Artificial intelligence

Empathy in Action: Nicole Yelsey’s Journey of Transforming Work Culture with KindWorks.AI

Nicole Yelsey: Revolutionizing Workplaces with Kindness and AI | KindWorks.AI

In this latest installment of the “Bright Founders Talk” podcast, hosted by Chris from Temy, an international software development company, we delve into the mind of Nicole Yelsey, Co-Founder and COO of KindWorks.AI. Nicole, a dynamic figure in the world of business, stands out not just for her entrepreneurial achievements but also for her dedication to cultivating a positive work culture and environment. During our insightful discussion, Nicole shares her perspectives on leadership, the importance of empathy and intentionality in management, and her unique approach to personal and professional growth.

Nicole’s journey is not just about leading a successful company but also about her commitment to continuous learning and understanding people. Her background in sociology and her various roles, including volunteer work and involvement in alumni communities, have shaped her into a leader who values empathy and kindness in the workplace. As she juggles a busy life as a business leader and a mother, Nicole emphasizes the significance of finding joy and fulfillment in both personal and professional spheres.

This interview peels back the layers of Nicole’s character, revealing a multifaceted leader who is as much about creating impact in her industry as she is about making a difference in the lives of those around her. Her insights into leadership, combined with her personal anecdotes and experiences, offer a unique glimpse into the mind of a modern, empathetic, and effective leader. Join us as we explore Nicole Yelsey’s journey, her philosophies on leadership and life, and how she’s shaping the future of work culture through KindWorks.AI.

Nicole Yelsey: Revolutionizing Workplaces with Kindness and AI | KindWorks.AI
Nicole Yelsey: A Journey of Continuous Learning, Empathy, and Making a Difference

Nicole Yelsey, in her easygoing, yet insightful manner, dives into what makes a good boss. “It’s not just about being nice,” she shares, “but about sincerity, honesty, and positive intention.” Her belief in empathetic leadership isn’t just a concept; it’s a practice she embodies. Early in her career, Nicole was fortunate to have bosses who invested time and showed genuine intention in her growth, setting a standard she now upholds. Her approach is simple yet profound: “Time and positive intention to help someone be better.” This quote succinctly captures her leadership ethos, focusing on nurturing and genuinely understanding the people you lead.

It’s not just about being nice, but about sincerity, honesty, and positive intention

Nicole’s life, bustling with the demands of a successful career and a family, doesn’t leave much room for traditional relaxation. Yet, she finds joy and energy in being active. Whether it’s running outdoors or hopping onto her Peloton bike, Nicole finds her unwinding in motion. This dynamism reflects not just in her leisure activities but also in her professional life. Her philosophy is about embracing the full spectrum of life – the busy and the quiet moments, the professional achievements and the personal joys. It’s a reminder that success isn’t one-dimensional but a blend of various life experiences.

Nicole’s story is not just about climbing the corporate ladder; it’s about continuous learning and giving back. Her involvement in volunteering, especially with her alumni community and high school mentoring, speaks volumes about her character. “I always want to be learning,” she states, emphasizing that her volunteering is as much about helping others as it is about her personal growth. This ethos of mutual learning and benefiting from diverse experiences shapes not only her personal life but also her approach to business. Nicole sees every interaction, every person she meets, as an opportunity to learn something new – a mindset that’s both refreshing and inspiring in today’s fast-paced business world.

Nicole’s Journey: From Experiential Marketing to Empathetic Leadership

Nicole reminisces about her days before and during business school, emphasizing the invaluable experience she gained while working. “You learn so much more when you’re actually out there, applying what you’ve learned,” she reflects. Her stint at Anheuser Busch wasn’t just a job; it was a crucible where classroom theories met the complex realities of the business world. Nicole’s insight here is golden for any aspiring entrepreneur: “It’s about seeing how those spreadsheets activate in the real world.” This blend of education and practical experience is what she believes shapes a truly effective business leader.

You learn so much more when you’re actually out there, applying what you’ve learned

Her study abroad experience in Australia wasn’t just about academics; it was a journey into diverse cultures. Nicole shares, “Understanding people from different backgrounds is crucial.” This exposure to a variety of cultures didn’t just broaden her worldview; it influenced the way she built her team at KindWorks.AI. With co-founders and colleagues from across the globe, she underlines the importance of diversity in the workplace. “Our company naturally became diverse,” she notes, illustrating how her life experiences have directly impacted her professional ethos.

In the heart of our conversation, Nicole drops a profound quote about leadership: “Assume positive intention.” This simple yet powerful principle guides her interactions, fostering a culture of empathy and kindness at KindWorks.AI. She elaborates on the concept of ‘kindness as a habit,’ illustrating how small, thoughtful actions can make a significant impact in a professional environment. Nicole’s journey from her first job in experiential marketing to becoming a marketing director has been a path marked by empathy, growth mindset, and an entrepreneurial spirit, setting a stellar example for leaders everywhere.

Nicole’s Take on Marketing Evolution and the Warmth of AI in Business

Nicole delves into the transformation of marketing over the years, reflecting on her early experiences. “Back in 2001, we were still using mass fax blasts,” she recalls with a hint of amusement, illustrating how dramatically the mediums have changed. What hasn’t changed, though, is the core principle of marketing – connecting with people through storytelling. Nicole’s perspective on the evolution of marketing tools, especially AI, is fascinating. “AI isn’t the strategy; it’s a tool to enhance it,” she explains. This insight offers a fresh take on the role of rapidly advancing technology in the world of marketing.

AI isn’t the strategy; it’s a tool to enhance it

When asked about the common apprehension towards AI, Nicole offers a reassuring smile. “AI is often misunderstood,” she begins. “It’s not about making the work environment colder; it’s about enhancing human connection.” She shares how her CEO, with a background in AI, envisioned using this technology for kindness. This approach – using AI to empower humanity – is a cornerstone of KindWorks.AI. Nicole’s explanation about AI’s potential to support, rather than hinder, human interaction is a refreshing perspective, especially in a world where technology is often seen with skepticism.

The conversation takes a more profound turn as Nicole discusses the role of AI in promoting kindness and empathy in the workplace. “The power of AI, coupled with the scientifically proven power of kindness, can be transformative,” she asserts. Nicole’s vision is clear: technology, particularly AI, should be harnessed to support and uplift people, not alienate them. She eloquently describes the potential of AI in enhancing the quality of human interactions, both in the business world and beyond. This approach to technology, focusing on its humanistic and empathetic potential, is both innovative and inspiring.

Kindness as a Business Muscle: Nicole’s Vision for Empathetic AI in the Workplace

Nicole enthusiastically describes Benny, the AI-driven coach from KindWorks.AI, likening it to a gym buddy for practicing kindness. “Think of kindness like a muscle, and Benny is there to help you exercise it,” she explains. This innovative tool integrates into platforms like Slack, WhatsApp, and Microsoft Teams, offering exercises to foster connections among colleagues or even kindness towards oneself. Nicole’s vision is clear – making kindness an integral part of a company’s culture. She illustrates how Benny gamifies these interactions, creating a fun and engaging way to build a kinder workplace.

Delving into KindWorks.AI’s ideal clientele, Nicole sees a broad application across industries. From fast-paced consulting firms to rapidly growing startups, the need for maintaining a strong, connected culture is universal. She notes, “It’s not industry-specific, but about addressing cultural challenges and tensions.” Nicole emphasizes the importance of cultural integration, especially in hybrid or remote working environments. Through Benny, companies can navigate these challenges, ensuring employees not only stay connected but feel a part of something larger.

It’s not industry-specific, but about addressing cultural challenges and tensions

Nicole candidly shares the hurdles faced by KindWorks.AI, especially in its early stages. “Qualifying and disqualifying customers is crucial,” she states, stressing the importance of engaging with companies ready and willing to embrace KindWorks.AI’s vision. Her journey hasn’t been without challenges, but it’s clear that Nicole’s determination and clear understanding of her target audience have been key to navigating these waters. Her insight into the evolution of KindWorks.AI, from a high-risk startup to a data-backed solution, showcases her strategic and thoughtful approach to business growth and innovation.

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