Debra Dupree, ‘The Mindset Doc’, helps companies and teams navigate through high-conflict situations, toxic work environments, and challenged leader-follower communications to restore, repair, and resolve damaged relationships.
She uses the 3D Formula to help achieve ‘mindset shift’ by building on our natural emotional intelligence, communication styles, and conflict management strategies.
Relationships at Work, Inc. is a boutique firm developed in 2011, specializing in expert witness services, dispute resolution and conflict interventions, training and leadership coaching.
Prior to incorporation, Dr. D operated as a sole proprietor of Relationships That Matter, founded in 2005, specializing in behavioral health therapy as a higher education professor, family/divorce coach, and mediator.
And, before that, Debra’s sole focus was on vocational rehabilitation of adults disabled through injury, illness, or accidents along with disability and case management services for return-to-work efforts or life care planning when unable to work.
She feels extremely fortunate to have had such great opportunities to follow her passions and her interests, working in some wonderfully specialized disciplines, with some incredible professionals, and through amazingly interesting cases.
Check out more interviews with entrepreneurs here.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO GET FEATURED?
All interviews are 100% FREE OF CHARGE
Table of Contents
If you were in an elevator with Warren Buffet, how would you describe your company, your services or products? What makes your company different from others? What is your company’s biggest strength?
Debra Dupree: Dr. Debra is my name…conflict is my game!
I work with leaders to get their organizations unstuck when conflict erodes the bottom line, wastes time, and misuses the energy of their talent. We accomplish this by defining the business problem(s) created, the source(s) of conflict (of which there are three), and develop strategies to refocus, redirect, and repair the damage created.
How is Relationships-at-Work, Inc. different from others? Our approach is based on the 3D Formula for Shifting Mindset, steeped in the foundations of advanced education and 30+ years of experience in business, psychology, and law, with a focus on bringing out the best in human potential.
Our biggest strength is our talent, insights, and resources; we are able to swiftly and quickly get on top of the challenges to turn things around in 90 days or less!
Quiet quitting, The Great Resignation, are an ongoing trend causing many businesses to struggle keeping talent engaged and motivated. Most are leaving because of their boss or their company culture. 82% of people feel unheard, undervalued and misunderstood in the workplace. In your experience, what keeps employees happy? And how are adapting to the current shift we see?
Debra Dupree: Today’s workplace is facing challenges never quite seen before. The rapid advances in how we conduct business, access information, and communicate globally demand a new way of business.
While the pandemic was horrific with the loss of lives, ongoing long-term illnesses, closure of businesses, and financial losses, those same horrific conditions led to innovation, creativity, and rapid developments to meet new and unforeseen challenges.
Those who thrive on inclusion and social contact were at a loss. Yet, often creating new ways to connect. Those who love working alone thrived in their new remote work environments, taking advantage of new technology and innovative gadgets.
One clear advantage, certainly not expected by corporate leaders, is that employees demonstrated their ability to be just as productive, if not more, than when in the office setting. While research is in progress and early results evident, those who love going back to work and those who want to stay home to work clearly fall along the four dimensions of communication styles.
Taking away the freedoms gained through remote work does not go gently. Returning to the workplace where psychological safety is lacking is not a welcomed choice. And so far, corporate leaders have done little to address human dynamics, bad bossing, bullying, and toxic relationships. Who wouldn’t rather stay at home?
Responding to these challenging workplace dynamics creates new opportunities for a company like mine to soar! We offer insight, analysis, strategies, and a plan on how to move forward.
Here is a two fold question: What is the book that influenced you the most and how? Please share some life lessons you learned. Now what book have you gifted the most and why?
Debra Dupree: While I’ve encountered many influential books throughout my adult life, and being an academic, the one book that stands out most for me is one of the many by Dr. Wayne Dyer, author of “I Can See Clearly Now.”
Being a Psychologist like me, and having traveled some similar educational paths and early starts in the work world, I shared some of the same frustrations as did Dr. Dyer in applying his psychological knowledge to understanding human dynamics in the academic and business worlds.
What I learned was a new way of thinking and looking at the problems we face. I also gained new insight and strategies for shifting the mindset and influencing people differently.
While already passionate about pursuing my doctoral degree, a goal ventured and stopped a few times due to life happening; my own evolving mindset led me back to finally getting that doctorate degree well past age 50.
But what a difference it made. The knowledge and understanding gained about the neuroscience behind our brains and bodies was amazing and I now apply that knowledge to everything I do and with people from all walks of life.
As my passion is about influencing and inspiring people away from their destructive patterns, one of the books most gifted is “Redirecting Children’s Behavior,” based on a positive psychology approach. It’s a new way of looking at parenting for the different age groups as children mature.
And it allows parents to shift from being directors and authoritarian when children are younger to coaches and leaders as children mature, teaching them valuable life skills and expanded ways of thinking.
Christopher Hitchens, an American journalist, is quoted as saying that “everyone has a book in them” Have you written a book? If so, please share with us details about it. If you haven’t, what book would you like to write and how would you like it to benefit the readers?
Debra Dupree: I fully agree with Hitchens. We all have a story in us and each of our stories is unique to our upbringing. There are a lot of valuable gems and insights to be gained if we simply take the time to capture some of those great and not-so-great life experiences.
The first book I actually accomplished wasn’t very big, only about 25 pages. However, it represented the essence of learnings gained, some of which were grounded in my upbringing and how I was motivated to dive deep into the field of psychology, become a specialist in conflict resolution, and passionate about teaching.
The book is “Your Emotional Potential: How You Show Up Matters.” It’s a little bit of the neuroscience, thought leadership, practical assessments that led to the development of my 3D Formula to Mindset Shift. Available on Amazon and all proceeds go to a favorite non-profit of mine ‘Kids Managing Conflict’ supported by my professional association, Southern California Mediation Association where I’m a board member.
I have two books in the works, evolving from my dissertation on the “Psychology of Good Bosses vs. Bad Bosses” – one is an academic book for business schools, addressing the implications for today’s leadership while the other is more of a layperson’s book entitled “I Hate My Boss” – we’re working on it!
2020, 2021, 2022 threw a lot of curve balls into businesses on a global scale. Based on the experience gleaned in the past years, how can businesses thrive in 2023? What lessons have you learned and what advice would you share?
Debra Dupree: From my perspective, it’s all about ‘mindset shift’ away from old ways of doing things and facing the reality of new innovations.
So many people claim that they want to go back to the ways things were. It just isn’t going to happen because today is not the same as pre-pandemic. Instead, adopting and developing a mindset of resilience with openness and curiosity to look at how things can be different, better, more effective, and more efficient.
It takes courage to be curious…and it takes curiosity to be courageous to step out of the usual path.
I’ve realized how important it is to keep myself associated with professionals striving, not just to stay ahead, but to grow ahead of the curve. Taking risks is an important part of moving ahead but with some caution and support from others.
What does “success” in the year to come mean to you? It could be on a personal or business level, please share your vision.
Debra Dupree: My goals for 2023 are both.
Personally, I got out of my rut where I had lived for 5 years and moved across the border. I live on the beach, have a beautiful view of the Pacific Ocean every day while I work, write, read, and collaborate. And I am practicing my Spanish to get better – just lost a big project because I wasn’t fluent enough in Spanish!
Professionally, my goal is to triple my income through increased speaking engagements. Just landed my first TedX talk coming up in July, with other applications out there!
And 2023 will be the year both my books get published. My goal is to continue to ‘up’ the visibility of my podcast “Decoding the Conflict Mindset“ reaching thousands around the world while also monetizing it.
It’s about having FUN, living my passion to inspire and influence people, and truly helping them make a difference in their lives.
Jed Morley, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Debra Dupree for taking the time to do this interview and share her knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Debra Dupree or her company, you can do it through her – Linkedin Page
Disclaimer: The ValiantCEO Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.