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    GGBA Business Tips, Member Spotlight and More…

    The Importance of Understanding Communication Styles in the Workplace

    By Erin Hoffman–

    Anyone who has worked in any industry knows that conflicting personalities take a toll on teamwork, morale and the successful completion of a project. But what many people might not know is that they don’t have to just learn to deal with a coworker. Instead, teams can seek to understand and invest in programs and trainings to educate employees on how best to communicate with each other.

    For example, I am an advocate of the WorkTraits communication assessment system. When I do a communication training, I ask each employee to take the online assessment, which is then evaluated and the individual is given a name for their behavioral style (i.e. Decision-Maker, Encourager, Facilitator, or Tracker) and core conviction style (i.e. Ambition, Belief, Compassion, or Discipline). Each staff member is provided the opportunity to learn about their coworkers’ assessments as well. Then, the team is taught how to effectively communicate with each other, ultimately breaking down barriers and working better together.

    Understanding how your coworkers think, process and act on information is integral to effective communication. Proper communication techniques are the foundation of teamwork. In turn, teamwork leads to achieving goals, completing projects (on time!) and developing a general camaraderie that positively contributes to the company’s culture.

    Bottom Line

    Use a communication style assessment to understand how the individual personalities on your team can best work together. When we engage in teamwork and support one another, anything is possible.

    Erin Hoffman is Director of Operations and a Certified Trainer at WorkTraits,


    GGBA Member Spotlight: GPS GAY

    GPSGAY is a mobile app and website offering different services for the LGBT community: online videos, places to go to, a social network and more. We interviewed Magdalena Rodríguez, a seasoned entrepreneur and one of the co-founders of the app. Keep on reading to learn about her journey as an entrepreneur. Give a try to the app: there’s something for everyone!

    GGBA: Please tell us about your business, its mission and values, and what kind of problems you are helping your customers to solve.

    Magdalena Rodríguez: GPSGAY offers a free safe space online for the LGBT community, available in Mobile Apps (Android & iOS) and also via web. It provides a friendly environment where the whole community can interact with each other, find content, documentaries, NGOs for support, online consulting about sexuality, events (parades, conferences) and friendly places to go to. Available in Spanish, English and Portuguese, GPSGAY not only addresses social inclusion, work inclusion, health and self-esteem issues, but it also works as a channel for companies and organizations that wish to reach out to, and further engage with, the LGBT community.                  

    GGBA: Why did you decide to create GPSGAY?

    Magdalena Rodríguez: Throughout the Globe, LGBT communities are often overlooked by social applications that are marketing to a predominately heterosexual audience, making it difficult for these communities to find niche services and meeting spaces. 

    At GPSGAY we aim to revert the incorrect image that many people still have about the LGBT community, which causes isolation, bullying and fear for 10% of the human population.  It seems that most of the online services for LGBT are dating and sexual encounters apps, focusing especially on men. Yes, sex is part of the community lives, but is not the only thing. We are a for-profit with social impact, looking to become the epicenter of the LGBT culture online.

    This is our second startup. GPSGAY was born as a spin-off of PRO International, one of the leading web design agencies in Uruguay. Since we had the knowledge and resources to create GPSGAY we decided to start this new company, because we wanted to add value to the LGBT community and do something meaningful for us.

    GGBA: Do you have any specific policies in place that benefit the LGBT Community?

    Magdalena Rodríguez: Our network was created specifically to benefit the LGBT Community. Our users love us. We have almost a million users, with great level of engagement and generating a very real tangible impact on their lives. We know this not only because of the comments and emails that we receive every day, telling us stories of how their lives changed for the better with GPSGAY; but also working hand by hand with Corporations and Foundations to implement policies that benefit the LGBT community. For example, before we started working with IBM Uruguay, a company that has around 500 hundred employees in the country, they only had 1 person out of the closet. After the actions we did with them, they now have a group of people out, and actively working on LGBT issues. With the United Nations, we did a survey of how many people had taken the HIV test, and if they had not, why. It turned out many had not taken it because they did not know where to take it, and so we added to our map all the places where people could take an HIV test for free. Also, with the help of UNAIDS, we created an online consulting area about sexuality and safe sex, where users can ask questions and a specialist answers those questions. 

    GGBA: Do you have any specific policies in place regarding workplace equality?

    Magdalena Rodríguez: As part of the LGBT community, we understand how important it is to have policies in place regarding workplace equality. We believe that diversity helps draw top talent and foster innovation, and people perform significantly better when they can be themselves at work. 

    GGBA: How did you hear about the GGBA and why did you decide to join?

    Magdalena Rodríguez: We heard about GGBA at the Annual NGLCC Business and Leadership Conference. Since we were thinking about expanding GPSGAY to the rest of the world, we received some government funds for globalization and we decided to move to San Francisco to try to find investment, since it’s the HUB for tech companies and at the same time is the most gay friendly city in the world. The first thing we did when we arrived in the U.S. was to become members at the GGBA, because a lot of people told us that it was the best organization to help LGBT business owners.

    GGBA: Has being an LGBT entrepreneur affected your business’ path? If yes, how?

    Magdalena Rodríguez: We came to the U.S. with lot of expectations and dreams. We didn’t know that Silicon Valley was very sexist, racist, and at times, a homophobic place. Only 3% of the investors in Silicon Valley invest in women and only 1% in Hispanic people. A few month ago, we were at an event in Silicon Valley and when we told an investor about GPSGAY he actually turned and gave us his back. Perhaps things would somehow be easier if we were not targeting this specific market, or if we were not lesbians. In any case, we wouldn’t change a thing. 

    GGBA: How has the GGBA helped your business so far?

    Magdalena Rodríguez: GGBA was an amazing help for us. First of all, they recommended StartOut GrowLab, which is the first accelerator for LGBT entrepreneurs and we were accepted to join the first cohort. We received free office space for one year at One Embarcadero Center, mentorship and contacts with investors that invest in LGBT entrepreneurs. Also, the GGBA Make Contact events, were and are a great way to connect with amazing people that are willing to help you. And last but not least, GGBA helped us to connect with corporations that later became our customers. At the GGBA you feel like you are at home with your family and peers. 

    GGBA: If you are an LGBTBE certified business, how has certification helped your business?

    Magdalena Rodríguez: GPSGAY is an international LGBTBE certified business, but since we are not permanent residents or U.S. citizens, we cannot apply to job opportunities at the Diversity Supplier Chain. We already talked with the President at the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce and he told us they are working to solve that problem for immigrants. 

    GGBA: What has been your biggest reward/satisfaction during your journey as an entrepreneur? And your biggest disappointment/nerve-wracking situation?

    Magdalena Rodríguez: We had many rewards in our journey as entrepreneurs. We won the Mobile Premiere Award in Barcelona as one of the best upcoming apps in the world, we also won the Cartier Women’s Initiative Award, the Seedstars Award, the Startup Nation Award, the App Circus Award, and more recently (September 2018), GPSGAY was selected by Facebook to be part of the Facebook Community Leadership Program, were we are going to receive funding, support, training and media exposure to advance further positive impact. 

    Our biggest disappointment was not being able to get enough funding yet to move to the U.S. for good and to keep working from the Bay Area with the help of the GGBA.

    GGBA: What’s the most important lesson you learned being an entrepreneur?

    Magdalena Rodríguez: Resilience!!! As an entrepreneur you will find many stones in your way and if you want to succeed you should never give up and stop believing in yourself. 

    GGBA: What advice would you give to someone who is thinking of starting their own business?

    Magdalena Rodríguez: They should know it takes a lot of time, focus and hard work in order to succeed. 

    Login or register for GPSGAY at

    GGBA Calendar

    CPUC/Joint Utilities San Ramon Small/Diverse Business Expo
    Thursday, November 1
    7:30 am to 1 pm
    Roundhouse Conference Center
    2600 Camino Ramon
    San Ramon, CA 94583

    8th Annual California Cable Diversity Expo
    This one-on-one matchmaking event connects Minority, Women, LGBT, Service Disabled Veteran and Disability-Owned businesses with potential procurement opportunities with Charter Communications, Comcast and Cox Communications.
    Friday, November 2
    8:30 am to 2:30 pm
    The Westin South Coast Plaza Costa Mesa
    686 Anton Boulevard
    Costa Mesa, CA 92626
    For information, email:

    Stand Up & Speak OUT! AM
    Bi-Weekly Workshop on how to be a more effective Speaker and Communicator
    Featuring National Award-Winning Speaker, Gina Grahame
    Wednesday, November 7
    7:30 am to 8:45 am
    Offices of the U.S. Small Business Administration
    455 Market Street, 6th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94105
    Register at

    Stand Up & Speak OUT! PM
    Bi-Weekly Workshop on how to be a more effective Speaker and Communicator
    Featuring National Award-Winning Speaker, Gina Grahame
    Wednesday, November 21
    3 pm to 5 pm
    Offices of the U.S. Small Business Administration
    455 Market Street, 6th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94105
    Register at