Meet Diana Shoolman

June 13, 2010 by Odile Faludi - Maccabi NSW
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Maccabi News caught up last week with Diana Shoolman. Diana has been nominated twice for the prestigious, ”Business Woman of the Year” award and it is easy to see why. Diana shared her tips and agrees the Power of Women is a valuable resource to all organizations. We got straight into the difficult questions …

Diana Shoolman

What is a critical success factor in the business world and in building any organisation?


If a service provider does not care about a person or their business, then that service provider does not deserve to do their work.

What distinguishes the provider who should do the work is a demonstration that they care about their client – personally and professionally. This can be demonstrated in a variety of ways, ranging from thinking of your client when coming across a piece of thought leadership, to actively connecting your client to others, to being forthcoming with ideas that may benefit your client’s business.

What are the essential ingredients for an introductory good meeting?

Ø      Do your research – find out who you know in common, personal details – e.g. interests and hobbies. You cannot launch into the reason for the meeting the second you lay eyes on the person so appropriate and connective small talk is very important.

Ø      Show that you respect the person’s time by confirming how long you have e.g. “can I confirm that we have half an hour?”

Ø       Illustrate that you know what you are there to discuss e.g. “I understood that you called this meeting to discuss fees and timing?” This allows the other person to prioritise the agenda items or to add items.

Ø      Depending on the formality of the meeting, prepare an agenda.

Ø       Wrap up. At the end of the meeting if there are any deliverables, show that you have listened by summing them up. Again, it shows that you are a good listener and that the other person is important enough to have been heard.

Ø       Follow through – At the meeting confirm the person’s expectation of timeline for the deliverables. Commit to that and then deliver. Even if something comes up which precludes you from dealing with the timeframe you promised – allude to it. For example, say “I know we agreed that I would give you the draft by Friday but I have found some exciting new research which will really add value. Is it alright if I get you a draft by Monday?”

If you start on the right foot you have a better chance of maintaining the relationship.

How does Maccabi treat its sponsors?

Mick and Odile are wonderful. Mick ensures that he welcomes you into the Maccabi family with numerous introductions. The relationship has been warm and cohesive. In fact, our logo on the Maccabi website was something that Mick volunteered rather than something I requested!

Your daughters are aged 4 & 6 years. Will they become part of the Maccabi family soon? What sports do you think they would like to try?

Liora’s passion is drama so when are you going to introduce Maccabi drama? Having said that she also loves swimming, which suits me down to the ground as the closest thing to heaven on earth for me is swimming with my girls – my husband, David, hates swimming!

Ariella has really strong ball skills so will probably be a reasonable netball or soccer player one day.

Does a life in the corporate world at PwC allow you to embrace being Jewish?


Every firm will speak about cultural diversity but for many organisations that is where it ends. At PwC we are very supportive of all aspects of Jewish life. We attend AICC functions at every opportunity and gave the JNF sponsorship for their gala event, and it is absolutely fine for staff to take off the Chaggim. When functions require kosher catering that is no problem. I felt such pride when I was able to host a Chanukah party here last December for CBD Chabad, and the inauguration of the new Deputies for the New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies in February.

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