Episode 54

The growing importance of workplace inclusivity and social responsibility

In this week’s episode of the Future Tribe Podcast, we had the pleasure of talking to young business owner and inclusion consultant, Katie Zink. For those who are unaware, inclusion specialists such as Katie consult with businesses on how they can improve their workplace culture in order to make it as inviting and equitable as possible. We start off this episode with Katie and Germaine discussing this new burgeoning industry as well as how Katie herself transitioned into it from her typical 9-5 job. During this discussion, our guest also outlines how she was able to finance her startup by developing supplementary revenue streams and living frugally. After this, Germaine asks Katie what it was like starting her own business during the COVID epidemic and how she has handled client acquisition at a time in which most companies are tightening their budgets. The show then culminates in an interesting discussion pertaining to why exhibiting social responsibility is becoming an integral part of corporate strategy in 2020.

What we talk about
  • What is social consulting?
  • Starting a business during COVID
  • Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Content marketing
Links from this episode
Transcript

Disclaimer: This transcript was generated automatically and as such, may contain various spelling and syntax errors

[00:00:00] Germaine: [00:00:00] Hello, future tribe. Welcome to another episode of the podcast on this week’s episode, we’ve got Katie Zink. How are you today? Katie?
[00:00:08] Katie: [00:00:08] I am doing well Germaine, thank you so much. How’s it going for you?
[00:00:11] Germaine: [00:00:11] Yeah, not too bad. Not too bad. You’re in the U S is that
[00:00:15] Katie: [00:00:15] right?
[00:00:16] I am, yes. I’m on the West coast of the us and Portland, Oregon.
[00:00:21] Germaine: [00:00:21] Nice, nice. So, before we get the ball rolling, give me an idea of what you do. you know, what, what we’re here to talk
[00:00:27] Katie: [00:00:27] about.
[00:00:28] Absolutely. Yeah. So, I, I have launched kind of my signature consulting program, in this, in the newest iteration this year. and what that is, is a, a cult consulting program for organizations looking to commit formally or actualize diversity equity and inclusion work.
[00:00:47] So, Especially where I live in Portland, kind of in the tech scene is where I reside primarily. there is a lot of activity right now, figuring out what that means and how to go about it in a strategic way. So what my con [00:01:00] my program does, it’s a, it’s a three month guided track. that’s essentially the process of any kind of strategic planning process where I, guide there, their equity work and help them figure out.
[00:01:11] How the first year will look. so it’s for organizations who know they want to commit, they just don’t really know how to get started yet.
[00:01:18] Germaine: [00:01:18] Okay. So, for those who are listening and, you know, for me as well, let’s, could we sort of simplify, like what, what you do? you know, you’ve used words like equity, diversity, inclusivity, In sort of layman’s terms.
[00:01:32] What does that mean? Like what if you, if you have the effect that, you intend to have, what, what is the difference that you make?
[00:01:42] Katie: [00:01:42] It’s a good question. So. We were seeing for, you know, decades and decades that specifically in the tech industry, it was a, a white majority white male majority to be more exact.
[00:01:55] And so there started to be a lot of passion behind diversifying who’s [00:02:00] working in those fields, in that field and, and, and knowing, that skill set and being able to earn a wage that you earn in the tech world. So, there have been. Lots of kinds of committees and organizations that are aligning to figure out how to diversify tech talent.
[00:02:18]there are a lot of different programmings coming around about, getting high school students, ready to enter the, a career in tech, if that’s what they want or getting them interested in pursuing it, helping them believe that they can do it, you know? And so the goal really is to. Make sure we don’t have just a homogenous white majority anymore.
[00:02:36] Eventually that’s going to take a long time to get there, but there is a lot of, I think, momentum now. And I think even, even, especially now, I’m in the United States, we’re really waking up to what racism has done and, you know, what’s actually been doing and is doing so my work is really to kind of wake people up additionally and figure out.
[00:02:58] Well, how the cultures need to [00:03:00] shift in order for more people to feel like themselves. And like they can bring their whole selves to work. it’s more, or about people feeling like they have a voice to enact change and less of kind of prescriptive top down leadership kind of. Been doing it, you know, doing it as they’ve been doing it, kind of rhetoric.
[00:03:18] It’s just more of an inclusive, people just having a sense of belonging and feeling kind of connected. And you know, the ideas that if people are more engaged and feeling like themselves at work, innovation will soar productivity will be better. So it really is kind of. A holistic way to think about organizational effectiveness in a way that benefits everybody, not just the same types of people, getting opportunities over and over again.
[00:03:46] Germaine: [00:03:46] And I guess part of this whole thought process is that when you make it more accessible for more types of people, so not just, you know, the white man that you would also, I mean, even thinking about innovation, [00:04:00] you’ll get a different mindset, different ideas. You, you naturally sort of opening it up to, you know, different races, different backgrounds, different experiences, different genders, and so on and so forth.
[00:04:09] So, I never thought about it from that angle. because, you know, I guess I had to hit the, you know, I guess the hard stuff sort of pretty early on in our, in our conversation. I think traditionally you’ve sort of, people have looked at it as, you know, why are we trying to force this thing that doesn’t exist?
[00:04:28] Like, you know, if, if, this gender or this type of person is predominant in this sector, that there might be a reason for it. and I guess the, the assumption was that the reason was it just attracted that specific type of person versus looking at it from, I guess, Well, we’ve sort of touched on, in, yeah, maybe we just the system and was just in place to suit that person.
[00:04:53] So we almost, the system just was selective. not, not, maybe not as obvious, obviously as, as [00:05:00] we needed to be for everyone to sort of be like, okay, I can see why that’s a problem, but, Historically, it’s just being a very selective system. Is that, is that fair to say?
[00:05:09] Katie: [00:05:09] Yeah, I think it’s abundantly fair and, and really astute actually to think about, you know, I have heard, you know, predominantly white males say, well, won’t, won’t diversity just happen naturally or kind of, like you said, maybe there is a reason why, you know, men gravitate towards tech.
[00:05:24] You know, dominant positions, there is a reason why it’s because those jobs and benefiting from that career were, was a system designed by, by them. So it was, they were, they designed a system to benefit themselves where, you know, it was just that one, one perspective. I think that’s absolutely fair to say.
[00:05:42] Germaine: [00:05:42] Well, exactly. And even the outcomes, Was designed or the outcomes, from, you know, receiving those promotions or getting into those jobs. we’re set up in such a way that they were attractive to, you know, A certain type of person. [00:06:00] because, because let’s be honest, you, you ideally you would do work for more than just the money and, you know, there’s, there’s a whole lot of other things that you get out of it.
[00:06:08] And naturally over the years, it’s just been refined and refined and refined so that those outcomes are, desirable. Because as an employer, as, as an organization, as a company, it’s desirable to make. Those outcomes desirable versus undesirable. Right. So I guess, you’re making me think about it more because I have, you know, over the years, my, my opinions have changed and sort of, as I’ve become more educated, it’s, it’s changed.
[00:06:35] But I feel like this alone, this conversation alone in the last five minutes has educated me even further because I have just looked at it as, you know, why are we trying to force something that, hasn’t existed or doesn’t exist? And, you know, that was me a few years ago before I did enough study and started to understand it.
[00:06:51] But now, now I’m understanding it even even more. So that’s really interesting, but let’s quickly rewind and, go back to how you got it. [00:07:00] you know, what, what, what led you to this? Because it’s not really, you know, no one sort of, At least no one I know has sort of said, you know, I want to grow up and, get into what you’ve gotten into.
[00:07:12] It’s usually accounting doctor, you know, entrepreneur maybe, or YouTuber nowadays, but, how did you end up where you’ve ended up?
[00:07:20] Katie: [00:07:20] Yeah. Oh, and I didn’t think I was going to be doing this either. I was one of those people that really had no idea. What to do, where I saw myself going. but what I did know, yeah.
[00:07:30] I said, I just had to try a lot of things. I wouldn’t say that I started off with, so much of a growth mindset as I kind of, self adopted one when I kind of started doing a lot more internal work. And, it really started when I found myself in my, college years, I started off, as a communications student.
[00:07:49] And, I was, I think one of the lucky ones and that I really didn’t know what I wanted to do, but when I started that, I found myself right at home and I, and I really, just became enthralled with studying [00:08:00] communications. I love it so much that I. Was like, okay, well, I love this. I want to keep growing.
[00:08:06] What else can I expand into? And communications is thought of as kind of a social science. And so I became kind of really, and I’m intrigued by the social sciences and found myself taking women and gender studies courses. And that’s really, when I, I’ll never forget kind of the sensation those courses gave me, gosh, I just want more people to have this information, what I’m learning.
[00:08:28] And so I loved it so much that I can, I pursued, kind of a double major. And communications and women and gender studies. And, and I was lucky enough to attend a school that had, you know, a fantastic programming and fantastic professors. After that though, I still was like, well, what am I going to do with this?
[00:08:43] I liked, I loved this. I loved having this education and having this, these experiences, but I don’t feel all necessarily that motivated to just go into the workforce yet. I didn’t want to have, you know, you know, when you’re in college and you know, when you’re kind of younger, you don’t think you’re going to have a traditional life.
[00:08:58] You don’t think you’re going to be a nine to fiver. [00:09:00] I definitely didn’t think I would be, but, fast forward about let’s see. Maybe seven years of working in hospice and just kind of living right. My twenties and having a lot of fun. I finally decided, okay. You know, I was living in Colorado at the time.
[00:09:17]and that’s, you know, we’re a lot of, you know, amazing skiing and outdoors, you know, it’s just a beautiful part of the country. And I was 20. I want to say 25 or 26. And I, you know, realized, gosh, I feel like it’s time for me to start my career path. I don’t know what it’s going to be, but I know I probably can’t find it here.
[00:09:36] And so I moved to Portland and I, you know, started off kind of in the hospitality realm again here again. And I just, it was different. It was a very, like, I, I enjoyed it way less. I have to say, like I was treated. Very poorly, harass, you know, when I spoke up for what was going on for me, I would get fired.
[00:09:56] You know, I was just be treated horribly by management, you know, definitely for by the
[00:10:00] [00:09:59] Germaine: [00:09:59] customer
[00:10:00] So this workforce.
[00:10:01] Katie: [00:10:01] This is, this is when I was still working in hospitality.
[00:10:04] Germaine: [00:10:04] Right, right. Okay. And what, what sort of hospitality were you working in at, at this time
[00:10:09] Katie: [00:10:09] It was food and beverage? Mostly I’m serving and bartending.
[00:10:13] Germaine: [00:10:13] Restaurants and bars and stuff?
[00:10:17] Right. So you were sort of, I guess by this stage, you have, you had gone through college got that, got that education and you were sort of looking at it going, hold on. This isn’t right. and this is consistently not right. is that, is that sort of what you were sort of thinking in your mid twenties?
[00:10:34] Katie: [00:10:34] I would say so, like I started to notice more patterns and kind of how women in particular were being treated and the challenges we had in that setting. And then I ended up leaving kind of, because of that. so that’s what I got into the tech scene. I started having different, you know, different roles in tech, kind of more sales and marketing type roles.
[00:10:54]and then about six years kind of going into that, I, additionally just kept not noticing just like. [00:11:00] What it was like to be a women into element in tech and, you know, working in an office and, along, that whole timeline, I was kind of volunteering at different causes too. I was organizing on a marketing committee for a, a shelter for domestic violence survivors, and women in the trades, you know, different organizations that help women kind of pursue different types of work.
[00:11:25]I was volunteering as a ski coach for a special Olympics, in Oregon here too. So I’ve had a degree of exposure to different types of folks and identities and communities. And I just really got a lot out of that. So, when the time came, this is now fast forward till about 2016 and our most recent election.
[00:11:45]that was a popular time, I would say, similar to what’s going on in the U S now. where it was just very hot button and people were wanting to take the power back into their own hands cause of what was going on. And so you’ll, you’ll, you would have seen a lot of [00:12:00] different committees and task forces kind of sprout up, for diversity inclusion, it kind of like hit the scene, but that year I would say
[00:12:07] Germaine: [00:12:07] it became sort of the hot topic.
[00:12:08] Katie: [00:12:08] Yeah. Yeah. because even like, you know, years before that, it wasn’t really even thought of. So, so around that time is when I got kind of more visibly involved and volunteered my time to lead committees and help strategize where I was working at the time and where I was working was a fantastic.
[00:12:26] Company. I loved it there. I was there for four years and they really invested in me. And, but at the same time, I just flat out felt limited in what I could really accomplish. So,
[00:12:36] Germaine: [00:12:36] as an employee you mean sort of being sort of part of that machine.
[00:12:41] Katie: [00:12:41] Yeah, exactly.
[00:12:42] Germaine: [00:12:42] So you felt there was more potential for what Katie can do and sort of the impact that you can make.
[00:12:47] Katie: [00:12:47] For sure. Yeah. I would say about two years later, I realized like I want to be self employed and I want to work for myself and figure that out. so I took a few more years to kind of think about what that would look like and [00:13:00] then decided to launch my consulting service. I’m doing what I do because I love it so much.
[00:13:05] And I thought, you know, I know I want to be, you know, driving my own business and, and running a business. and this is what I care about the most right now. So how can I make that? Make that work.
[00:13:15] Germaine: [00:13:15] So how long ago was this that you sort of, went out on your own?
[00:13:19] Katie: [00:13:19] It’s been recently actually. I launched my, my first service, in April.
[00:13:24]my last day at my company was March 6th.
[00:13:27] Germaine: [00:13:27] where were you if you don’t mind me asking?
[00:13:29]
[00:13:29] Katie: [00:13:29] Yeah,the company is called learning.com. they’re here in Portland, Oregon, and the headquarters is here and it’s an ed tech company. So they develop a curriculum to teach students, starting in kindergarten all the way to grade eight, tech skills, digital skills to help them.
[00:13:45] You know, in their lives and their career paths in school,
[00:13:48] Germaine: [00:13:48] was there, was there, website URL, learning.com as well?
[00:13:52] Katie: [00:13:52] Yes.
[00:13:53] Germaine: [00:13:53] Wow I imagine that they’d be getting, offers all the time to just buy the domain name, let alone the [00:14:00] company.
[00:14:00] I
[00:14:00] Katie: [00:14:00] think they should consider that because it’s, it’d be really great for SEO.
[00:14:05]and I worked in the marketing team actually for a short period of time. but it was really hard to differentiate what you, what we actually did. Yeah. .
[00:14:13] Germaine: [00:14:13] That’s true .That’s such a generic. Yeah. Yeah. Well, you could imagine, you know, any of the big players, if they decided to get into that sort of education space, you know, an iTunes for education, for example, for courses, someone like Apple would just come along and be like, you know, let me just offer what is $1 billion sound like for learning.com?
[00:14:33] Because getting, I mean, you would have, you would have found out yourself that. Getting a domain name that’s available and makes sense. And is short, is near impossible nowadays. It’s something is a constant struggle for a lot of people.
[00:14:47] Katie: [00:14:47] Yes. Yeah, it was for sure. Something I had to think on for awhile. And I, luckily, luckily we see more like.co I think is another creative way, which I ended up choosing.co for my, for mine.
[00:15:00] [00:14:59] Germaine: [00:14:59] Nice
[00:15:00] and short. So, like your, like your website, Katie Zink.co is really handy because, it’s your name, and it’s dot is nice and short. Like, I mean, it’s basically as short as you can get a URL while still being on brand. So, if you don’t mind me asking, how old are you now?
[00:15:17] Katie: [00:15:17] I just turned 32. I, yeah, I actually launched my business on my birthday.
[00:15:23] Germaine: [00:15:23] Okay. Wow. Happy birthday. So you launched in April of this year? Yes. Mid coronavirus.
[00:15:32] Katie: [00:15:32] Pre yeah, I mean, technically mid coronavirus, but, I left my job. I was doing it kind of on the side as consulting. And so I left my job March 6th to focus on this full time. And, everything changed here, at least that next week.
[00:15:48] Germaine: [00:15:48] Yeah. Yeah. So what’s, what’s that been like? I mean, what, what were you in your, your lead generation to be like, or did you already have a few sort of, few things in [00:16:00] place, a few, few projects in place as soon as they left, or were you just going to hit the ground running and get. Okay clients, you know, that, that next week after leaving?
[00:16:10] Katie: [00:16:10] No, it’s a good question. And I’ve gotten this question definitely. a lot when I first kind of was honest with people about what I was doing and where I wanted to go. And that was just an amazing feeling because people were so supportive, but they were like, okay, so do you have clients or what are you going to do
[00:16:25] Germaine: [00:16:25] this is all well and good, but how is it going to happen?
[00:16:28] Katie: [00:16:28] Yeah, I needed a ton of coaching. I actually worked with two different coaches before I decided to leave my job. It was a long process to mentally prepare for that. and I actually worked with an Australian coach.
[00:16:42] okay.
[00:16:43] I don’t know if you know Rachel Kurzyp, but she is phenomenal.
[00:16:46] I would recommend her highly for anybody looking for marketing branding, coaching and somebody looking to actually craft a signature service, like what I’ve done. So I started working on her program in January of this year. [00:17:00] with the intent that, you know, that’d be a three month coaching program that I could launch at the end that so through, through my work with her is how I figured out my, my business development strategy and how I would get leads and, and my content marketing strategy and all that good stuff.
[00:17:15]and I, I made the decision to run with a beta test, plan. So my, my. Goal right now is to put the program through beta, and you know, offer kind of a 50% off situation to work with the client, to kind of run through it with me and maybe, you know, customize it a little more for them, but they’d really be informing me along the way I have the program built, but, I’ve, I’ve.
[00:17:37] I’ve I’m comfortable with the fact that this first year will just be me iterating on the program, building relationships, just networking my ass off. Basically.
[00:17:49] Germaine: [00:17:49] You’ve just touched on a good point about, you know, just sort of facing the fact that. The first year might not be your biggest year. it’s sort of that, just laying down the foundation, [00:18:00] did you look at it from a financial point of view?
[00:18:02] Did you sort of really save up to do this and fund this for at least the next 12 months? Was, was that sort of a very intentional decision there?
[00:18:11] Katie: [00:18:11] No, I, I appreciate that question. It’s such a reality. I mean, I, this was a long con for sure. Yeah. Very long con for me. I took an, a financial freedom course, actually.
[00:18:23]it must have been maybe a year and a half ago now. I think it was actually last summer. and I learned all that. I, it was just, I don’t know if you pay attention much to those, the kind of folks that you know, want to save up so they can retire by. Yeah, yeah,
[00:18:38] Germaine: [00:18:38] yeah, yeah, yeah. Some, we had some guests who sort of followed that.
[00:18:44] And, yeah, I think they were in their thirties when they left their, their full time gigs. Yeah. Yeah.
[00:18:49] Katie: [00:18:49] Very cool. So I did a course basically by somebody, of that world and really got a lot out of it. And so, I was incredibly intentional about saving and [00:19:00] I think they call it like F-you money or something.
[00:19:02]people that maybe some day just want to leave and walk away and pivot entirely. They can. so that, that helped me. I was, you know, say I had a savings rate of, you know, 50% for a while. So I was able, I was lucky in that way. it was, you know, it wasn’t easy, but, I would call myself kind of a minimalist and really what I spend money on is, you know, going out to eat in the city and travel.
[00:19:23] So I’ve been able to, you know, budget and from an informed place for a while, which is great. And then I, back years ago, I. Had an Airbnb listing. So I was able to kind of side hustle a little bit that way. I rented out my place on Airbnb. sometimes I would just kind of live out of my car or sleep at my partner.
[00:19:44] He was nice enough to let me crash over at his place. But, yeah. That was after I had a really bad bike accident. and so I needed some surgery and so I was inspired to do that, to help pay for it. And then I ended up doing it for three more years, to help me really [00:20:00] save up in preparation for this too,
[00:20:01] Germaine: [00:20:01] I mean, this is what I keep telling people, like, if you need to, you know, make money, there’s, there’s just ways to do it.
[00:20:10] There’s ways to balance it out this way. There’s creative things like you, you’ve done to, to save if, if that’s, if, if that’s what’s holding you back. because I think it’s very easy to come up with reasons as to why you can’t do what you want to do. it’s much harder to actually, Just, you know, take down those obstacles and just, just go for it.
[00:20:30] And like you said, you know, it was a long game. Maybe, you know, you had to work for someone or work a job for a bit longer than you are usually hoping to. But at the end of the day, it’s just, what you got to do to get yourself in a position where now, you know, for the next 12 months you can. Think about it.
[00:20:48] I think a lot of people like get into it. This mentality of, I need to get revenue. I need to make money. I need to make money. Yes. You need to make money for, for business to become a business. Otherwise [00:21:00] you’re just, you know, doing something for free. But at the same time, you also need to free yourself from that thought process.
[00:21:07] Everything I do has to generate money straight away, because at the end of the day, it’s, you know, what, what you’re finding out is yes, you, yeah. Give it a discount because it’s not really about the money that, that, that you’re charging someone. it’s about the value that you can provide and the value that you can get in return to, to craft something that is going to be better so that, you know, at the end of 12 months you have this.
[00:21:30] Product that is, or this service that is so funny tuned, because of this free stuff or is half price stuff that you’ve done, that you can just go out and just blow it up because it’s, you, you know, that you can just rinse and repeat in a, in a nice way, in a good way versus just sort of going, just hope and a prayer that, you know, this, this service that I’ve sold for someone full price is going to be what they want.
[00:21:56]So, yeah, it’s, it’s it’s just what you gotta do. I guess
[00:22:00] [00:22:00] Katie: [00:22:00] it’s true. It’s true. And it is really scary if, it’s not good feeling financial strain, you know, has a lot of negative effects, but I, I found that. from a financial budgeting advice perspective, if you have kind of an emergency fund set up, like if you’ve done the math and figured out, okay.
[00:22:18] If I didn’t have any income for six months, what does that mean for me? I found that a lot more comforting. Just to know that I’ll be okay for this amount of time. I can always get, you know, another service industry job, maybe not now, but something like that.
[00:22:31] Yeah, exactly. I mean, you’ve got enough still to hold you out.
[00:22:34] Germaine: [00:22:34] And, you know, I hear the people who say it’s easy to say it’s much harder to do, you know, when you’ve got a family X, Y, and Z, but I truly believe, especially in, in a lot of, sort of, in the modern world, so to put it, we are. We are pushed to make a, to spend money and to make decisions that we feel like we don’t have an option.
[00:22:56]but really in reality, we do. I mean, I’ve, I [00:23:00] remember helping this family, for free, because they couldn’t afford, it was like a two or $300 service that I just did it, you know, I just said, you know what? I’ll just, I’ll just, Help you out. And, they were really financially strapped, but what surprised me when I turned up was that the kid had the latest iPhone.
[00:23:16]and you know, at that stage I had like a, I had to, I think it was a two year old, Android phone. And I was sort of looking at this whole situation, thinking. You know, not that not that you need to look at it and go, yeah, you know, you’ve got an iPhone as if you can’t afford this service, but you’ve got to look at it thinking sort of priorities.
[00:23:34] And I think it’s very easy nowadays to be convinced that, you know, I’ve got to get the new iPhone when it comes out and therefore not be able to save even 200 bucks or 300 bucks and sort of go, it was only two or $300, but that could really be the difference between, you know, eating for four weeks and not.
[00:23:51] So, It’s it’s a, it’s sort of an intro interesting conversation to have always, I think money’s always [00:24:00] something that you don’t want to talk to people about, but, It’s interesting. None the less talking about it because it’s, it’s, it’s a, it’s a reality, right? You, you couldn’t have sort of said, you know, I’d have to worry about the money.
[00:24:10] I’m just gonna that’s that’s not how it works. You’ve got to keep the lights on and then you’ve got to feed yourself. I’m sorry. That’s why I want to get it right to this conversation with you and sort of talk about that side of things as well. So, how are you finding things at the moment? Like, what are you, what are you doing?
[00:24:25] What, what are the strategies that you’re sort of employing.
[00:24:28] In terms of, financial
[00:24:30] it’s sort of getting the well in terms, sorry, in terms of getting the business sort of going, especially given the fact that are you guys still sort of in, in lockdown or were you ever in lockdown over there or?
[00:24:41] Katie: [00:24:41] Yes, we, we were in lockdown.
[00:24:44]the, the order came about on March 15th. that’s when businesses all started closing and companies all sent there, most companies send their employees remote. So people have been working virtually. and we, we are, it’s not as strict as I [00:25:00] here and some other places we can leave the house. We can take walks around the neighborhood.
[00:25:05]there’s no policing on that, but, they’re just strongly encouraging people to keep things local and it’s just, you know, not gathering groups. So, yes, I, I live here with my partner and his brothers, so there’s the four of us kind of like a little happy family. and they all, are out of work from, from COVID.
[00:25:23] They work in the film and media industry. So, you know, that’s, that’s all obviously been, been put on hold, so they’re home here and I’m self-starting here. It’s been, but it’s been really good. so I think our governor, released a plan on this last Friday that businesses could apply for phase two.
[00:25:41] Of reopening. So I’m in the United States. Some places have been, have already reopened. it was kind of a controversial thing, but here in Portland they’ve been very kind of meticulous about it. And our numbers are looking pretty encouraging in terms of cases. So. It feels like it’s, we’re coming out to a [00:26:00] spot where we can be thoughtful and still keep six feet, you know, and, and just be conscious of, of who we’re around and still practicing the same things we’ve been told to practice.
[00:26:10] But, you know, protesting has been a thing that people are doing largely in these, in, in the cities, throughout. And I’m in Portland. I know that, you know, we’ve been, we’ve been going to the protests and, but testing is also available pretty, pretty widely here too. So, we, we were able to kind of see, okay, well, I I’m, I’m showing negative in my test results so I can at least get to that.
[00:26:32] Germaine: [00:26:32] Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So how are you navigating that? The fact that, I mean, was your original plan to really reach out to people, meet them in person, explain to them sort of, how you can help them. Was that part of your plan or was it always going to be fairly remote, fairly, you know, heavy on emails and things like that?
[00:26:50] Katie: [00:26:50] I am comfortable working virtually, but my plan was to go probably. In space with people and onsite for them. and historically how I’ve done the work is to meet [00:27:00] all together in person as kind of a coalition or, or committee. So, that’s what I’m used to. I think that, especially when you’re doing a workshop or something like that, Face to face in person is always just more powerful.
[00:27:12]yeah. Or at least that’s what people are used to. now I’ve done everything virtually, you know, virtual networking, having calls. and I, I really liked that at first it kind of felt like, Oh, we’re all here doing. We’re kind of figuring this out together and the pressure was sort of off, you know, they were upfront about the fact that they won’t be bringing in outside consultants.
[00:27:34] Anytime I had a few leads say, you know, maybe we’ll bring you in, in June, you know? And so that was two months ago and now I’m following back up with them this month. And you know, one of them took my call and wants to have a virtual meeting, but it was upfront and said, you know, At, at the earliest, I could see them hiring you wouldn’t be until the end of the year or early next.
[00:27:54] So my goal is just to build as many new connections and, you know, showcase my [00:28:00] service as much as I can and focus on visibility awareness. just. And, and, and, and the market research. So making sure it’s just the right offering further, quantifying exactly getting really exact on my target market and my audience right now.
[00:28:14] I’m kind of in that state where I think my service can help anybody. I need to really like, get more,
[00:28:19] Germaine: [00:28:19] find your niche, what you enjoy, what you can really provide that edge and that, that sort of differentiating factor. Right. Cause, I mean, you know, not to be sort of rude about it, but I would assume, and I guess it’s just a state of thinking.
[00:28:36]is it fair to assume that looking at, you know, budget cuts and financial stresses that companies are facing diversity and inclusion? it’s sort of lower down the priority list, unless they’ve had, you know, very specific issues around it. they don’t, they wouldn’t necessarily reach out and, and, and sort of chase after that.
[00:28:55] Is that fair to say?
[00:28:57] Katie: [00:28:57] It is fair to say. I think it’s something that [00:29:00] practitioners like myself are working to, change that narrative and be seen as a, not a nice to have, but a must, must have. but I think that. Yeah, especially in the pandemic, when it, when it first went the first, when things really started to get kind of confusing and navigating, you know, remote work for many people for the first time it got yeah.
[00:29:20] Back burned. So to speak, just put on the back burner. do you prioritize, I hear a lot of teams completely getting cut. so, and, and that’s just a sad reality. I think that, especially executive leaders, maybe they just don’t really. See why it’s a priority. So that’s just kind of a narrative that I work on and my messaging is around that of, of why it is.
[00:29:42] And, and then, you know, with what’s happening here with murders of the black community and. Police brutality really surging, on the radar right now. it’s interesting to see them now realize, Oh, we do need to show that we care about this and what we’re doing to address [00:30:00] this and to be better and how to be, how we’re being anti-racist.
[00:30:03]so it’s interesting now that it’s in fashion again, so to speak, They are now acting like they care. And so it’s interesting because it does often take a external force for companies to really act on something they maybe aren’t normally doing, whether it’s a PR like avoiding a PR nightmare or, you know, in nonprofits specifically, Funders are now asking for it, which is interesting to me.
[00:30:28] Germaine: [00:30:28] Okay. So it’s sort of starting to become, almost not optional because people, I mean, for them, it’s, it’s more security, right? If they can guarantee that when they’re providing funding that, Things are in place to make sure that everyone feels safe and included. That’s just naturally much, much better.
[00:30:46]even though a company would probably look at it yeah. Sort of going, you know, we wouldn’t spend money on that because we’d rather spend money on product, on, on development, if we, if we were given the option, it’s interesting to see that, you know, as you’re suggesting, it’s sort of almost an external [00:31:00] force and I don’t mean that in a bad way.
[00:31:01] I just mean that, it’s, it’s. Did the segments of that, the different layers of the onion that, that understanding the importance of it. And, you know, it might not have reached the core yet, but there’s, there’s layers above that, that are, that are picking up on it. And I see me then like boards of directors and things like that are picking up on it as
[00:31:20] well
[00:31:21] Definitely. Especially when their markets are even asking for it, you know, for profit companies I’ve been hearing, In an, in an RFP process, they, they asked to be demonstrated and how, how they’re committing to diversity equity inclusion in order to win a sale or to win a contract. so it’s actually becoming weighted in decisions in many ways.
[00:31:43] And it’s definitely a factor in recruiting too. I mean, this generation of workers and, and new talent they’re expecting, you know, Institutionalized inclusion and for companies to show it because, you know, millennials and now we’re seeing, you know, gen Z, they were just [00:32:00] raised to believe that that’s how it should be, you
[00:32:02] know?
[00:32:02] And they value that. Right. I think even sort of my parents’ generation, would have had the approach of, you know, if it doesn’t seem right, you know, You don’t, you don’t want to sort of cut the cut in the hand, cut off the hand that is feeding you and, you know, make an issue of it. just, just sort of deal with it and just go with the flow because the salary is more important, but I think there has definitely been a shift in that sort of thought process of no, you know, we, we have a right to feel like we belong, like, like we’re included, like we’re respected.
[00:32:34]And if we don’t feel that way where we’re going to leave, which, which is putting that back, back on the employees rather than the employers, I think it’ll be interesting to see sort of what parent of ours does to all this, obviously coming out, coming out of it, like where the pressures and where the balances shift, but, I want to, I want to sort of move along the conversation into content marketing.
[00:32:56] Cause you mentioned content marketing and I am a big [00:33:00] fan of content marketing. what are you doing in terms of content marketing?
[00:33:04] Katie: [00:33:04] Totally. podcasting is kind of one of my favorite things right now. I have a goal of, trying to appear out at least a couple of months and just get used to that.
[00:33:12] It’s new for me. but I think it’s a really cool way to just. Yeah, have a visible conversation with somebody and I think it’s mutually beneficial. And then I, podcasting has been a great way for me to occupy my time too, and, you know, being a second home. so I’ve been loving that, but I I’m a writer too.
[00:33:29] So I, I really love just kind of like honing in on my blog strategy. So blogging is another thing I do.
[00:33:36] Germaine: [00:33:36] Is that on your website? You’re blogging on your website?
[00:33:39] Katie: [00:33:39] Yeah. Yep. Yeah. My blogs on my website and I, I’m pretty active on LinkedIn as well, so I publish articles there, but, I blog about biweekly now and, my, my strategy for the month of June, actually, it’s, it’s really coming together perfectly.
[00:33:53] It’s all about inclusive leadership, and the journey to inclusive leadership. So my piece I’m working on right [00:34:00] now is kind of the journey companies go through before they’re ready to. Fully commit to this work and kind of mistakes they make. And, you know, maybe there are some, different intentions or mistakes they’re making behind it.
[00:34:11] Tensions, I guess I could say. And, and so, I really enjoy that because it just kind of helps me push myself to keep. Keep that cutting edge. and it just, you know, yeah. It gets me really researched and watching what others are doing and learning. So I love that. And then, and then, like I said, I’m not at the biggest social media pro, but I am trying to learn.
[00:34:31] So I like, but I really like LinkedIn, I would say that’s my number one channel. And it. Fits perfectly for what I do. Yeah.
[00:34:37] Germaine: [00:34:37] Yeah. I mean, it lets you, it, like you said, it’s, it’s just perfect because, it is such a, such a high level thing that, that, you know, you sort of do have to go in at, at sort of a LinkedIn at a very professional level, to find the right people.
[00:34:53]yeah. Because, you know, w which makes it good for you, I would say because there are lots of other businesses that, it’s not so [00:35:00] clear cut, you know, they could, they could be on almost any platform because there’s, there’s sort of the ideal clientele on, on any platform, but, makes it easier for you that.
[00:35:07] You know, more or less, I would say that LinkedIn, is, is sort of the only place for you in terms of the bigger social platforms at this stage for you to really be pushing your, pushing your conversation through and, and it’s, it’s probably higher level level sort of stuff. Anyway, it’s not just the, you know, light read on a, on a Sunday afternoon, I would guess.
[00:35:28] Is that, is that right?
[00:35:30] Katie: [00:35:30] I don’t think it’s light at all. Anything like right now, especially it’s pretty heavy content. which is good. Keeps me honest. I have put a lot of pressure on myself to stay very engaged with what’s going on right now. and it just gives me access to amazing thinkers and thought leaders and connections like what’s cool is, I mean, it’s such a, it’s so it lends itself really well to HR.
[00:35:56]human resources and, you know, staffing recruiting, all that stuff. [00:36:00] so what I do is, is such a component of that. Exactly. That, but it it’s, I would say that what I do is kind of a lens that HR needs to apply. And a lot of HR practitioners are kind of like. Forced upon this work too. It’s like dumped on their plate as well.
[00:36:17] So I look at HR practitioners is kind of my business partner in this effort. And so what’s been cool, especially when I first launched, was when people would connect with me. and I noticed, they were, or always the titles that I wanted. And so that was very. affirming to me. And then I would just get in the habit of trying to ask them if somebody connected with me, ask them what inspired you to connect with me, just as simple as that.
[00:36:40] And I got the most incredible and was able to book sales calls off of them. and so it’s literal inbound. You know, I was able to demo my service for them, show them around, you know, give them a sense for what working with me would be like, and I got nothing but positive feedback.
[00:36:58] Germaine: [00:36:58] Yeah. Yeah. And it sounds [00:37:00] like you’ve got your target demographic fairly well nailed down.
[00:37:04]I mean, of course it’s as you refine it, and as you sort of understand, as you get sort of your hands dirty, so to speak, it’s just going to become even more refined, but it sounds like, the business, I would assume the business coaches, so really push you to get that, get that target demographic. pretty well nailed is.
[00:37:21] Katie: [00:37:21] For sure. Yeah. The work I did with my coach, she called them. There, who are your dream clients? So I was totally right. You know, all of my content and, and craft a strategy around my dream clients, which is kind of, you know, it is kind of hard to do when you’re, newly starting out. But I know for sure, I mean, I know that my work will require partnering with, with human resources in an organization.
[00:37:44]so that is kind of my, my top two or who I appeal to, but I want to appeal to CEOs, CFOs CEOs. I’ll see, you know, the executive levels are, are critical too, because when we start our work together, it does need to come from the [00:38:00] top. But oftentimes it doesn’t start at the top. so it’s
[00:38:04] Germaine: [00:38:04] because, I mean, often that they’re the ones, they’re the ones who, you know, arguably feel the least affects of it all because they’re in the position of power and, It’s sort of the other end that that really gets affected by, by sort of what you’re focusing on.
[00:38:19]which is, which is just when you’re not in a position of power, it’s how you get treated in those positions. Right? It’s how you get treated when, when there’s no reason for anyone to treat you. at least from a, from a work perspective, there’s no re no specific reason or benefit in someone treating you well, that’s where you still that’s where you would have those negative effects or feel the, feel the negative effects of where, where, The current sort of mindset sits, depending on the organization.
[00:38:45] Of course. now let’s talk about some mistakes that you’ve made, or any that come to mind, in the, in your road to road, you know, where you are, where you are today. are there any big sort of mistakes that come to mind? Things that we can, we can [00:39:00] learn something
[00:39:00] Katie: [00:39:00] from. There will be. Aye. Aye. All right.
[00:39:04] Now I’m being gentle on myself and if I, if I notice I’m doing something I need to change, I kind of just view it as that. I don’t, I try not to harp too much on mistakes or be overly critical. I’m trying to think of there. If there was a mistake that I could, that I could share
[00:39:23]
[00:39:23] Germaine: [00:39:23] I mean, not necessarily mistakes let’s, let’s call them, you know, moments where you’ve got a pivot or moments, teachable, learnable moments at any, any, any of those come to mind?
[00:39:35] Katie: [00:39:35] I would say, The switch. The shift to virtual was interesting for me. I was luckily not too far down my path of what my service needed to be in person. I could, I was early enough that I could be very flexible. but I think kind of a lesson I’ve been learning along this way is, you know, cause another piece of my offering will be workshops and me facilitating them and, I’ve done.
[00:40:00] [00:39:59] I’ve done several in the past, but I feel like I, Oh, here’s one. I feel like I always bite off way more than I can chew. Like I, I have, I’ve kind of gotten to this zone of like, Oh, I can learn anything. I can do anything. I can become an expert in anything. and I’m learning to not backpedal, but just be really careful about that.
[00:40:18]as an independent consultant, you know, I feel. Not really any more protection from the world. Like I, when I was working for corporate, I, I was even kind of hiding behind the job and feeling very like insulated there and now in your consulting and you’re an entrepreneur and you’re just kind of working on your own and managing all these things on your own.
[00:40:38] I don’t, I feel very like. What’s the word I’m looking for. Just immersed very it’s, it’s a very immersive experience. And so I’m learning how to say, okay, am I really an expert in this don’t oversell? don’t oversell what you can do because people can see right through that. and I find my, I believe myself to be a very competent person so I can sell [00:41:00] myself easily, but I just want to just make sure that it’s.
[00:41:03] You know where I need to be, if that makes sense.
[00:41:05] Germaine: [00:41:05] Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And I think it’s a bit of a trap that you can fall into as well because Google, well, we’re just resources. You can, Google is one of them, but resources are so yeah. Easily accessible nowadays that you can go down that rabbit hole, come out of it, thinking that you’re right.
[00:41:20] You’re this expert within a certain, certain area. And then, you’ve got the freedom as, as an entrepreneur, as, as your own boss to then, you know, if you, if you wanted to wake up tomorrow and say, You know, I spent, if you spent 40 hours learning about web design, you could, you could probably just say, Hey, I can also help you with your websites.
[00:41:38] And you could convince yourself if, especially if you’re self confidence that, that, Hey, yeah, I’m an expert. and yeah, just, it can be a trap because you could just. Th that that’s sort of this never ending cycle of, you know, Oh, this is this other shiny thing that I’m going to, I’m going to upscale myself in and then you’d never let yourself have enough time to really hone in on one thing and become really good at that [00:42:00] one thing.
[00:42:00]which especially at the start, I mean, that’s what you gotta do. I know, like, I always think to the big, big companies, like, Deloitte, for example, who offers so many different services, or even like Microsoft and Apple. At some point, they were just one product or one service and they got really good at that.
[00:42:17] And then they funnel back those funds, into something else. but they got really good at one thing first. And, you know, that’s sort of what you’re touching on here that, you shouldn’t fall into that trap, especially when you’ve got time on time on your hands. And there’s not a boss saying this is the box within which you must fit.
[00:42:32]easy to spill everywhere.
[00:42:35] Katie: [00:42:35] Yes, it is. It’s, you know, we all know as entrepreneurs, keeping focus is definitely a skill. because yeah, there’s so many interests and things going on that I want to consume that I want to consume that, Oh, I want to incorporate that into my service somehow or this workshop.
[00:42:49] And then, then when I go to deliver it, I say, you know, maybe you don’t feel like, Oh, Am I equipped to really be doing this? I don’t know, but that could also just be kind of a perfectionist [00:43:00] attribute, but what you’re talking about, I think about content marketing too. this just kind of reminded me of a memory when I realized that I had a great.
[00:43:09]flare for writing and people started to commend me on my writing. Oh, you know, I’m going to explore that because I, I think more creativity and my work and this could be a great way to go. And yeah. So I, for a while I had these two kind of skills that I was grappling with. How, how can I create a signature service or a unique contribution with copywriting and, you know, DEI consulting.
[00:43:30] And so it was this weird. Thing. And then I realized after a year in marketing, I did not like copywriting, actually. I was terrible at it. I, you know, and that I, I tried to figure out how I could, you know, sell services, writing web copy and doing all these very specific skills that, once I actually accepted a job, doing I, which just seems very maybe counterintuitive.
[00:43:54]that’s another mistake I could, I could share. Really before you accept the [00:44:00] job, really be very detailed in what the job is. It’s interesting. Cause you want to go for a lot of things and then maybe when you are in a place, then you learn kind of what you’re not actually that great at, but I, what I do love is writing for myself and writing my own kind of content marketing.
[00:44:14] That’s kind of a differentiator there.
[00:44:16] Germaine: [00:44:16] Yeah. And I mean, when you’re writing for yourself, That’s different because you, you know, you know, when, when you speak it’s, it’s your tire and it’s yours voice, it’s your vibe where, I mean, to be a, be a good copywriter, it’s really a different skillset because you always need to sound like your client, but then say the right words as your clients.
[00:44:36] So, yeah. It’s it’s a whole different world. cause I mean, I think about even things like photography, I think, nowadays we just have the tools so easily accessible. I mean, even copyrighting it’s one of those things where, I mean, what’s the barrier to entry. It’s sort of nothing, right? you got a pen and paper you’re, you’re good to go.
[00:44:53] And those things cost sense these days, but, but yet there are people who charge. I mean just [00:45:00] recently, we were working with someone who charges a hundred Australian dollars an hour, and takes about three hours to write a one website web page of copy. So, they’re able to sell themselves at such a, such a high level.
[00:45:13]Because, you know, that’s just a reminder to me, at least that it seems simple, but really, it takes a lot of sort of, experience and a lot of perfecting to get it to, to a stage where you can sell it to someone. awesome. So where can people find out more about you?
[00:45:29] Katie: [00:45:29] Yeah, so by website, Katie Zink.co, a really great way to stay current with my work is to sign on for my newsletter.
[00:45:37]It’s called the confidant connection and that’s where I’ll curate all of my, I, all the pieces I’m writing. I made an appearance on a podcast or something like that, that I kind of write that in. And, and then, I’ve got a kind of a theme going monthly. so that’s a great way to stay current with kind of how I work and what I’m writing about.
[00:45:56]And then on LinkedIn, I’m very active there. So you can find me [00:46:00] and hit me up on LinkedIn.
[00:46:02] Germaine: [00:46:02] We’ll include all those links in the description as usual so that anyone who’s listening can connect with Katie and sign up to the needs of that. Are you ready for the
[00:46:12] Katie: [00:46:12] Oh yeah, let’s do it.
[00:46:13] Germaine: [00:46:13] Yeah. Awesome. So let’s get the ball rolling with top three books or podcasts that you recommend.
[00:46:19] Katie: [00:46:19] Yes. so I’ll go for books, top three. One that I can’t, I can’t promote this enough. It’s called. So you want to talk about race and it’s about a Seattle based or it’s a it’s by a Seattle based author called, her name is Ijeoma Oluo . And if you are interested in learning more about having discussions about race and kind of the importance of being anti-racist.
[00:46:41] This book is a great place to go. fierce conversations by Susan Scott also Seattle-based this is just so important for people that are managing teams or managing or leading organizations about how to have like fierce conversations and effective communication. And randomly I’ve came [00:47:00] across this other one, it’s called unf*ck your brain.
[00:47:02] And it’s all about kind of managing trauma, grief, coping, and just like all the things that our brain, is working through on a regular basis that we may not fully understand. I learned a lot from that.
[00:47:15] Germaine: [00:47:15] Yeah. Wow. that’s a very solid start. I want say, especially the first two really. Really sort of made me go, Hey, I’ve got to, I’ve got to find those.
[00:47:24] I’m probably going to try and look for audio books though. Cause I find it much, much, well, I can just smash through it. Right? I can, I can listen to I’m one of those people who can listen to things while working and still get both done quite effectively. So, I, yeah, I can sort of. Really, rack up the hours, listening to listening to content.
[00:47:43] So I’m going to, first thing I’m going to do is now look for, look for those first two books, because they’re very relevant right now, as well, just from a professional point of view, as well as just looking at what’s going on out there and hearing other people’s sort of, Points of view on this is is really crucial.
[00:48:00] [00:47:59] So fantastic. Next one, top three software or tools you can’t live without
[00:48:04] Katie: [00:48:04] I would say, LinkedIn is kind of number one for me right now. I’m getting the most kind of ROI. If you will, with LinkedIn, um Asana is I used the free version, but, it’s my go to project management tool. and the last one is between convert kit and Squarespace.
[00:48:23]I, my website is hosted on Squarespace and I’m just so, illiterate when it comes to website building. So that was great for me. but convert kit, I’m getting, I’m kind of geeking out about. They have an amazing content marketing, programming, their webinars, they put out their trainings and their workshops are really, really solid.
[00:48:41]and as a brand new entrepreneur building my contact list, I would recommend it as a tool for sure.
[00:48:47] Germaine: [00:48:47] And, and I assume you use that as a powered by convert
[00:48:49] kit as well.
[00:48:51]Katie: [00:48:51]
[00:48:51] yeah. Yeah.
[00:48:51] Germaine: [00:48:51] Awesome. Yeah. I know convert gets an awesome tool. so Squarespace for someone who’s just starting off and, you know, wanting to get, get, get a web presence.
[00:48:59]that looks nice, [00:49:00] at, at an affordable sort of price. Yeah. That’s, that’s again, very, very solid recommendations. I’ve used Assano over the years, we use something a bit more complex now. With a lot more customizations, but Assana, again, especially at their free tier from memory of saunas, free tastes is quite generous and, is enough for at least the solopreneur.
[00:49:19] Definitely so awesome. top three mantras, you try to live by.
[00:49:23] Katie: [00:49:23] So the first one, this is actually my marketing coach, hers that I have been adopting a lot right now is done over. Perfect. we kinda mentioned perfectionism earlier, but it’s something that. I’m aware of now that I maybe am falling into. A perfectionism groove.
[00:49:40] And so I know when I’ve spent enough time on something, I’m getting starting to get comfortable. Okay. This is done. I don’t need to do any more tweaks or tests like it’s done and walk away. so done over perfect is a really good one. Another one that I like is to put your mask on before helping others, because self preservation is key.
[00:49:59]you know, [00:50:00] It’s not to be selfish, but it’s just self preservation, I think, is so important. We have to take care of ourselves in order to bring our wholesales in our work and do good work
[00:50:10] Germaine: [00:50:10] and continue to be the, you know, day after day to continue to do that work as well. I think, just the other day I was watching an episode of shark tank and, it was, It was a social enterprise and, their whole thing was, you know, they, they want this social mission, to be realized.
[00:50:25]but what the sharks kept saying were yes, but you know, it is about the money, even though you’re saying it’s about the social mission, because you’ve got to be here. The world’s not going to be a better place. If you don’t exist tomorrow, at least, you know, your impact on the world, is it not going to be felt if you’re not here tomorrow as a, as a business?
[00:50:42] So yeah. Self preservation goes hand in hand with that. So, I love that. No, one’s no, one’s, I’ve actually set said that one was
[00:50:49] Katie: [00:50:49] really cool. Yeah. I mean, it’s so true. And I think that we’re all kind of like having to digest a lot right now. So, don’t forget to take care of yourself.
[00:51:01] [00:51:00] Germaine: [00:51:01] Yeah. Yeah. What’s the third.
[00:51:03] Katie: [00:51:03] A simple one. It’s just speak up, speak up in my work. I talk about, speak up culture and I, think there’s a big difference in calling out and calling in. I don’t know if you’ve ever kind of heard that distinction, but, I think it’s really important because. The difference between calling in is it’s always leading with heart and kindness.
[00:51:23] So, you know, a lot of us are maybe having difficult, fierce conversations right now, calling people out. I don’t find to be as effective in the long run. whereas calling in is just a way more compassionate. Heart-centered way to communicate with people.
[00:51:37] Germaine: [00:51:37] Right. So, so what’s what, how would that in practice, let’s say someone at work is really phoning it in, you know, taking, taking credit for the work that you’re doing.
[00:51:48]I mean, one option is to just put them on blast, right? Just go, go to the bosses and be like, listen, this guy, or this girl is, they’re just taking all my, all the credit for all the work. They’re really not showing up. what’s the [00:52:00] calling in sort of approach to that? Would you say.
[00:52:02] Katie: [00:52:02] Yeah. I actually, I’m just kind of like flipping to some notes because I have been writing a lot about this.
[00:52:08]and I kind of have like tips that I like to share for how to speak up kind of in the moment. And, the first really is just to think about the mindset and just to remember that. Just because you’re the loudest person in the room or somebody else’s allowed us person in the room. That doesn’t mean that they’re the only ones with, with good ideas.
[00:52:27]so challenging group think is, is just really, really important and allowing space for, to share the air. Basically, that’s one of my agreements. I always. Share with my clients is share the air. You know, some people are more comfortable talking and talking and hearing themselves talk, and I’m an introvert.
[00:52:43] I’m somebody who would rather listen and stay quiet. and so those people kind of have to push themselves to speak up a little bit more. and so when you’re kind of like maybe up against a situation, you know, maybe it’s like a situation where somebody is just, you know, there’s been a microaggression, somebody kind of insulted [00:53:00] somebody or there’s been, you know, somebody just kind of in targeted for something, There are some things you can definitely do.
[00:53:05] And I talk a lot about this and, and my content is, you know, interrupting that bias or interrupting that with things like humor, you know, if that’s in your wheelhouse and it’s appropriate and it’s, you know, with led with kindness, like it’s totally a great strategy to like, just break up the pattern with some humor and make, get people laughing and maybe like, just interrupt and make them think about.
[00:53:25] A comment that wasn’t great. Or, because really it’s so important to be represented like in a project, in a meeting having your voice heard. So, for people that just aren’t that comfortable speaking up, it’s just a good habit to get into. another, another skill is kind of. That I recommend is honing in on your critical thinking skills, because that’ll just build your confidence naturally.
[00:53:46]I think when we’re, we were in school, you know, critical thinking was just part of the pedagogy and it was part of our curriculum, but I don’t know if adults practice it as much as they could now. so I like to, you know, advise people to just take those surveys when you get like marketing [00:54:00] surveys, just take them, just like practice those critical thinking skills and make it a habit.
[00:54:05]and then my personal favorite is actually like, Just take the day. it’s actually really awkward and hard and difficult to speak up in the moment, at least for me sometimes. And so I think take the day, journal it out, sleep on it. And then if there’s something that you wanted to speak up about, go privately and speak with, with that person or your manager or your client, you know, at another time, especially if you’re in a situation where you’re managing up, I find that to be really effective too.
[00:54:32] Yeah. Rather than sort of, yeah. You know, sometimes the trap you can fall in there when you, when you sort of tell someone to, to, you know, stop being quiet, speak up is that then it can sort of, things can be done in the heat of the moment without real, real critical thing. And then you end up being, you know, louder than you might traditionally be putting yourself out of, out of your comfort zone to then, Not convey your message and all in all, just end up in a, in a situation where you were probably better off just [00:55:00] to shut up.
[00:55:01] Germaine: [00:55:01] Right. But if you take all those tips as a, as a whole, I think, I think, yeah, very good advice. Cause you can, you you’re basically, you know, going through all that first, rather than just speaking up, for no reason. so yeah, it’s, it’s sort of the, the advice that I think, Can you take one of those, just one of those things.
[00:55:21] It doesn’t quite work, but you take the whole, and it’s, it’s really, much greater than the sum of its parts. So, fantastic. top three people you follow and why.
[00:55:31] Katie: [00:55:31] So I think. Right now I’m following a lot of peer practitioners, in the space that I work. And so I’d be happy to name off a few that, that do similar work as me.
[00:55:42]but come from a different perspective and maybe bring other, you know, they, they do bring other contributions. one is Lily Jang, Lily as a DEI practitioner in the San Francisco Bay area. And, She’s published kind of all over the place. She writes for Harvard business review and I kind of [00:56:00] wake up every day to something amazing that Lilly has posted on LinkedIn.
[00:56:03] She’s just stellar. Other than that. I really, the author that I mentioned before, I bet you could find her we’re on audio is Yama Lou. I am, I do use them. I’m not for business, but for personal and I love everything she puts out. when she does her life saves or, you know, her excerpts, like it’s, it’s just really, informs a lot of my.
[00:56:24] I am kind of my thinking and then a third. Oh, can I, okay. Totally random. Nothing to do with work, but any drama, do you know of Benny drama?
[00:56:32] Germaine: [00:56:32] No tell me more
[00:56:35] Katie: [00:56:35] .Okay. You need to be following him. He’s hilarious. he’s I think he’s a New York based, content creator and he’s an actor. He has like a stage production and he does like.
[00:56:46] The most flawless, like impersonations you’ll ever see of just like, you know, Billie Eilish or the Kardashians or whoever it’s like, kind of in Vogue right now. And he’s just so funny. Just the funniest videos. He he’s he’s, [00:57:00] he’s mostly videos. But, posts that he’s always kind of like in drag or in some sort of costume.
[00:57:05] And he’s like very good though, too, like super skilled. Yeah.
[00:57:10] Germaine: [00:57:10] Awesome.
[00:57:11] Love it. That’s that’s a really nice mix of, wholesome and wholesome, but in a different way.
[00:57:17] Yeah.
[00:57:19] Awesome Katie. I mean, as always future tribe, all links from this episode, is, is going to be available in the description, including links to all the software and books and people that we’ve talked about in this episode.
[00:57:33] So, any parting words, Katie?
[00:57:35] Katie: [00:57:35] thank you so much. This has been awesome. Yeah, great way to spend the afternoon.
[00:57:40] Germaine: [00:57:40] I’m glad you, yeah. yeah, it was great to connect and it was great to chat and, you know, I might, I might be shooting you an email, once I’ve again, just thought about our conversations and it’s, like I said, you know, inclusion and equality and diversity is an area that I’m, you know, Trying to upskill myself in.
[00:57:58] And it’s, it’s something [00:58:00] that I have a very, very interesting relationship with because being in Australia, we moved to Australia. I’m sort of a Brown male with a beard. you know, I, I, I have an interest relationship with it, because I choose to think that people come from a place of goodness and, you know, not, not racism and so on and so forth, but, you know, there’s just.
[00:58:19] Things that I like, just, just even just small things, like, you know, ordering fried rice and being told, Oh, it’s got, it’s got bacon in it, you know? are you okay with that? you know, assuming that I’m Muslim, for example, just even subtle things like that. So it’s, it’s always been this thing where I’m like, you know, I sucked it up, you’ve got all, suck it up as well.
[00:58:37] And just, you know, just. Deal with it and sort of navigate through it. And, but, but on the other hand, this conversation in particular has sort of made me think about it. more from the other side of, you know, maybe you just don’t have to put up with it. There, there, there is, there is systematic things that have happened over the years and just systematic things that have been, Set up in such a way that it benefits a certain group or it, [00:59:00] it has attributes that, attracts a certain group and, you know, we’ve, we can change that because, those are just established at a, at a certain point, by people.
[00:59:08] And that just means that they can be changed by people. and there’s a role that we can play in, in all of that as well.
[00:59:15] Katie: [00:59:15] Gosh, I love that. And, you know, when I was thinking of the name for my company, you’ve just described it basically it’s called social construct consulting because everything that we are experiencing is that, and so it can be changed and improved upon and yeah, absolutely.
[00:59:31] Well, I would love to share, I could talk about this stuff all day. So I would, I be happy to share more stuff? If you have questions I can elaborate and send you some other things to check out too love to do that.
[00:59:41] Germaine: [00:59:41] Fantastic. Awesome. Thanks for your time, Katie. Yeah. really enjoyed this episode.
[00:59:47] Katie: [00:59:47] Same, have a great day.
[00:59:49] Germaine: [00:59:49] You too.