Dethra Giles

Executive Leadership & HR Strategist, Modern Workplace Influencer, Career Consultant
Dethra Giles smiling at the camera in a white cutoff shirt and large round brown and block glasses with her hands caressing her face
  • Influential workplace strategist and career optimizer who advises companies, including the CDC, NBA, and Salvation Army, on elevating culture and results
  • Named a “Top 100 HR Influencer” (Engagedly) and one of the “Top 22 Most Influential Figures in HR” (HR Gazette)
  • Shares unique insights that get groups thinking about leadership and DEI in new ways
  • Provides proven frameworks for recruiting and retention, creating employee-centric workplaces, and how “employee-preneurs” can navigate the direction of their careers

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Regarded as the “CEO-Maker,” “DEI Professor,” and the “Cubicle to Corner Office Empress,” Dethra Giles is a workplace and career optimizer who advises organizations and individuals on how to chart their unique paths to success. She is a four-time TEDx speaker who has been named a “Top 100 HR Influencer” by Engagedly, and was selected by HR Gazette’s “HRchat” podcast as one of the “Top 22 Most Influential Figures in HR.” With clients including Kaiser Permanente, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), The Army Corp of Engineers, Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy, the National Basketball Association (NBA), and the Salvation Army, Giles shares a unique blend of advanced education and industry experience that has been described as “university-tested and industry-approved,” and can be implemented by organizations of any size, and across industries.

Exclusively represented by Leading Authorities speakers bureau, Giles shares the principles she has created to help organizations and individuals identify their goals, visualize their potential and set out to achieve above and beyond what they deem possible. She lovingly holds no punches and gets the audience immersed and inspired as she provides her proven framework for how to turn motivation into impact, and how turn impact into action – whether collectively as an organization, or on an individual level as a leader, entrepreneur, or “employee-preneur.” As she explains, this action is what changes lives and changed lives change companies. Touching on topics such as how to attract top talent, own your identity, and rethink what’s possible for your business or career, Giles takes groups from dreaming to living the dream by teaching the steps necessary to become what they aspire to be.

Since 2007, Giles has served as the CEO at ExecuPrep, an international performance optimization firm that works with groups and individuals all over the world to improve performance, productivity, and profit. In her role, she leads a team of, in her words, “dope professionals” who are on a mission to make businesses better from the top down and bottom up. At the same time, Giles is the host of the “Happily Ever Employed” podcast and appears every week on the nationally syndicated radio program “The Willie Moore Jr. Show,” where she shares her insights on how to navigate professional and personal success. Previously, she has served as adjunct faculty at the Federal Executive Institute, Georgia State University, Mercer University, and as a faculty member for Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses and the Tory Burch Foundation.

From coaching multibillion dollar organizations to speaking at some of the largest global conferences, Giles strategies for success have had a lasting impact on people and audiences all over the world. The wisdom she shares sparks a change in behavior that ultimately leads to change in all aspects of work and life.

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Speaker Video

Dethra Giles: Effective Communication and Resolving Conflicts

Own the Room with Your Voice: Lessons on Speaking Less while Saying More

From Cubicle to Corner Office: Reimagining Your Journey to Success

The New Essential Inclusion | TEDxTaraBlvd

Seek What Has Been Erased | Erasure of Black Women | TEDxAlpharettaWomen

Deeper Conversations About Taboo Topics at Work | TEDxSpringHillCollege

Stuck vs Waiting: Which are you in your career

Leading Through Exhaustion: Strategies for Building Resiliently Productive Teams. From the economy and never-ending politics to global unrest and budget cuts, it’s no wonder people are so exhausted. And we haven’t even mentioned the office yet. But still, there is work to be done. How can you lead when your team is tired, and so are you? In this talk, executive leadership strategist Dethra Giles shares her tried-and-true framework to STOP (See/Support, Time out, Open communication, Prioritize) the exhaustion and move teams to a place of resilience and productivity.

Giles’ objectives are designed for audiences to:

  • Understand the impact of exhaustion on team dynamics and productivity
  • Learn effective leadership strategies to support and empower their teams during challenging times
  • Discover practical tips for managing leadership responsibilities while experiencing personal exhaustion
  • Explore strategies for building healthy habits and promoting wellbeing in themselves and their teams

Audiences will come away with:

  • Increased awareness of the signs and effects of exhaustion in the workplace
  • Enhanced leadership skills and strategies for fostering a supportive and resilient team culture
  • Improved ability to manage personal exhaustion while maintaining leadership effectiveness
  • Practical tools and techniques for promoting wellbeing and preventing burnout among team members
  • Empowerment to lead with empathy, communication, and a focus on work-life balance

DARE to Communicate More Effectively. As Dethra Giles shares, there’s one often overlooked step that is the key to communicating more effectively and creating better outcomes in our interactions with others. Before she reveals her approach, Giles explores what conversations look like when they end on the best-possible note. A better-ending conversation looks like people doing exactly what you asked, debates ending productively, and disagreements ending amicably.

Since her second TEDx Talk, Giles has taught groups all over the world how to improve conversational competence to communicate more effectively. As she introduces audiences to her proprietary DARE model, she shares the formula for effective communications. “Describe, Acknowledge, Review, and Engage” is the formula you didn’t know you needed but will positively change how you communicate forever. The impact is better leadership, higher performing teams, increased dialogue, and more efficient meetings. DARE to improve conversational competence and communicate more effectively.

Retaining Your Rockstars: Surviving and Thriving in a Tight Talent Market. Having dedicated her career to creating mutually beneficial outcomes in the workplace for employers and employees, and helping people optimize their workplace experience, Dethra Giles is expertly positioned to discuss the ins and outs of one of the most pressing issues in business today: recruiting and retaining top talent. Today’s job market is highly competitive and talented employees have more options than ever before, making it challenging for organizations to hold on to their people and maintain continuity within their teams.

In this talk, Giles, an expert in talent management, shares practical strategies and best practices that leaders can implement to recruit, retain, and elevate top talent and build a highly engaged workforce. Pointing to real-life examples that illustrate the ways in which the wants and needs of the workforce are continuing to evolve, she offers audiences a deeper understanding of the challenges companies face when it comes to keeping their best people and the key factors that influence employee loyalty and retention. Additionally, she outlines elements of successful employee retention programs that address the needs of the people who keep the organization going (and growing) and align with company goals and values.

Own the Room with Your Voice: Lessons on Speaking Less while Saying More. The most valuable real estate in any room is the front. The front of the room, the head of the take, the lectern in the room, the stage in front of an audience — the most desired and attention-getting position is at the front. But there is a price for that prime real estate and the price is your voice. In this talk Dethra Giles shares tools to help audience members develop their voices to be better leaders, stronger collaborators, and effective problem solvers. 

From Conflict to Collaboration: Strategies for Productive Conflict Management. Interpersonal and organizational conflict are almost always rooted in what four-time TEDx speaker and conflict management expert Dethra Giles refers to as a “conversational competence problem.” At times, people are unsure of how to bring a productive end to a conversation that involves a disagreement. But as Giles shares, there is a solution for how leaders and their people can work together to create more conversationally competent organizations: the DARE model. “Describe, Acknowledge, Review, and Engage” is a proven strategy Giles implements with great success within her own teams, and helps others introduce within their own organizations in order to change how they handle conflict and make every disagreement a productive one.

From Cubicle to Corner Office: Reimagining Your Journey to Success. In an interactive session that will uplift audience members and inspire them to look within to create their own pathways to success, Dethra Giles spurs individuals to take ownership of their careers and take the next steps toward getting to where they want to be. Known in professional circles as the “CEO-Maker” and “Cubicle to Corner Office Empress,” Giles is a career development strategist who shares tools and techniques that help professionals — “employee-preneurs,” as she calls them — approach their careers as a business, evaluate what’s working, identify opportunities for adapting and improving, and map their way forward beginning today. This talk sparks a complete mindset shift that motivates individuals to overcome self-limiting beliefs, become more resilient, and help them see the person they envision in their head in the mirror.  

Tackling the Tough Stuff: Tips for Addressing Sensitive Topics with Confidence and Empathy. A necessary part of leadership is facing difficult situations that require us to address sensitive, sometimes uncomfortable, topics with team members and colleagues. Whether it’s addressing performance, giving feedback, or navigating conflict, tough conversations help to rip off proverbial band-aids and kickstart constructive action for adapting and improving. Known for her authenticity, in the workplace and in her talks, leadership and HR expert Dethra Giles prepares audience members for how to approach and initiate difficult conversations that will elevate their organizations and the people within them. She emphasizes the importance of confidence and compassion, as well as how to communicate clearly and effectively, manage emotions and reactions, and build trust and rapport while tackling topics that people typically stray away from (to the detriment of their organizations). In doing so, she shows leaders how to create cultures of open communication and use tough conversations as the foundation for individual and collective growth and development.

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