What I talk about

I’m very lucky to live in one of the most multicultural cities on this planet – Dubai. Having left Ireland at the age of 18, I then lived in various countries across Asia and Europe. I have a second home – my writing retreat – in Sri Lanka.

I use my experiences of working across cultures, particularly the diverse workplaces of the Middle East, to help individuals, teams and organisations change behaviours – to build better cultures – through a mix of tailored coaching, mentoring and leadership development programmes, facilitated retreats and soft skills training. Over the years I’ve worked with a broad range of clients, including multinational and local banks, insurance companies, the big 4, healthcare, oil and gas, construction, pharmaceutical and educational institutions.

I speak publicly on a range of topics, working closely with my clients – whether for a private/internal conference, or major industry expo – to understand the specific learning journey they want to their audience to experience. I focus on changing behaviours and cultures and I’m not afraid to shy away from the things which make people uncomfortable.

Some recent keynote topics include:

  • A culture of candour is everything: Are you creating or killing it?
  • Your values are pointless. Focus on behaviour.
  • Hugs, smiles and team building exercises don’t transform teams. Conflict does.
  • How to build a no fear culture
  • Conflict is not a dirty word
  • How to channel conflict into change
  • HardTalk in healthcare: When avoiding difficult conversations could be a matter of life or death
  • HardTalk: How to effectively engage in the difficult conversations holding you back
  • How to create a stand up and speak out culture

"Professional, personable and practised what she preached."

- Mita Srinivasan, Director of Events, TiE Dubai

dawn metcalfe mic

"She’s the “go to” person to talk about humans in the workplace, culture and transformation."

- Ian Palmer, General Manager, The Capital Club

The highlights

  • "Dawn engages, educates and enthralls her audiences. At EMENAComm she got the attendees to think long and hard about how they can change their organisational cultures for the better, by sharing both theory and practice. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her as a speaker."

    Alex Malouf

    Past Chair, IABC EMENA

  • "Fabulous presenter, loved how you made the intangible concepts tangible."

    IBN Member

  • "It was an absolute pleasure to work with Dawn for our HTNG conference and it was clear how much time she’d taken to tailor the presentation to our audience. In fact, she was the highest rated speaker on day one."

    David Sjolander

    Chief Operating Officer, Hospitality Technology Next Generation

What people have to say

"Whether as a guest on a radio show, presenting onstage as an author at the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, or moderating discussions with other writers and speakers, Dawn is reliable, prepared, and more importantly, has something worthwhile and interesting to say both on and offstage/air. At a time when authenticity is a valuable commodity, it is fitting that Dawn is unapologetically herself and unafraid of ‘HardTalk’ whichever side of the conversation she finds herself on."

Annabelle Corton

Literature Festival Programme Curator
& Radio Producer/Presenter