Effective 1 October 2018, James Smorthwaite will be formally stepping down from his role as Australasian President of Young Insurance Professionals (YIPs), Australia & New Zealand Inc., to focus on the next stage of his career as an insurance broker with JLT.
YIPs are pleased to announce that James’ successor in the role of President will be current Australasian Vice President, Katie Stephenson, of Marsh, who was voted into the position during an AGM on 25 September 2018.
James Smorthwaite - Former President, YIPs Australia & New Zealand Inc.
Leading YIPs over the past 14 months has been an exceptionally rewarding experience, both professionally and personally. It has been my pleasure and privilege to work alongside the talented and ambitious young professionals that comprise our branch and Australasian committees.
The significant progress and growth we have achieved over the last year would not have been possible without the support of our generous sponsors, the hard work of our 11 YIPs committees across Australia & New Zealand, and the continued engagement of our vibrant membership. I would urge any young insurance professionals with an interest in developing their leadership skills, to apply for a position on their local branch committee.
I am delighted that Katie will be taking on the role of President; having been a part of our Australasian Committee for 5 years as Treasurer and then Vice President. Katie has demonstrated dedication, vision and passion for the organisation and its goals.
I wish Katie, YIPs, and all members the very best in future.
Katie Stephenson - President, YIPs Australia and New Zealand Inc.
These past 12 months has been a time of professional and personal growth for me and the decision to put myself forward for the role of President was not taken lightly.
Our organisation is powered by hundreds of volunteers who dedicate their time to give back to our industry. YIPs has grown from grass roots to now being the largest, not-for-profit insurance organisation for young professionals in Australia and New Zealand – something we are very proud to have achieved in 7 years.
As we close 2018 and enter a new year, we will continue to benefit our industry with new and exciting initiatives delivered with the same passion we are well known for. I am thrilled to be announced as the new President and look forward to continuing our success and prosperity throughout the market.
Young Insurance Professionals (YIPs) Australia and New Zealand Inc is the largest, independent and non-profit organisation for young insurance professionals in Australia & New Zealand. YIPs provides educational and networking opportunities for young professionals; to attract and retain talent by demonstrating how diverse, stimulating and sociable the insurance industry can be. Membership of YIPs is free.
Sydney, 28th July 2017 – Throughout the months of July and August, YIPs branches across Australia and New Zealand will hold events to welcome the 2018 Financial Year. The YIPs End of Financial Year events gave Young Professionals an opportunity to engage in an evening of networking drinks and canapés with their colleagues from various areas of the insurance industry.
Tickets for the events drew great interest, and in many cases sold out within weeks, if not days of release. The EOFY functions are keystone events in the YIPs calendar and are hotly anticipated by Young Professionals each year. The events have been a great success, with some branches still to hold their events in early August.
Sydney, 31 March 2017 – On Wednesday night, the YIPs NSW branch hosted the inaugural ‘Fireside Chat’ event; an exclusive opportunity for a limited number of YIPs members to hear from a highly successful industry representative to gain insights into their experiences and career pathway. A limited ticket release saw approximately 60 people attend last nights’ event.
Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance (BHSI) proudly supported this Fireside Chat featuring Peter Eastwood, Global President and Chief Executive Officer on his visit from Boston, USA. Chris Colahan, BHSI President Australasia, joined Mr Eastwood to ask several questions around his 26 year journey in the global insurance industry, including his career at AIG and Lexington, through to then launching Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance.
A Q&A session followed giving the attending YIPs members the opportunity to ask Mr Eastwood questions about his early insurance career, his leadership style, finding work/life balance and his insights into opportunities for the industry over the next few years.
Drinks and canapés followed the Q&A session for attendees to network with their peers, Mr Eastwood, Mr Colahan and other BHSI employees that were present for the event.
Tickets are now available for the Melbourne "YIPS Spring Collection" event on 20 September 2012 at Highlander Bar, with the Sydney event registrations due to start within days. Victorian YIPs are encouraged to sign up as YIPS members too so as to get earlybird notifications of events and other member benefits.
Don’t let your colleagues stop you networking!
It is amazing how many people let familiarity stop them from networking effectively. Familiarity? Yes! I’m surprised to see confident business people become nervous when meeting strangers at business and networking events. Often they ‘huddle’ with people they are familiar with. These groups provide security or confidence – but they won’t help you make new connections!
At a recent business breakfast I welcomed 3 lovely women as they arrived. They all worked for the same business. When I asked what had attracted them to attend the event they informed me it was to make business connections. Therefore I suggested that they separate and sit at different tables to make new connections.
Stepping out of your comfort zone can be difficult but do it anyway!
After welcoming guests I took my seat to find I was seated at the same table as the 3 business women who worked together.
I bet they were sorry they had picked that particular table! Anyway, they continued to talk to each other and didn’t include any of the other table attendees in their conversation. No doubt they had a lovely time but they will have come away ‘empty handed’ from the event.
Networking is simple. However, it takes time, effort, commitment and often requires getting out of your comfort zone. Incidentally, it is helpful to remember that others may be out of their comfort zone too!
Think that the way you look at people has no impact on your networking success? Think again. Body language plays a huge role in communication. Here, Bev talks the basics to help you make sure you are getting across to others effectively
Who you are speaks louder than what you say.
Communication is much more than the words you use. Numerous studies have revealed that body language and voice tone is more important than what you say.
The ability to understand and use nonverbal communication are powerful tools that will help you connect with others, express what you really mean, navigate challenging situations – and build better relationships. The way you make people feel can override everything you are saying or doing. That’s why it is important to endeavour to make people feel as comfortable and relaxed as possible.
If you smile make certain to involve your eyes!
We have all been in a situation where someone has said something yet their body language – head or arm position, poor eye contact and their voice tone – does not support the words they use. Relationships are built on trust so all aspects of our communication must support this.
I was demonstrating this at a workshop and I was standing with my arms crossed and my body angled away from the person who was speaking to me. “What is wrong?” the person in the demonstration asked. “Nothing is wrong”, I answered with a gruff voice, tapping my foot impatiently and flicking my head away from this person. Obviously my body language was not supporting my comments.
Someone in the workshop audience laughed and called out “so you have also met my wife!”
Your actions will give signals and contribute to the perception others have about you. So ensure your ‘silent’ or non-verbal language supports your verbal language. This includes obvious things such as the way you stand, eye contact, nodding of the head and so on. It also includes the less obvious – personal space between you and the other person, your rate of breathing, the speed which you speak and pauses between words and sentences.
Look in the mirror and see yourself as others see you
You may wear the smartest business attire but if you shake a business colleagues hand poorly you will be judged accordingly.
Handshakes are a sign of trust and help build strong relationships. As a business professional, it is important that you make a memorable positive impression when you are out networking. Your handshake is just one of the ways you can build a positive first impression and enhance your communication.
The biggest barriers to open communication are fear of rejection, intimidation, confrontation, not being worthy or worse, being considered stupid. Try to minimise your fears and work with reality so you can move toward better communication outcomes. By feeling any of the above you may convey insecurity so stand tall and confident – even if you don’t feel like it. Remember, many people feel uncomfortable talking to strangers so by focusing totally on the other person you will feel more relaxed and attentive. This will assist with open and trustworthy communication.
Here are a few tips to assist you to effectively communicate with others:
- Accurately read other people, including the emotions they’re feeling and the unspoken messages they’re sending.
- Create trust and transparency in relationships by sending nonverbal signals that match up with your words.
- Respond with nonverbal cues that show others that you understand, notice, and care.