Communicating Best Practices, Belonging And Inclusion At Work With D. Michelle Thompson

by | Mar 18, 2021 | Podcasts

SWGR 561 D. Michelle Thompson | Belonging And Inclusion


There’s a great deal of good conversation about diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace right now. Yet so many companies say they’re going to do something about it, but never go further than posting and sending out comms to everybody. Nothing else happens.  In this episode, Elizabeth Bachman interviews D. Michelle Thompson, an expert in communication and company culture. Her mission is to empower leaders who are ripe for a healthy workplace. She brings this to life by focusing on the four Cs: culture, communication, change management, and community. Elizabeth and Michelle talk about belonging and inclusion at work and how you can communicate best practices in order to create a change within an organization.

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Communicating Best Practices, Belonging And Inclusion At Work With D. Michelle Thompson  

This is the show where we interview experts from around the world on such topics as leadership, visibility, presentation skills and communication challenges. My guest is D. Michelle Thompson, who is an expert in communication company culture and is also the host of the You Belong Podcast. Before we dive into the interview though, I’d like to invite you to see where your presentation skills are stacking up by going to our free four-minute assessment at That’s where you can see where your presentation skills are strong and where perhaps a little support could get you the results you need and the recognition you want.  

I had a wonderful conversation with Michelle. She has so much to talk about. We went in all sorts of interesting directions. D. Michelle Thompson has many years of experience in advertising and marketing. Michelle’s diverse background includes working for top advertising agencies, managing budgets from $100 million to $500 million for clients such as Kellogg’s, Tropicana, and Got Milk? Michelle later sharpened her Brand Management skills while managing the $2 billion Bounty Paper Towel business while working at Procter & Gamble. In June 2009, Michelle left her comfortable salary at Procter & Gamble to focus full-time on her own purpose and calling as a writer, speaker and consultant. Since that time, she remains based in Cincinnati, Ohio while traveling on assignment with her own firm, Destiny Resets 

SWGR 561 D. Michelle Thompson | Belonging And Inclusion

Belonging And Inclusion: Policies are great, but what works is when we practice them on a daily basis and inspire those habits in the people in our organization.


Michelle’s company, Designed For Destiny LLC, is shaped by its mission to empower leadership ripe for a healthy workplace. She brings this to life by focusing on the four Cs, culture, communication, change management and community. This work led Michelle to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, facilitating sales and marketing training for over twenty leaders from various parts of the Middle East. Michelle launched her podcast, You Belong, in October of 2019. Distributed on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, iTunes, and Podbean, the You Belong Podcast features Michelle interviewing business thought leaders on how to fit in, even when you don’t, combining inspirational nuggets and practical tips for work and life. Michelle has authored three books, with the fourth, You BelongNow, onto the interview. 

Michelle Thompson, welcome to the show. I’m delighted to have you here.  

Thank you for having me.  

We have many things to talk about, but first I want to ask you about your dream interview. If you could interview somebody who’s no longer with us, who would it be? What would you ask them and who should be listening?  

I like that question. It made me think a little bit more, but I think about the books that I’ve loved over the years and what has touched my heart. One book I love is a book by an author named EM Bounds. He was an attorney, a minister and a writer. He wrote several books all on one topic, all about prayer. As a woman of faith who’s constantly ripping and running a businessI need to find some time to be still reading about how to do that from a man who spent the last 5 to 10 years of his life living by himself writing. He didn’t even see any of his works published. It was his wife and his friends who found his books later on who published.  

The question I would ask is“Why would you spend your last years where you could be touching lives like your family? Why did you choose to seclude yourself in such a way to give up touching on loving on family and friends right in your midst to write? Did he know that he would eventually touch millions of lives around the world through these books that he’s written or was it just the peace that he found in being alone and writing? I would love to ask that question.  

You have a podcast called You Belong, which is a great nameWhy did you call it that? Why is that whole You Belong message so important to you?  

A lot of people go immediately to diversity and she’s a woman of color. For me, it goes back to childhood. I moved four times before the sixth grade. What did that mean? I never belonged in social groups with friends. I was always the new girl and I moved from all-white neighborhoods to all-black neighborhoods, to diverse neighborhoods. I was always an outsider. One of my favorite movies was C. Thomas Howell and all those wonderful men in the Brat Pack in The Outsiders. I always had this inner balance. As I got older and my faith increased, I started realizing, I was created uniquely on purpose and I don’t have to fit in. I feel like everyone, regardless of color or gender, you have something in life where you felt like you didn’t belong. I believe that belonging is what unites us and not what divides us. That’s why I wanted to call it that in that and I love doing it.  

You work with corporate women and you work with helping corporations and teams function better. You’ve talked about best practices. Talk a little bit about what you mean by best practices. Best practices in what?  

Belonging is what unites us and not what divides us. Click To Tweet

My background was in marketing and management, specifically project management. What I found, whether it’s marketing or project management, we’re talking about people. What I am developing are the best practices for leading and empowering people. My mission statement imy company, Destiny Resets, is equipping and empowering leaders who are right for a healthier workplace. What does healthier mean? It means belonging. Even my podcast message transcends in that audience and in that world. A lot of times we talk about culture and what we need, processes and all those things. Policies are great but what works iwhen we practice it out on a daily basis every day and inspire those habits in the people in our organization. That’s what I love to do.  

There’s so much talk about diversity, equity and inclusion now. Yet there are many companies who say, “We’re going to do this. We want to do this.” They post and send out comms to everybody and nothing else happens. They do a half-day workshop and nothing else happens. It’s like a few years ago, the whole thing was workshops on sexual harassment and everybody thought, “We’re done.” You do one hour on sexual harassment. I know one company where the women were talking to me because they couldn’t get ahead. They were talking about sexual harassment. They said, “Nobody has time to go to a workshop. We have to watch a video and it gets clocked in that we watched the video. Everybody I know plays the video, puts it on mute, and does the rest of their work somewhere else. Nobody ever watches it. This is a big company too. This is international. How do you get people to listen? If you want to tell them best practices, how do you get them to listen to you?  

I’d love the quote from Theodore Roosevelt that says, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” I get people to listen by using empathy. Everybody’s familiar with Brene Brown, not to promote her so much here, but she has great books as well as thought leadership around this vulnerability and empathy. I like to start with clients in helping them understand it’s important to know your employee and understand what drives them on a different level if you want to communicate with them and tap into them. How do I get people to listen? It starts with the hook, which is the heart. It’s reaching them at the heart matter.  

When you talk about those companies who are playing audio, I would say, that’s not a best practice. The best practice is to start with the problem, to start with storytelling, to introduce how this may impact their life or their role, or maybe others that they care about and love in their life. When people can capture that at heart and identify and say, “This could be me, or This has been me. I didn’t know to put a name on it, or “I’ve been a part of this and didn’t realize it.” That’s when you open that door. The ears come up and people began to lean inlisten and learn.  

It doesn’t happen in a one-hour webinar.  

Absolutely not. That’s one another best practice that I teach companies is if you want to work with my team, you have an agreement that this is at least a 6 to 9-month journey. By journey, you are committed to seeing something start in your organization. In reality, it’s been said that best practice takes about three years to begin to see the impact of a new culture shift or change within an organization. All these companies who created these new DNI or IMD roles, it doesn’t matter unless they are willing to put in the investment of time, talent and treasure. It’s not just in that individual, but building a team around them and building a sustainable program that will be carried on beyond a title or role. I’m discourage from that.  

What’s the enrollment conversation you have with the company because this is something that I hear a lot and we talk about a lot in the circles that I’m inThose are the circles I’m in, it’s what I do. Helping people present themselves, so it’s a big topic but I think I’m in a bubble around this. What’s the enrollment conversation? How do you get a company on board to do that?  

SWGR 561 D. Michelle Thompson | Belonging And Inclusion

Belonging And Inclusion: Best practice takes about three years to begin to see the impact of a new culture shift or change within an organization.


Right in the initial phases with a few different companies now, but what I find most effective is finding the pain point. Either the company is up against some legal challenges in a certain area related to this, or it’s a nonprofit and they had a donor experience that offended all of their employees. Either they’re dealing with some type of pain point, be it recruitment or retention and they’re saying, “We’ve got to get beyond this if we’re going to see a shift in our results. I wrap around the pain point and I do what I call the four Ds, which is everyone who’s probably in this world of consulting and pitching. The first D is Discover. I make sure the company understands that I’m not here just to bake in and sell you this big yacht when you just may need a sail.  

I’m into delivering customized designed results that make sense for that organization. I spend a period of time at discovery. I partner with other leaders who provide inclusion, culture profile assessments of not just their employees, but as well as their leaders. I then spend time from discovery into defining. We thought the problem was, “We have some leaders who have blind spots in this area, but based on this assessment, we believe the real defined problem is that you haven’t been strategic about how you engage your employees for any of your communication, not just diversity. This is overall communication. Once we define that, then we’re able to take them through the development phase. That’s when we develop what is the right way to go about this. I always encourage companies to come up with what I call their task force. These are the ambassadors who are going to be there long after the consultant is gone.  

What I encourage is the whole concept of moving the middle. Leadership flows from the top, but you also have to empower those middle-level managers. We’re going to be touching lives with people who may never be the top leader. We’re making sure the middle-level management is on board and included in the profits. have a story about that if we have time when that doesn’t happen. Finally, it’s delivery and that’s when you begin to execute and see. A lot of times we want to start with the training, but as I’ve been designing this with one organization, I’m saying, “We’re going to do private training with the leaders and start to have them live with this before we do a company-wide.  

When we do company-wide training, we want to be able to point to some of those leaders and share, Did you notice this behavior change in the past three months? Did you notice this one out?” Well be able to connect the dots with the employee that this was a result of the training you’re experiencing now. When people hear this, they’re like, “This is a journey I’m committed to.” You see there are immediate people who are like, “She’s not just selling us the consultingI’m going to do this and that. She’s making us know there’s going to be hard work on both sides, her as a consultant and us as a team, and committing. I’m okay with it taking a longer lead time because it’s a longer commitment.  

It’s like exercising and going to the gym. You don’t become an Olympian racer without the exercises, without doing the sprints, without doing the practice. You don’t become a concert pianist without sitting and doing scales at all. If I could make someone a star speaker or if I could just wave a magic wand and show someone how to get themselves seen as vice-president or C-level material, if I had a pill for that, I’d be a bazillionaireI could just get a pill and fix it. This is an interesting thing. What this says to me and what it points out is they come to you for what they want and you’re giving them what they need. Can you talk a little bit about marketing to the pain point, not telling them what they need to soon, but answer what they want first to get them in?  

If you're trying to help other people in your company belong, become a better listener. Click To Tweet

That’s where I go back to my experience with the whole empathy piece and storytelling. What I can always do is say, “You found some other companies that have had a similar pain point. No one is new to this. Let me tell you what happened when they approached it from this linear view. When they can see themselves in that and say, “We don’t want to end up like that,” then they’re open to“Aha, maybe we should dig deeper and find out what the overall pain point is here that’s going to speak to everyone in our organization. 

Your storytelling isn’t just success stories, it’s also horror storiesEspecially in enrollment, tell a story about how somebody crashed and burned and said, “I don’t want to have that happen to you.” As we’re talking about all of this, I’m going to go to the, “What happens if you don’t enroll people?” I want to go first with, if you find yourself in a position where you see inequities, feedback is such an important thing. Can you talk a little bit about how to give and get the feedback?  

It’s one of my favorite topics. I’m glad you brought it up. I wrote a training called The Gift of Feedback. In that training, I talk about how everyone loves to give feedback. We don’t necessarily know how to do it, but we want to give it, but who all wants to receive feedback? Think about how many people ask for feedback. I picture on the table for people three gifts. The first big gift is the giving feedback gift. That gift is medium-sized or the people that are willing to receive feedback. The small gift, the tiny one is the ones who are asking for feedback, and that’s a sign of a great leader. I said, “Let’s mix these boxes up and let’s make it one big box. Let’s say that it’s all a gift. If you don’t know how to give a good gift, you will not receive a good gift.”  

It’s in the packaging. I say, “It’s three things. When you’re giving feedback, the first thing you need to make sure you’re able to do is specifically identify what it is that you would like to see improvement or behavior change. A lot of times we’ve become so familiar with that old crap sandwich before, where you compliment, then you tell them what you want to change in the middle. You then add-on a compliment in and it’s a crap sandwich. You don’t want to do that. You want to give something specific. 

SWGR 561 D. Michelle Thompson | Belonging And Inclusion

Belonging And Inclusion: Leadership flows from the top, but you also have to empower those middle-level managers.


Observe what is the impactThis specific improvement or behavior change, what’s the impact going to be on them or the organization? You want to drive in that caring component. No one cares if you say, “He didn’t speak so well on that or I didn’t like that last point.” That means nothing to me. If you give me impact like, “When you shared it in that way, I did not understand how this impacted my day-to-day job. Now that you explained to me that my lack of doing one-on-ones with my employees are impacting the negative narratives they have about me and they had about who I am as a leader, I’m going to prioritize having one-on-ones with my direct reports. That’s a different level of feedback. I always say, “With any gift, what do you want to make sure?” Thank you. We want to say thank you for considering this. I always tell people, “Close the feedback loop. A lot of times we give people feedback and then everybody walks awayHave an agreement. Say, “I’m giving you this gift. I would like to meet back up with you in 30 days. It takes 21 days to change a habit or behavior. I want to meet back up with you in 30 days. I want to hear about what you’ve done with this gift.”  

Often women, particularly, take it personally. If you get positive feedback you say, “That’s great,” and you forget it. Negative feedback keeps you awake all night. How do we cope with that?  

One thing is we have to renew that little mind of ours and take out the context positive and negative, and say it’s feedback. It’s easier said than done, but you have got to remove emotions from it. That’s why I say, Celebration is for the public and correction is private. Anytime there’s feedback, be it positive, negative, however you want to coach it, make sure it’s being done in a private safe place where someone can receive the gift you’re giving themMake sure you set the tone that’s in such a way that it’s about the work because if it’s given right, you cannot take it personally. You have to take out words like, “You did this. No, “When this occurred, this is the impact it had. Could you consider this in the future? It’s nothing about Elizabeth or Michelle. It’s about, “This is what happened. This was the result or the impact. This is what I’d like to see changed for a different result in the future. If we can focus on the facts and not the emotions, we can get to a better place.  

I’ve been working on this one for years and it’s still the voices in my head. It goes back to my mom saying, “Shame on you. Why did you do that? I was probably five years old and that voice still echoes in my head. Feedback is feedback. It’s not necessarily your mom swatting you for having been a bad girl or bad kid. How do you give feedback to someone who outranks you safely?  

A lot of people have listened to me in meetings and they say I tend to use humor. I give feedback to someone who’s in leadership, maybe it’s a client in a CEO level. I may give a joke. They see themselves in the joke, again storytelling. They’re like, “Are you saying that’s what I’m doing?” I’m like, “What do you think?” You give them an analogy and think about“That could be you there being perceived by your employees. Other people that you may not have that relationship with where you can joke in that manner, what I’ve done is I’ve brought in other consultants. Let’s talk frankly here, I’m a female AfricanAmerican woman in a predominantly white male-dominated consulting world. For some people, this is the first time they’ve had an executive coach that was female and a woman of color.  

In one case, I brought in one of my great peer friends who’s a double Harvard grad, white male, to give the feedback that I want to give. Having him in as a guest speaker, I have to admit it, it worked. They were able to receive the same thing I would have said from the double Harvard grad white male. It was a woman executive, but she was trained a certain way and was used to certain things. When I noticed that peer came in, I was sitting there like, “Are you kidding me?” Little does she know, I still get a referral fee, so it still works in my favor. I moved on a different path and said, “Maybe you need this executive coach for you privately. I’ll keep working with the rest of your team, your middle level and your directors.”  

If you feel like you don't belong, you need to listen in and find that area of the organization where you might belong. Click To Tweet

I love that because that’s something that I say to clients all the time if they are not being heard. What I do is help women be heard. If they’re being ignored and not listened to, and maybe they’re the only woman in the room, leverage an ally, bring in a thirdparty person. Especially since we’re not supposed to brag and say how great we are, but if somebody else says it or third-party endorsement. We should be helping each other. I get it. There are people who will hear the message better if it comes from a coach who’s a former football coach. If it comes from someone who used to coach football, and there are certain sets of people who would rather listen to them than listen to me. Fair enough, as long as they get the message.  

You see how that could have been hindered if I was tied into my emotion or my feelings? As a leader, you have got to learn where and when to lay it on the line, to leave those emotions out, and focus on what is best for this business to move forward.  

You were talking from the point of view of an outsider, which gives you some safety. They’re not going to turn you around and fire you or demote you. What happens if you’re within a corporate structure and you need to give some feedback? How can we give feedback to someone who outranks us who could then turn around and fire us or demote us?  

I’ve got a story for that. I was promoted early in my career in my late twenties at my first management role when I worked in advertisingThey hired me at a high pay grade. When I was promoted, the promotion salary was like a tap on the shoulder and I couldn’t believe it. I was like, “This is insane. This is not a promotion salary.” I don’t know if it’s being young and my brain had just fully developed, but something clicked in me. I called a meeting with my leadership and I said, “This is not a promotion rate. I need you to understand, I know what my peers make. I know that this is unacceptable.” He was taken aback. My analogy comes to life and he goes, “We didn’t expect you to be promoted so fast when we hired you in. We just wanted to get you here. We didn’t realize we’d be promoting you within the first year. That’s why we’re trying to bring your salary in range with other newly level managers or else you’d be looking at this.” I said, “I get that. Did you dangle the hotdog, but you couldn’t afford the bun? 

I’m working with the leader. They said, “What?” I said, “You had some type of narrative. You limited me when you hired me in at that level. You thought for a second I wouldn’t be going for a management role within the first year. What did you think of me to even classify me in that bucket?” The manager came back to me the first thing in the morning and said, “You made it so I couldn’t sleep.” He said that analogy about the hotdogHe said, “Between that and you saying I came in limiting you, thinking that you wouldn’t be promoted so fast like my other peers were being. It did something to me where I couldn’t sleep, so much so that I went to my leadership and I said, We need to make her promotion rate right.‘” You talk about getting feedback. He had me and said, “I want you to write your number down. What will make it right for you?” They opened the door for me there.  

What’s cool about that is you took the emotion out of it. Did you stew about it or were you nervous or did you just go in and say it? 

NoIt’s funnystew about things more about that young girl slot where I was like, This is not right. I had so many peers, and this is key too for people. When you’re giving feedback to leadership, it’s a relationship. I had a great relationship with the senior leader already where he knew I was working until midnight. He knew I was the one they were calling on. Before there were diversity departments in an ad agency, there was me. Any ad that was of diverse nature, in addition to my general market regular work, I was being pulled into meetings to say, “Do you think black people will like this?”  

This is an unpaid roleThis is added value. I’m like, “Do you understand how many places I’ve lived and what have I experienced? I’m probably not the regular person you‘re targeting that should be answering this question. I’m probably not the best person.” I had such a great relationship with leadership, I was able to give that feedback and they responded. I wouldn’t write the number down because I had been coached by an executive leader to never write a number down unless you’re ready to walk away from the companyIt’s as if you’re saying, “If you don’t give me this, I’ll quit.” I told him, “When I gave you feedback that my salary was incorrect, it was not me saying I’m ready to walk out the door. It was me saying I want you to make it right. Will you make it right? I’m not writing a number down.” He went back to leadership and told them, “She will not write the number down because she doesn’t want you to think she’s ready to walk away. He came back to my office and he said that they said, “We understand, but we still need her to write the number down.” I wrote down the number. They came back with $2,000 above what I had.  

I think about all the years I wasted not doing that thing. I wish I had known you in my twenties because I think about all the time I wasted trying to be the good girl so they would like me and not fighting for my rights. Before we finish, the main section of this is you had told me a story about the disaster in Dubai. It was something about candy companies. I didn’t know the Dubai made candy, so explain that part first. Tell the story, please.  

I usually leave a safe place for my clients, but there are manufacturing companies in the Middle East that make candy. I was on contract with one of them. What’s interesting after 1.5 years of writing best practices for four different departments sales, marketing, research and development and finance, I was flown to Dubai to train about twenty leaders. It was Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Even though the client was based in another part of the Middle East, it was easier to fly all of their company, colleagues and myself into Dubai than for us to meet up in another city in the Middle East.  

How many different nationalities did you have there?  

Predominantly two, Middle Eastern and myself. Those people were from Egypt, Beirut, Saudi Arabia, a couple of different kinds, but all-around Dubai and the Middle East. It was great. There was myself, the only American and the only person of color there. 

Were you the only woman?  

There were two Middle Eastern women there outside of myself. It was women and about 20 men, and were white male American, and then the rest were Middle Eastern. get up to speak. How would you feel if everyone starts jumping up in arguments while you’re presenting?  

I would not like that.  

It was very disconcerting and they kept saying, “Sorry, this isn’t about you.” They kept pointing at each other and going off. Any best practice I released in training and say, “When we launch from now on, we should launch marketing doing XYZ, and list the different stage gates, and what the product life cycle and what we wanted to go through.” People began to point fingers. By the end of the first day, it was exhausting. I went through my material. I had five days and probably 500 pages of PowerPoint and it didn’t look like I was going to get through it.  

What happened?  

I met with the CFO prior to and he gave me a small warning saying, “I hired some new people and people are fighting for their territory as far as where they are in management and leadership. You may get a little pushback.” That was not a little pushback. It was a lot of push back. I went to lunch with one of the women there because a lot of times I wasn’t able to socialize with the other men from the room outside of the meeting. I went to lunch with one woman and she explained to me something that had been left out. When I started working with this company 1.5 years earlier, none of those people were in leadership. They didn’t even work for the company. They were hired from some of the best-in-class companies around the country in CPG, consumer packaged goods. They thought they were being hired in to give the best practice and how to do different things. They had no idea that I existed and I had been working for the company designing the roadmap of how we will operate without them. They didn’t feel heard.  

Did this teach you something about belonging then?  

It’s belonging on a whole new level. I realized, here I was, I’ve always been passionate about people being heard and making sure they belong. I had asked when I initially started the journey with the client, “Who are the people you have here?” He said, “We don’t have anyone. That’s why you’re here.” I didn’t fit in with the client over the last 1.5 years and recognized. From now on, what I do from a belonging standpoint is make sure I interview clients and make sure they give me the profiles of who are the people that are going to be in the room. If possible, I bring them on the journey. If I mentioned earlier, in my process gate, there’s an ambassador or task force. Those gentlemen would be a part of my task force now and inputting into the final training that I deliver for the organization.  

After you had this lunch and you found out that they were all new, what did you do for the next four and a half days?  

SWGR 561 D. Michelle Thompson | Belonging And Inclusion

Belonging And Inclusion: Celebration is for the public, and correction is private. Anytime there’s feedback, make sure it’s being done in a private safe place where someone can receive the gift you’re giving them.


I threw the PowerPoint out almost. I had to start from scratch on my lunch break. I put together a practical example of what it means to have a healthy culture. I apologized to them. Starting with an apology, and then we talked about culture and the importance of people being included in the process. We restarted the workshop. What I did is I put together color-coded Post-it notes on the lunch break. I did almost an hour lunch break. When the men and women arrived back into the room, they had color-coded post-it notes in front of each desk and each color meant something different particularlyDo you have an issue with the process? Do you have an issue that we don’t have policies in place? Do you have an issue that there are no people resources for that? I had a time in the day where I would take breaks and they would go to whiteboards and fill up the colors. I would take the questions on the spot and redesign the PowerPoint in the best practice around all the best thoughts in the room. It meant longer nights and days, but we got through it. It was awesome.  

Was your best practice based on American culture or was it based on their culture?  

It was American culture. Without giving away who it is, the company wanted the American way because the American company had infiltrated the market and were gaining share.  

In order to compete with the American companies, they wanted to know what were the strategies. If someone who’s reading wants to do one thing to feel like they belong in a company or to make their people feel like they belong, where would somebody start?  

We’ve brought it up a couple of times, start with reflective listening. You start by becoming a better listener if you’re trying to help other people in your company belong. If you’re the one, you’ve got to listen more to your culture, what are the values there, what were you looking for in that company, and finding that place within the organization where you do feel that. A quick example of that I can take from my past where I felt like we were so caught up in cases and marketing and all this, but there was a part of my role that would be said, “You had to volunteer for a different team in the organization.” I ended up volunteering for the learning and development team, which created the company university. By me doing that, I found my sweet spot, which then turned into my full new career path. They say for every 50 to 100 people, the culture changes in an organization. If you feel like you don’t belong, you need to listen in and find that area of the organization where you might belong.  

It reminds me of what I call presenting. Rule number one is to make it about them. Michelle Thompson, it’s been such a delight to have you here. Thank you very much for having been a guest on the show. Once again, let me remind you, my wonderful readers, if you want to find out more about your presentation skills, you can go to our free assessment. It only takes four minutes. If you go to, that’s where you can see where your presentation skills are strong and where a little support could help you get the recognition and the results that you want. I’ll see you at the next one.  


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About D. Michelle Thompson

SWGR 561 D. Michelle Thompson | Belonging And InclusionD. Michelle Thompson has twenty years of experience in Advertising and Marketing. Michelle’s diverse background includes working for top advertising agencies managing budgets from $100 Million to $500 Million for clients such as Kellogg’s, Tropicana, and Got Milk? Michelle later sharpened her Brand Management skills while managing the $2Billion dollar Bounty® business while working at Procter & Gamble. In June 2009, Michelle left her comfortable salary at Procter & Gamble to focus full-time on her own purpose/calling as a writer, speaker, and consultant. Since that time, she remains based in Cincinnati while traveling on assignment with her own firm, Destiny Resets. Michelle’s company, Designed for Destiny LLC. is shaped by its mission to “empower leadership ripe for a healthy workplace.” She brings this to life by focusing on 4Cs; Culture, Communication, Change Management, and Community. This work led Michelle to Dubai, U.A.E. facilitating Sales/Marketing training for over twenty leaders from various parts of the Middle East.

Michelle launched her podcast “You Belong” in October 2019. Distributed on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, iTunes, and Podbean, the You Belong Podcast features Michelle interviewing business thought leaders how to “fit in, even when you don’t” combining inspirational nuggets and practical tips for work and life. To date, Michelle has authored three books, with the fourth, “You Belong” coming soon.