My guest is Gabrielle Hase who is insatiably curious about others and enjoys nothing more that a good conversation. She is the CEO of Soleberry Advisory. Love that name. Based in London. Her depth of experience in all things eCommerce, mobile and direct marketing. As well as strategic branding and how to increase a brand’s market share is what her clients hire her for. Gabrielle also serves on several well known retail boards as a Non-Executive Director (NED) and being insatiably curious about others.
“The conversations I enjoy are… truly back-and-forth conversations. You enjoy talking with them, even if you don’t agree with them. You find the conversation engaging, enlightening, and it has a nice decadence to it and you don’t regret the time spent.”
She is insatiably curious about people and their motivations and choices. She is often the one to ask the tough questions or the seemingly “stupid, silly” questions that actually… (ha) no-one knows the answer to. These are qualities you want in an advisor and a non-executive director, right? Otherwise, why hire them?
Joining the board as a NED
We begin, Reading the room and existing dynamics. Proving your value. Asking stupid silly questions., working with the chairperson, getting heard. Governance responsibilities and avoiding the “bitchy resting face” and reading body language.
Curious about physical presence, body language, and facial expressions
Reading it accurately to inform our approach to responding, following up, and giving non-verbal signals and feedback as well as calling it out and asking for feedback
Two-way conversations vs monologues
Her pet peeve is people who like to hear themselves talk. It’s important that there’s interest in both directions and chemistry with the person you’re talking to — time well spent.
Networking with the competition
Genuine human exchanges keep us on our toes, symbiotic relationship with competitors, co-existing in the same space
Not enough of the right conversations and too many conversations are online
Embracing digital but on a human business level, instant conversations. These can be lazy conversations and negatively impact your career because of the missed opportunity to build relationships. We can never replace face-to-face interaction with another human being, missing data we get from body language, the limitations of chat platforms and remote working. Face-to-face time is serendipitous, online exchanges can feel less confrontational, when the better intervention is to lean into the relationship and get to know each other better
Curous about speaking styles and habits
Learning from the conversation styles of others, soft speakers vs louder speakers, how soft speakers can command the room and why they do it, having a firm voice, and being unapologetic. Bad habit — interrupting people because of exuberance and excitement, or because of irritation and impatience. A one-sided recounting of a conversation. Focusing on your speaker vs attention on ourselves. Emotion in conversations: heart on your sleeve vs more measured approach.
About Gabriella Hase
Gabrielle Hase is the CEO of Soleberry Advisory, a London-based digital commerce strategy and advisory firm. A highly experienced and innovative entrepreneur, Gabrielle has broad experience in all aspects of eCommerce, mobile and direct marketing strategy, and strategic brand management.
Since relocating from the US fourteen years ago, Gabrielle has worked with leading consumer brands on building their online presence and increasing market share. Recent clients include brands such as The McArthurGlen Group, Stanley Gibbons, The School of Life, Sophie Hulme, LK Bennett, Hobbs, Moonpig, and New Look, and retailers including TKMaxx, Harvey Nichols, and Fenwick.
Gabrielle is a Non-Executive Director for Tate Enterprises (a division of Tate Galleries), Amplience (a venture capital-backed eCommerce software), and LS Retail (a private equity-backed retail tech business). Gabrielle received her MBA from The Wharton School.
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While we’re gifted with speech, conversations, really good conversations don’t happen as much as we’d like. In Better Conversations podcast, my guests and I deepdive into all the corners of what makes a conversation painful and terrible or warming and memorable.
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