You Can Be Yourself Here: Creating Inclusive Workplaces Through the Psychology of Belonging – S02. E33.


DDS Dobson-Smith is a licensed therapist, author, executive coach, speaker on leadership and growth, and a Reiki master — all in service of helping others grow and become who they are. They are the Founder and CEO of SoulTrained, an executive coaching and leadership growth consultancy. Their new book is called “You Can Be Yourself Here: Your Pocket Guide to Creating Inclusive Workplaces by Using the Psychology of Belonging

DDS brings multi-sector global experience, decades of training in human potential, and enduring dedication to creating leaders who are worth following to everything they do.

They have notched up over 25 years of working in small, medium, and large corporations. They grew up in the hospitality industry and they started their career as a college professor teaching hotel and business management. They’ve since held a range of senior, executive, and C-Suite level roles across a host of sectors and companies.

DDS Dobson-Smith is certified as an Executive Coach by both the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and the Oxford School of Coaching & Mentoring. They are credentialed with the International Coach Federation, and are a coach-supervisor through the Coaching Supervision Academy.


Dr. Laura welcomes DDS Dobson-Smith, CEO of SoulTrained and author of “You Can Be Yourself Here: Your Pocket Guide to Creating Inclusive Workplaces by Using the Psychology of Belonging”, to the podcast to explore the vital subject of belonging through the lens of psychology and corporate culture. DDS has lived experience as a queer person and a long career in corporate America, Europe, and Asia that informs their focus on belonging in workplaces.

DDS shares insight on the key differences between diversity, inclusion, and belonging. They explain how inclusion can’t exist without diversity, but a workplace can be diverse without fostering inclusion. Dr. Laura and DDS explore ways in which DDS’s book defines conditions for creating a culture of belonging, starting with people at the top levels.   DDS highlights how it’s not just major situations that can be toxic but small, ingrained behavior we don’t think about. This episode is vital to understanding how any organization can support an individual and foster belonging through leadership.

“So belonging… I often find that diversity and inclusion are said almost as if they’re the same word these days. And they’re definitely said in the same sentence, but they are different things. Diversity is a fact. You know, when you look around in an organization, do you see people who are like you? And do you see people who are not like you? The answer is either yes or no. And if the answer is yes to both of those questions, then you could probably safely say this organization has diversity. Inclusion is a behavior and a set of behaviors.” – DDS Dobson-Smith