About DDS Dobson-Smith
I am DDS Dobson-Smith. I have notched up over 25 years of working in small, medium, and large corporations. I literally grew up in the hospitality industry [my parents owned a pub and restaurant in the UK] and I started my career as a college professor teaching hotel and business management.
I’ve since held a range of senior, executive, and C-Suite level roles across a host of sectors and companies including renowned retailer Marks & Spencer Plc, travel and tourism company Eurostar International, Crossrail Ltd – the company charged with building a new railway through the center of London, music giant Sony Music Entertainment, and Essence Global – part of the world’s largest advertising company, WPP.
I’m a member of the Advisory Board of WE Global Studios, a full-stack Innovation Studio and digital DIY Platform that powers the success of women entrepreneurs around the world. I serve as the Board President at Pacific Center for Human Growth, the USA’s second oldest LGBTQIA2+ non-profit community mental health clinics, and I am adjunct faculty at California Institute of Integral Studies where I teach counseling psychology to graduate level students.
My career has provided the opportunity for me to work across all continents and to develop the awareness, empathy, and skills to work successfully with people from all diverse walks of life in culturally humble ways.
I’m certified as an Executive Coach by both the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and the Oxford School of Coaching & Mentoring, I’m credentialed with the International Coach Federation, and am a coach-supervisor through the Coaching Supervision Academy. I’ve been working in the field of Neuro-Linguistic Programming [NLP] since 2001 – I’m a double-certified INLPTA Master Practitioner and Trainer of NLP, and a Neuro-Linguistic Psychotherapist under the NLPtCA. I’m also licensed to administer MBTI [Step I and Step II] and FIRO-B psychometric tools.
Over the years I have had the opportunity to train with many luminaries in the transpersonal field including Louise Hay, Marianne Williamson, Dr. Patricia Crane, Deepak Chopra, and Brant Cortright. In 2007 I became a Reiki Master and Teacher under the guidance of Christina Moore. I am currently completing an internship in The Narrative Enneagram.
I’m a native Brit and have lived in America with my husband, David, and our two cats, Harper and Hemingway, since April 2014. I love geeking out about psychology, and there’s no greater waste of time to me than watching repeats of The Voice, X-Factor, and Glee on YouTube.
You can find me online at LinkedIn | Instagram: @soul_trained · @dds_soul
Why Did You Become an Entrepreneur, Speaker, Author, Etc. in the First Place?
It was time! after a 25-year career I felt I had gained the experience, qualifications and outlook to be able to offer real and meaningful service to others and to do it in a way that completely aligned with who I am.
How Do You Deal With Fear?
I talk about it with my husband and best friends and then I meet it head on. I am aware that 95% of fear lives inside my head and is not real in consensus reality.
How Do You Deal With Rejection?
I remind myself that I could be a ripe and glorious peach and there will still be people who do not like peaches. I am not everyone’s cup of tea, and everyone is not my cup of tea. It’s the way the world works.
What’s the Name of Your Company? What Exactly Does Your Company Do, How Do You Help People?
Soul Trained is on a mission to create leaders who are worth following. We are committed to helping leaders get up our of the weeds of their comfort zone and into places they didn’t even know they needed to go. Simply put, we are you go-to experts in executive coaching and leadership growth.
Name One of the Biggest Challenges You Have Faced and How Did You Overcome It?
I would say moving to America from the UK when I was in my early 40s. On paper it didn’t seem like that big a deal especially having traveled to the US countless times on business. But it wasn’t until after a year of being here that I really took in how hard it was to upsticks, leave behind a life that I loved, and build a new life so far away from my community. I think I made my way through that challenging time in a similar way to how I move through any other challenge – I remember my ‘Why?’, I focus on what I have vs. what I do not have, I grit my teeth and, in the words of Dory, “I just keep swimming’.
What Piece of Advice Do You Wish Someone Had Given You at the Start of Your Career?
You can be a ripe and glorious peach and there will still be people who don’t like peaches. If I had have heard that earlier on, I would have saved myself much heartache and would have avoided letting other people’s opinions of me keep me awake at night.
Who Are Your Biggest Influences and People You Admire and Why?
The people that influence me – and whom I admire – most are not famous, they are the clients and patients I work with in my coaching and psychotherapy practice for their bravery and they are the members of my chosen family for being my fiercest critics and most loyal allies. With that said, I would love to sit down with Brene Brown for a cup a tea and chat about her work. She’s a special human in my eyes.
Name a Person Who Helped You Along the Way?
My friend and ex-colleague Jennifer Remling – she has often believed in me more than I have believed in myself!
What Do You See as Your Greatest Success in Life, So Far?
To have been in a loving relationship with my husband for nearly 20 years and to have worked through the bumps in the road in a collaborative and communicative way and to come out the other side of our challenges being more deeply in love.
What Book Would You Recommend and Why?
Trauma Stewardship: An Everyday Guide to Caring for Self While Caring for Others by Laura van Dernoot Lipsky. It is an essential read for anyone who is in the business of serving other people, holding their pain, and helping them to process their trauma.
Is it too weird of me to recommend my own book? You Can Be Yourself Here: your pocket guide to creating inclusive workplaces using the psychology of belonging. The book lays out the deep psychology of belonging in simple terms, explores its impact on workplace performance, and shares tools and resources to help facilitate the experience of belonging in your organization.
What’s a Personal Self-Talk, Mantra, Affirmation or Self-Belief That Contributes to Your Success?
My Nanny Norah [my mother’s mother] once told me:
“You have two ears and one mouth. Use them in proportion.”
I think it stood me in great stead and could well be the reason why I ended getting into coaching and becoming a psychotherapist.