YSPN Celebrates International Women’s Day 2020

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International Women’s Day, celebrated annually on 8 March, is an opportunity to promote gender parity across the globe and to recognise the achievements of women throughout history. For Sikhs across the world, International Women’s Day is a reminder of the legacy left by Guru Nanak Dev Ji who proclaimed the equality of men and women over 500 years ago.

However, the realities of today’s world indicate that a disparity still exists in the opportunities available to men and women. Though this is a systemic issue that stemming from a number of social and political factors, our faith reminds us that we all have a duty to play a role in bridging the gap between men and women. It is incumbent upon us, as Sikhs, to challenge the gender inequalities that exist and to actively inspire, motivate and embolden all women to become influential leaders of society.

This International Women’s Day, we were lucky to sit down with two incredibly successful women in the Australian Sikh community to ask them questions about how they became influential in their industries.

Harinder Sidhu

Former Australian High Commissioner to India

Harinder Sidhu joined the Department of Foreign Affairs after graduating a Bachelors of Economics and Law at the University of Sydney in 1987. During her career as a diplomat with the Department of Foreign Affairs, she has had postings to Cairo, Damascus and Moscow. Harinder has also worked in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, the Office of National Assessments, and the Department of Climate Change. In 2016, Harinder was appointed as Australia’s High Commissioner to India.

Q: Women represent only 17.1% of CEOs in the country, which evidences that a glass ceiling still very much exists in today’s world. What advice do you have for women who want to break through this glass ceiling to become leaders in their workplace?

A: The reasons for a ‘glass ceiling’ are complex and often beyond the ability of any individual woman to change. They go, for example, to cultural factors in the workplace or wider society, as much as to the qualities of the women themselves. So any advice I would have would only be partially effective.

However, if we were focusing on advice for leadership then that is more straightforward. It is often the case that women don’t put themselves up for leadership roles because they don’t see other women in those roles; or they don’t see women who resemble them in those roles.

In that case, my advice would be for women to step up to leadership in the first place. Put your hand up for leadership roles – large and small. Don’t be put off or daunted by the fact that nobody you know has done it before or that you don’t seem to ‘fit’ the organisation’s picture of a leader. Have confidence in what you can bring and contribute, even if you are the first woman to do it. And then, bring your best self to the role. It takes courage and it takes hard work, but the rewards are many and great.

Q: Research has shown that women are more likely to be perfectionists than men. Whether it is being afraid to ask for a raise, apply for a new job or ask a question in a board meeting, they are more likely than men to hold back until they are 100 per cent they can predict the outcome. How do you deal with the idea of perfectionism in your work?

A: I’m not sure I agree with your framing here. I think that women are (rationally) more cautious about putting themselves forward because the cost of failure for women is still too high; rather than because they are perfectionists. The issue is systemic, rather than a problem with women per se. But in part it is also about overcoming a fear of failure.

So, how do I deal with this? Two things: one, have a realistic (not over- or under-inflated) understanding of your professional strengths and weaknesses; and two, maintain a sense of perspective. This means learning to articulate what value you bring to the task or role. Be prepared to take risks – such as applying for a job or asking for a raise. Accept that failure is part of the deal, but it is not fatal to your prospects. Rather, treat failure as an opportunity to learn and grow. Persist and don’t give up.

Jatinder Kaur

Director, JK Diversity Consultants; first Indian Woman on Australia’s Parole Board

Jatinder is the Director of JK Diversity Consultants and is an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker Specialist working with migrant and refugee communities. Jatinder’s professional career spans 18 years and across various scopes of practice including research, child protection and family support. In 2010-11, she was appointed by the Australian Government on the Access & Equity Inquiry Panel. In 2017-18, she was the first Indian Sikh woman to be appointed to the Parole Board QLD and served as community member for 6 months.

Q: Women are known to encounter more barriers in their pursuit of a successful career compared to men. Some of these include the unconsciousness biases that exist in a male dominated workforce, being a victim of imposter syndrome or raising a family. As a female leader, what has been the most significant barrier in your career? How did you overcome it?

A: Despite being highly skilled and triple degree holder, I have been overlooked for senior positions within Government at a higher pay level so that tells that nepotism, racism and discrimination still exists.

How I was overcame that was to remain resilient and aspire to higher standard - keep doing good work and eventually people will seek you out for your skills, knowledge and expertise. In other words, your career journey is not a sprint but is as slow steady marathon. At times there will be a few up and down hills but eventually there comes a time for smooth ride.

Q: Research has shown that women are more likely to be perfectionists than men. Whether it is being afraid to ask for a raise, apply for a new job or answering a question, they are more likely than men to hold back until they are 100 per cent they can predict the outcome. How do you deal with the idea of perfectionism in your work?

A: Striving for success or achievement is not easy. With time, age and wisdom you realise that there is need for balance. Pursuit of wealth shouldn’t be your only goal. Having a family and good health, including mental, spiritual and physical health, are all important when striving for success. There is a need to be kind and gentle to yourself. We are only human and we will make mistakes and learn from them.

Being a Sikh woman in 2020 also requires me to reflect on Sikh faith values, principles and ethics to ensure that my professional career does not contradict my Sikh faith. Dasvandh is not just about giving money to charity, it’s also about showing kindness, compassion to less fortunate and being humble and considerate of those less fortunate. For me, my dasvandh is also my time which I give back to my community and to those who seek my help and assistance.

Some thoughts on YSPN’s Elevate 2020 Conference and the Sangat of the Future

In Blog, Events, Reflections by Dya SinghLeave a Comment

I was honoured to attend the YSPN Conference/Dinner in Melbourne on Saturday 22nd February. After seeing the professionalism and calibre of the youth who put the event together, it was heartwarming to note that our community’s future is in safe hands. You all should be very proud of yourselves. I certainly am.

I have had certain passions in this lifetime, one of which is to inspire Sikh youth to find general Sikh philosophy relevant in their lives especially as a tool for self-improvement, in addition to our visual identity and other more mainstream features. In this passion of mine, SYA has played a great part over the last 20 years, as a vehicle to promote a progressive brand of Sikh religious ideology that I represent. Now, YSPN has also begun to play a similar role, as a guide for the Sikh community globally, in promoting what is sometimes less well-recognised, the other parts of our identity, one of vibrant economic, professional and social contribution.

I have not had much—in fact any part—in the growth and development of YSPN, until yesterday (I was invited to attend as speaker for Elevate 2019, but was unable to attend). I was totally flabbergasted at the professionalism and quality of the YSPN Team that was involved, whether it was on stage, or in the production of the event. The team was extremely talented, and professional right through from the emceeing, by Malika Singh Kanwar; the speeches by Preet Toki, and Ramneek Singh; to the moderation and interviewing by Jaibeer Singh, Preety Bains, and Manisha Pannu; and finally the facilitation by the workshop captains! We certainly have a group of young professionals we can be proud of.

It’s not only in the sphere of delivering events that this team excels. Last year’s Economic Impact Report of Sikhs on Australia, is another indication of the professionalism, capability and clear direction of the organisation.

It’s immensely pleasing to see the hard work and vision that this young group of Sikh professionals espouses is not going unrecognised. The fact that the event was able to attract the likes of Mr Gurmesh Singh, the first Sikh MP in NSW Parliament, and Member for Coffs Harbour, as well as keynote speaker Mr DD Saxena, and Pam Bains, was most inspiring! That the organisation has been able to pull together an advisory board comprising some of the most eminent Sikhs in Australia and New Zealand is a reflection of its calibre and bodes very well for its future.

But where to from here? An amazingly clear direction was presented by Chair, Ramneek Singh, at the dinner, and some very inspiring Sewa (selfless service) directives were workshopped and put forward. I look forward to how the team will deliver on this over the next three years. But I feel this is not enough. Efforts must be found to draw more Sikh young professionals to become members of this network, to see its value, so that they can contribute back their own, in the vision articulated in the new YSPN strategy. It’s with the efforts of all from our community that we will be able to rise even further.

I’m confident that this is possible because what I witnessed was priceless for a young Sikh professional: the camaraderie, the networking, the professionalism, the mentoring, the ‘Sangat’. I could go on, but I’ll finish with this, that I wish I was 40 years younger, so that I too could be an active member of YSPN. I am simply full of admiration for you guys. Well done.

Thank you again for inviting me yesterday, I look forward to seeing what our youth and YSPN will deliver, and being part of this journey more fully over the years to come.

Dya Singh

Legacy: 550 years of Guru Nanak Dev Ji

In Blog, Reflections by sakshamkapoorLeave a Comment


Jasdeep Singh Chhabra, Preety Bains, Ramzy Kaur and Reshpaul Chahal were hosted by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) for an unforgettable trip to visit three Takhts: Sri Patna Sahib in Bihar, followed by Sri Harmandir Sahib in Amritsar and Sri Hazur Sahib in Maharashtra, and to learn of the importance of the Sikh culture to society in celebration of 550 years of Guru Nanak Dev Ji.

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On November 5th 2019, four YSPN Executives flew to India for a once-in-a-lifetime journey to celebrate the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev Ji sponsored by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR).

As part of a delegation of 38 representatives from 11 countries, we engaged in a seminar on the ‘Teachings of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji and Sikhism’s Contribution in Universal Wellbeing’. The key focus of the seminar was Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s three pillars of ‘kirat karo’, ‘vand chhako’ and ‘naam japo’, which hold significance to us as core values of YSPN. The seminar was followed by a visit to three of the five prominent Takhts: Sri Patna Sahib in Bihar, Sri Harimandir Sahib in Punjab and Sri Hazur Sahib in Maharashtra.

We began the trip in New Delhi, where we met His Excellency Ram Nath Kovind, President of India, followed by a guided tour of the Rashtrapati Bhawan as an introduction to the conference, and a symbol of the importance of the occasion to India itself. His Excellency remarked on the domestic and worldwide impact of the Sikh community, the value of this conference in connecting the Diaspora to its ancestral heritage, and encouraged all delegates to take the lessons from this event and practice them in our respective homes.

While in Delhi we engaged in a seminar on Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s teachings, where we had the opportunity to interact with two of the seminar’s most notable speakers, Lieutenant-General PJS Pannu and Dr Surjit Kaur Jolly.

The concept of Sewa was a key focus for both speakers at the seminar. Lt Gen Pannu emphasised ‘kirat karo’ through a detailed recollection of the committed service of Sikhs in India’s military; while Dr Jolly reflected on ‘vand chhako,’ commenting on the progressive nature of Sewa in the 21st century.

Lt Gen Pannu explained how we can use sewa as a means of serving our community, and to build a home and heritage. Lt Gen Pannu dedicated his military career to practising and sharing the values of ‘kirat karo,’ to build a positive and lasting legacy in the hopes of inspiring our future generations to honour our heritage and feel a sense of community in India. As an example of his dedication to serving professionally for his community, he shared a meaningful story from his military service in which he went above and beyond his professional duties to save the life of a young child after he had been severely injured during a protest in Kashmir.

Dr Jolly, our second speaker emphasised the progressive nature of Sikhism and the need for our practice of sewa to keep up with contemporary needs and mechanisms. She discussed what ‘vand chhako’ meant, its value to society, and elaborated that we should use all forms of technology as we practice sewa.

Both speakers’ observations and reflections were insightful. Lt Gen Pannu’s desire to use his role to serve, and as an opportunity to connect with the community and contribute to the formation of its identity, are reflections that echo YSPN’s mission of professional sewa here in Australia and New Zealand. And Dr Jolly’s insight that sewa must keep pace with changes in society parallels the discussion that YSPN started at Elevate 2019 about what it means in a rapidly changing world. It was inspiring for us to hear such esteemed professionals validate our mission in a thoughtful and personal way.

On the second leg of our trip, we commenced our journey of visiting three Takhts, starting with Sri Patna Sahib in Bihar, followed by Sri Harmandir Sahib in Amritsar and Sri Hazur Sahib in Maharashtra.

The delegates unanimously agreed that being exposed to the history of Sikhism by visiting each Takht was an indescribable experience; one that was felt viscerally across the group. It was an extremely profound moment for us as Sikhs living abroad, to return to India and witness the legacy of our Guru’s carried on through people of all religious backgrounds coming together, in service of their fellow human beings.

Sharing the journey with Sikhs from across the world was a profound experience for all of us. It allowed us to appreciate the incredible history of Sikhism through varied perspectives, share in our common humanity, and the challenge of creating a sense of belonging in our new homes, away from our ancestral heritage, while trying to maintain an important legacy and pass down our values.

Before this trip, some of us felt a sense of isolation, a disconnect from other parts of our community through distance and time. However, getting to know each of the delegates closely over eight days we came to the profound realisation that we are all connected together by Sikhism’s central message of unity and selfless service to others. And that our shared experiences and diverse perspectives mean we can work together to amplify this message globally. We learned for example about the scale of the network and connections built at the ASEES conference in Malaysia; we learned about the work happening in the Netherlands and Canada to connect the community more closely to its spiritual roots and prevent a tragic loss of generation; and the work happening in South Africa to share the spirit of Sikhi with the broader African community. This exposure to the important work globally and its connection to the work we do in Australia and New Zealand at YSPN has opened our eyes to opportunities to work tightly with other communities in the Sikh diaspora and left us with optimism about the future of Sikhs globally.

The opportunity to join in this celebration over 8 days was transformative for all delegates. We learned that Guru Nanak’s values were endorsed by no less than the Indian Head of State, and their impact recognised; we experienced the wonder of people coming together in a spirit of sewa across the three Takhts in India, while connecting with our fellow delegates from across the world, creating lifelong friendships, and bridges to helping one another as we navigate similar challenges in our respective homes. We thank the Indian Council for Cultural Relations for the opportunity to participate in this profound experience and look forward to building on the foundations established on the most auspicious occasion of the 550th birth anniversary of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji.

Disclosure: The trip for YSPN delegates was funded by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, and inaugurated by ICCR president and Rajya Sabha MP Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, Padma Shri Sant Balbir Singh Seechewal and ICCR Director General Akhilesh Mishra. Delegates from Australia, Germany, Canada, the UK, the US, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Italy, South Africa and The Netherlands were present on the trip.

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YSPN Sydney Presents: Transforming Your Harshest Critic

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YSPN hosted Benaifer Bhadha on 26th August 2019, who explored how we can use and harness our inner critic to develop oneself and be a more effective leader.

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YSPN hosted Benaifer Bhadha, a clinical psychotherapist, workshop facilitator and performance artist from New York, on Monday 26 August 2019 for an interactive workshop about techniques to transform your inner critic into your inner champion. Bhadha delved into the concept of Internal Family Systems to describe how an individual’s inner critic is usually developed during childhood as a means to protect them from shame or failure. Attendees were asked to reflect on what their inner critic says to them today and to transform this by being more conscious of why and when it shows up.  

The workshop also entailed lessons on the power of listening and how it is one of the most overlooked skills in leadership today. Attendees learned that listening without judgement and without imposing solutions upon others is essential to create meaningful connections in their personal and professional lives. 

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YSPN Perth: Secrets to Standing Out in a Dynamic Economy

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YSPN Perth hosted an event featuring 3 expert panellists on navigating the changing economic landscape, and the steps we must take to survive and succeed in the future

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Thank you for supporting us at our latest panel event at our new venue Flux on 13 August 2019. We heard from three knowledgable and experienced panelists, Alana Sullivan, Danny Dellaca and Kiru Thangadurai on the topic of standing out in a dynamic economy, hosted by expert facilitator Baldeep Bhullar.

We learnt a great deal from the panellists in three summarised categories:

Job Hunting

  • Ensure that you have an up to date LinkedIn profile with relevant keywords
  • Have a relevant up to date CV which talks to both your achievements and responsibilities
  • Check to make sure your salary expectation is in line with market

Professional Development

  • Having both a mentor and a sponsor will help you develop professionally and personally. A senior level sponsor will enable further career opportunities through advocacy on your behalf.
  • Utilising platforms like LinkedIn Learning or EdX can give you cheap or free professional development in your own or employers time. This can enable a potential career change or higher role in an organisation.
  • Saying "yes" to more opportunities will enable you to gain more experience in a variety of fields and will give you more potential to take on additional scope or develop your career further, than if you are very selective with opportunities.


  • Having a good network can be a great boost when looking for that new job or developing your career as many jobs are not advertised and may come through recommendation
  • Given that you want to maximise the 'bang for your buck' in networking, it's best to be selective as to what events you attend. If you are not getting value out of the events, the take a more tactical approach and be selective around where you spend your time.
  • Networking is give and take. There is opportunity to both learn and teach and ensuring that there is mutual value to networking is essential for it to be of value.
  • Feel free to carry on the conversation and view our photos here. Thank you to the YSPN WA team and Husveena Singh for the superb photography!

And most of all, thank you for your support and we look forward to seeing you at our next event which will be launched shortly!

We are always seeking feedback and your feedback is essential in shaping the way we direct our efforts as volunteers at YSPN. Feel free to reply to comment below or email info@yspn.org.au with any feedback - we are ever grateful for your comments.

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YSPN Sydney: Adapt and Thrive – Riding the Wave of Change

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YSPN hosted four speakers (Alyse Sue, Penny Wong, Peter Xing, Vivek Bharadwaj) across industries to explore what Artificial Intelligence and technology meant for industries in 2019, and what we can do to prepare.

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On Wednesday 17 July 2019, YSPN hosted its first ever debate exploring how technology will disrupt and enhance the way we work in the future.

YSPN was honoured to host Peter Xing, co-founder of Transhumanism Australia who shared work of Transhumanism Australia and discussed many exciting ways AI will enrich our lives in the future. Along with Peter Xing, YSPN also hosted three other distinguished speakers, Alyse Sue – Co-founder of Genomix, Vivek Bharadwaj – Data Analyst at the Iconic and Penny Wong – Co-founder of Radmis who all participated in a structured debate on the question ‘Should AI be accountable for its actions?’ The affirmative side argued AI should be accountable because users need the be assured that algorithms used in AI are explainable before they are implemented. Explainability of AI decisions will give company executives and users the confidence they need to further implement AI into their work.

The negative side raised the argument that AI technologies should be considered through a lens of product liability where the company executives are the ones who should ultimately to be held accountable. They further explored questions of how humanistic traits such as ethics, religion and gender should be imparted upon technology to make it more representative of a human. 
A key take away that both sides of the debate raised was that for young professionals to adapt and thrive in the new working world, we must not only embrace technology but we must champion it.

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YSPN Brisbane: Breaking Barriers, Glass Ceiling and Stereotypes

In Events, Reflections by sakshamkapoorLeave a Comment


On 26 June 2019, YSPN Brisbane held its marquee event for 2019, YSPN Talks: Breaking Barriers, Glass Ceilings and Stereotypes. This sold-out event brought together over 50 attendees and featured an incredibly inspiring all-women panel comprising Pam Bains, CFO & Group Executive, Strategy of Aurizon; Ratha Nabanidham, Partner at Ashurst; and Jatinder Kaur, Director at JK Diversity Consultants.

Attendees had the opportunity to hear from each speaker about their unique career journey, the opportunities and challenges they faced and how they got to where they are today.

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On 26 June 2019, YSPN Brisbane held its marquee event for 2019, YSPN Talks: Breaking Barriers, Glass Ceilings and Stereotypes. This sold-out event brought together over 50 attendees and featured an incredibly inspiring all-women panel comprising Pam Bains, CFO & Group Executive, Strategy of Aurizon; Ratha Nabanidham, Partner at Ashurst; and Jatinder Kaur, Director at JK Diversity Consultants.

Attendees had the opportunity to hear from each speaker about their unique career journey, the opportunities and challenges they faced and how they got to where they are today.

This was followed by a moderated panel session whereby the speakers deep-dived into the dialogue of 'Breaking Barriers, Glass Ceilings and Stereotypes'.  Amongst other things, the panel discussion touched on how to break barriers in order to move into senior management roles, the importance of adapting to change and up skilling, the role of personal branding and industry knowledge in career development and the challenges of maintaining a work-life balance.

The event offered insightful and practical advice for both women and men on how to overcome such challengers, step up and script their own career narratives.

 Attendee testimonials from the evening included:

    1. I thoroughly enjoyed the professionalism of the team hosting from YSPN and the speakers were so engaging and provided practical tips and guidance.
    2. To hear from each speaker on their career journey and how they got to where they are now was extremely aspiring.  The highlight for me was the panel session – it explored relevant challenges that young professionals face today and the speakers provided practical and 'real' advice on how to navigate those challenges.
    3. The event was extremely eye opening and inspiring. I felt empowered listening to the journeys of three women in very different careers, break barriers and overcome stereotypes that still challenge Sikh women today. Having a panel allowed us to get the answers to questions we’ve all asked ourselves when faced with adversity due to our gender and race. I really enjoyed the networking before and after the panel as it allowed me to meet so many likeminded people that have had similar experiences to me and share the same desire to succeed in our careers. I’m really excited to see what you guys have install next!
    4. Each speaker offered such insightful advice on breaking barriers and stereotypes. Fantastic effort by the entire team of YSPN for bringing these relevant and important topics to the spotlight.
    5. It was an incredible night of stellar speakers and as a female, I left feeling so empowered. Best of all, I got to take away key tips to help me with my career path and for that I’m grateful.
    6. Amazing event. Such diverse and fine knowledge at one platform – outstanding! Cannot wait for the next one!
    7. Thought the event was incredibly inspiring and served as a great foundation for learning how to break the glass ceiling and encouraging men to be allies too!
    8. This event has made me conscious of the challenges women face in managing cultural, family and career aspirations.  The event was an educational one for everyone, including educating us on the responsibility of men in being able to support women in being able to juggle all of these factors.

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    Walk and Talk with YSPN Melbourne

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    YSPN Melbourne's Walk and Talk event was the perfect opportunity for us to meet our fantastic members in a casual environment, and to give everyone an opportunity to meet the team and find out what YSPN is about.

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    On the 24th of November, YSPN Melbourne hosted the final event for the year, ‘Walk and Talk with YSPN’.

    Despite the unpredictable Melbourne weather, the event was an opportunity for the us to chat and mingle in a casual setting walking through the banks of the Yarra through Birrarung Marr. Walking in pairs overlooking the river, we spoke of our backgrounds, career and journeys then breaking off into groups to learn and perform a short Bhangra segment – an apt way to break the ice, learn and stay connected to our roots!

    Ending with a coffee and delicious YSPN 5 year celebration cookies at Federation Square the morning allowed us to unwind, appreciate our surroundings and community before heading into the festive season.

    Looking forward to 2019 - stay tuned we have great things planned!

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    Melbourne event 2: Connect and Grow

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    YSPN Melbourne hosted an open networking event at Melbourne Business School. The event was attended by professionals of all experience levels

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    The ice was broken early on in the evening – despite there being a diverse range of attendees, the atmosphere was warm and lively. Jokes were shared over finger-food and drinks as professionals of all ages and backgrounds got to know one another.

    The evening was divided into group activity and then lecture-style segments to provide attendees with practical networking strategies they could implement in their conversations.

    Attendees were given the opportunity to ‘work the room’ through group and pair activities. It was a great chance for professionals with less experience in networking to practice introducing themselves and getting that follow-up, as they were encouraged and reassured by the event hosts and other attendees. This allowed professionals who felt less confident to feel comfortable, step outside their comfort zone, and grow.

    In this way, the best part of the event was the support provided – we could practice networking strategies in an environment that was encouraging, friendly, and casual. By the end of the evening, everyone had built new connections and friendships with people both in and outside of their fields.

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    Sydney event 2: Getting the Yes

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    YSPN Sydney held their second event for 2018, Getting the Yes, hosting a negotiating masterclass with seasoned negotiator and academic Noa Sheer and sponsored by Allen and Overy.

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    The YSPN team identified that negotiation was a critical skill underpinning career and commercial success, and a skill that people use multiple times per day. Most interactions with colleagues are a form of negotiation. From a request for a file, a phone call or a simple task – all are examples of negotiations.

    Most interactions with colleagues are a form of negotiation

    The key insight Noa brought to the table to build on “Getting to Yes” (the negotiating bible) built upon behavioural research and managing or exploiting cognitive biases. The two focus points during the masterclass were Anchoring, and Framing; and understanding how to either mitigate them if used by your negotiating counterpart, or use them to your advantage.

    Noa used a cycle of Understand, Predict and Control in order to improve success in negotiations. In order to do that, negotiators need to:

    1. Have a sense of self-awareness
    2. Be able to identify the type of negotiation and select the right approach
    3. Be able to plan strategically for the negotiation that will unfold
    4. Be able to implement strategic rhetoric in the negotiation itself to achieve the sought outcomes

    Self Awareness

    This is important in identifying interests that underpin and drive the negotiation and resulting behaviours.

    Interests are abstract motivations, in contrast to goals or targets which are highly specific, and narrow. For example, an interest is ‘to get warm’ in contrast to ‘to get someone else’s jacket’ or ‘to get someone to turn on a heater’.

    Interests are abstract motivations, in contrast to goals or targets which are highly specific, and narrow

    A strong self-awareness will enable negotiators to not only identify their own interests, but also enable them to empathise with their counterpart to reveal the interests driving their counterparty. The overlap between these interests—the Zone of Possible Agreement, or ‘ZOPA’—is where any potential deal will happen. Additionally, coming up with a broader set of interests results in a strong best alternative to negotiated agreement or ‘BATNA’, in turn reducing the likelihood of confrontation.


    There are various different types of negotiations which are defined by their structural characteristics. For example, wrestling (value capture), gift exchange (value exchange) and mining (value creation) to be successful in each type of negotiation however, we learnt to always use an interest-based approach when you’re expecting an ongoing relationship and require commitment to the negotiated outcome.

    Wrestling: Use anchoring through your listing price, and framing through the existing range of prices in addition to supporting evidence to improve your tactical position, capturing the most value.

    Gift Exchange: Use bundling to aggregate value for your counterparty but do not cost you anything to provide. Software sales is a good example of where gift exchange is used particularly in the framing of sale options.

    Mining: Use questions in order to gather information about what is valuable to your counterparty and create a more valuable position for both parties. The key difference between gift exchange and mining is in the strategic (ongoing) versus tactical (one-off) nature of the negotiation and the relationship.

    More information

    The information in this event summary is a fraction of what was covered during the event. If you’d like further information or bespoke consulting and training, contact Noa Sheer, our masterclass facilitator at the below details.

    Sheer Negotiations - Bespoke training in the art and science of negotiations

    noa@sheernegotiations.com | 0410632216 | sheernegotiations.com

    Alternatively, reach out to events@yspn.org.au to speak with one of our Executive team who participated in the event to hear about their experiences.

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