Becoming an inclusive leader and valuing DEI in the workplace is more important than ever. Leaders are expected to be more vocal about their core values and live them out loud, but this is still uncharted territory for many.
Moving too fast, saying the wrong thing, or not being fully certain of what is important to you and your business is what my guest, 6x author, DEI consultant, and Managing Partner of Uplifting Impact, Deanna Singh, is going to help you overcome in our latest episode.
Listen in as my former client shines a light on how you can embrace your values, create safe spaces at work, and be inspired to become a DEI advocate out of compassion for others–instead of just checking the DEI box on your list of things you’re expected to do as a business owner.
In this episode of the podcast, we talk about:
- Recruiting opportunities for everyone to thrive
- Starting with people to people
- DEI Bat Signals
- Staying connected to your core values
- Not becoming a fictional character
- Social Media as community service
- Is social media replacing social interaction?
- Her 1:1 LinkedIn Connection Strategy
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Savvy Social Retreat
You're officially invited to my very first in-person retreat happening in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada, from November 3rd through 5th 2023.
This all-inclusive retreat is designed for established business owners who really need to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and are ready to work on the big picture topics and carve out enough space to make important decisions in our business.
About the Guest:
Forbes Magazine describes Deanna Singh as, “A gifted communicator…a champion for marginalized communities and an inspiration to all those who want to be agents of change in their work, lives, and society.”
Deanna is the Founder and Chief Change Agent of Flying Elephant, an umbrella organization for four social ventures. Through their work in the spheres of DEI, healthcare, children's literature, and leadership, these four varied companies are united in their mission to shift power to marginalized communities. Deanna is an award winning author, educator, business leader, and social justice champion who speaks to over 50,000 people annually, giving audiences the tools and courage to imagine, activate, and impact the world as agents of change.
- “The core of our belief is that if we can build bridges and learn how to build bridges and build up our tools and how to build bridges, then what we can really do is create more inclusive workplaces, but really a more inclusive world.” – Deanna Singh
- “One of the things I love about inclusion is it doesn't matter who you are, right? You could be like a five-year-old child. You could be a senior vice president. You could be just minted out of school Into a new role. Doesn't really matter where you are, what your role is, your pedigree. Everybody has the power to be inclusive. Everybody has that power. And so the question is, how do you use it?” – Deanna Singh
- “How I coach one person is completely different than how I might coach another person. As a coach, you know that. But are you taking in that cultural relativity? Is that part of the equation? And if it's not, start there.” – Deanna Singh
- “Because if it's not, then you're being inauthentic, right? If you say, I'm making this statement because this is one of our core values, and this is how it connects, and you can articulate that very clearly, and you understand that, then it'll be portrayed in your message…And if that is not the reality of where you are, then I think it's more important for you to just be honest, right?” – Deanna Singh
- “I think that's really what you're nailing here is, you know, it doesn't have to go way outside of your comfort zone and do something that you've never done before. There's a place and a time for that. But sometimes it starts with what are you already doing and how can you bring an inclusive lens to that topic.” – Andréa Jones
- “Yes. Oh my gosh. This is the key to inclusion and diversity and having these equitable conversations because it's not just about one person. It's about all of us as a collective, which is just beautiful.” – Andréa Jones
- “If you have an art piece, your job as the artist is to make the art piece, right? And there's people who could benefit from seeing it and learn from it and grow their own techniques. But if you keep your art piece and you just have a cover on it, or it's in a desk drawer, and nobody gets a chance to see it or explore it or use it as a platform for them to also build on, then you're not giving the full opportunity for the impact to happen.” – Deanna Singh
Watch the Episode Below:
Welcome to The Savvy Social Podcast, the show that blends stories and strategies to help businesses create engaged and profitable online communities using the unique power of social media. And now, your host, Andrea Jones.
Andréa Jones (00:29):
Deanna, welcome to the show. I'm so excited to chat with you today.
Deanna Singh (00:32):
Oh, it's so lovely to be here and to see you as always.
Andréa Jones (00:36):
Yes. So I love the work that you do with diversity and equity and inclusion and belonging and all of these, um, topics that are so important. It's such a shame that now's the time in history where it's a hot topic when it really sh you know, it shouldn't be a hot topic, but it is. Um, so I kind of wanna just start the conversation with, um, sharing a little bit of your framework, cuz I love your approach to it. So can you talk us through that?
Deanna Singh (01:02):
Absolutely. So, you know, for me, I, I think everything that I do, whether it's in the business or whether it's in my personal life, everything is so immersed in this idea of how do we make sure that all spaces are inclusive? Because I think at the core of what we believe, we really think that if we're building bridges to one another, what we're doing is recruiting opportunities for everybody to thrive. Right? And who doesn't want that in their personal life? Who doesn't want that in their professional spaces? Like, who doesn't want that in all the places where they, they occupy? So the core of our belief is that if we can build bridges and learn how to build bridges and build up our tools and how to build bridges, then what we can really do is create more inclusive workplaces, but really a more inclusive world.
So our framework is built on the idea that you have to be thinking about this, um, from multiple different levels. You have to be thinking about it on the people level, right? Like, so how am I interacting with you? What does that look like? You have to be thinking about it at the practices level. So when we get together as a team, like when we operate and, and we're working with different, how does that look? And then you have to think about it from the operational level. And that's really like, what are the systems that we put into place to make sure that we are bringing this idea of inclusion to everything that we do? So that's a very, very quick way of saying it, but I think the core and the thing that we always talk about is we're like, how are we gonna build my bridges? What does that look like? You know, how, how, how do we do that? And how do we help other leaders and other organizations do that too?
Andréa Jones (02:24):
Yeah, and I love that you started with the people to people, uh, example, first, because sometimes we do jump straight to the organizational level, which is very challenging to implement. So I'd be curious, especially from, uh, a person to person example, can you share with us what does that look like? Like a practical example of being inclusive in our everyday life and business and work?
Deanna Singh (02:48):
Absolutely. So I think one of the things to remember is that when you're talking person to person, you have to acknowledge that you are a person, right? So one of the big things that we really try to emphasize is how do you do some of that personal reflection that allows for you to understand what it is that you need in order to thrive, right? And, and what is it that like, makes you uncomfortable? And, and where do you feel like, you know, you, you might have some biases or, or some places where you're like, Ooh, that conversation, ah, that, you know, that tickles me the wrong kind of way. I'm just not exactly sure how to handle that. Or I'm, I'm scared, right? Like, where are your fears? Just giving people the opportunity not to be ashamed of those things. Not to feel like, well, I can't, you know, I can't believe I have to whisper that I'm, that I, I might have this question or whatever, but how do I just give myself the freedom to know who I am and where, and where I sit with a lot of these topics?
So we talk about person to person. It really is person to person, person number one, being yourself, right? What does that mean? And how do you reflect? And then person to person. And an example of that, and the reason why we start here is because one of the things I love about inclusion is it doesn't matter who you are, right? You could be like a five year old child, you could be a senior vice president, you could be just minted out of school right? Into a new role that doesn't really matter where you are, what your role is, your pedigree. Everybody has the power to be inclusive. Everybody has that power. And so the question is like, how do you use it? And I think that too often when we jump right to operationalizing things or we jump right to teams, what we don't do is we don't think about what is that individual power that I have that I can utilize to really help somebody else grow?
And how do I, you know, find that and how do I, uh, move that forward? And so what we focus a lot when we talk about people to people is we say like, what are your skills? What are the things that you're most passionate about? What do you do every day in your in? And then how do we take the things that you already do well or that you already love? And how do we add an inclusive lens to it? So I'm gonna use you as an example, okay? Yes. We all know everybody who's listening that you are amazing at social media, like amazing at it, right? You, I don't know, your brain works in this beautiful way where I'm like, oh, I would never would've thought about it that way. But of course that makes the most sense in the world. What do you do?
You invite somebody onto your podcast who is a diversity, equity, and inclusion leader, right? To say like, here's some of the things that we've learned, or here's some of the things that we can share. This is what you are already doing. It is what you are amazingly good at, and you're using your skills and your talents and your passions to try and bring forward and, and elevate, right? A conversation that might not otherwise happen for an or for an organization or for a group of people who are marketing or a group of people who are focused on social media. So what you're doing right now is a perfect example of the people, the people, right? Like you are utilizing your space, your place of power, and you're using it to elevate a conversation that might not otherwise happen.
Andréa Jones (05:40):
Yes. I, and I don't think it has to be hard. I think that's really what you're nailing here is, you know, it doesn't have to be like, go way outside of your comfort zone and like do something that you've never done before, which there's a place and a time for that. But sometimes it starts with what are you already doing? And how can you bring an inclusive lens to that topic? I love
Deanna Singh (06:00):
That. I love that. Absolutely. <laugh>.
Andréa Jones (06:03):
So for those people who are listening who are like, Dean, I know I need to do some work in my organization. Um, I know that our, like the very culture of our organization needs to shift. What's one thing that they can do within their organization to bring a more inclusive lens to the work that they do? Um, and just for contacts, a lot of our listeners are, um, online business owners. So they typically have, you know, products like courses, memberships, um, coaching programs, things like that.
Deanna Singh (06:36):
Yeah. So I think that, you know, one of the biggest things is really taking a look at what is it that, the same question that you would ask as an individual. Like, what am I doing? What am I passionate about? You would ask as a business owner too, because I, I, I do think that when we make these big leaps, so sometimes we get these, we call 'em d e i, emergency phone calls, right? Like the bat signal goes up and it's like, we needed help nine times outta 10. When I trace back to like, how did we end up in this situation? What, what, what was the like catalyst or where was that moment, right? Where we made a decision that let us down this pathway versus this pathway? Um, oftentimes it comes from the fact that somebody jumped outside of where their wheelhouse was, right?
Like jumped outside of what they already know and do really well, and where they show up. It's not to say that those jumps aren't great and that they lead to awesome things, like you said before, right? Like, sometimes we do have to get out of our comfort zone and sometimes we do need to do, but I think starting, especially if you're starting and you're trying to like go down this pathway, starting with where are we already centered and then how do we build on that? So if you are an organization and you're, you know, coaching people, okay, look at your coaching practice. Are you at, have you ever taken any classes on what it, what the differences might be for coaching for marginalized communities versus, you know, communities that are not marginalized? Have you taken, like, have you read any books about, you know, from a perspective that is not your own?
Um, have you gone to any groups or listen to any podcasts or, you know, like what are you doing to self-educate yourself on what might be different for one group versus another group? Yes. That in and of itself, right? That educational component, and are you making those resources available for the rest of your team? That in and of itself could make a world of difference, right? How I coach one person is completely different than how I might coach another person as a coach, you know that. But are you taking in that cultural relevant, you know, relativity? Like, is that part of the equation? And if it's not, start there. Um, so I could give a million examples, but hopefully that kind of illustrates like what I mean by starting where you are before you take that jump. Just start where you are and just look at everything around you.
One, uh, really fun thing that we like to, I think it's fun. I don't know if other people think it's fun. I think it's fun though. Um, as we say, like go through your whole day, look at your calendar for a day and think about all the different things that you do and think like, okay, I'm the one who sets the agenda for this meeting. Am I doing that in the most inclusive way? What could I do that would be different? Oh, I'm the person who, um, is going to decide the food for the next event. What is something that I could do that would like, make shift this a little bit, right? Like, instead of just going back to the same place that I always go to, what could I do that might make this a little bit more inclusive of my community? Right? So just those kinds of things, these little decisions that end up having big impact on culture.
Andréa Jones (09:19):
Yes, I love the little things too because I feel like sometimes we, I don't, I, maybe this is just me type A, I'm like, we've gotta change everything right now. <laugh>
Deanna Singh (09:28):
Andréa Jones (09:29):
Sometimes it is just that small little change and actually, oh, I just had your book out. Um, action speak Louder is the book that you just wrote. Y'all, if you want to start somewhere, buy this book, buy it for your team, buy it for you yourself. I think it's such a great way to, um, dive into some of these actionable concepts.
Deanna Singh (09:53):
Andréa Jones (09:55):
Yes. Um, but one of the things you said that really stuck out to me too is looking at your day and analyzing that. So one of the things we did recently, um, that it came from a place of necessity. Um, y'all know, I just had a baby. My time is so limited. Like if it's not <laugh>, if it's not urgent, it's not gonna get on my desk. So I've been listening to podcasts a lot, specifically like audio recordings of things that I need to review or recover. And so we've been looking at this through a different lens now, just from my own limitations right now. How can we get this information to Andrea quickly? She doesn't have time to sit down and read a 10 page report. Okay, we're gonna give her an audio recording. So even little things like that I'm noticing in the way that my team and I work is a great example of how you can start examining the way that you can deliver your resources to your people as well, which I absolutely love that, that perspective shift. Love
Deanna Singh (10:56):
It. What's so fascinating about it is that once you start thinking that way, and you think about who's the person who's maybe most marginalized in this situation, right? Maybe the person who doesn't get to talk the most, or maybe the person who can't make all the meat you get. Like, you just think about like, and this changes all day long, right? It's not like one person all the time. Sometimes it is, but most often it's just, it changes based on the activity. If you could think about like, what could I do that would be most inclusive from, for Andrea at this moment, right? And you start there, what ends up happening is that you make that situation better, not just for you, but you make it better for the whole team. Cuz I'm certain right, that there's other people on the team who are like, you know what?
I don't have the time for that this week. Or, and I, I know they just made that recording. I could go grab that recording and I could actually take a listen to it. Or I don't normally get to come to these meetings, but I'm very interested in what's going on. I'm wonder if, like, I could do this at a different time. Like I have another meeting, but I would, I would really love to be like, right, all of a sudden this thing that's being done, done for you could actually be beneficial for everybody. And I think that's the power of being able to think about things through an inclusion lens is that you don't just, it's not just one tide rises. Everybody's tide rises by being more inclusive.
Andréa Jones (12:05):
Yes. Oh my gosh. This is, this is the key to inclusion and diversity and, um, having these equitable conversations because it's not just about one person, it's about all of us as a collective, which is just beautiful. Um, so we're gonna take a quick break and when we come back, I wanna talk about how this reflects on social media and specifically your, um, experience being a LinkedIn creator. So we'll talk about that in a moment.
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All right, and we're back. So one of the big questions we often get from organizations, especially when you said the bat signal goes out, <laugh>, the bat signal is out. We saw this with Black Lives Matter, we saw this with the squares, we see this pride month where people go, oh my gosh, we have to post something now. Or we've made a mistake and we have to make an announcement on social media. Um, do you have any tips around that specifically? Like especially the public persona of inclusive topics?
Deanna Singh (14:24):
Yeah, so I think, uh, one of the first questions that I always ask when somebody asks me this question, right? They'll say like, oh, do you think we should do this? Do you think we should do this? I'll say, why, why are you doing it? And then they'll give me some answer, right? And then I'll say, okay, and why, why that? And they'll give me some answer and I'll say, why that? And I'll keep asking them why, to a point where it gets nauseating for them. Because what I'm trying to do is make sure that whatever they're doing actually actually comes back to their core values as an organization. If I have to ask that question 8, 9, 10 times, and you still haven't told me like how it connects back to your core values, then I'm very confused as to why you think you have to make a statement.
Because it's not, then you're being inauthentic, right? If you say, I'm making this statement because this is one of our core values and this is how it connects, and you can articulate that very clearly and you understand that, then it'll be portrayed in your message if you cannot. Right? And if that is not the reality of where you are, then I think it's more important for you to just be honest, right? This isn't something that we, or, or saying, you know what, at this moment we are very confused as an organization. We're, we're, we're recognizing that we are in a space where we need to take a deeper introspection into where, into where we are and how we fit. Because otherwise you, you're gonna be like, you're in this, um, responsive mode as, as opposed to really being proactive. And I feel like what your job, you know, our jobs as business owners is our, our jobs really in helping direct other people who are business owners or companies and leaders.
It's to help them elevate who they are on social media, not to create some fictional character of who they are. And that's where, at least in my perspective, that's where the disconnect happens, is that we don't talk about where we are. We maybe get too, too far, like, it's okay to be aspirational. I'm looking for this, I'm aiming for this and whatever, but stick skipping that stuff of I'm aiming to like I am. Hmm, okay, let's make sure before you go ahead and, and hang your hat there. So that's the big thing that I like to do is just ask question why. Yeah. If you can't make, if you can't make the connection back to your, your, when you are called on it, if you can't make the connection back before you even do it, how do you think you're gonna make the connection back if you get called on it?
Andréa Jones (16:38):
Yeah, absolutely. And I love that this, uh, concept of not being a fictional character. It's hard on social media because I know there's a lot of fictional characters
Deanna Singh (16:47):
Andréa Jones (16:47):
Yes. Social media stream. Oh, yes. So, yeah. Yeah. Um, I, I love that. You can't,
Deanna Singh (16:54):
You smell that though, can't you? Like, yeah. Don't you feel that? And then I feel like it's not, I don't know, I just think that that's not, that's not helping anybody. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> and I, and I have a very, like, that's my view of social media. Like really it's a tool to be able to benefit other people. When I think about like, social media is a resource that is essentially free. Yeah. So if, if you are doing something, then that's a community service, right? Like, that's where you're trying to build up community. Doing that on a bunch of like fakeness doesn't seem, it's just that I, that's just how you build community <laugh>. Yeah. So,
Andréa Jones (17:30):
Yeah. And I wanna talk a little bit more about this because I know that you outsourced your social, we supported you with that for, uh, a year, right? A year. Just about a year. Yes. Um, and so I wanna talk about, cause a lot of the questions we get sometimes is like, okay, Andrea, I wanna do this, but it's me, it's my personal account. Like, how, what, what are, what's a thought process for you for outsourcing that, especially with this concept of like, I don't wanna be a fictional character mm-hmm. <affirmative>, um, you know, for those people who wanna make the jump to getting support from a team, um, what was that process like for you?
Deanna Singh (18:04):
So I had a lot of resistance to this. So I just wanna be very like, transparent about it. I am the person you just described because it is, it's me, it's my name, it's my, you know, my person. Like, it's what I believe, because I do strongly believe that this is a place to be, uh, authentic and to build community. I was like, oh, no, I absolutely can't do this. And I will tell you that I think starting it earlier in the process would've been all wrong for me because I hadn't done enough to really like, establish my voice and, you know, what I was l what I was looking to do and what messages I wanted to put out there. I think where I had the shift in mindset, there was a couple of things that were going on. One, I knew that there was a community that was really hungry for like, information that they knew was vetted.
I knew that there was a community that wanted information that, uh, they could rely on, that they could utilize, that they could really benefit from, and that I did not have as an individual, the capacity to meet that need. Um, there's a lot of bad information going around about, uh, you know, diversity, equity, and inclusion. Even those words have become like hot rods, right? For people. Yeah. And so just feeling that strong intense need from a community that was not able to find the resources and really wanted a trusted source. So one, there was a, a very strong need that I knew as an just a human being. I could not meet on my own. Number two, I also spent a lot of time in creating content. I mean, I've written six books now. You know, I have, I mean, I spoke to over 200,000 people last year.
I do on average between a hundred and 150 keynotes a year. Like, I mean, so I am not, um, not creating content. I just don't always have the time to like cut it, you know, like submit it, make sure that it like makes sense or somebody could read it. Not just like my own little, you know, notes that make sense to me. And so there was a gap between like, I have all of this content, but after I deliver it, it was just sitting and it wasn't, um, really still benefiting people, right? It wasn't getting the same impact that it could. And our company is called Uplifting Impact. So I'm like, I do not like withholding impact, like, at all. And so that was the second thing, is that right? I felt really confident that the body of work that we had created could still be really useful to meet that need. That was the first thing. But we had the body of work that could be useful. We needed somebody who could help curate it, right? And so somebody gave me this analogy, and I, I, I might work for some of your listeners, right? But if you're an artist and you make like a beautiful painting, by the way, fyi, not an artist,
Andréa Jones (20:43):
Right? But you, we're not painters <laugh>,
Deanna Singh (20:48):
Well, let's say hypothetically, right? Or, and I think, you know, those of us who are in this like thought leadership space and whatever, we, this is some form of art, right? It's a, it's a different kind of form of art than maybe I normally associate with. But if you have an art piece, your job as the artist is to make the art piece right? And there's people who could benefit from seeing it and learn from it and grow their own techniques and to, and so, but if you keep your art piece and you just have a cover on it, or it's in a desk drawer and nobody gets a chance to see it or explore it or use it as a platform for them to also build on, then then, then you're not giving the full opportunity for the impact to happen, right? And so that to me was kind of the, the moment where somebody was like, yeah, Tiana, that's really cute and everything that you wanna be totally in control of all, every, every aspect of it.
But that's kind of like taking the artwork and taking all that research and taking all that information and then putting it in a drawer and not letting it benefit others by giving some of that, right? Just by being like, here's the art piece. Do you mind finding a gallery for it? Do you mind making it into, you know, PDFs? Do you mind uh, like writing a description that would make it make more sense? Do you mind maybe like sharing a little bit about that's amazing right now? And that's where I think, um, that's where the mind shift happened for me. Yeah. Is I can still be authentic cuz it's still the content that I created, but there's someone else who's helping curate it, right? Like, aren't we thankful for the people who are the museum curators who can put the little blurbs next to it? Aren't we thankful for the person who hangs it on the wall? Aren't we thankful for the brochure that comes along with it? Or the person who walks us through on the tour? I feel like that is what you helped me do. You get to be all of those different roles, but the art, right? Like the, the core of it was still tied in, in the body of work that I created.
Andréa Jones (22:36):
Oh, that's such a beautiful analogy. I really, really love that. And I think it's very approachable the way that you kind of laid that out. So thank you for sharing that. Um, and I know that, you know, LinkedIn is kind of your art gallery. Can I, can I pan upon this? I dunno if I can do it. Yes, go for it. <laugh> link LinkedIn is your, your place of choice. So, um, why LinkedIn? Like, what, what drew you to that platform?
Deanna Singh (23:02):
So, um, for about two years, so prior to Covid, and I don't know if I, I've told a lot of people this, um, and I don't even know, I think you probably must know this, but for about two years, um, I first of all had a really like animosity towards social media. It was like, I didn't understand it. I didn't know what buttons to push. It was just, it was very like overwhelming to me. And I'm, I'm not like, not tech savvy. It just seemed like it was constantly changing and I didn't really understand it. And I did, I just didn't know like where I could be useful. I didn't wanna just be there to be there. Um, I don't have that kind of time, right? Like, so I wanted to be bact full. And so what I decided to do is I was like, you know what I miss and what's hardest about, like, when I really reflected on this, I'm like, what's hardest for me about social media is it feels like it is replacing social interaction.
I love talking to people. I love meeting people. You know, you, I can't get on an elevator and get off elevator without making a friend. I love, love, love, love that, right? Like, that's who I am. And so it just felt like there was this, um, this barrier be bet between, you know, myself and the people I was trying to communicate with that like felt like it wasn't a real relationship. And that when I identified that as being like the number one issue that allowed me to think about, okay, well then how do I retool or reprogram the way that I'm approaching this, that would actually replace the re relationship component. So what I did was I actually very intentionally looked, uh, through everybody that I was connected to on LinkedIn and made sure that I reached out to every single person on my list.
And I think at that point I must have had, I don't know what the number is, I could go back and find the Excel document, but it was in the thousands right? Of, of people. And I individually reached out to every single person that was in my list and I asked all of them for a 15 minute conversation. And what was fascinating about this is that I went from like these, you know, just kinda like random connections or I didn't know this and that to being like, no, I actually know you and I had to see your cute little dog in the background and remember that time that we like, right? And so it wasn't about trying to create business, it wasn't about anything. It was literally like, Hey, I'm just trying to make this less impersonal. Right? Like, and make it more personable in a way that I understand, in a way that seems like more about like how I like to build relationships.
Like are you down to just talk? Yeah. And some of those were into amazing conversations and you know, all this other stuff. Some of 'em were just like super fun, right? Some people said no, but it was a small portion of people that said no. And I did that for about about two years. Um, and it just so happened that the pandemic happened, you know, like a little bit after we started, I started doing that and kind of doing that outreach and um, then you couldn't network with anybody or talk to anybody. Like that was the only way to do it. So I was like a little like ahead of the curve. I already had like a system in place to, to go through it. And that to me made LinkedIn much more than just a social media platform. It really made it like, um, like a, like a museum, like a place that I could go to and hang out with friends and um, really know the people that I was connected to.
Andréa Jones (26:09):
That's beautiful. And you know, you, you're finding a way to use it that works for you and your personality. For me personally, that would gimme anxiety. Like I <laugh> like if the phone rings, I'm not answering it. Like if I get on an elevator, it's like earbuds in no random conversations. I'm just a little socially anxious. But I love that you made it work for you and the way that you like to navigate the platform. So those of you watching and listening pay attention cuz it's, there's not just one way to do this. You figure out the way that works for you. I do wanna dive more into your results though, uh, because you're now a LinkedIn creator. You have a very successful LinkedIn newsletter. Um, talk to me about how that, that those actions have impacted your business.
Deanna Singh (26:53):
Well I think, you know, at one point, um, you know, I was advised like you should be on all the platforms and you should do all the things. And like they, like I said, I have no there, it's fine, right? Like, and I do some stuff on some of them and show up in different places. But LinkedIn was the only one that really just made a lot of sense to me and I think fit kind of what I was trying to do. Um, and again, I've always tried to be responsive to like needs as opposed to creating things, uh, just to create them. And so we had a very, very, very popular newsletter that was happening just in our own email. And I would get comments like, oh, do you know, like I wait for your email to come up. We have made it a regular part of our staff meetings to like go through this, you know, and like that kind of thing.
And you're like, oh, that's really cool. And so when LinkedIn approached me and asked me if I wanted to consider the creator role, you know, and I was like, well, what, you know, what would that allow us to do? They're like, well you could do this newsletter. I think now it might be a little bit more open, but then I think you only could do it if you were a creator. And I was like, well this is awesome because we have this amazing list, but we could actually share this even more broadly, uh, like the newsletter that, that we've created. And so it's just been really cool, like, because now we're getting even more feedback like, wow, yeah, that's exactly what I was looking for. Or this is what, you know, we didn't, we were trying to find research on this, we couldn't find it, but you like put it in these plain terms.
I took this in, forwarded it to everybody in the executive team. Those are the kinds of comments, right? That we get back. And so, yeah. So being I was just say from like a business perspective, what it did, what is was it allowed us to expand our networks well beyond the people that were already part of our community. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And it allowed for us to engage in even more conversation, right? So, and it also gave us a two-way street, right? So there's a lot of people who are like, oh, did you see this? Like, that's really cool. Did you also see this? And so it expedited my own, my own learning, which I, you know, I'm incredibly grateful for.
Andréa Jones (28:45):
Yes. And I love that. Uh, so LinkedIn approached you. I didn't realize that for the creator program, um, cuz I know they have an application process, but that means you're making big waits on LinkedIn already. If they approach you <laugh> and they wanna see that. I lo I love that, um, that you're amplifying that in that way. Um, so what's next for you? I know that you have big things on the horizon. I wanna, I'm curious, you know, social media wise, what moves you're making this year and then also for uplifting impact, you know, what's next for the company?
Deanna Singh (29:15):
Sure. So I think that, um, we again really love the LinkedIn platform. It's been very great to be able to participate there. So I think making sure that we're continuing to amplify not just the work that we're doing, but also the work that other people are doing. So we're kind of exploring some of the ways that that might work. We have amazing people on our team, which, you know, um, and so I'm also trying to think very creatively about how to amplify other voices, right? So people, people get to learn from the people I get to learn from every day. Um, so that's, that's really big. Uh, we're continuing to work with the podcast. Um, the podcast is also one of those things that people refer back to. Like they use it to help them come up with their own strategies. We get the great joy of being able to talk to people who are just phenomenal, like from all over the world.
So that's another place where, uh, we're putting a lot of energy and just thought as we move forward. Um, so tho those are the two, I would say just like deeper dive into LinkedIn and elevating some of our other team members and other people in the field who are doing this great work. And then really like thinking about the podcast and how to provide more service actually through the podcast. So those are kind of the social media goals. I'm sure the marketing team would have a lot more to add to it, but those are the two that are top of mind from me. Um, and then, you know, from just a company-wide perspective, there's a couple of things. Uh, first we launched our Bridge builder institute, which is very excited about that. So, uh, anybody out there who might be interested in really thinking about, I'm a person, I want to be a more inclusive person.
Like what does that look like? Would encourage you to check that out and sign up for our next, uh, cohort. We've had a couple go through already and it's just been like off the charts. Awesome. So would really encourage people to do that. And then our summit, um, we have our How to Be An Ally Summit, which is coming up March 1st through the third of 2023. We'd invite you all to join us there. It's a three day virtual summit. We have the best time, but we also walk out with some very, very, very tangible tools on, again, how to create that inclusive workplace and, and become a more inclusive leader.
Andréa Jones (31:13):
Yes. Oh my gosh, you have so many amazing resources from, um, the book. Y'all go get it. Action. Speak louder. I'll post that on social too. Um, and all of the work you're doing, my team did the summit last year. Um, we went through it as a team. It's just, it's such a great resource. I love it. I love it. Um, and then I know for those of you who want more of Deanna and Uplifting Impact and the work that her company's doing, we have a free ebook called Bridge Builders. Um, I'll put the link in the show notes, that's onlinedrea.com/239. Um, tell us a little bit about the ebook and what people will learn when they download it.
Deanna Singh (31:51):
So I think one of the things that we get as our biggest question is like, but what do I do? Or like, you know, I I'm feel, I'm here in the, in my role or I'm here in my knowledge of DEI. And so what we wanted to do was really create a resource that was an easy guide for people to be able to assess not only like what they could do and where they are given their both comfort level with d e I and d i topics, but also their role in their organizations, but also a tool that they could utilize to think about how do I activate other people on the team? Like, what does that actually look like? So I can assess where I'm at using this, this book, but I could also like look across and be like, Hey, I really wanna get you activated and here's how I can do it. And so it really is meant to be a, a resource to kind of get that, those wheels going and, and to get you thinking about what you can do, can do for yourself, but how you can also encourage other people to get involved.
Andréa Jones (32:42):
Beautiful. Check that out y'all, free ebook, free resource for you. I'll put that link in the show notes onlinedrea.com/239. Deanna, thank you so much for being on the show. This was fantastic.
Deanna Singh (32:53):
Oh, thank you. It's always fun to see you and I'm such a big supporter of the work that you're doing, so I'm glad you're out there in the world using your talents to make us all better. It's, it's really awesome.
Andréa Jones (33:03):
Aw, thank you so much. Uh, and thank you dear your listener for tuning into another episode. Next week, I have my friend Marisa Corcoran coming on. We're talking about copywriting and you'll absolutely love that conversation. She gives some really practical tips that you can use today. So I will see you next week in that episode. Bye for now.