In your career, are you at the decision making table?

Do you know how to GET that seat at the table?

Research tells us that when women are politically and socially engaged, societies are more peaceful and prosperous.

So how do we get there? Today on the Think Tank of Three we have a special guest, Kela Hall, to help us claim our seats at the decision making table.



Audrea Fink: [00:00:00] In your career, are you at the decision making table? Do you know how to GET that seat at the table? Research tells us that when women are politically and socially engaged, societies are more peaceful and prosperous. So how do we get there? Today on the Think Tank of Three we have a special guest to help us claim our seats at the decision making table.

[00:00:49] [INTRO].


Audrea Fink: [00:00:49] Welcome to the Think Tank of Three. I’m Audrea Fink, here with my co-host Julie Holton and our special guest Kela Hall. Kela is a leader in workforce development and an active advocate to close the wage gap for women. She has held over 100 facilitation trainings and workshops over the last four years in the states of Washington, New York, New Jersey, and D.C. She’s the co-founder of her very own company, K.D. Hall Communications, which is a boutique consulting firm specializing in workforce training and development for organizations, including government and nonprofit agencies across the state of Washington and beyond.


Julie Holton: [00:01:23] And if that’s not kickass enough, as well as the co-founder of K.D. Hall Foundation which supports the uprising of leadership for women and girls, Kela also serves as an adjunct marketing and communications professor at Bellevue College and is a professional speaker, moderator, spokesperson, and special interest journalist. Kela, thank you for joining us.


Kela Hall: [00:01:44] Thank you for having me. That’s so exciting. Like who is that lady? I want to meet her!


Julie Holton: [00:01:50] So do we! So good to have you.


Audrea Fink: [00:01:55] So Kela and I know each other from way back when we worked together at the University of Phoenix. And obviously she is just a bundle of energy, she’s so easy to love, so easy to get to know. I adored her instantly. She is strong, direct, straightforward; which is my kind of lady. So fast forward today, and Kela has founded her own business. She’s founded her own nonprofit. I’m just so impressed with her, she’s such a force of nature. I’m super stoked to get to introduce her to the Think Tank of Three audience, especially because her foundation is all about getting girls and women a seat at the table which is perfect to talk about on Think Tank of Three so let’s kick this off.


Julie Holton: [00:02:32] This is a topic we hear about all the time. This is Julie. And ever since we launched Think Tank of Three, we hear from not just women but from men who want to be doing a better job of including women, for instance, at the table, and so I’m so excited to hear from someone who can tell us exactly how to do this.


Audrea Fink: [00:02:52] In prepping for this topic we discussed several reasons why women aren’t at the table, and it turns out that the answer is really complicated. Kela, why is that? Can you tell us a little bit about why you think women aren’t at the table as much as they should be? I mean it’s not just straight sexism in your opinion, right?


Kela Hall: [00:03:06] Yeah absolutely. The great thing is over time there’s more and more women at the table especially in the state of Washington. I think our state is ahead of a lot of states and I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that we’re on the West Coast; there’s a lot of new trends here.

So in our state it’s you know currently we have about 37 women leading, as far as mayors, in our state of Washington. That’s huge, right? Even in Seattle we have a woman mayor. A woman over the police department, a woman over the sheriff’s department, so that’s great.

However, in a lot of corporations right now we’re still way behind the trends we’re at like 10 percent on board of directors. And you and I both knowing you as well as you Julie, that that’s how decisions are really made when you’re on those boards of directors for these Fortune 500 companies. And that’s where we’re really seeing those gaps.

So I think that is–yes, some things are institutional and those are going to take years and years for us to be able to break through a change. But some things I think that we can really take our own power into our own hands as women and we can negotiate better. We can celebrate with one another a little bit better and we can get out of each other’s way. I mean how many times have you both worked with people and you see women self sabotage or sabotage each other? I that that’s a big piece of it too. I think it leads back to confidence, Audrea.


Audrea Fink: [00:04:28] So let’s talk a little bit about some of the things that women need to get to the table: so skill sets, right. What skill sets are we lacking that aren’t putting us there?


Kela Hall: [00:04:37] I was really excited, as you know we did a TV series earlier in the year. It was called Influential Women of Washington State. I had a chance to interview 18 dynamic, powerhouse influencers in our state and the common answered that I got on what women need is really we have a lot of power, we’re very educated, but we really need to be able to keep knocking on those doors and push some of those doors in.

We need to be able to not take notes in meetings, necessarily, but use your voice. Women should never go to a meeting and sit there taking notes, because visually, what you’re saying is that I’m here to learn. You’re not saying I’m here to lead, or I’m here to let my voice be heard. So I think that that’s number one, making sure that whenever you go to any meetings, if you’re in the workplace, if you’re on teams, you have to let your voice be heard. Speak an opinion, be focused, and I think sometimes we are a little emotional when we’re speaking. And if you don’t already naturally have good business acumen, I think that’s worth investing into. Business acumen.


Audrea Fink: [00:05:44] So it sounds like resiliency, how you show up at the table, and business acumen, are the three things that you think women should be working on.


Kela Hall: [00:05:51] Absolutely. And then also, if there’s an opportunity like what we’re doing today. I mean you and I, we met back up since I’ve been back in Seattle. I think that if you–so we’re all busy, right. We don’t have time to give out all of our assets to everybody for free. We just don’t as women, and I think that that’s part of it too, sometimes we’re so giving and we’re so non-profit minded that we get in our own way because you can’t do that. You exhaust yourself, you’ll burn out. Right?

But I do think that there’s times where if you see a woman that’s right there and she just needs just a little bit more to move forward, help her. Or simply don’t stand in her way. Right? I think that’s another thing too that we have to practice as women. And I think we have to practice that because our girls are watching, and our girls they are duplicating what they’re seeing. And so I think it’s very important to not stand in other women’s way. You can’t always help every woman. You just don’t have time, you know. But you can intentionally making sure that you’re not standing in other people’s way.


Julie Holton: [00:06:52] I love both of those things. I want to dive into each one a little bit more, dissect it a little bit, if we can do that Kela. So the first thing you talked about is not getting in our own way. Can you expand on that a little bit, because you mentioned burnout. You mentioned holding ourselves back. I think that for women, that happens more often than we realize. So can you talk about that a little bit? What are some ways that you see us getting in our own way, and then how do we turn that around?


Kela Hall: [00:07:19] Absolutely. So that’s a really great way that you put it, I’m happy that you broke them up. As far as getting in our own way, you know you have to know what is your purpose? Right. Like what are you looking to do?

So if you’re in a workplace and if you know that you are really a A-type personality and you like to get it done, go after those type of opportunities. Don’t try to slide yourself into a supporter role just so that you can get in front of someone. I think we do that a lot. I can’t say I’ve really ever done that before. It’s not part of my personality. But I have done it in certain organizations where I put myself in a secretarial role. I’m not a good secretary. I’m just not.


Audrea Fink: [00:07:56] That so resonates with me because I do that a lot, where I’m like, “Let me support you!” And I’m like, that’s not–I’m not really like that.


Kela Hall: [00:08:04] Don’t be a supporter! All right? An inspirational person, if you’re an encourager, do that. And I think that that’s one of the ways you can be true to who you are. I think that you will not burn out. Now true, do you have take your breaks? Yes. But if you’re being fake to who you are as a person, and playing all these–and I have friends that I see do that, and they play all these supporting roles, and then you notice that they start to have resentment towards other women, I think it’s because you’re playing the wrong role. You’re sitting on the wrong seat on the bus. So get yourself on the right seat on the bus.

And once you’re in the right seat on a bus, find other individuals who are moving in the same direction that you are and look for mentors. Look for sponsors, you need both. You have to find a mentor and you have to find a sponsor and then you can have some people that you can have girlfriend time with. But you really don’t, in my opinion, your mentors are people that have been where you’re going. Your sponsors are people who have seats at tables that you don’t and they can bring you up.

I experienced that this year. Personally with the Boys and Girls club, their presidency, I met her doing a TV series, and she brought me to a seat that I didn’t have a table at. She brought me to a private party with Jackie Joyner Kersee and their board of directors, and I had a chance to meet all these contacts; some of those people sponsored our foundation. I got to have one to one time with Jackie Joyner Kersey. She was an Olympian. And I also ran track, so I really enjoyed that time. Knowing the difference between sponsors and mentors and then when you’re in your career field, you’ve got to remember to do those those things in your job that you have to do. You can’t turn your job into something else. Be the best that you can be in your job. Build the highest skills as possible and the work that you’re doing. And that’s how you would promote up.


Audrea Fink: [00:09:55] That’s awesome. Let’s talk about how women can support each other and how we stay out of each other’s way, but then support each other moving up. How do we get rid of that competitive nature or maybe that competitive fear?


Kela Hall: [00:10:07] Yeah you know, and I would be really–you know me, I’m very positive, I’m very optimistic. But the reality is I don’t think that we can ever get rid of that competitive nature as women. Because even from birth it is competitive with girls. It’s just the way we’re raised in our society, it’s in the households, it’s in the schools, it’s in the workplace. I don’t truly think we can ever get rid of it. Plus I think the competitive side of women is what makes us so beautiful and brilliant and that’s what helps us bring the extra thing to the table. And I wouldn’t want to get rid of that.

I do think that if you’re competing with the very best version of yourself, you wouldn’t get in the way of other women. I think it’s that simple. If you’re constantly competing with yourself, getting yourself better to where you want to be, on that journey there’s going to be others/ like you and I we just reconnected after like nine years–I think we worked together in 2000 and-


Audrea Fink: [00:11:10] …Like nine months. We’re, like twelve.


Kela Hall: [00:11:10] Not trying to tell our age here!


Audrea Fink: [00:11:15] I’m going to be young forever!


Kela Hall: [00:11:19] We reunited and were reunited on a common interest. Now you and I are maybe two different directions but this unites us right. And so you’ll find those women along the journey and you know, stick your hand out when you can. If you can donate to somebody else’s cause, do it. You know if you can and it doesn’t take you off your track but I think it’s very important to know yourself. And even when you’re not there to start a business, I don’t know about this later, but when you’re looking to start a business or a non-profit you need to know who your target audience is. If you figure out who you are trying to target, I have experience and you’ll be much more successful.


Julie Holton: [00:12:00] I love what you said just a moment ago when you’re talking about women helping each other out or not standing in each other’s way. You touched on something that I want to expand on and that’s confidence. Because I know what I’ve experienced at times with other women in the workplace and at various times, maybe it was a female boss who really should have been probably the most supportive person in my career at that point because she was my boss. She was invested in my success and maybe wasn’t always as she could’ve been. But I think some of that comes back to confidence. So how do we as women build our confidence in ourselves or at least in some ways fake it till we make it? But with the goal of building that confidence.


Kela Hall: [00:12:48] Yes that’s really good. And you know I think that we all have those stages in our journey where we’re confident and where we’re not so confident right. And I found for myself some of the things I have to do to build my confidence is making sure, like for example, sometimes we have to work jobs. Let’s be real. Sometimes those jobs that we’re working, it may not necessarily be what we want to do at that moment. But that’s a priority. So you have to, if you have a job, be your very best at your job even if it’s not what you want to ultimately do. Because to me, that’s part of character and that’s going to follow you right. That’s going to follow you.

But somewhere in there you have to break it up with 33 percent of what you have to do. Thirty three percent of what you want to do, and I think that other 33 percent is what you need to be given back. Right? So like you and Audrea, you all have this podcast. This is something you want to do. I mean it’s like you get a chance to do it. Truly I think that builds confidence. It might be a long way to it, but I think that builds confidence because if you’re doing things you need to do, you’re able to pay your bills; you’re doing the things that you want to do, which is this podcast. And then if you’re given back 33 percent of your time I think you’ll be pretty successful. That “given back” can look different for you than what it looks like for me for me; my give back is in my nonprofit, when I work with those college ambassadors two times a year. That’s almost like me paying for my space on this earth.


Audrea Fink: [00:14:15] So let’s talk a little bit about that. S0 that people understand a little bit more about KD Hall Foundation. What is this Ambassador Program? Talk to us about what you’re doing.


Kela Hall: [00:14:24] Absolutely. So the K.D. Hall Foundation: we have programs and we have signature events. As far as our programs go, we host college ambassadors two times per year in a 12 week college accredited program. They learn business acumen. They work in organizations; they do capacity building project; social media; they have to go meet with politicians. We eat together, and if they’re over 21 at the conference they can have one beverage. Along their graduation; and the really cool things, we make these students come together and they’re usually from all different places, we even pull from Michigan at University of Michigan.


Julie Holton: [00:15:03] Woohoo! U of M.


Kela Hall: [00:15:07] But it gives them an opportunity to be able to be leaders, right. It gives them an opportunity to be able to let their voice be heard. And this was the first year with our college ambassadors that I let them run the PR campaign. I gave them structure and they ran it and we had maybe two hundred extra people at our conference this year than we had last. So being able to give that to them, when you give someone a little bit of leadership, you’ll be so surprised about how far that they will take it. So our college ambassadors they’re usually between 18 and 24. And when they graduate out of our programs, they get the college credits which is great. So it is everybody it’s not just girls. We have men and women in this program. We have everyone from very wealthy to very poor. We even had homeless students in the past but we purposely do that because the workplace is made up of different people so essentially they’re working in a small communications company that’s working on other projects for other companies. It’s really cool. I’m proud of it.


Audrea Fink: [00:16:08] I totally can see that. You’re doing a lot of work that’s worthy of being proud of it too. So it sounds like to me not only are you helping these kids while they’re in college, but you also are sort of helping them get out of their comfort zone/ like they’re running their own PR firm and that is a skill set that I think women could benefit from. Can you talk a little bit about how you coach them to get out of their comfort zone?


Kela Hall: [00:16:33] Yeah. You know we have the structure. So we use structure, we have a structured curriculum that we built out four years ago and we do change and tailor that curriculum and we put those students through there at the very beginning. We really focus on each of them and what’s their goals and why do you want to be there.

Now keep in mind. Twelve weeks is a long time for college students over the summer. So usually about at week four,  the energy totally dies. And so then we usually have a coming to Jesus and then a lot of times I get them to have conversations amongst themselves. And so that right there sparks them back up and then they get all motivated again and then they deflate again at eight weeks. So we’ve done it long enough now to know when the deflation period happens. So we either bring in motivational speakers, or we bring in very popular people that they may have wanted to meet, like senators or newscasters, or we bring them to the news stations–we bring them somewhere.

In these programs we also do community service. I think that the community service is very important for the students. And this year we did Aeges. So it’s a retirement home but only for individuals with dementia. And I thought that was important because now the statistics is you know, 50 percent of Americans will have dementia at one point or another in their life. And the students afterwards–I just couldn’t believe how much it resonated with them being there with these seniors and their stories were just amazing. So, I’m sorry I know I’m a little task, but pretty much–.


Julie Holton: [00:18:06] No you’re speaking my language! I’m on the board of directors for the Alzheimer’s Association.


Kela Hall: [00:18:10] Oh you are?


Julie Holton: [00:18:11] Yeah. So when you talk about how you have to be giving back to the community and showing these students that in a big way, I mean, hats off to you because that’s such an important part.


Kela Hall: [00:18:22] Yeah. And they love it too. Like they ate that up way more than what I expected for them to. It was just a really good time. So they gotta get some community service in there. They happen to learn how to do PR and the reason why- some of these students aren’t even communication students. We have engineers in our program. But no matter what you’re going to go into, the three of us know that you have to know how to sell yourself. You have to know how to market yourself. That’s just how you build relationships. And so these students they learn all those competencies, you know, in this 12 week program. And at the end, it’s bittersweet because we put so much energy into it, like we’re always crying at the end because it’s like this is it. You know they graduate, and now they’re going back to college. But the last two years a lot of those students, we will hire them back in. So, the person does our website, she’s one of our ambassadors from Year 1. We pay them too, when they come back.


Audrea Fink: [00:19:15] So one of the topics that you mentioned in the beginning was sort of not asking for a seat at the table or not continuing to knock on doors. Can you talk a little bit about the idea of perseverance and negotiation because you coach to negotiation, so can you tell us a little bit about that? Talk about that for our audience.


Kela Hall: [00:19:33] Yeah absolutely. Thank you. Because I get so caught up in the nonprofit world and I’m happy you brought me back to business. So I’m an executive coach. I usually coach C-level, C-Suites or executives directors and organizations. I did a case study in 2018, it was a full case study for me with all the clients I was working with. I asked them, “Hey, I’m going to be tracking some of this stuff so I can come up with a book.” And so in those case studies, what I found is that a lot of the individuals, even at that high level, a lot of them that were unsatisfied with their work, simply because of very simple things that they weren’t negotiating.

Negotiation does not begin or it’s not only at the beginning of your career. Negotiation is throughout. Wherever you’re working at it’s throughout. And what I found is that one woman, she was a high performer, but she did not negotiate that she needed to come over to Seattle. They live over in eastern Washington. She wanted up to Seattle once a month because all her adult kids live here. So it was just as simple as her negotiating with her CEO that, hey once a month I want to take a Thursday and a Friday off so I can drive over to Seattle and join my kids and not be tired when I come back. You know, come back on Saturday and that way I could have a whole day of rest before going back to work. So negotiation is a key competency that all people need in the workplace but women in particular. And this is because women, we negotiate at a much lower rate than men and it’s proven, we have some statistics out there about that. Women will accept an offer and women even will not apply for certain positions unless they meet all of the qualifications on their resume. Now men and my husband in particular, I love him, he will look at a position and say, “Oh I can do that. I can do that. I could do that.”


Audrea Fink: [00:21:30] Julie you just posted something to the Facebook group about how men will negotiate or they’ll talk about their capacity so much more than women will. Women will downplay what they do. Men will up-play…


Julie Holton: [00:21:43] Yes! And this is totally off subject but it also talks about how women are slightly more truthful when they’re negotiating and that’s actually playing against them.


Kela Hall: [00:21:53] Yes! That is so true. That is so true. But it’s like we have to practice and so one of the things I do with my clients is… I train on all levels. Like I usually don’t train fellow managers so I used to train management and up. People learn by doing. So I do a little bit lecture because I’m like you said earlier, I teach. I’m a facilitator. I’m used to lecturing so we’ll deliver a lecture and then we give them a chance to have circles so they can talk about their experience in that. And then we get them to practice the skill, the way that they would do it naturally. Then we give them the tips. When I say we, usually it’s me. I give them the tips and then from there they get a chance to apply it at their table and then they don’t know who we’re going to select. We select certain tables and have them apply that skill in front of the whole group. So role-playing, Audrea you remember University of Phoenix.


Audrea Fink: [00:22:49] Everybody hates role-playing but nobody hates it more than I do.


Kela Hall: [00:22:52] It really works. They were ahead. I must say they were ahead in a lot of ways. Like for real, I’m in so many companies and they were so far ahead in their thinking and I’m just so grateful that I had a chance to work for that organization and learn as much as I learned. Because honestly a lot of it is what I learned from the University of Phoenix, either in my MBA program, my master’s in adult education program, or just being a leader in that organization across multiple states, we learn so much and you have the role play. And so what I find with negotiation in particular is it’s as simple as practicing. Getting comfortable asking. Knowing when to pause. Knowing when to be quiet and knowing how to keep going. Like you tell me no, once I didn’t even hear you. You tell me no twice, it’s like, ok BUT… And then if you tell me no the third, then I’ll probably stop now but I’ll be back later!


Audrea Fink: [00:23:51] I love that tenacity. So beautiful.


Julie Holton: [00:23:54] OK so once we have a seat at the table. Once we’ve put all of this into play and we’re sitting at the table, we’re confident, we’ve honed our skills. How do we one, keep that seat at the table? And two, work well with others at the table? Because we all know that we don’t necessarily have a say in who else is sitting at that table with us? So how do we use our skills now that we have to keep that seat and keep that relationship working with the others?


Kela Hall: [00:24:26] You know what, that’s interesting. That’s actually one of the…so I’ve been teaching this year a lot like in companies. And so for 2019 I decided to do online workshops for scaling purposes. I got two babies. So scaling is very important to me in 2019.

Crucial conversations. I think that is so key when you’re working in teams. It’s been… that ability to be straightforward. But also knowing who you’re speaking to and being able to speak to that person in a way that they can understand or that they can take in what you’re saying to the, right. Because sometimes more than likely when you’re on board of directors, everyone’s passionate but everyone can be passion about different things. And so there’s going to be times where there will be conflict but having a skill set to have a crucial conversation. And I think if you do that, you can essentially work with anybody.

Now are we going to have people that we just don’t get along with. Absolutely we’re human. Right? Some people are not going to get along with us just because. It could be an annoyance about our style. But I think that as much as possible, always taking it back to the reason why we are here, right. Which is the mission and the vision. And then from there if there’s something that’s going off task, being able to have that conversation. Don’t let it build up. Because that’s the number–Communications is the number one issue in organizations. You wouldn’t believe how much money we made in 2018 just on communications. I’m serious. Like all of the organizations are suffering with communications and a lot of it just comes down because people– they get upset and they don’t say anything. So it’s like how am I supposed to know you’re upset at me? I’m not a psychic. You know. And so it’s just having that conversation.


Audrea Fink: [00:26:06] One of the things that you do at K.D. Hall communications is you do workforce development training specifically for diversity and inclusion. So can you talk to us a little bit about what types of communication styles or what types of coaching would you offer so that we can be the best communicators in a diverse workplace?


Kela Hall: [00:26:26] Absolutely. So I think that one thing is there’s generations, there’s sexuality is a big thing right now in the workforce, generations. You got the #MeToo movement going on. There’s so much happening, you don’t even know. Get to know people. Simply get to know people. If you can get to know a person, even if you don’t like each other you can work together.

If you truly take the time out to get to know people’s communication styles and how they act under stress… I’m a certified trainer for DISC actually. Remember DISC? DISC is a communications in the workplace assessment. And I think companies – so if you work for a company get a DISC certified trainer to come in. It makes a big difference. You know even for your small team or for teams at large, that’s a good opportunity – DISC. But then once you get to know people, you can start to understand how they operate when they’re stressed and then when they’re not stressed out. I get very excited and sometimes that it makes people take a step back from me. And so since I know that, when I’m working with different people I know when to turn my energy on and off, you know what I mean. So it’s like you know other people and you get to know yourself better and you know how to be able to come at people. But at the end of the day you’re going to be who you are, right, in the workplace. It’s just going back to those core values and having that level of respect for people that you work with.


Julie Holton: [00:27:52] How many problems would we solve in this world if we just took that one piece of advice and put it into practice? Just get to know people. I mean, my goodness, how many times do we worry about things that we don’t even need to worry about because we don’t speak up and ask? How many times do we make assumptions because we didn’t ask? I can just think of so many ways personally and professionally that if we just got to know people this world would be a better place.


Kela Hall: [00:28:20] It would be so much more of a better place if we just got to know each other. You got to be yourself. But when you get to know other people, you get to know yourself better. I guess essentially. And you can just work better and so when you leave work you can turn that off and go home for yourself.


Audrea Fink: [00:28:40] So Kela what are some tips for getting to know people in a diverse workplace? Right. You walk in the door you’re like, “I don’t know any of these people” maybe there’s some of the tips you use when you walk into an organization for training and you’ve got to start at ground zero.


Kela Hall: [00:28:54] Yeah. You know honestly, I do a lot of research. I’m a big time researcher so even if I’m just going to meet with you for coffee, I would have researched you before I go meet with you. Because I want to know who I’m meeting with once again.

Like it is so true, like I do I have really good relationships and I recognize that people like why do you build so many relationships you just go so when you build relationships with people. For one even before I go to a event and I’m speaking at that event or I’m going there to listen to a speaker, I’m going to a lot of research on everything. I want to find out who is going to be there. Once I find out who’s going to be there then I’m thinking about. OK so Kela, you have your 2019 goals. Like right now I do. So who do you need to get to know to help you execute these goals? And once I figured that out I go in there and like a shark and I go exactly for who I want to meet and I go and meet them, I shake their hand, I follow up, I usually schedule a one to one with them or something like that, and really get to know them.

But like, you know it’s when I’m working on a project, I figure out who needs to be on that project. I mean I usually know that way far in advance. I’ve been knowing that I would do a project with Senator Patty Murray since 2016. 2019 is going to be the year that we’re going to execute that project because I’ve done enough things now to get in her radar. We’re now about to execute. So it may take time but that’s why you continue. It goes back knowing what is your purpose. What do you want to do you have the plan?

I mean my whiteboard. That’s one side of my whiteboard has like my 90 day goals personal personally physical whatever it is I’m focusing on in the back of my board has my 12 month plan on there and I go and check it to see if I’m on point with it. And usually when I look at the back of my board last week, everything on the back of that board, I promise you I execute it. And if it didn’t execute out the way I thought it should, I still attempted it.


Audrea Fink: [00:30:50] So do you see there being a need for women to have more specific professional goals? So, you own company, you have your own foundation, right. Julie she has her own company, I work for a corporation, right. I have my goals and work goals. But maybe one of the things I should be doing instead of just focusing on how do I help my company succeed is really setting personal professional goals for me instead of just doing the work right or planning out the work because I’m getting strategic when it comes to work. But I’m wondering if maybe there is a lack of self goal setting for a lot of women in the professional space, right, they’re doing the job–


Kela Hall: [00:31:32] Right. Right right. No no no. I get it. I totally get it. You know honestly I think the workplace is essential though. When you go out there to have your own business, you got to be ready. You know and I learned through making mistakes and that’s how I learn I’m okay with that. But everyone can’t do that right. I think being an and being in the workplace is a beautiful place to because then you have a platform that will pay for you to do a lot of the things that you want to do.

So I think that when you do your work in the workplace and you know that there’s other things that you want to do it goes back to having it thirty three get thirty three that thirty three but you can use your workplace to get that other place that you want to be. And I’ve done that. So we’ll teach you at Bellevue College, I didn’t want to do a TV series for years. I don’t have money to go pay a big network to do a TV series. And so me working there after two years, I pitched them to let me do a TV series. I told them how I was going to do it. I told them who was going to be included. How much money we’re going to need. I wrote up a proposal. They gave me the money to do that TV series. The college paid for back when I was calling people to actually be a part of the TV series The college name was attached to it. So you know how people are. Oh yeah. It’s a college and so they did it.

It was way easier to execute that than me even doing things on my own foundation. And so I think that there’s beauty in working for an organization. I really do. And I think that if you know what your goals are–and if you don’t know what your goals are you can get with a coach, you know and a coach can really help guide you, but just make sure you’re not just wasting money with people just to ,be wasting money what people you really need to sit down with yourself first and know what are your goals. Why are you here? Why are you here on this Earth? What are those things that you really want to accomplish? And then once you figure that out, you can leverage your company to get what you want on the outside. I think. And I’ve done it so I know you can do it.


Audrea Fink: [00:33:28] Awesome. Well Kela Hall, this has been so insightful. Thank you for joining us today and sharing your thoughts. Before we go we are collecting advice from successful women in our communities and sharing it in our Think Tank forum. So we have three rapid fire questions for you.


Kela Hall: [00:33:44] Uh oh. I’m ready!


Audrea Fink: [00:33:46] Is there a lesson that you’ve recently learned that you wish you could have learned earlier in your career?


Kela Hall: [00:33:51] Secure the bag at all costs. I really mean that. Secure the bag and what I mean by secure the bag is know what you are doing know what you want to do and don’t let anything take you off of that focus.


Julie Holton: [00:34:04] What advice would you offer to your younger self ten years ago?


Kela Hall: [00:34:08] Take your breaks when needed. Once again stay very sharp with your focus and plan. Make sure you always have a 12 to 18 month plan.


Audrea Fink: [00:34:17] So what do you think the most important skill–number one scale to hone–for a woman is in today’s professional setting?


Kela Hall: [00:34:24] Confidence. You have to be confident in whatever you do. And if you’re not confident, look in the mirror every day and give yourself that Rocky Balboa talk. I mean it, like you know. Talk to yourself in the mirror. There was a TED talk, a very powerful TED talk, and it was called power pose. And she talked about the importance of being in that mirror and practicing your power pose. And so if you’re not feeling motivated, when you practice your power pose, you’ll get that motivation. It works. I tried it.


Julie Holton: [00:34:55] I love it. Kela posts regularly in our Facebook group so make sure you tune into our Facebook group to check out her posts. Kela can you also share the best way for our audience to connect with you if they have additional questions or if they want to touch base with you to learn more about your business and how you might be able to help?


Kela Hall: [00:35:12] The best way is email. My email is Kela which is K E L A at K D H A L L dot com. That’s Or you know go to my website. First of all we’re on Facebook, we’re on Instagram, we’re on LinkedIn. On LinkedIn, I post quite a bit professionally. Which which is Kela Hall, and on my Facebook page, I think it’s KD Hall Foundation and the same thing on Instagram. KD Foundation. But anyway that’s how you can get in contact with me and we have an amazing course coming up called Secure the Bag. It’s an online workshop for women who are looking to learn a little bit more about negotiating.


Audrea Fink: [00:35:53] Awesome. Kela Hall of KD Hall Foundation and KD Hall Communications. Thank you so much for joining us. That’s all for our episode today of Think Tank of Three.


Julie Holton: [00:36:02] Connect with us and Kela online. We blog weekly, subscribe and you’ll get an email alerting you when a new podcast or blog is up. You can also find us on social media, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Be sure on Facebook: click over and join our private group. If you liked what you heard today, and how could you not with Kela Hall joining us? Share our podcast. We love referrals. So share our podcast! You can find us on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, and SoundCloud. If you have any questions or topics you would like us to discuss, send us a message at


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