Have you found your voice? Not the voice you think you need to be, not the labels you wear and not who you have assimilated to be...but who you were born to be?
If you haven't, then this week's guest can be your guide. Dethra Giles is a four time TEDx speaker, a Top 100 HR Influencer and CEO of ExecuPrep. But her purpose in life to help others, especially women, find their voice and use it on purpose. Dethra coaches high level executives on how to not only take up space, but command it.
Listen to our conversation today and be ready to takes notes...she is sharing some winning strategies with us to help guide you to who you were meant to be.
Go check out all of our episodes on our website: https://womeninthearena.net/
If you are ready to tell your story or want to refer someone, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
***Last thing- I'd love to interview the following women:
Maybe you can help me get there****
Thank you all for supporting this show and all of the Women in the Arena!!
| Timestamp Speaker Transcript |
| 00:00.10 audraagen School and you run a podcast too. So you know how this is you're like you're like I try I try but so so I'm going to count us down I'm gonna do a quick intro and then we're just going to get into it and if.
| 00:00.20 Dethra Giles Fearful at no worries.
| 00:09.94 Dethra Giles That's my say no worries at all.
| 00:18.70 audraagen You say something you're like Audra cut will cut. No big deal. So I love editing I mean I don't love the process of editing I love the the the output the product of editing so we'll put it that way so all right I'm ready if you are.
| 00:19.76 Dethra Giles Okay. |
| 00:30.58 Dethra Giles Perfect | No worries at all I'm ready to go.
| 00:37.18 audraagen All right? 5 4 3 2 1 welcome in everyone and thank you so much for joining me again this week this week my guest oh my guest I cannot wait for you to meet her I will tell you that the moment I met her. I could not stop watching her and you will you will find out why as we get into the conversation but let me introduce you to her I'm joined today by I'm joined today by Dietra Giles and she is a 4 time 4 time. Head talk speaker and she's amazing. She is also in the top 100 h art influencers. She is the Ceo of exe you prep and she has clients that are just tiny little clients like Louis Vitton Moettet Hennessy are Permanente the Cdc The Army Corps of engineers and the salvation army just tiny tiny little clients and she's here today with us to talk about a topic that is very near and dear to my heart. And something that I have been continuously discovering and talking about over the last couple of years. It is my pleasure and my honor to introduce to you dietra dietra. Thank you so much for being here and welcome to the show.
| 02:07.35 Dethra Giles It is absolutely my honor and pleasure to be here and speak to you and your audience.
| 02:13.38 audraagen Well thank you first of all for saying yes because you could be anywhere honestly | you could be absolutely anywhere in the world and you chose to be here today with me and with us. So thank you again for saying yes and. I want to talk to you about this topic of something that you had brought up when I got to see you on stage in October and first of all before we jump into that I want you all to picture this dietra is not a very tall woman. She's she's she's petite like myself and she is larger than life. She commands a stage. She also has fabulous taste in clothes. Ah because she will have to describe that in a moment but she doesn't just take up space. She commands it and she does this in such a way because she found one very very powerful element that we're going to talk to you about today. She found her voice and she knows how to use it so tell us. A little bit about finding your voice because I know based on what the conversation that you gave us on stage that was not always the case. So what is this and women especially struggle with finding that voice inside of them and using it. So.
| 03:49.60 audraagen Tell us a little bit about finding your voice.
| 03:50.28 Dethra Giles So Finding your voice is really becoming reacquainted with something you were born with but got buried along the way I say find it and the real word is rediscovering. But finding it means along the way it got buried and you know how sometimes you know back in the day or the myths ah are that the the pirates will make these treasure maps and it was because I need to be able to go back and find where I buried my treasure. The same thing is true for our voice but oftentimes we forgot to create the treasure map or we didn't even know we needed a treasure map and so you're born with this voice as a baby. You're born knowing. I am here you will hear me and you will meet my needs or the world shall stop rotating on its Axis We're born with that but along the way we're taught these little messages of it's not okay to take up space. Be quiet. Children should be seen and not heard if you're if you grew up like me. Oh If you're a woman and you're Boisterous. You're being what they would say was Mannish and so calm down pipe down. No one wants a Mannish woman and so along the way people have.
| 05:00.79 audraagen I live. |
| 05:10.27 Dethra Giles Help does dig holes. So sorry about that that during a call of course she would call it the most Inopportune time I thought I had it on silent. Sorry sorry but that valid but anyway and let me put on. Do not disturb.
| 05:14.70 audraagen Yeah | like it. It happens it happens like I said editing is our friend.
| 05:25.68 Dethra Giles I know but I hate to make people edit um I'll tell people my key is being the 1 take wonder. That's my key claim to fame. But anyway so along the way in our journey. We dig our own hole but people around us throw dirt. On top of where our voice is being buried and someday we wake up realizing I don't know where my voice is and I don't have a clue where to find it because it's been buried so deep over decades. I work with clients that I'm helping find their voice and they're literally sixty plus years old and they've had it buried since they were 5 and so we have sixteen years sixty years of treasure hunting to do.
| 06:13.30 audraagen I mean I relate so much to this because before we started recording I I shared with you that I thought I knew where my voice was I thought I had it but I did not I there was so much buried on top of me that I didn't even realize. How covered over I was until I started asking other women to lend me their voices by having these types of conversations. It was then that I realized oh there it is and it just got buried under responsibility. It got buried under all of these. Societal messages that I was getting especially being a female in corporate America please seriously how many messages do we get on a daily basis that are conflicting too much of this. Not enough of that and you're like what do you need me to be.
| 07:07.29 Dethra Giles And that's the hard part about it when we talk about finding our voice I talk to so many people much like yourself that will say I found my voice and then when we dive into it I will say you you didn't find your voice. You're doing a very good voice over. Which means you're really speaking on top of someone else's voice but that's not your voice that that was never your voice and if you stop and recognize just because you have you're demonstrating so power in the voice that you're using it doesn't mean you're using your voice and so they think because I've accomplished these goals because I may be on big stages. I Found my voice and I'm like no | you're doing a good job of projecting someone else's voice.
| 07:49.39 audraagen Yeah | it's it's It's a rude awakening. Honestly.
| 07:53.10 Dethra Giles It is for for but for so many people and we take so long to find it because we reckon it's work. It's work and its sacrifice because once I find my voice. What does that mean for everything else I thought my voice was. And I've built a comfortable life I've built a comfortable network I've built a comfortable career off of this voice I've adopted for the last ten twenty thirty forty years and now you're telling me that isn't even my voice. What sacrifices do I now have to embark upon in order to step into my rightful voice and that's scary.
| 08:39.45 audraagen It's it's this.. It's a terrifying feeling. It's almost like standing on the cliff and looking down and for me I had this realization of who is it that I need to become to fully realize who I really am. And that is terrifying.
| 08:57.96 Dethra Giles And the the more terrifying question that that really blocks people and makes them stop at the point of really going on the journey of that treasure map and finding that treasure is who do I have to un-become.
| 09:15.30 audraagen Ah. | |
| 09:15.57 Dethra Giles Because we've been comfortable in the person that we've become that's been the the easy party was easy to take on the mantra that we were told we supposed to be be silent. Be behind the scenes be unheard I can't tell you how many especially women especially minority and women of color that I've worked with. That say I love being behind the scenes. No | you don't you were told that you were told that you love being behind the scenes that you should be behind the scenes and oh it doesn't matter who gets credit. That's a lie I Even told I remember telling myself that lie. Oh I like being behind the scenes cut it out I Love being on stage I Love the lights I Love the camera I Love the action but for a long time I lied and told myself I liked being behind the scenes because I wasn't willing to un-become. The person that they told me I was supposed to be.
| 10:12.10 audraagen It's a yeah I'm I am having a a reaction like a physical reaction right now because I can feel everything that you're saying um | especially because I got to be on the same stage as you were on last. Ah | last month not at the same time but I got to be on this stage and I was terrified before I walked onto that stage because it was huge. It was a huge stage. It had 2 big giant Jumbotrons They mic you up they do they do make up backstage I mean it is a production. And I was terrified and I was standing on that landing behind the stage waiting for them to call my name thinking. Oh god please don't let me pass out or throw up on anybody that just don't let me do it but the moment I walked on stage. And I sat down suddenly I was like oh I like it here I really really like it here and and yeah | that was like and a moment. It was both an exciting and terrifying thought.
| 11:17.58 Dethra Giles And that. |
| 11:26.43 audraagen Simultaneously. |
| 11:27.56 Dethra Giles Simultaneously and it and it's unexplainable | but that's that people will ask me how do you know when you found your voice and now we'll tell them because your voice takes over your voice supersees. The. Fear the anxiety the worry your voice will take over people are often shocked mind you I speak around the world till audience is between 25 and my largest audience was 17000 people and I've won I've done. It.
| 11:56.98 audraagen Seriously amazing.
| 12:01.54 Dethra Giles A long time and guess what I still get scared I still get a little bit nervous and I feel like the day that I don't get nervous is a day the day that I'm too prideful and we'll probably mess up but as like you as soon as I hit the stage I go into another character. And that character actually has a name and that's my voice. My voice is like don't worry I will take over if you give me the opportunity and so when you say I was backstage I was on a borderline of throwing up I have bubble guts I don't know what's going on my. My armpits are sweaty. They say degree can do anything but I don't think it was working um I was a hot mess I got on stage and blacked out that tells me your voices say if give me the opportunity give me the chance I promise you I won't embarrass you your voice. Will never embarrass you when you find your voice. It will always elevate. You.
| 12:58.25 audraagen Yeah | it it was it was evident and the the excitement and terror of finding your voice is so liberating that I wonder if if you wouldn't mind. Sharing some some skills or some exercises that some of my listeners can start right now because I have women literally all over the world that are listening and I get messages from them and say thank you for having this person on. Thank you for having this person on. Helped me start make some changes. It's helped me to look at things a little bit differently. How can we help some of the listeners start taking those steps to starting to find their voice because there are there are millions of women out there that are walking around with it. Voices that they think that it that they are their own but they are not they are the representative I guess.
| 13:59.81 Dethra Giles Exactly They they're the avatar that we put up I remind people that your avatar looks like you but it's not you and so when the first step I tell everyone in finding your voice is.
| 14:03.55 audraagen Exactly exactly. |
| 14:18.37 Dethra Giles Sit quietly with how you feel with when you give a yes and when you give a no we often just answer questions will you will you come on my podcast yes and we don't ask ourselves. How did I feel when I gave that yes or no | how did I feel when I gave that no. When you asked the question of dietra you know what? and you said I have this small podcast and we don't have all the marketing. But I think my audience will love and I ask questions who is your audience my yes felt right in my spirit right. It felt right in that piece of me that controls how that inkling that we have and everyone calls it something different for me. It's my spirit. It felt right? and it said this is right for you and we often don't ask ourselves the question of how do we feel when we give a yes or when we give a no. Your yes that feels good on the inside for some crazy reason you weren't paying me to come on this podcast. You weren't promising me I was going to be in front of 5000000 people. You weren't giving me the world and saying oh if you do this. I can guarantee that you'll have 50000000 speaking engagements next year all you said was hey you're going to help my audience and inside of me when I said yes | it felt like yes I knew that if I said no to this.
| 15:45.57 Dethra Giles I would not feel good about that note so start paying attention to how you feel when you give your yes or your no those things that make you feel like I don't know why this feels exceptionally well but it does. That's where your voice begins to reside. And then you can delve down into why does that feel right? because as big as you and it's funny. You said that you know she's petite I can't tell you how many people meet me in person and they say I thought you were a lot taller like what.
| 16:21.56 audraagen Um. | |
| 16:22.54 Dethra Giles 1 woman said I really thought you were like wnba six foot one tall I would say no I'm just five six and a half that's it. But when I say yes I can feel that so what you see on stage is simply my yes showing up.
| 16:26.77 audraagen Yes. | |
| 16:39.50 Dethra Giles That thing in me that says this feels good and feels right? It is my voice that's supposed to I need this large stage. So My voice can take up space because it's not meant for a small space but when it feels right and you start to acknowledge how you feel with your yes and your no. You're that much closer to finding where your voice is and where it is not.
| 17:02.25 audraagen So start paying attention to your yeses and your nose and stop doing it and on autopilot is basically what you're saying.
| 17:09.95 Dethra Giles Oh please stop. We autopilot is our enemy especially when we're trying to find it. The second thing is recognize where your appreciation is elevated. And when I say appreciation people often think that that means the accolades or the money or those tangible things I'm really talking about the intangible I'm talking about your appreciation in in light of its impact. When people can hear you and say you know what I know because of what you did what you said how you behave the impact goes further than what was right here. That's the appreciation I'm talking about. And so when you use your voice your actual voice and you find that voic and you use it. The impact goes beyond the moment. That's the appreciation and so if you're in places where the impact is not going beyond just the moment you probably have' it tapped into your actual voice.
| 18:14.33 audraagen So When will you know that you're there for myself. It snuck up on me. It. It was slow and quiet. It did not come in in in a flourish and a bang I mean I didn't know that it. That it was there that had shown up until one day I felt completely comfortable in my skin and and uncomfortable in places that I had tolerated before but suddenly.
| 18:45.91 Dethra Giles Okay. |
| 18:49.72 audraagen Could no longer tolerate. It. It was It was a bizarre thing and that's also hard to navigate to when you're like ok I got to not ok I got to not show that this is offensive to me | especially if it's something that I don't know might be your job or her family or something. Um | you got to figure out that one too. But how will you know when you're on the right track.
| 19:13.79 Dethra Giles The hard thing about this process is it's a process of knowing versus I know and the the analogy I can give is it's like losing weight. And so many people have been on the weight loss journey and when you're in that journey. You can't see that you've lost ¬£5 because you see you every day. But if you see a friend that you haven't seen in a while they're like oh my gosh have you lost weight. And you think thank you for being nice | but no I haven't you actually have and so what you start to recognize is I don't see that I lost weight but those genes that used to be a little bit tight. They're still tight. They're just not as tight as they were. Right? I used to not even be able to button this but it's still tight. But I can button it and so what you have to do in this process is sit back and kind of see where you you're coming from and ask yourself about the discomfort you experience on the journey. Is this uncomfortable because it's I'm transitioning to the new me or is it uncomfortable because I'm doing the wrong things right? and those can be 2 different types of discomfort like you said hey I was a little bit uncomfortable because unbecoming is.
| 20:41.00 Dethra Giles Ah | area of discomfort and so what you're looking for is small little Pieces. You're looking for those small inklins that says this feels better than what I was doing. It's uncomfortable | but it feels Better. You're paying attention to those little things that you used to be okay with before one of the things you mentioned hey. I Used to be okay with that and now I find it kind of offensive and that level of offensive starts to grow the more you lean into your actual voice when you start to acknowledge hey I think my voice belongs over here. That little thing starts to kind of disturb you a little bit like hey something feels odd and as you lean into your voice that something feels odd turns into I don't like this and then as you lean further in that I don't like this turns into oh this I can't. I I have tried I am out of cans and I just cannot right and so pay attention to those little feelings because there won't be this flash of light struck down I have now arisen into embodying my voice. It'll be these little slow. Transitions that if you don't pay attention to those small inklings. You'll miss. It.
| 22:03.24 audraagen Because it is definitely subtle. It's not going to show up and say how I'm arrived. It's here you have to be very quiet. But if you're doing it right? You've started to spend some really good quality time.
| 22:19.58 Dethra Giles Absolutely time with yourself is invaluable I talk to you all about it in power. But I tell people I take 4 vacations a year one with my spouse one as a family so us and our two kids.
| 22:20.23 audraagen With yourself. |
| 22:35.48 Dethra Giles One girls trip and 1 independent trip just me by myself wherever I am every year because I need like literally I'm going to um California in December and I have to meet with a client but I'm adding extra days. Just to drive up the coast of California by myself because I need that alone time to wrap my head around everything that I need to be processing. We have to spend that time with ourselves and part of our problem in finding our voice.
| 22:55.60 audraagen Gets me yields. |
| 23:10.16 Dethra Giles And knowing when we are stepping into our voice is that we have silenced that little inkling I talked about that that spirit that's in you. We've silenced it for so long that when it's speaking to us. We don't hear it because we put it on mute inside of our heads.
| 23:26.29 audraagen Were the 4 vacation things I think I'm going to start adopting that because when I have been on business trips I do try to add on an extra day just to go experience the city now I haven't had a chance to do that in couple years but when I did it previously I was the first time I went to New York city and I went a day early and did a touristy thing got the whole did the whole double decker bus tour. loved it. absolutely loved it spent the entire day by myself. It. Experiencing the city and it was amazing and it was so rejuvenating and grounding I I can't wait to do it again.
| 24:12.11 Dethra Giles And let me tell you why? That's so important we're talking about finding our voice but we haven't learned to appreciate hearing our own voice and when you want to lean into your voice and find your voice you're saying I want to find that thing that. Other people share from me because your voice is not just about you speaking. It's about that thing in you that you were put here to do because I strongly believe that everyone was created to feel a gap in the in the earth. So what you were created to do feels a gap that people need. And the longer you don't do it the more people fall into the hole that you were meant to feel and so when we don't step into our voice. We're saying keep falling that hole but we haven't learned to sit with our own voice. We don't even know what our voice sounds like. And we are so afraid to be with ourselves and by ourselves that we don't cultivate it internally first before we bring it externally like I tell people when I go by myself when I do my independent trip I do nice dinners I'm talking about reservation only restaurants. And I go in there and I have in a wonderful mill and the sad thing is I can't tell you how many people come up to me and say oh my gosh we hate to see you sitting alone. We oh no worries I have one too. Yeah | um. | |
| 25:40.19 audraagen Um | sorry um. | |
| 25:44.72 Dethra Giles We Hate to see you sitting alone would you like to come sit with us and I will tell them I am I am alone but I am not lonely and we haven't made the distinction and in that alone time. Is where we get to cultivate our voice internally before we embrace it externally.
| 26:03.15 audraagen Yeah | that's and I think that's interesting that you say that because you basically we're taking yourself out on a date and and treating yourself and there's something to be said about going with the purpose of.
| 26:11.50 Dethra Giles Up. Yes I am worthy.
| 26:22.53 audraagen Just treating yourself and enjoying a meal and just being alone with your thoughts That's it and I think it makes other people uncomfortable by watching you do it because they're not comfortable doing it themselves.
| 26:31.94 Dethra Giles Um | absolutely. | |
| 26:38.25 Dethra Giles They're not calm and again we talked about why we while more people don't find their voice. It's because of what we've been told that's another piece of dirt that's been thrown on our buried treasure of a voice. Oh because what we what we know and and. People laugh at me because my clients called me University tested and industry approved because I have the academic all that stuff I'm the academic and the professor but I'm also the practical person and so the the data part of it is it is that piece that teaches us what we learn when we're by Ourselves. What society says about being by yourself and we feed into what that society has meant to be by yourself | especially for a woman we're supposed to have a man or kids around God Forbid a woman be out by herself. What the heck are you doing. Are you? Lonely Are you unmarriable? Are you barring? like oh we have all these things as if these thing being alone is a bad Thing. So an unmarried woman at a certain age. Oh My Gosh. What's wrong with her nothing she doesn't like any of y'all like you know. Why doesn't she have children because she doesn't like kids. It's It's like it's ah okay | but we have allowed that dirt to pie alone and so instead of going off and saying you know what I actually do value time Alone. We.
| 28:05.27 Dethra Giles We feed into Society's notion that if you're alone something must be wrong and when we uncover that treasure we begin to realize there's nothing wrong with me. There's something wrong with you and your perception of what seeing me by myself means.
| 28:19.75 audraagen Yeah I I can completely appreciate that because I have over the years have become very comfortable and spending time by myself and I really like it I mean I really like it I I'm I'm I'm married and I have 2 children and a. I adore them all. But there's something about just being spending time with yourself and centering yourself I find that I need it because if I don't I feel I feel untethered. Feel like my foundation is a little bit shaky and I need that time to reset because that's where I do it by myself.
| 29:03.64 Dethra Giles Right? And and if we don't especially as maturing people. Our evolution can become an assimilation versus the evolution because as we grow as a woman I am a wife. Am a mom I am all these things. Um | but I can easy assimilate to what's that supposed to mean instead of making those things be a part of the evolution of my voice and it's that alone time that allows us to recognize the difference. And make sure that we're evolving and not assimilating.
| 29:43.44 audraagen Wouldn't that be awful I mean if you just assimilate for the rest of your life that just sounds that just sounds like torture to me.
| 29:54.87 Dethra Giles But we see it all the time like I have I cannot tell you how many? especially um women clients I have that are top executives and literally like not figuratively but literally. Were on the borderline of losing their minds because they were now empty nesters and while they were top executives running major corporations running divisions. They had assimilated into being a mother. And not evolved into being a woman with children right? And so now that both their kids are out of the household and there's no one to quote unquote take care of who am I I'm like wait a minute are you seriously running a multi billion dollar organization and you are questioning who are you because 2 financially robbing beings are now out of your home make it make sense but it does make sense to me because I do this work and I see it all the time. That we often assimilate versus evolve.
| 31:08.83 audraagen I there are so many women out there that that sentence just took their breath away I promise you it just made them catch that that ah breath in their in their throat because they're like oh my gosh. My kids. Now I will tell you that we are now empty nesters and as much as I miss my kids and I'm not going to tell you that I don't I miss my kids I'm glad they're on their own because I have devoted Twenty five plus years to raising these 2 human beings. It's time for me to take all of that energy and put it right back here into my life.
| 31:50.53 Dethra Giles It it is a it is a I I want us to see raising independent children as a reward and not as a almost a death. We almost see it as a death and. I'm with you my my daughter just went off to college. She's in her freshman year at Florida a and m university she's a part of the marching 100 which is literally one of the best bands in the world Louis Vuitton pay for them to come and open up fashion week can paris they've been played super bowls I mean she's living. Her best life right now and I see it as an accomplishment I'm like you I think about her every single day I'm like oh I miss my baby do I want to go backwards. No I want to miss her.
| 32:38.79 audraagen Yes. | |
| 32:41.20 Dethra Giles Absolutely want to miss her because it's an evolution I see and what we often see especially when we're evolving our voices because once you find your voice It's not a finality. It's now I found my voice and now the work is done. It's now a evolution of that voice that voice will always be evolving. The voice that I find at now I'm a right old age of 45 will be very different than the evolution of my voice when I'm 65 and so that's a part of my evolution I have now gotten 1 child out to college and I miss her That's a part of the evolution. But I'm looking forward to getting the second one out. Then another 4 years again part of the evolution.
| 33:23.30 audraagen Oh just wait I just wait. Um I will tell you that when both of our kids graduated from University I Felt like it was my accomplishment too not that I went and did the school work for them but because we parented them. To that point and I felt like I had graduated at some level too but not in the same way they did I graduated from parenting university I guess but it was so it was such a sense of pride.
| 33:52.64 Dethra Giles Something. |
| 33:59.59 audraagen And accomplishment on both their part and mine because I was like we did that those 2 humans that are now fully employable and and almost almost completely off the payroll god willing. Ah um.
| 34:01.50 Dethra Giles Absolutely. |
| 34:15.92 Dethra Giles What. |
| 34:18.81 audraagen They we did that we all of our blood sweat and tears made that possible now I get to put that back here.
| 34:24.17 Dethra Giles And and yes and that is part of finding your voice part of finding your voice is acknowledging your worthiness right? We often don't acknowledge the worthiness of taking up. So. Base in things that are good right? So when our kids graduate from College. We're like oh they they're such hardworking kids. No I'm a hardworking parent.
| 34:53.57 audraagen Yeah. |
| 34:56.28 Dethra Giles Who do you think drove that child to school who do you think and little my daughter is literally on the payroll I mean she has a monthly payroll that hits because she needs all of these things and like you said I'm not there doing the work but guess what I did do I for the past eighteen years I worked to create a foundation that made you able to do the work. Do you know I had to relearn geometry in the process of raising this child I have no desire or need to know the pythagorean theorem I don't but guess what I had to relearn. I had no desire to relearn sign cosine and tangent. But guess what I had to relearn to ensure that she was capable of being successful where she is and so what we finding your voice a part of that is acknowledging your worthiness to have these rewards finding your voice. And using it and cultivating it and sharing it lending. It is a reward and many of us don't embark upon the journey of finding our voice because we haven't acknowledged that we're worthy of having 1.
| 36:04.98 audraagen That is oh that just sends chills up my spine because it is so powerful. A statement of being worthy of having one and it's a retraining of everything that society tells you specifically as a woman. That you're not supposed to have and I want to shift just a tiny bit about taking up space because you shared with me this experience that you had that I Really want you to tell the audience which was the yellow suit. Experience because you told me this story. You did not say it on Stage. You told this to me offstage when you and I got to speak one on one and I was like oh my God This woman is brilliant So Please tell everybody what? what is this? What is this yellow suit experience.
| 36:55.72 Dethra Giles At absolutely and you know what? it's funny because this scenario also speaks to what you asked earlier about how do you know when you've become because when you found your voice because there is this discomfort in transitioning from. Not having your voice to stepping into it and so like all of you educated got my undergrad degree I have an Mba I got I got the memo that professional attire was black navy blue dark gray and if you're feeling frisky. A little bit of Khaki. Don't go too far with it right? I got the memo and so I would wear my suit and that listen at the age of 27 I was director of a division leading an organization of 27000 plus people I was the head of anhrdivision I had a full staff. And what I noticed is I wore my black gray navy blue and every now then I was a little bit frisky with the khaki and people overlooked me in my head I knew I hate these colors like anyone that knows me knows I am not a black suit kind of chick that is not me. I am patterns I am colors and if I have on a black suit I guarantee you there is something amazingly vibrant on top of it. That's just ah.
| 38:14.29 audraagen Oh Oh yes | there is oh yes | there is I hope I have a picture of you at empower she I Just want to stop you for a minute because I could not keep my eyes off of her because she was wearing this gorgeous black dress but on top of it. It was this I don't know what it was It was this I don't know if it was embroidered I don't know what it was but it was like it was like a not quite a jacket not quite a balero but it was fabulous and I knew you were just I was like what are you wearing. How did you put it on. It was Amazing. It was amazing and even though she was wearing a black dress. She stood out amongst everybody in this room and that was even before she hit the stage.
| 39:05.45 Dethra Giles And it. |
| 39:07.69 audraagen And I was like I don't know who this woman is but I need to meet her and then live then then I was like oh she's on stage of course of course this is who she is but it was amazing. So I'm sorry I digress because it was so fabulous.
| 39:16.68 Dethra Giles That's a layer in it was funny because the person that was greedy me to kind of escort me into the room she came out to meet me and she saw me she said. Okay so this is what we're doing today.
| 39:33.44 Dethra Giles I said yes | we're back to the original. So I knew in my head and my father's jamaican so we are a colorful vibrant people. We ah in my upbringing and I grew up in Miami Florida and my husband lasts me go to Miami because he will say. So you all literally paint your highways colors like what that's just who I am and so I knew that who I was wasn't this black. Gray but I thought in order to fit in I had to conform I had to assimilate to what they told me it was and then one day I had this epiphany dietra they ignore you anyway | if they're going to ignore you. You might as well be ignored and comfortable and happy in what you have on if you're going to be ignored darn. It look good and be ignored and so I decided I'm going all in I am I am going to risk it all and I said you know what I'm wearing a yellow suit and when I mean yellow I don't mean like a muted yellow.
| 40:22.44 audraagen Exactly. |
| 40:36.67 Dethra Giles I mean like open the door and you cover your eyes with shades. The sunshine has walked in the room yellow and I walked into this meeting a room full of men in black and navy blue suits. No one even had onreer khaki that day and I walked in looking like a rate of sunshine. And what was funny about that moment was though I had been ignored in mostly every previous meeting the room stopped and immediately I had everyone's attention and it was like well what are you talking about today sunshine. It. It was amazing and from that day forward I said I shall not confine myself to black gray khaki I am going to wear whatever I like now here's the flip side of that that required sacrifice. Because I cannot tell you how many people in my journey of deciding I'm going to lean into my voice and part of my voice is fashion. How many people have approached me well-meaning saying you know you look kind of unprofessional I don't think. That's going to go well for you I I don't think you understand how people perceive you when you dress this way and there were some opportunities I didn't get because they were designed for the people who subscribed to the memo. But here's the gotcha. That's oh.
| 42:10.23 Dethra Giles Kay because someone's voice is in the black gray navy blue and Khaki that's just not mine.
| 42:17.26 audraagen Something so that yellow suit was your that was the beginning of your own private little revolution.
| 42:25.10 Dethra Giles It it. It was a huge turning point because it was like I I it was one of those points where I realized I keep my voice is worthy I am worthy of leaning into the voice that god gave me. I am worthy of being comfortable in my clothes I am and part of that was yellow bright colors accents the the garment you talked about from the empower. It was a ah garment that was made in Ghana in Africa and I loved it. It speaks to. My heritage it speaks to that thing that people look at and they're intrigued by it and want to know more and so when people ask part of my voice is lifting up marginalized communities. So I was happy to be able to say when someone say where'd you get it? Oh I had it made in Ghana Africa. And it's made by these women who are often underemployed and simply are trying to make money to further education for themselves and their daughters. It was great to be able to talk about the heritage and how this is a normal garment where I got it from and so it was. I was able in my presentation of it to lift up voices of people that I would normally want to speak for anyway and that's what leaning into your voice looks like is not just about what you say it's about the impact you have.
| 43:50.19 audraagen So You are saying if I want to make sure that I'm and interpreting this right part of the responsibility of finding your voice is helping to lift the voices of the women. The marginalized individuals around you. That may not have the same opportunity or privilege that you do and make sure that they're heard to.
| 44:13.21 Dethra Giles Yes | absolutely and that's that's my voice. Everyone has to figure out what theirs is yours may be children someone else's may be abuse animals. Whatever it is I guarantee you your voice is not just to elevate you. If you are looking for your voice because your goal is I need to be the next billionaire and that sitting paused there is nothing wrong with you being the next billionaire you are absolutely worthy of being a billionaire. But if that's your. Only motivation for finding your voice. You're not going to find it because that's not what your voice was created for it was created to elevate others as well and if your voice is only carrying you to the top. That's not your voice.
| 45:05.21 audraagen Oh My gosh I I can't add anything to that I'm I'm very rarely speechless Here's a moment that I'm just going to let that sit because that is so significant that in our. Quest to to hear our own voices and find ourselves we have got to reach back and bring the people along the way with us | especially those that can't find it for themselves. We need to help them.
| 45:39.66 Dethra Giles Um | absolutely absolutely and you have a responsibility to represent them. Well.
| 45:48.93 audraagen That's the next it's the next generation we we we're not going to be here forever and and we have got to pave the way to make sure that we leave this place a little bit better than we than we found it.
| 45:49.49 Dethra Giles If it. |
| 46:05.80 audraagen And make sure we leave space for those coming behind us so they can take take up where we left off and make it even better because God knows that we have screwed up plenty.
| 46:10.41 Dethra Giles Absolutely yeah and it's crazy because it's a term I use and people laugh at me like what do you mean? Dietra. We are so avid about secession planning in corporations. Who's gonna be the next Ceo are we preparing the next level of leadership but we are not so good about successsion planning as it relates to the world who's who are you creating space for and developing to come behind you and fill the hole that you were supposed to feel because in my estimation the whole that I was meant to feel. When I leave here. There should be more than 1 person filling that hole and if I haven't done due diligence to prepare that person because that's the ultimate finding your voice the ultimate of owning the room and using your voice. Is being able to create other people that can find their voice and fill in where you leave off.
| 47:03.20 audraagen Such powerful powerful message and we are we are running out of time but I want to pause here for a moment. First of all to say thank you for taking the time once again to be here with me I could talk to you for hours. But you got paying clients so I can't um but I want to I want to step back from the mic for a moment and give you open mic for you to leave whatever message that you'd like with my audience.
| 47:35.92 Dethra Giles Ah | one of the messages that always resound with me when I'm talking to any group of people whether it's ceos of companies whether it's entry-level employees whether it's entrepreneurs. Whether it's my coaching clients who are top level executives at fortune 500 companies. It's the message of figuring out what you were meant and created to do who is suffering because you haven't stepped into your purpose. It is identifying your worthiness of being on purpose and the impact you have with people on people because you're in your purpose. Don't leave this earth and not find it because not finding it is unfulfilling and you know that you are currently. Experiencing the lack of fulfillment because you know you are not on purpose I don't care how much money you're making I don't care how much notoriety you have I don't care how much visibility you have you are feeling the weight of not being on purpose do not waste another day. Not finding that purpose I don't care if it's reaching out to me someone else I don't care but do what you have to do because you are worthy of living a life on purpose.
| 48:56.13 audraagen Oh My gosh. Thank you for leaving that message that is that is such a significant thing for me personally and I hope that it has made an impact on everybody listening. So Thank you for leaving them with us with that if. My audience would like to reach out to you. How would they connect with you and where can they find you.
| 49:17.93 Dethra Giles Absolutely so I am on social media instagram is dietra Underscore Giles that's dethr a underscore g I l e s but all of my employeepreneers and you have to start following me to find out what an employeepreneur is. Follow me on Linkedin and that is dietra Giles but I also have a podcast called the happily ever employed podcast and that's everywhere you get your podcast.
| 49:45.72 audraagen That is fantastic and if they have questions should they reach out to you on Social Linkedin go to your website.
| 49:54.39 Dethra Giles Absolutely they can go to my website which is dietragiles.com again DETHR A G I L E S dot Com but social Media Linkedin is perfect | send me a ah private message. And I promise you it's me responding which is why you may not get a response immediately but I will respond.
| 50:11.31 audraagen I encourage everybody to go check out her website her social handles as well as her Ted talks. They are phenomenal. You will learn something. New and different every time you listen to them so I please encourage you to go do that and again I am so appreciative of you spending time with me and with the audience and sharing just a little bit of your wisdom and all of your years of experience of working with individuals. Specifically women on helping their find their voice. So. Thank you so much for being here then thank you to all of you for being here and we'll see again next time we hit hit the and.
| 50:47.88 Dethra Giles My pleasure. |