Introspective Leadership – Ep.56

Inclusive Mentoring – Ep.55
June 8, 2022
Celebration of Freedom – Ep.57
June 23, 2022

Dr. Catrena Elliott discusses strategies and best practices, such as introspective leadership, to help others be their best selves. 

Melyssa Barrett:  Welcome to The Jali Podcast. I’m your host, Melyssa Barrett. This podcast is for those who are interested in the conversation around diversity, inclusion and equity. Each week, I’ll be interviewing a guest who has something special to share or is actively part of building solutions in this space. Let’s get started.

Dr. Catrena Elliot often called the introspection leadership doctor is an executive coach, Gallup strength coach, leadership advisory board member, human resource executive, and an author of I Love Me, Intentionally!: 10 Transformational Principles to Loving You First. Dr. Elliot has been a human resources leader for several Fortune 100 companies over the last 20 years. Her experience and expertise have yielded continuous improvement across HR services, formulating and implementing people management strategies and analyzing interpersonal conflict factors.

She has led organizations through both growth and contraction while coaching and developing high performing leaders. Over the last decade, she has used her superpower to work with a myriad of associates and leaders to look inward first, focusing on their strengths, becoming intentional, and continuing a path of self-love and self-discovery. Her commitment to self-awareness, authentic leadership and coaching has successfully allowed her to develop and coach individuals and teams on a continuous basis.

This week, I am so excited because the doctor is in the house. We’ve got what you are actually called an introspection leadership doctor.

Dr. Catrena Elliott:  Yes.

Melyssa Barrett:  Which is fabulous. So we’re going to get into what that means. But for everybody else, I have had just the amazing honor to now know Dr. Catrena Elliot. I met her because we were headed to South Africa and we had just an amazing, and for me personally, it was a transformational trip for sure. And I am just so honored to have you here. Welcome to The Jali Podcast.

Dr. Catrena Elliott:  Thank you, thank you. So glad to be here.

Melyssa Barrett:  So I just am thrilled because of all the work that you’ve been doing. And when we think about diversity, equity, inclusions, there’s so many things when you talk about an introspection leadership coach. I think probably everyone needs one of those.

Dr. Catrena Elliott:  Yeah. Yeah.

Melyssa Barrett:  So I’m excited. So why don’t you start out maybe just tell us a little bit about how you got to where you are today. Because aside from being an introspective leadership coach, you have a day job and I know you have been going, you just got your doctorate and you are just an amazing, amazing woman. So tell us how you came to be to Dr. Elliot.

Dr. Catrena Elliott:  Absolutely. Oh my God, it’s such an honor and a pleasure to be here with you, Melyssa. And wow, how did I get to where I am today? Starting out just as a young girl, I’ve always been that one to want to help others. I’ve always been that one to want to have people be their best self. And that’s always been my journey, always giving back, always pouring into others. “Let’s talk about what you want to do, let me help you be better. Let me teach you this skill.” So that’s always been me. And then on my journey, my educational journey and my work journey, I’m a HR professional. I’m an HR executive for a Fortune 100 company. I absolutely love what I do. And I’ve been in HR for well over 20 years now. And what I love doing now in my career is really just that, leading and helping others be their best self.

So from executive coach and really helping them peel back the onion to what could be either a roadblock or really looking at their strengths to say, “How can we help you get better at your strength? How do you maximize this?” So I absolutely love that in my day job. And then when I started my doctoral program in 2018, oh my goodness. It was after my son graduated from college, because I made a pact to him. Once I get you through college, then I will start my doctoral journey. And that’s exactly what I did. And just this year I completed it. But in the midst of that, I began… In 2018, I was challenged before my son graduated from college, I was challenged to write a book in a weekend. And I’m like, “Oh my goodness.”

Melyssa Barrett:  What?

Dr. Catrena Elliott:  “What can I write a book on? Like me writing a book, like who does that?” And I was like, I’m up for the challenge because I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. So I said here I go. So I remember sitting down that weekend and I cleared my calendar, cleared my mind and I centered myself and I took away all distractions and I wrote a book in a weekend. And the book initially was called Dear Self, I Love You because it was really writing a love letter to myself. And of course when you sit down and write, it kind of morph into what it needs to be, not for you, but for others. And it ended up being, I Love Me Intentionally.

Melyssa Barrett:  Yes.

Dr. Catrena Elliott:  10 Transformational Principles of Loving You First. And that really started with me writing a love letter to myself from my mom. I’m an only child and I always… my mom had me young, she had me at 17. So I was always independent and I went after what I wanted. My mom instilled that in me. But as an adult, I always wanted her just to love me differently. And I had to, I was talking with a mentor one day and she said, “Your mama loves you, how she loves you. If you need a different kind of love, write yourself a love letter and leave it there.” I was like, wow. So that’s how this book came about of, I Love Me Intentionally. And then God just started to work at me and morphed into what does that look like from a forgiveness?

Melyssa Barrett:  Yes.

Dr. Catrena Elliott:  You have to learn forgiveness and that’s first and foremost. One have to forgive themselves. And the book just really came about. And as I wrote the book and then I put it on a shelf in 2018 and I left it there and I started my doctoral journey, then I was challenged like, “Okay, I need you as a speaker, let’s promote your book.” I’m like, “Oh my God, you want me to finish that?” And that’s in 2019. So I picked it back up. I started brushing it off and I added a little bit more to it, then I put it back on the shelf.

And then I said, I’m not publishing it until I become Dr. Catrena. In the midst of my doctoral program, another mentor say, “I need you to be a speaker at a summer program for me.” I’m like, “Oh my goodness, okay.” So what am I going to talk about? And I was sitting late night just writing and that’s when I developed the The Elliot’s Introspection Leadership Development Model. And I said, okay, all of this stuff is really coming together and marrying up. So I had this book and now I have a introspection development, leadership development model.

And I really began to just pour out what does that look like? What type of awareness do we need as leaders to be inclusive, to lead other people. But all of that starts with leading yourself, knowing yourself, peeling back the layers of yourself. Do you have biases? If so, what are they, where did they come from? Challenge yourself on such biases so that my introspection leadership development model really begin to peel back the layers of that. It starts with self-awareness because I think that’s critical and then it goes to bias awareness. Then we talk about strength awareness and then we really… it’s a new term in literature right now called mindful empathy.

And that’s a portion of my introspection leadership development model as well of really being mindful when you’re speaking to someone, that requires great listening skills, listening to understand, not to respond and really let that person be heard. So all of that’s important. And then what that piece lead to is leading with the heart. Then there’s a lot of research out there on leading with the heart. So I explore that and I give strategies on all four components of that. And then the strategies of leading with the heart when they all come together.

Melyssa Barrett:  Wow. Oh my gosh, that is loaded, loaded, full. I can see the journey that you’ve taken yourself through and now are really gifting to others, which is so phenomenal because the world needs you right now. I am just, I love, I have read your book and I have done the work in here. I Love Me Intentionally. And you even say they’re 10 transformational principles, but I think what I found so wonderful aside from… the content is great, the quotes are great. The stories that you tell, even your personal stories in here is like, oh wow, that’s heavy. But the thing that I loved is you actually ask questions and give the right questions for me to be asking myself to really start to go, what am I doing and how am I feeling?

And just being able to recognize some of those things. I think one of my favorite chapters, I’m going to tell you was Telling Your Truth. I think it was like chapter 10 and I was sitting here going… the whole book is awesome to me because it really gives you so much information on what self-love really is. Because a lot of people are throwing that term around and they think just going to get a manicure or whatever is self-care. But you talk a lot about the mindset and starting with the mindset. And that’s what I think people sometimes jump over and I think in anything we do from a mindset perspective. So can you talk a little bit about how you came to that mindset in your journey?

Dr. Catrena Elliott:  Yes. The mindset is critical and people it’s a choice. Mindset is a choice and I talk about that all the time, whether I’m talking with leaders, whether I’m talking with myself, whether I’m talking with my family, especially my son, who’s 25 now. When I think about mindset, it is definitely a choice and I believe in a positive mindset. And what you put in really… What you allow to come into your mind is really who you become. So having a positive mindset, really to me, starts with the self-talk. What are you telling yourself?

Are you telling yourself, “Oh my goodness, I can’t do that.” If so, I feel like you can interrupt that. You can create a mindset. “No, I can do that,” and you get a positive mantra or you get a scripture if that’s what it is. Or you have a passage in different books that you can immediately bring to mind and say, “No, I can.” Like mine is, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Whenever negativity or that imposter syndrome begin to creep in, I’m like, “No, no, Dr. Elliot, you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.” So having the positive mindset is critical. And I tell in a workplace and when I’m coaching leaders, “There’s accountability mindset and there’s a victim mindset.” And it all goes back to what are you telling yourself?

Melyssa Barrett:  Right.

Dr. Catrena Elliott:  If you’re beating yourself up or I can’t believe this person did that to me and that’s why I’m in this predicament, it’s like, okay, I help ask questions to help that person turn it around to accountability. Well, what can you do differently so you don’t feel that way?

Melyssa Barrett:  Right.

Dr. Catrena Elliott:  What are you thinking? And then going deeper, so sometimes you have to pull up some roots.

Melyssa Barrett:  Yes.

Dr. Catrena Elliott:  You have to pull up some of those negative roots or just roots that was planted many years ago as a child and really began to examine them and say, “Why do I think this way? Why do I feel this way? Where did this come from?” And say, “Hmm, I can change that. I’m going to now say this to myself and I’m going to go forward believing this.” So then you begin to chew on that. You begin to meditate on that and that mindset began to change. So I feel like we all have the control, but we have to do the work.

Melyssa Barrett:  Yes. Well, that’s the hard part. Actually doing work on yourself, it’s much easier to do work on somebody else than to do it on yourself. So it’s so needed. And with so many different events going on, we’ve had mass shootings and all of those things, but even in the workplace, whether it’s microaggressions or other things that are taking place, the ability for people to just take a breath and just listen and develop that curiosity is just so needed. I think we don’t do that enough. We’re always in such a rush.

Dr. Catrena Elliott:  And with that piece of it, with being in a rush and pausing enough to hear others, one of the strategies I use is the whole breathing technique is just to pause in for 10 seconds, hold it for 10 and then release for 10 and that kind of centers you. And I always do that when it’s heightened. So when things are going on in a workplace, we create the space. We pause and we’ll invite people to the table and let’s talk about it.

Let’s talk about feelings and what you’re going through and why you’re feeling that way. Just create that space so people can unload just so they can get back centered and say, “Okay, now how are you going to choose the mindset? How are you going to choose to move forward today? Are you going to choose to continue to ruminate on these thoughts and feelings that’s happening right now? Are you going to choose to say, I’m going to be happy. I’m going to smile. I’m going to bless someone. I’m going to help someone or I’m just going to love me today and be peaceful with myself today and just create positive energy to move forward.” So I love doing that, create this space for others, and then allow people to move forward with in choosing how they’re going to proceed.

Melyssa Barrett:  Well, and I think that’s different than, like my father’s generation, they didn’t, in the workplace, you didn’t see them making a space necessarily for people to share their feelings or even take a moment. It was all about getting to the end and making that profit. It’s different, yeah.

Dr. Catrena Elliott:  It’s so different. And I talk about that a little bit in my introspection leadership development model with leading with the heart. At the end of the day, we need to lead with the heart because yeah, in the ’40s, ’50s, and ’60s, it was production, production, production. It was the production lines and all that and you went to work and you were productive and you went home and it didn’t require a lot of thought. And then it transitioned to, oh my God, how do we increase efficiencies? So a little bit more thought came to the table where leaders began to invite others to the table and say, “What do you think about this?” But in today’s society, leaders must lead with the heart. They must pause. They must have empathy. They must create spaces. They must be inclusive and they have to be in touch with themselves in order to create that space.

That’s why introspection leadership is so important. You have to start with you to understand others. And with the introspection leadership, I feel like everyone’s a leader from the seat that you’re in. So it’s not just for people with a title it’s for any and everyone. I do this with children because they are leaders as well. And pair it down for them to understand that at an early age. So they can be aware of I’m good at this. Or I think this way because my mommy said so, okay, that’s where they are. But now they’re aware of it as they grow. And when you look at my, fast forward to leaders in the workplace, you have to be aware of self-awareness. And that starts with what’s bubbling in your stomach to be say, what is that?

Melyssa Barrett:  Yes.

Dr. Catrena Elliott:  You are impacting others. So yes, it’s so important. I love how leadership has progressed over the years because the leaders of the ’40s, ’50s, and ’60s is absolutely not the leader of today.

Melyssa Barrett:  Yeah. You’re so right. Let’s pause for a moment. We’ll be right back.

Well and you’ve done a lot of work on influence. How to create the influence. And I think sometimes I talk a lot about there’s a lot of people that are always trying to get to the top. So they have a vertical path. They want to be the president of the company, the CEO, which is great. But in a lot of cases, they forget about the influence, horizontally as they go, because there’s so many opportunities for us to collaborate and influence the direction that people are going. Truly a leader brings everyone with them in a sense. So can you just talk a little bit about some of what you found and helping to influence people and what has been the best way for people to influence others?

Dr. Catrena Elliott:  Absolutely. Yes. My doctoral study, my dissertation was how exemplary black women business leaders use influence to achieve outstanding results. And one of the main findings of that study is really creating that environment and being a support to others. So when we talk about a lot of what we’ve been talking about right now, listening to your team, creating a space for them to grow, removing barriers, some of those were some of the top findings when you talk about being an influential leader. And it’s so funny because people tend to think, oh, I have to do these great things. I have to have a complete plan. It’s like, no, you lead, at the end of the day to me, you’re leading from the heart.

You’re creating an environment that’s fun, that people are included. They have a voice at the table. So when I really spoke to the exemplary black woman business leaders, they were being their authentic self, they had awareness of who they were. So when we talk about self-awareness, I was like, oh my God, it’s all lining up because they were able to create those spaces in their environments where the associates can truly flourish to be their very best self. So they kept the focus on the people and not the business.

So we just talked about that whole piece of in the ’60s, ’40s, ’50s, ’60s production, production, production. We didn’t have much interaction. But in my study when I began to peel it back even further, one of the things that stuck out to me was exemplary black women business leaders. And if we take black women out and just say, exemplary leaders who’s using influence, they know how to create a psychological safe environment.

Melyssa Barrett:  Right. Yes.

Dr. Catrena Elliott:  That is so key. That was so profound to me. I remember when I was defending my dissertation, I talked about that psychological safe environment and I’m not going to say it’s a new word, but it’s buzzing now because it’s so needed. And creating a psychological safe work environment, it’s really having associates be able to speak up and talk about whatever that they have on their mind, whether it is something that the leader have said that they don’t agree with or the direction of a company or the direction that the company is going that they may not agree with. And being able to say that out loud without feeling any type of recourse or being reprimanded and that leader or that team are able to receive it and was like, “Yes, let’s talk further about it.” Or just thank them, “Thank you for bringing that forward.” And when in the dissertation, these phenomenal, extraordinary women were able to say, “Thank you,” to their employees. And it’s amazing of how just a little, how far a thank you goes.

Melyssa Barrett:  Yes.

Dr. Catrena Elliott:  It was just simple strategies that was used. That was like, these are everyday things that we do on a normal basis. But some people, they have to practice. They have to really put it into play to get there. And to me, it’s because of the introspection, they themselves, haven’t done the work. So to me, it all marries together, the introspection and leadership all really come back and marry themselves.

Melyssa Barrett:  Yeah. And when you talk about psychological safety, it’s interesting because I feel black women specifically, not saying it doesn’t apply to other ethnicities, but I think black women, the creation of respect, the ability to just open that space, I think is we’ve always had to be there. As society grows, it’s like this black woman is sitting there making sure that there is a sense of safety at home. And I think when you think about all the discrimination, the slavery, all of those things that the black woman specifically went through, the brave space that we create in order to have psychological safety for others is just incredible just to be able to overcome that, a lot of the trauma and do the work on ourselves. And everybody can’t get there overnight, it’s a process.

Dr. Catrena Elliott:  Exactly.

Melyssa Barrett:  It’s a process.

Dr. Catrena Elliott:  One of the strategies in my dissertation was really creating that positive work environment for associates. And when you think about creating a positive work environment and going back to what you said as black women and black mothers, we had to, when we think about our mothers, our grandmothers and great-grandmothers, they created that environment at home.

Melyssa Barrett:  Yes.

Dr. Catrena Elliott:  So black women to me, well have been doing things like that for years. And it started in our home. They created appreciating the children, “You did a good job today. Oh my God, look at your grades. This is amazing.” Sometimes you had little stars that you put on the board for if they brought home an A. So creating that positive work environment, especially for black women, we grew up seeing it with our parents so.

Melyssa Barrett:  Yeah.

Dr. Catrena Elliott:  Absolutely.

Melyssa Barrett:  And it was the village. It wasn’t, whether it was your home or whether you were in somebody else’s home across the street, you still had that safety.

Dr. Catrena Elliott:  Exactly.

Melyssa Barrett:  Which was awesome. So this is just phenomenal. So are there other strategies that you can share in terms of whether people are thinking about diversity, equity and inclusion or are there some best practices that you want to share?

Dr. Catrena Elliott:  Absolutely. So when we think about, so I go back to the dissertation on influence because I think that ties directly to creating that inclusive environment for employees. Another strategy was creating a learning culture and providing opportunities and listen, asking engaging questions and providing that balance feedback to employees. So that’s critical. So if we break that down of a learning culture, employees want to continue to learn. When coming through 2020 forward and we all got on this bandwagon of inclusion diversity, well diversity inclusion and even equity, so we started talking about how do we create a learning environment? So we had to pause and people had to really share their stories. So I know in my organization we created environments so people can share with like Juneteenth coming up. What did they do to celebrate that? The Asian Pacific and Islanders month, we created that space. So we really got to know one another on a humanistic perspective.

Melyssa Barrett:  Yes.

Dr. Catrena Elliott:  And then providing the learning opportunities and listen. So whether it’s structural learning for development in the workplace and then listening, is this working for you? How is it resonating with you? What else do you need? So those were all key strategy or some key strategies that was used and then asking engaging questions. So influential leaders begin to ask questions versus tell, you need to do this, you need to do that. Well, tell me more, what would you like to do? What are your interests? What are your passion? What excites you about coming to work every day? Let’s talk about that.

And then leaders provided balanced feedback to their associates. It wasn’t only talking about the deficits. It wasn’t only talking about what they need to do different to get better. It was like, no, let’s celebrate them. Let’s celebrate some small wins. Let’s celebrate some big wins. That’s all the balance feedback that was being provided back to the associates to really create that environment and getting extraordinary results just through working with the employees and that pulls to be very influential.

Melyssa Barrett:  Yeah. That’s awesome. And it’s so funny because everything you’re talking about, when you talk about leading from the heart, it’s just so human centric. And so I think a lot of times we talk about whether, how do we make people feel like they belong and that they’re valuable. And just being able to be human together is just give that respect for trying to understand. Because there are a lot of folks in the world I have to admit, I do not understand.

Dr. Catrena Elliott:  Exactly.

Melyssa Barrett:  But I have learned to like, “Okay, tell me, why do you think that way?” And it starts, you kind of go, oh, okay, maybe I don’t agree or I may not understand them, but I can understand their journey. Which it’s like to me, that’s at least part of it. If we start to learn about each other, as you mentioned is so phenomenal. That influence, I want to love me intentionally. I love it. You are doing such wonderful things. Are there other things that you want to share? Because I know you have so much going on, you have a new granddaughter.

Dr. Catrena Elliott:  I do. I do.

Melyssa Barrett:  I know that’s exciting.

Dr. Catrena Elliott:  I do want to share one additional strategy that extraordinary women or leaders can use to influence and you just touched on it and it was really creating that culture of belonging with their teams. Just by valuing and caring for them. So what does that mean exactly? Creating a sense of belonging is just… especially when we’re talking about inclusion and diversity in today’s society. I was talking to an associate one time and this associate is part of the LGBTQ community and we was at dinner. It was a team dinner. And I remember saying, “Oh my God, tell me how your partner is doing? How are things going?” And all that. And the associate paused and associate had been with the company a very long time. The associate paused and said, “I’ve been here for over 10 years and no one have ever asked about my partner.”

I’m like, “Are you kidding me?” I was like, “Well, that stops today. It changes today. So tell me more.” And that was several, six, seven years ago and to this day that employee remembers that. That employee comes back to me and say, “You saw me that day. You saw me. I felt, but I didn’t have to hide a piece of me. You saw me.” And oh my God, that resonated with me so much because I’m like, “So your leader’s not doing this, everybody’s supposed to be doing this.” So what I did my study and that came out as a strategy for what extraordinary black women business leaders are doing today to create that influence to achieve those outstanding results. I was like, ding, ding, that’s it. That’s exactly what we should be doing.

And it just validated so much for me because it’s so important that everyone belonged. And then today’s society, when we’re talking about diversity and inclusion and equity, it’s so important that our associates can come to work and say, “This is who I am. Yes, I’m going to operate in these professional guardrails if you will. But I am who I am.” And I absolutely… that was one of the main things that I really held onto is creating that culture of belonging. Because again, it ties back to me to psychological safety. I can feel safe with who I am at work and I can feel like I belong and I can have question. My manager sees me for who I am. Oh my goodness. Yes, I’m going to go above and beyond.

And if my manager say, “Hey, this is what we need to get through. We have a tight deadline.” Guess what? Associate’s going to be like, “I’m all in. I’m all in.” Because I tell people all the time, associates, if they’re leaving the organization, they’re usually leaving the manager and not the organization.

Melyssa Barrett:  Yes.

Dr. Catrena Elliott:  All about what that leader is doing. So I absolutely love that strategy as well and it’s a mutual respect. I’m going to respect you exactly from where you are. And hopefully we’ll have that mutual respect and that’s the environment I’m creating on the team and we can move forward. Those are all phenomenal strategies.

Melyssa Barrett:  Well, and it’s got to show up in retention numbers as well. Because if you care about me and I can come with my authentic self, then I want to show up all the time. I want to be there. I want to do the best job for my leaders that I can. So that’s phenomenal. I love that. I love that. So thank you for sharing that with us.

Dr. Catrena Elliott:  And then of course you mentioned my grandbaby.

Melyssa Barrett:  Oh yes. We got to talk about her.

Dr. Catrena Elliott:  I will take a few seconds and say yes, this year for me has been phenomenal. From becoming, I made 20 years in my sorority, so I’m a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated. And this is the year of the ’22. So I turned 20 in Delta in the year of the ’22. So that was phenomenal. I became Dr. Catrena Elliot. Then my grandbaby was born. I’m like, oh my goodness. And I finally got a girl. So I love that. And by having a granddaughter, what that has birthed in me is to start my nonprofit of etiquette and leadership. So I’m still playing with the name, but I’m already planning out what it’s going to look like. It’s going to be a six week etiquette and leadership session for, I want to do young women first. And then the young women will come back and help teach the next cohort of the younger girls.

So yes, you’re learning the skill set, but now you have to come back and help teach it. And the culmination event is there is the leadership component. They’re going to be on stage and they’re going to either be telling their story. They’re going to be telling what was impactful for them. I have a little eight year old who already start writing her book. So during the leadership portion of this program, I help her write her book. Then she’s going to stand on stage and tell her book. So it’s that public speaking and confidence piece.

So I’m so excited because that’s what’s birthing in me right now. And I’m so excited for that, but I have to give the toast to my grandbaby because when I saw her face, I was like I have to do this because etiquette and leadership is so lost right now. It’s not taught anymore with the young children and even young adults and in some older adults as well. So that’s definitely going to be my part of the world of giving back and help bringing back that etiquette and then teaching leadership in the babies.

Melyssa Barrett:  Oh, that’s phenomenal. Phenomenal. Oh, can’t wait, cannot wait and see… I think we going to see franchises all over the place.

Dr. Catrena Elliott:  Let’s speak that into existence.

Melyssa Barrett:  Yes. Yes. We are going to see that. That’s phenomenal and it’s so needed. Our girls need us, whether we’re focusing on the confidence, the speaking, the self-esteem, all of those things, our young girls need as much as possible. So I celebrate you, soror. I’m so excited for all of the things that you are doing. And I just want to make sure we stay in touch and I am looking so forward to continuing to scream from the mountaintops about Dr. Catrena Elliot. So thank you so much for spending some time with me and sharing your gifts with us. And how can people get ahold of you if they want to talk to you about your development model or any of the things you’ve talked about?

Dr. Catrena Elliott:  Absolutely. I can be reached at, which is D-R, Catrena, CATRENA, Elliot, You could reach me there. I’m also on Facebook and Instagram up under Catrena Elliot. But the best way is definitely through the website and we can connect and schedule time. I’m also a Gallup strength finder’s coach. So as part of my introspection leadership development model is strength awareness. So I take people through those assessments and find exactly out what the strengths are and then help you build a strategy and a plan on how to begin to work within your strengths. And so, yeah, those are the main ways to reach me.

Melyssa Barrett:  Fantastic. Fantastic. Well, and I know there’s going to be lots of folks reaching out. So Dr. Catrena, I will tell you, she’s a busy woman, but she’s always making time for people and giving to people. So I just treasure you. Every time I see you, I just light up because you are such a… when you talk about positivity, this is the meaning of positivity. You are so fabulous. So thank you.

Dr. Catrena Elliott:  Melyssa, I love you so much. You are phenomenal. And I absolutely thank you. And I’m so humbled that you have created this space for others to come on and really share what we’re doing to make an impact on the world and then just to educate others. So we can all be our best self. We can all be inclusive in whatever spaces we’re in, whether it’s in a workplace, our professional realms or our home spaces. It’s so important that we always have that on the forefront of our mind. So thank you for creating this space and I love you and appreciate you so much.

Melyssa Barrett:  Love you back. Love you back. I’m so excited. Thank you so much. And I look forward to just following you, follow Dr. Catrena Elliot y’all. She’s phenomenal.

Dr. Catrena Elliott:  [inaudible 00:41:48] or it’s on So yes. Thank you so much.

Melyssa Barrett:  Thank you. Thanks for joining me on The Jali Podcast. Please subscribe so you won’t miss an episode. See you next week.