We had the good fortune of connecting with Payal Beri and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Payal, what do you want your legacy to be?
Empathy. My purpose, my passion and my legacy is all embedded in empathy. We currently live in a world of instant gratification, satisfying our personal needs and having difficulty separating from our egos to breathe into our hearts and function from a balance of heart and head. Growing up around the world, I was fortunate to experience humanity and recognize the basic fundamental emotions all human kind feel, sense and experience. This led to me to a path in psychology and ultimately dedicated to empowering those who are disempowered. If for a moment people can use their personal experience of emotion (sadness, fear, anger, joy, love) and apply that to understanding what someone else may be going through, sometimes tenfold, we’d be a stronger community. Our egos prevent us from recognizing there are more commonalities than differences. By helping individuals feel connected to themselves so they can empower and connect with those around them would be the first step towards using empathy as a method to create unity.

What should our readers know about your business?
I am an emerging leadership coach for women of color. is a former clinical therapist and current Leadership & Motivational Coach for Emerging Women Leaders of Color. She holds a Masters in Clinical Psychology and is currently a Phd candidate (2020) with research focusing on leading with empathy and psychological safety to create dual accountability in the workplace. For over a decade, I have empowered women stepping into positions of leadership to lead with confidence, authenticity, and purpose, preventing them from making mistakes made by most first-time leaders. My unique complement of mental wellness and leadership development, allows her to tap into the deepest element of our human psyche with practical steps to improve engagement and communicate change. My journey began working in nonprofits in Sydney, Australia & New York City providing services to young adults, deeply caring about their transition from unseen obstacles to their highest potential. As I engaged with my clients, I recognized a need to support employee engagement, retention and leadership development within the organization. This passion transitioned to designing and delivering global leadership programs across industries such as utility, retail, executive search, food and nonprofits to continue creating confidence and clarity in women leaders. As I went from non profit to corporate and now running my own business, I’ve stayed true to empowering women, especially women of color. There are already so many narratives and societal conditioning put on a woman and we bring all of that to work that ultimately leads into how we communicate and carry ourselves. I, also, realized as a woman of color, there are biases that I have to overcome and I wanted to help my clients do the same. This work wasn’t easy, it was a journey and I didn’t have it all figured out, however, looking back I see how the dots were connecting to help me reach where I am today. In order for me to serve my clients, I did the deep work. I addressed the issues of perfectionism, imposter syndrome, fear of vulnerability. I took risks by changing career paths at a later age and diving in deep. The one thing that helped me throughout my career is that I’m not afraid of asking for help and building relationships. Building relationships and being a life long learner is why I’ve met amazing mentors who I continue to learn from. I never see myself as too big or too much of an expert to not learn more. I will always have seniors who went through the phase I’m in and I can grow by observing them and learning from them. I also continued to believe in my strengths. I believe each one of us has unique talents and gifts and if we can tap into those gifts we can really grow and live purposefully. I want to do that for women of color.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
What is beautiful about Chicago is the diverse neighborhoods that its made up of, each highlighting very different characteristics that make Chicago so resilient and beautiful. Of course, spending time in downtown to see some of the tourist attractions such as the bean and museums is important. But what is at the heart of Chicago are the neighborhoods that have local owned restaurants for amazing meals. Chicago is underrated when it comes to food, it’s incredible!! If you want southern bbq that will leave your salivating for more, go to Green Street Meats in West Loop. If you want amazing Mexican Food, go to Pilsen. For amazing Vietnamese food or Ethiopian (Demera) go to Uptown. I would take them to Wicker Park for great night life that still has the local flavor. We would 100% go biking on the lake path and picnic in Lincoln park.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
The credit for my success is literally everyone who I have crossed paths with, this includes the horrible bosses, the bullies along with my champions and incredible support system. The confidence I have in myself is elevated by a woman named Sandee Kastrul. She’s believed in me and continues to encourage my dreams and help me stand in my power, unapologetically, so I can do the same for other women.

Website: www.payalberi.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/payalberi/
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/payalberi/

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