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Avoiding the power trap!

By Jenny Gillam
Director, Jenny Gillam Search/Recruitment Consulting

NAWO Victoria State Committee Member

In the first Professional Development Event for VIC in 2016, Incitec Pivot partnered with Sportsbet to sponsor and host an afternoon that focused on ‘avoiding the power trap’ by building your engagement and influencing skills – with your employees and children. We had two very engaging speakers and plenty of time for networking over lunch and afternoon tea. It was also great to hear some inspiring stories from the people that attended the workshop.

Rachael Davis,Vice President, Nitrogen Value Chain, Incitec Pivot

Rachael Davis,Vice President, Nitrogen Value Chain, Incitec Pivot

Our first speaker was Rachael Davis, Vice President, Nitrogen Value Chain, Incitec Pivot Ltd. She talked about how she has developed her negotiation and influencing skills over her career and how she used these skills on a daily basis. Rachael believes that there are 3 distinct steps to every negotiation:

  • Planning
  • Tuning in and
  • Deliberate Delivery.

Planning – To be influential you need to:

  • Have a clear vision for what you want to achieve
  • Invest the time in preparation
  • Hold yourself to account

Tune in – Understand your stakeholders

  • “To become interesting you must be interested. Talk less, listen more. Don’t fake interest, take interest.“ – Don Carmont
  • Strive for win:win outcomes
  • Surround yourself with people that are good at it and learn from them – build winning teams.

Deliberate Delivery

  • Build your brand – “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room” – Jeff Bezos
  • Know when to walk away
  • Be true to yourself

Rachael was able to share some terrific examples that highlighted how this approach has been very successful for her.

Jenny Bailey

Jenny Bailey

Our second speaker was Jenny Bailey who trained as an engineer and was a senior executive with Rio Tinto, KPMG and Yarra Valley Water. She now has her own Consultancy

When Jenny started her family at the age of 40, she transferred her passion for organisational development to that of the family unit and established her own business teaching parenting skills to parents. Jenny recognised that the current system of parenting with a system of punishment and rewards is ineffective and damages the relationship between parent and child, leading to a reduced ability to influence and motivate our children. She teaches a ‘no-lose’ method of parenting as an alternative.

Recognising that the same principles apply in the workplace, she talked about how you can use the same skills to improve performance and employee engagement.

Jenny’s presentation included:

  • understanding the impact of using power as a leader and parent
  • a framework for building relationships and influence
  • dealing with the strong emotions of your employees and children
Rachael Davis and Jenny Bailey

Rachael Davis and Jenny Bailey

This presentation was very well received by our audience of over 60 women and men. Many of them had come along specifically to improve their parenting skills and they commented on the critical relationship between having happy children and family life and their effectiveness in the workplace. They could also see the correlation between the skills required to ‘effectively parent’ and those required in the workplace. It was agreed that it was tremendous value to working parents, to those who have working parents in their team, and those who may be parents of the future!

From the feedback it was agreed that the afternoon was a very worthwhile investment for people’s time.

Looking forward to the next Quick Bite or Professional Development Event!


Referred texts or additional reading materials suggested by Jenny Bailey:

Daniel Goleman, ‘Emotional Intelligence – Why it can matter more than IQ’

Stephen R. Covey, ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’

Dr. Thomas Gordon, ‘Leader Effectiveness Training L.E.T’

Karl Menninger, MD, ‘Love against Hate’

Doc Childre & Howard Martin, ‘The HeartMath Solution’

Dan Pink, ‘Drive’

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