Los Angeles, California (The Hollywood Times) 5/12/2021 – Toni Tells It Like It Is! In “Straight Up From the Tea Cup”, Author Toni Dupree prompts you to take a closer look inside yourself to get to the “Tea of the Matter”. If you desire to have great things come your way, being able to recognize greatness begins with YOU. Toni speaks to THAT person; the GREAT person that may be resting in a dormant state just waiting for you to rise out of mediocrity. This Houston, Texas native is a renowned Relationship Expert and Etiquette Expert.
Your mother was very influential on you. How did your mom build the foundation for who you are today?
I’m an only child and my mother was very communicative. There was no guessing in our home, she shared nuggets with me on a regular basis for best practice at home and in person. One of many sayings, “If you ain’t nothing in this house you won’t find yourself being too much outside of this house.” Mother always believed that our identity shouldn’t be tied to another person’s feelings about us. This really shaped my image at a very early age.
You are well-known for your long history of community and business leadership. How important is building relationships to your success as a leader?
Everything we do is about building relationships, understanding our environment and how to move in it. Business isn’t any different. As the new kid on the playground it was very important to make at least one connection and when we did that opened the floodgates to so many other great connections and opportunities.
In my opinion, it was because the focus was on what could be and the possible joy that surrounds those relationships. As a leader making connections are awesome, but what’s more important is what we do with those connections like, connecting them to the next level opportunity. The responsibility of a leader is to have a vision. Which means a leader may see something great, but have an idea of what will make it fire. As a leader we are to share that vision and show them how to make it ignite!
The pandemic has changed the way we interact with others. As a relationship expert, what is your advice for entrepreneurs who are building remote teams?
Yes, the pandemic has certainly changed the way we interact, but it doesn’t have to change the quality of our engagement. I would definitely suggest to always keep the cameras on, take a little time to connect personally by getting to know your team. Also, keeping the lines of communication open. Try to make working virtually an experience that is enjoyable and functional.
How we treat each other makes a difference in all aspects of our life. Expound on this idea.
Our ability to treat each other well is a show of God’s grace showing up in us. I know this question is “How we treat each other” not necessarily good, bad or indifferent. How I see it is there’s no other way to treat another human being except with decency and grace just the way God intended.
Tell us about your new book, “Straight up from the Tea Cup.”
My book, “Straight Up from the Teacup” is a straight-shooting literary nugget that gets directly to the tea of your personal matter. Basically by understanding and getting to know what truthfully lies beneath the surface of you? As well as how to rise out of mediocrity and soar into your own special greatness.
Questions may arise while reading your book such as: What makes me interesting to others? What am I doing that attracts a particular type of person? Why don’t I feel good about a specific situation? Tell us about how your book is a true book of self-reflection and why you think it will help others
I’ve always had to dump people and my mother used to say, “Another one bites the dust” to tease me about it. I was much younger of course, she would caution me about being so final. I would say, “I just don’t appreciate so-called friends treating me like trash.”
When I was a little older still practicing this same technique I figured that I must be taking myself too seriously, so I started rethinking my moves and asking myself some very important questions. Then I adopted a new understanding “Everyone can have exactly what they want, we just have to be committed to working harder to get it.”
I believe Straight Up from the Teacup will help others for the one reason, there are no steps to complete, you only have to make a decision. Everything else happens as a result of you starting with one decision.
Is relationship building hard work? What are core principles to succeed?
I do not believe that relationship building is hard work, but I do believe it to be consistent work. Some core principles to succeed are consistent communication, accountability, flexibility, understanding disposition and the ability to be wrong for the sake of achieving a right result.
How can we be honest without being hurtful?
By being honest, but not personal, remembering to always speak to the situation and not to the person. Listen and take it all in making sure to process it first before asking pertinent questions, be detailed in your description of events and your reactions if any, Share all intentions without being critical…it would be like adding insult to injury.
What’s next for you in 2021?
Oh, WOW! Maybe Hollywood… (Lol) just kidding. Honestly, I’m working on my third book and planning a speaking engagement in Spain. I have a “Character Building” Camp starting in June at University of Houston- Clearlake ages 11-14.
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