Inspire: to fill someone with the urge or ability to do or feel something, especially to do something creative. (Synonyms) stimulate, motivate, cause, energise, encourage, move, stir, spur.
It is the mid-1970’s and a three-year old Diahanne is eagerly helping her formidable mother prepare for an event. Watching her assembling friends and allocating roles, Diahanne keenly nominated herself as a helper. As the adult gaze of the room turned to her, she valiantly raised her plastic cup and, smiling, asked 'drinks anyone?’
Every now and then you stumble across a remarkably successful individual who lives an authentic life. As Dr Diahanne Rhineys 'Vlog' begins she greets her viewers from the cosy setting of her living room, genially sat on a sofa, hands folded and says with warmth and absolute sincerity: 'I am proud to say I stand on the shoulders of others and I live my life with a purpose to continue on my mother’s legacy'. It has straightaway become very obvious that when Diahanne engages, it is more of a conversation than a speech. More of a compelling testimonial than a lecture. A personal moment intended to inspire and not a 'chalk talk'. For three decades Diahanne has not only studied the mechanisms of success, she has endured and conquered personal challenges that give her a specific and particular edge.
From Kings of Spin to controversial gurus, the world of PR hasn't always been plain-sailing. Five minutes into meeting Dr Diahanne Rhiney in person (who bursts into Starbucks and greets me with a sisterly hug, not a handshake, and busies herself with finding us comfier seats) something has become very apparent; Diahanne cannot be understood just by reading her resume. She communicates using a warm discourse of positivity, overcoming trauma and 'sending the elevator back down'.
Perhaps this is why, as a speaker, Diahanne connects with her audiences immediately. She is of course is a vital part of the fresh new wave of accomplished PR whizzes emerging from the UK and her dynamic personality ensures she is a highly-sought-after heavyweight in the business domain (she has been instrumental in negotiating big business contracts worth £3.2bn). Yet Diahanne long made the transition from boardroom to the wider grassroots world by inspiring a generation of young people to reassess the way they approach life; sharpening her skills as both counsellor and motivator. Her company '15 Degrees' paved the way for diversity marketing in the UK. She has collaborated professionally with hundreds of individuals and deftly translating theory into bottom-line, accessible results.
Diahanne long ago embarked upon a journey that is increasingly set to see her pave a path as an international phenomenon. Interest in her is at an all-time high as over 55,000 followers clamber to bask in her Twitter brightness. She is now synonymous with the unrelenting, multifaceted, tireless ‘superwoman' archetype we have come to associate with powerful women in a Michele Obama-esque age. Leaping from a successful model to a sought-after business honcho, Diahanne has finally reached a natural platform wherein she can utilise her savvy and positively impact others in the same space. As a leading consultant, Diahanne is a recognised and authoritative commentator on business success, branding, media, personal development and the theory of change. Her ability extends to counselling in the gritty domain of domestic violence; a territory she is qualified in not purely due to her academic achievements but to her own personal experience. Diahanne's interview with the late Coretta Scott-King, was a game-changer. As was hosting and commentating on Barack Obama’s first Inauguration Celebration in February 2009 followed swiftly by winning the NatWest Everywoman Athena Award in December 2009. Her methodology includes a set of proven positive principles, leadership rules, community-building blocks and implementation roadmaps that apply effectively across industries, generations and cultures.
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True to form, and despite several traumatic challenges (her beloved mother, whom Diahanne refers to affectionately as her ‘best friend’, died suddenly five years ago) she has refused to slow down. Getting up, dusting off and embodying her mother’s endearing lesson of 'tomorrow is promised to no one so use your God given talent today'.
‘One of the most important things I believe a person can have is integrity and one of the most important things a person can leave is a rich legacy. When my best friend, my mother passed away, what made everything clear for me was the attendance of over a 1000 people to her funeral. Yet no one spoke of what car she drove, what academic institution she went to, or how much money she left.’
Diahanne speaks spiritedly of her childhood and the sojourn that has made her who she is today. Growing up in an busy estate under the watchful eyes of a devoted mother (whom loyally, incorrigibly, encouraged her daughter's natural ability to shine and inspire) and her father, a champion boxer (Diahanne admiringly watched him work in a factory for years as he diligently trained to later become a welterweight champion) are the root of Diahanne's core values: perseverance and positivity.
A gregarious, confident child (the product of parents whom instilled in her an indomitable self-belief), she flourished in a home filled with love, cuddles and an overlying ethos of determination. Unsurprisingly, by the time she'd turned eleven, knew exactly what, and who, she wanted to be.
‘I’ve experienced hardship, emotional trauma and loss, yet on the other hand I’ve been blessed with parents who instilled in me my identity and the core values and principles that I now live by.’
Her new show, ‘Tea and Chat’, is the very quintessence of Diahanne. Viewers are met with a light-hearted pastiche of Diahanne at home, in her slippers, dancing, holding her dogs and drinking tea. There are no airs or graces, simply a woman passionate about crafting a legacy and whose brainchild ‘Tea and Chat’ was borne of an inherent need to connect with and understand what lies within the essence of people.
Her method works because she kindles cordiality and humour. She understands the potential of people in a diverse community. As a consequence, she delivers not only nurturing words but energy as well, devoting her time and knowledge to disenfranchised young people and forward-focused initiatives. She connects with other people's lives-their challenges, traumas and opportunities because she has been through it all. And triumphed.
‘My faith in God is paramount in everything I do. It sets the tone and makes my purpose and direction in life clear. Even though I’ve been through many challenges and times of significant change, some often uncomfortable, my response has always been the same – ‘get up, stand up, and brush yourself off because the best is yet to come’