The phrase “you need to watch your tone” is used to silence someone’s voice, invalidating their emotions and perspective in the process. Often bias and cultural difference manifest at the root of this tone policing, especially silencing women and BIPOC employees. So how do we respond when someone says this and how do we begin to create inclusive teams that allow all team members to be heard?

To help us unpack this complex topic, Brave Conversations with LCW Host Larry Baker (he/him) is joined by DEIJ expert, consultant, educator, and writer Ralinda Watts (she/her).

Meet Our Guest

Ralinda Watts
DEIJ Expert/Consultant/Educator/Writer, RalindaSpeaks
LinkedIn | Instagram | TwitterWebsite

Ralinda, a native of Los Angeles, is a diversity expert, consultant, creative, speaker, and writer who works at the intersection of culture, identity, diversity and justice. She sparks thoughtful conversations on what matters most; authenticity! Ralinda’s work has been featured on CBS Media, Pop Sugar, Medium, YahooLife, and the Los Angeles Times. Most recently, Ralinda received a leadership grant award for research on the Black@Movement from the Klingenstein Center, Teachers College at Columbia University in New York.

Show Notes & Highlights

3:55  Ralinda defines “tone policing”

7:11  Ralinda and Larry share personal stories about tone policing

13:27  Ralinda connects tone policing to issues of control and advancement

21:25  Ralinda suggests asking clarifying questions to combat tone policing

27:50  Ralinda talks about risking social capital and speaking up as allies

38:53  Ralinda connects social capital back to what is learned in school

Show Transcript

Larry Baker: Hello, and welcome to Decoded: Brave Conversations with LCW. I’m your host, Larry Baker, and I use he/him pronouns.

For those of you unfamiliar with LCW, we are a global DEI training, consulting, and translation firm that partners with organizations to develop mindsets, skills, and systems to succeed in a culturally diverse world.

This season we’re unpacking coded language in the workplace. “Coded language” refers to phrases that could be potentially masking bias, or quips that may have unintended negative impact. Each episode we’ll discuss the real meaning and implications of a new coded phrase, how it connects to larger systemic issues, and then hear personal stories and some tips to help us notice and call in bias.

So today we’re unpacking the phrase “You need to watch your tone.” This is a phrase that I am sure that we’ve all heard or said in the workplace or in our personal lives at some point. Whether the person that’s using this phrase knows it or not, it is typically used to silence and invalidate someone’s thoughts, their emotions, and their contributions, and it speaks to a larger issue of tone policing in the workplace.

I am very excited to unpack this phrase, and to do so, I am joined by DEIJ expert, consultant, educator, and writer Ralinda Watts. Ralinda, welcome to the podcast. Could you please give a brief introduction for our listeners?

Ralinda Watts: Great, thank you, Larry, for having me. Yes, my name is Ralinda Watts, and I’m based here in Los Angeles, California. I’m a DEIJ practitioner and writer and educator. A lot of the work that I do is to help articulate from history to present-day diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice and how it can help to amplify those who are most vulnerable in their respective communities or organizations.

Larry Baker: Okay, awesome. So you’re pretty busy, I would imagine, with all of these misconceptions about this space of DEI and J that we are in and how it is being weaponized by certain groups to mean one thing that it absolutely doesn’t mean. So I appreciate your work in this space.

But Ralinda, you mentioned a phrase that I think a lot of people are confused about. You said “tone policing.” So can you give me your definition of what you feel tone policing represents? Because for me personally, I just feel like it’s a tactic to kind of dismiss ideas that are being communicated by certain people, but I’m going to give you the space to give your interpretation on what does tone policing really mean.

Ralinda Watts: No, absolutely. Well, you’re spot on. It is a tactic, right? A tactic that is used to dismiss one’s ideas or their perspective, their lived experience. I would say that we especially see tone policing in conversations or in incidences that are related to race—that is where you see tone policing really be heightened. And the main objective is to invalidate, emotional responses. But I also think that it is a form of trying to control the narrative because if there’s that topic or there’s that racial incident that is brought to light, folks want to derail it. And so to derail it, you silence. But also you’re controlling the narrative around it being amplified in the workplace as an example, right? You’re silent in the conversation.

So I think what ends up happening is—from my experience as a Black woman—you really see this intense scrutiny of our emotions or our reactions. And then the focus becomes on how we responded as opposed to the actual incident that is the main issue to begin with. And so again, that’s about that control because now you’ve managed to make it about “This is how you responded” as opposed to “Let’s talk about what happened. Let’s talk about this incident.”

Larry Baker: Ralinda, I love that whole line of conversation because I’ve always felt that the use of that phrase was really, like you said, to control how someone that is subject to racism, discrimination, or microaggression, to control their reaction to fit in a certain box that I’m comfortable with. And if you don’t make it fit in that box, I can dismiss you. I can discredit you. I can invalidate your real-life lived experience. So I Iove that you said that because that is such a key piece that I think people overlook when this phrase is used. It’s that it’s all about control, and I appreciate you bringing that out.

But I also want to invite you to share with me a story that you’ve experienced around this phrase, because I know that you’ve experienced this. And you might say, “Oh my goodness, Larry, this might take a while.” But just to put some meat to the bone in regards to real life, how it happened or how it impacted you, Ralinda.

Ralinda Watts: Sure, sure. So I remember, a few short years ago… as a DEIJ practitioner, part of your role is educating the community but also how you respond to when racialized incidences and harm occur. And I remember at the time that the head of school, the school leader shared that I needed to watch my tone because people weren’t receptive to DEI work. Not because they weren’t interested—it was because of my tone and my delivery. And so when I push back around, if you’re genuinely interested in the work, it’s a professional and a personal journey independent of who is leading the charge. We all have areas of growth and opportunities for growth.

And so when pushing back, then it really became like this critique and scrutiny around, “Well, at the last meeting, I noticed that you weren’t smiling.” This is a direct hit. Or “I noticed that when you talk about this topic, you seemed upset, you seemed angry.” And so there goes the positioning of the angry Black woman stereotype.

Larry Baker: Absolutely.

Ralinda Watts: Yeah, and so I would say for me as a DEIJ practitioner, tone policing has very much been a part of my journey, right? And rather, whoever the message is in front of, if it is unsettling to someone as they’re trying to make sense of it, if you’re bringing attention to an action that they have done in the past, it’s unsettling for folks. And so I think what happens is you have that fight, flight, or freeze that happens, and so often it becomes like that fight of “I want to tell you that I didn’t like your tone,” “I didn’t like how you brought that up,” or “Why do you have to talk about race?,” and “If you didn’t talk about it, it wouldn’t be an issue,” “Does that really happen? I haven’t noticed that, and I’ve been in the company for 20 years.” So you have that type of denial of lived experience—the idea that there’s no way that this is happening here. And it goes on and on.

And so again, it goes back to the control piece. It’s an attempt to control the narrative, right? If I can control this narrative to say that this doesn’t happen and that it’s you, you’re the problem, not what you’re bringing attention to, then it actually gives that person I think this safety net to not have to do the self-work. Also, it’s to deflect.

Larry Baker: It absolutely is. Really, it reminds me of this little motto that I tend to use when people have certain reactions or they get mad at me for speaking the truth. And I use this all the time: that the only people that are mad at me for speaking the truth are those who are living a lie. So for me, I, I don’t really get caught up in those conversations around your tone or “You need to watch your tone” because what it would assume is that there’s a right way and a wrong way to share your experiences, which is not the case.

And for me, when it comes to my experiences with this phrase, actually it took on a different word. And my grandfather used to tell me I need to be careful so that I’m not perceived as being “uppity.” Now, “uppity” to me is when it was used to describe Black people that might believe that a non-person of color would feel like we weren’t showing them enough deference. So my grandfather would always caution me in regards to “You don’t want to be seen as being uppity.” And that never sat right with me, but I can’t fault him because the era that he grew up in, being deemed uppity could be life and death, right? So it was a respect thing to hear it, but to see how that narrative really controlled his life was something that I did not want to be a part of.

So again, I appreciate how you keep bringing that back to it’s about controlling. It’s about making a narrative. It’s about keeping you in this box. I appreciate you sharing that perspective as well. So let’s get a little more specific because all the work that you do, you touch on so many different areas. You have so many different opportunities to, connect this phrase on a larger level. So talk to me a little bit about how do you think this phrase connects to larger systemic issues in society.

Ralinda Watts: Yeah, I think it’s definitely multidimensional. Even when you spoke about your grandfather, there was a sense of deference but really survival, right?

Larry Baker: Absolutely. Absolutely.

Ralinda Watts: And so that goes back to that control piece. When I think about tone policing I think when in the workplace as a Black woman, you already have to combat the “angry Black woman” stereotype. So I do think that there is caution that exists around like, “Do I bring this up? Do I not say anything?” That’s happening, and it’s been happening. I think that when one dares to challenge, there’s always I think that fear of retribution, like “You want to bring this up? You want to challenge?”

And that hurts. I can speak from firsthand experience that that has hurt opportunities for leadership because if you’re not going to get along to get along, somebody’s remembering. Somebody who’s in a position of influence or power is dictating how fast somebody can move up in the ranks—who gets promoted, who doesn’t get promoted. I’m thinking about education, same with teaching assignments, like work schedules. I mean, people don’t understand that this plays out in very visceral ways, but somehow we’re not connecting the dots that it’s all related.

And so that systemic piece that you spoke to, I do think about that in relationship to advancement, like what does that look like? And when we see Black women or Black folks in leadership positions, we know that the numbers are speaking to something systemic that’s happening. This idea of this tone policing, we have to consider factoring that into the equation as to why the numbers continue to be that way.

Or I’ve seen plenty of times where there have been folks that are overqualified for positions and somehow they get passed over for another candidate that is from a different identity. And that very much could be that bias of “We don’t want to think about promoting that person because are they going to bring attention to something? What what does it look like? And do we even want to deal with having somebody who’s going to hold the mirror up and want us to be better?”

And so that’s that slippery slope with someone who’s a DEIJ practitioner because their purpose is to hold the mirror up. That’s their purpose, but it isn’t well received when that happens.

Larry Baker: Yeah. The ultimate connection is survival, right? Whether it’s in society or the workplace, this phrase is about survival because typically when people are using it, it’s almost as if they’re giving you a warning. It’s almost as if they’re saying, “You are getting very close to having something extremely detrimental happen to you.”

So it’s almost like it’s that warning shot to say you’ve got two choices: keep going and suffer those consequences, or back down and make me feel comfortable. Because when you hear it out in society from a police officer—“Watch how you’re talking to me” or “Who do you think you’re talking to?—you kind of know that you’re on a path where this interaction could go… It could go bad, right? It could go bad pretty quickly. And the same way in the workplace. When you hear people saying that, you have to make that conscious decision: do I keep pushing or do I back off? It’s this constant sense of feeling like you’re walking on eggshells,

Ralinda Watts: Absolutely. But going back to what you just said, that it is the warning. From my own experience, it very much was like, “Oh, this is an intimidation tactic.” It’s an intimidation tactic to say, “What is your future going to look like here?”

And I just remember, for me it was “Your tone is setting our DEI work backwards.” So I’m internalizing that that’s the warning. That’s the intimidation. Whatever it is that you are perceiving—cause it’s all about that perception too—you’re perceiving as problematic, and so as a result, here’s your warning. And then the way it was couch was that “Several people have observed.”

Larry Baker: The infamous several people, right?

Ralinda Watts: Who are these people?

There are two people in the meeting. What are you talking about?

Ralinda Watts: Right! And so you kind of backtrack your day and you’re like, “Wait, what’s going on?” But that’s how it was positioned—“Several people have noticed your delivery and your tone.” And then again, these are all warnings. It’s the intimidation tactic, but it’s very much to control. And so someone has to make that decision of do I walk in my truth and continue to do what I’m supposed to do, what I’ve been charged to do in my role, or is it I’m just not going to say anything because I don’t want to ruffle any feathers?

But the interesting thing is that from just research in talking to other folks, someone could be silent. Black women could be silencing situations and not respond, and then that’s also questioned. “I noticed that you were silent. I noticed that you didn’t say anything.” And then that gets construed as like, “Oh, you were silent. That means that you’re angry.” So, again, it’s having to constantly battle that angry black woman stereotype. And someone could be silent because they’re trying to process what is happening. So it’s kind of like, “Oh, I need to take a moment,” or they said, “I know I can’t say anything.” But it still gets weaponized, right? So it’s like you’re damned if you do, you’re damned if you don’t.

Larry Baker: You’re leading me into another question that I just have to ask you. it’s important for us to give our listeners actionable things that they can do. So I would love to get your perspective on what type of advice would you give to people that are currently being targeted by that phrase or when they do get targeted by that phrase? If you could start there, and then I’ll ask you another question.

Ralinda Watts: Sure. I think one of the things is I love to ask clarifying questions. If the phrase is “you need to watch your tone” or “we’ve noticed that your tone has changed,” you can say, “Talk to me more a little bit about what you mean by that.” Really asking those open-ended questions. “Can you give me some examples to what you’re speaking to?” Because it can feel really amorphous, and most of it’s not based on anything. Again, it’s just this tactic. So really having to get at what do you mean, give me some examples. When idea of like “several people,” “Well, that’s interesting. No one has come up to me personally.”

We all in corporations and companies really want to have this culture of being able to go to someone. Feeling like this plan. And so really kind of pushing back on what seems like there’s a conversation that’s happening about me and I’m not in the room.

Larry Baker: Yeah.

Ralinda Watts: “I really feel like if someone was really offended by my tone, it’s so interesting that they haven’t come to me.” So really kind of pushing back in a way that asks those clarifying questions. They’re really good—you can really get at what this is. I would say they are great steps for having that conversation. And then also nowhere in anyone’s contract is their tone connected to the compensation. And so really asking that question of like, “Is this about my work performance?” Because that’s a different conversation, then just out of the blue people have observed your tone. So that’s one way.

I think also as people are thinking about places that they want to be in, it’s really important to be thinking about workplace culture and if that’s a place where someone’s ideas and perspective are valued and welcomed, or is it a place where they’re checking off the box for representation but they actually don’t want me to be a valuable contributor? And so I would say for people who are in the marketplace for employment, these are the kinds of things that we need to be looking for and listening. When folks are recruiting you, what do those responses look like? I feel like that’s that next layer because we know that it’s there. We know the research is there.

So these are the kind of questions that folks need to be thinking about when they’re thinking about where they want to be or a company that values align with their own. And that’s the hard part because there’s a lot of bait and switch.

Larry Baker: Right. Once they get you in the door, then everything changes.

Ralinda Watts: Right. These are the kinds of things that I think. And then also when there’s opportunities to talk to folks in the organization that have the same identity as you, oftentimes you can have that real, authentic conversation or you can also observe a lot. And sometimes what is not said says so much.

Larry Baker: Absolutely. Absolutely. Read between the lines. Ralinda, I love that whole concept because I often tell people that when you are given these vague coded language-type phrases, I always encourage them to make that individual give behaviors, right? And when I’m talking about behaviors, I’m talking about “Tell me why you interpreted that my tone was aggressive. What did I say? What did I do?” Because that way it gives them the opportunity to develop you. Because if you’re not working on behaviors, then I don’t really have anything to work on. I need to understand why you’re interpreting something that I did as being aggressive or that my tone needs to be improved, and I need you to be objective about it. I need you to give me the specific words, the specific actions so that way I can give you my interpretation of that behavior, so we can be on the same page.

Because I don’t want to be put in that position of trying to figure out what your intentions are for me. Are you doing this to help me get better, or are you legitimately giving me a warning to say, “Yeah, I’m gonna need you to change or else we’re going to have a different conversation.” So I need you to give me behaviors. I need you to be specific. Tell me the words, tell me the actions, because if you cannot do that, now that leaves room for me to say, “Is it possible that you could have some bias in regards to how I conducted that meeting or have that conversation?”

The other piece that I want you to give some advice on is for our allies. Now I often use the phrase “accomplice” because I think allies… it’s a little wishy-washy. But an accomplice—if I go down, you go down. So give me some advice for those folks who might witness this phrase being used. What, might they do if they are truly trying to be an accomplice or an ally for people that are subjected to this?

Ralinda Watts: I love that you separated the words because definitely I feel like allyship is something like a title that people give to themselves. And the accomplice piece is really like skin in the game. Like willing to risk social capital. In the organization, many folks have a different level of social capital, and it’s about how do you leverage that capital right in the name of diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice. We’re trying to get to that place.

And so I would say for those folks who are willing to risk social capital when they do see those things or hear those things is really being able to go direct and actually call those things out. There’s the water cooler or in between when another colleague says something about another colleague, to be able to say, “Hey. Can I talk to you for a second? I just heard…” But actually be willing to, right? Or sometimes it might be when there’s a meeting in public and being able to say, “You know what I noticed? My Black colleagues are having a disparate experience, and I noticed that. And so it’s actually something that as an organization, we really need to think critically about addressing because if I’m noticing this, I know that they’re experiencing this.”

So I think it’s just, what does that risk look like? What are you willing to risk I think is really important and it not being a one off. Sometimes folks are like, “Okay, I did say something,” or I’ve experienced where someone will send me an email or had sent an email saying that was really wonderful that you raised that point at the meeting, right? So they sent me an email and I’m like, “Well, what good is done if the email is going to me? I already know what I did.” But how do you take it if you’re noticing that, how do you take that in a larger space, like to the entire community to say, “This is my takeaway and this is what we need to do.”

And so I would always get those emails after the meeting, but it was like, “You didn’t say anything in the meeting. That’s where you risk the social capital. The email does nothing.” Maybe it was their attempt to try to make me feel like I wasn’t alone, but I’m the only one that received the email so I am alone.

I feel like that’s what’s missing —the risking of the social capital. And so these folks I sent those emails, they were white. They had influence in the organization, but they just couldn’t risk it. You know, they couldn’t risk that social capital. I feel like that’s an issue because again, if we’re going to connect this to the tone policing, it very much becomes about how I responded as opposed what was the act that that we really need to be thinking about and we really need to unpack, we need to address. It’s lost. That accomplice piece again… if folks, you know, could focus on “Well, here’s this issue” so that way we make sure that that’s at the center of the work that we do is really important.

Larry Baker: That the whole piece of letting accomplices know that you’re going to have to be willing to risk something, right? That is a huge message that they have to understand that. And you touched upon it: it’s not a one and done. You don’t get to claim yourself as being an ally. That’s something that the community gives to you that you just don’t get to deem yourself as being that.

But the reality is getting ahold of understanding that I have got to risk something so that somebody else can gain, that is such an under-discussed reality about allyship or accompliceship or whatever it is. That message needs to come to the front. You have to know that you’re going to have to lose something so that someone else can gain it. If you don’t understand that, then you’re not ready to be an ally.

Ralinda Watts: Absolutely. Well, that’s the biggest piece. Then that means that person, even in their best of intentions, has more work to do. And I think that that’s part of it. People want to be able to say like, “I’ve read all these books, I read all these articles, I’ve talked to people that I’m proximate to who have shared with me, like their racialized experiences.” You can do all of that and still have more work to do, because the thing is is that those things are there, but how does it show up in practice? And I feel like that’s the thing. People are still in the theory phase. Like they have theorized it, right? And they’re like, “Okay, this makes sense, but what does it look like in practice?”

And that’s when it counts the most, is that when you’re on the ground in real time and you’re interrupting, you’re disrupting, you’re helping to dismantle. That is when you have to show up the most and I think that folks think that them showing up is the reading and the listening.

And clearly in the last three years, there was a lot of listening and learning in 2020. But what’s going on?

Larry Baker: Yeah, that’s such a true fact. And another point to that allyship… And I don’t know if you feel this way, but I know that I do. I don’t need you to be an ally in the room that I’m in. I can stand up for myself. I can defend myself. I am comfortable with engaging in that conversation whenever and how often I need to. I need you to stand up for me in rooms I’m never going to get invited in and understand that folks that are foolish. They are loud. They are strong and wrong. But you have to stay the path, you have to stay the course, and you have to take all of that theory and all that understanding that you have and do something with it.

I use Bible references every once again, and the one that is coming to my mind is “Faith without works is dead.” I can have faith in it, if I don’t work it, nothing’s going to come to pass. So that’s the whole mindset behind you can have faith in this knowledge that we’re sharing with you, but if you don’t work it, it’s useless. So I appreciate you sharing that with me, Ralinda.

Ralinda Watts: No, absolutely. I 1,000% agree. And I think that, again, it’s where you were talking about rooms that I’m not in and folks that are somehow the loudest. That’s why that risking of social capital is so important because a lot of times the folks who are the loudest are few in number. They just have to be the loudest. So if other folks were to say “Oh no, I disagree or this or that,” actually I think that would illuminate that they are not in the majority, but that’s not what happens.

You have folks who are like, “Oh, I don’t want to risk the social capital because what if we don’t sit next to each other at the next meeting?” I just feel like people have to be willing to call out racism. I mean, that’s also a part of it. Like there’s such this gentleness around calling out racism. And I’m like… Why do we accept that? It’s egregious. And I think if more folks treated it as such, I think this would be a different conversation, but there’s such latitude and grace that is given to racist behavior. Wanting this explanation for the why, as opposed to like, I can’t debate on this—someone’s racist or not. I’m just going to tell you this is what they did and it’s harmful when we need to address this. So I think that that’s also very steeped in this around the latitude that we give for people who clearly exhibit racist behavior.

Larry Baker: Oh, yeah. And this reminds me so much of conversations that I have in organizations where we talk about the need to address these issues when they are seen. One of the things that’s often the response to me is “But Larry, we have such a nice culture here, and addressing these things would go against our culture.” To which my first response is, who is this culture nice to, the person that’s perpetrating the unfair treatment? Because I promise you the person that’s on the receiving end of it. They don’t think you have a nice culture. So I’m going to need you, I’m going to need you to redefine what nice culture is because your nice culture is actually supporting bad behavior and it’s making the victim feel like they’re the bad person for addressing it. That’s not a nice culture.

Ralinda Watts: Right, and we see this happen so early on, if you think about schools. And a lot of my work is in schools. That’s exactly what happens. You’ve got children that are experiencing harm at school in their classrooms and social encounters, and the expectation is that they have to just endure. And “Aren’t they so resilient?” Like, “Oh look, they’re so resilient. They’re so wonderful.” As opposed to what are we doing about these children that keep up this racist behavior? There aren’t any consequences.

I think what happens is kids are socialized and then they become adults. But I think because in school, racialized events are normalized and there aren’t consequences that happen or if the consequences happen, I don’t think folks necessarily see them as punitive, right? It’s more learning, listening, what have you. What happens is that the students who are in the majority learn very quickly the social capital they have, and the kids that are harmed learn very quickly “Oh, this is what this is about.” And then what happens is that that silences them. And so, so many things go unreported, but it’s because they’ve learned these are the rules of the game.

Ralinda Watts: And so I just share that because so much of my work in schools is about having to address these racialized micro-macroaggressions that happen. And I’m like, “Yeah, and then they grow up.” And so I think we’re not connecting also on what’s the harm that happens as a result of giving this latitude, of giving this grace. Folks grow up to be adults, and they also…

Larry Baker: Same thing applies.

Ralinda Watts: Yes. So that’s why I’m like we really need to treat like this racism is like a real issue as opposed to like, “Oh, it’s not…

Larry Baker: “It’s not a system, it’s an individual.”

Ralinda Watts: Yeah.

Larry Baker: Yeah. I understand. I understand. I understand. Ralinda, I am super happy that we had this time to have this conversation. I feel as though we can talk about this for days and hours and hours and hours. And what I want to do is to leave some space because I am positive that some of our listeners have heard something that you said, and they really want to connect with you, they really want to find out, “How do I get in contact with Ralinda Watts?”

So before we go, I want to give you this space to let folks know how they can get in touch with you, how they can see what you’ve written. I’m just going to give you this space.

Ralinda Watts: No, great. I appreciate it. So yes—if anything I’m saying is resonating with anyone, definitely check me out at Ralinda Watts on all the socials: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook.

And as a part of my consulting, I started what’s known as RalindaSpeaks, and it’s also available on all the socials as well. And really what I do as an educator, that’s in me around trying to really teach a lot of these topics that can feel really heavy, but distill them down in a digestible way, and I use graphic design to do that. So on RalindaSpeaks, I talk about many of these issues via the graphic design in my words. And so it’s a great way for folks to learn.

And just check out we’ve built a really wonderful community that is very invested, in the pursuit of justice. So you’ll find my writing there as well. There’s plenty of links to pieces that I’ve written through various media sites.

So those are all great ways to get in touch with me.

Larry Baker: Love it. Love it. Love it. Ralinda, again, thank you, thank you, thank you so much for sharing your insight, sharing your time for this extremely important conversation. I really appreciate bringing you on, and don’t be surprised if we circle back and we have another conversation because I really, really enjoy having this conversation with you. So thank you so much.

Ralinda Watts: Oh, thank you so much, Larry, and I would be happy to come back and chat more. But thanks for a great conversation. A must for everybody, I think, as we think about how we can all in our own spheres of influence flip this thing on its head.

Larry Baker: Awesome Very well said. It’s my pleasure. So thank you so much again.

Ralinda Watts: Thank you.

Larry Baker: Thank you all so much for joining us for another episode of Decoded. And to all of you who are listening, we want to know—what were your biggest takeaways from this conversation? What coded language do you want us to unpack next? Please share with us on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn at Language and Culture Worldwide or LCW.

Until next time, I’m Larry Baker, and this has been Brave Conversations with LCW.

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