fight choreographer, teacher, actor, writer, artist, feminist, Eagle Scout, mentor, husband, and general geek (salute!).

Many hats: one goal

In this industry, we are segmented into teams and roles with pretty limited parameters for us to represent. We’re told that our jobs require specific skills, talents, knowledge, and experience. Just scroll through your network on LinkedIn and you’ll see a multitude of people all boxed up neatly by terms like “Admin,” and “Consultant,” and “Experienced Salesforce Strategist of Wonder.” (…Okay maybe that last one is a stretch, but you get my point, yeah? Moving on!)

While our industry demands that we fit into certain molds, there is no requirement that we ignore or forget about the other parts of ourselves. When I was a System Administrator, my job was to keep our Salesforce instance humming along in good health. There were technical skills that I utilized to do this well, but I also made use of my theater training on a regular basis. My improvisational skills were useful when talking through problems with end users so we could define the most accurate requirements or for adjusting to a problem that forced me to reassess my approach to the solution. By putting my acting hat on, I was able to imagine how others would experience the solutions that I designed and built, which allowed me to build better solutions. 

As a Consultant Advocate, I spend my days connecting with our team members and getting a strong sense of what they do to make our clients and our company successful. I have not done all of their jobs, so I can’t rely only on my experience to offer them guidance. I need to tap into the empathy skills that I’ve practiced as an artist to help me build a connection with people from varying walks of life. I couldn’t do this well without bringing more of who I am outside of Silverline/Salesforce/STEM to my everyday work.

Where role meets reality

The differing experiences I have in my life are what make me better at what I choose to do each day. And now, Dear Reader, we reach the point of all this nattering I’ve been doing. Think about what I’ve just told you about me, one simple human in our ecosystem, and now stand up from your desk and look around your office. If you work remotely, pop open Chatter/Slack/whatever and scroll through all the faces that work at your company. Each person you see has a story as richly complicated and interwoven as I described above. They all bring more to their roles than their job description entails. You do, too.

This industry of ours with all its boxes and labels is still made up of us, the humans. We are stupendously complicated creatures who live different lives and experiences each day while also going to work and creating custom fields, putting together dashboards, or fighting to get that darn validation rule to fire when you need it. Look online and you’ll see any number of personality quizzes, communication-style alignment charts, and Hogwarts House Venn diagrams (I’m a Hufflepuff… if it wasn’t obvious) that tell us how to work together better with those around us. It’s this complexity, this richness of the human tapestry, that makes us who we are, and if we ignore that, then we’re depriving ourselves of our best work.

So whoever you are, Dear Reader, I want to leave you with this thought. You are a complex human, and that’s exactly what makes you fantastic. I’m glad you’re part of this Ohana with me.

Interested in working with an amazing team of fantastic humans? We’re hiring! Check out our Careers page to learn more and to see current openings. Be sure to check us out on Glassdoor and LinkedIn, too.

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