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  • Linda R. Taliaferro

How To Reframe Your Mindset

On a recent episode of the Being Brown at Work podcast, I had the honor of interviewing Dr. Elizabeth Carter. She’s is a director of finance for Highmark Incorporated in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, a speaker, a trainer, and a published author with over 25 years working in a corporate setting.

In 2016, Dr. Elizabeth Carter started AAPPEAL, LLC, a company-branded on her passion for performance, engagement, and analytics. I met Dr. Carter when we both spoke on a panel, and we connected over our experiences as being black women working in the corporate world. I asked her about what in her career made her want to create her business.

Her story really moved me.

In 2016, Dr. Carter was laid off from her job working in the insurance industry. As far as businesses go, insurance is one of the most conservative fields you can work in. When she was laid off, she was exhausted. She had been working hard every day for her entire career just to keep moving forward, and she was burnt out from being the only black woman in the room and feeling constantly threatened and insecure in her position.

She said that every single day she worried they were going to find an excuse to get rid of her. So when she got laid off, she took it as a moment to reassess her situation and pivot to doing something that meant more to her.

Check out the podcast for the full conversation, but here are a few takeaways from the discussion:

1. Know your metrics

Dr. Carter is a finance person, so it’s no surprise that she loves numbers. Being on top of your metrics helps you show your value to your organization, so consider tracking your performance in some way. For example, if there's a conversion rate you're hitting or a pain point you're improving, these numbers can help you demonstrate excellence.

2. Speak the language of the person you're talking to

Dr. Carter stressed the importance of pitching your deliverables in a way that the person receiving them can best understand them. Some people are passionate about numbers and spreadsheets, but some people aren't. If you're talking to a product person, frame your numbers in the form of a narrative. If you're talking to a finance person, you can keep things more technical. Meet people where they are so that you can be understood as clearly as possible.

3. Provide information, value, or transformation

Everything we do every day should be providing information, value, or transformation at our workplace. It can be hard to see the big picture goals of an organization when you're on the ground chugging along, but we need to be adding value and pushing for change every step of the way, or we're not improving.

Check out the podcast for the rest of the conversation. If you’d like guidance tailored to your specific workplace and the challenges you’re facing, I’d love to meet with you. Click here to get a consultation with me on your calendar.

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