Forming alliances on the job and treating people like human beings first and employees second were among the career and life skills shared at the second annual Women in the Know conference, hosted by the Women’s Jewelry Association. Attendance at this year’s event, held in New York City at the Fashion Institute of Technology, doubled last year’s turnout. Following are some highlights.
Juliet Nierenberg, director of the Negotiation Institute, New York, on negotiating like a pro: Present calm exteriors to angry people, determine the climates you’ll project before making statements, tell people you negotiate with what you can do for them, and figure out how to make others happy. “If we could do that we’d win every negotiation,” she says.
Randi Shinske, former president of Ebel USA, on building teams and brands: “People are human first. Treat people with respect, and they will build teams for you.”
Dione Kenyon, president, Jewelers Board of Trade, on the financial vs. the human-resources sides of businesses: “The numbers are the easy side. You have to get people to do what they need to do—that’s hard.”
Carol Welsh, speaker, on dealing with difficult people: “Ask yourself, ‘Would I like to work with me?’ Others might view you as difficult.”
Dr. Chuck Lein, president and chief operating officer, Stuller Inc., Lafayette, La., on change management: “There is great danger in remaining faithful to worn-out ways of doing things.”
Andrea Hill, CEO of The Bell Group, Albuquerque, N.M., on the qualities of a leader: control, clarity, focus, humility, and will. Leaders use all of these together to set strategy, motivate people, and get things done. Leaders should also be reflective, accountable, and unpretentious, qualities that “cause people to gather around you and contribute significantly to success,” she says. Effective leaders encourage criticism, give constructive feedback, look for problems instead of hiding from them, and replace “I have to be right” with “I have to know what is right.” They also ask more questions than they are asked, and invite feedback.
For more information about the Women in the Know conference or WJA, call (973) 575-7190 or log onto www.womensjewelry.org.