There are many academics out there: some work in great numbers within an area of a popular expertise, while others work as the seemingly only pioneers in their field. Both situations can be beneficial as well as daunting. Now, how can you reach out and extend your scope using what you have at your disposal? Big scale conferences or simple yet fundamental collaborations locally? Or will you refrain from diplomacy and (in)correctly assume that your research content will prevail on its own?

Re-inventing te wheel – learn from others

We strongly believe in the power of training, but it is not the only way of learning. In fact, the oldest way of learning can be just as effective: learning the tricks of the trade by peeking how a professional does it. This has the additional benefit that this way you are expanding your professional network as well. Example courses:

  • Liften – working on your skills not by training them with a trainer, but by being connected to a professional who has mastered what you wish to learn, and then peek in the everyday work life of this exemplary academic
  • Constructing solutions – finding your own answers to personal real life scenarios, under the guidance of senior PhD candidates using Design Thinking
  • Provocative coaching – don’t expect a nodding coach to help you, but one that is your prods and teases you, constantly turning your thoughts up and down – using the power of humor, provocation, and warmth – so you’re shaken up enough to truly feel and understand your own barricades so you can change your behaviour.

There IS an ‘I’ in ‘team’ – working with others

It’s easy to lose yourself in big organisations and collaborations. But don’t be encouraged to dissolve into an amorphous group identity. You have different positions to choose from in each team you join. And if you get stuck. Example courses:

  • Group and team dynamics – on understanding how individual team member’s needs and behaviour result in certain dynamics, and how to intervene and change these
  • Effective Meetings – on transforming dreadful meetings into meaningful, efficient ones by – on the process level – directly addressing individuals’ behaviour and responsibilities
  • Coaching project based groups – on guiding groups to find their own effective ways of working, by coaching them instead of advising or managing them
  • Leadership & teamwork – on taking the lead in group based assignments, getting support from your peers, and being a leader instead of a boss

How should I know? – peer mentoring

Once your colleagues start to acknowledge your knowledge and skills, you will discover you have many ways to feed the academic community. You will help a stuck colleague, you will guide (master) students, you will take over lectures … so take your role fully as a producer and transmitter of knowledge in academia. What do you need to do that at your best? Example courses:

  • Coaching individual students – on coaching students who run into intellectual or motivational obstacles in their bachelor or master theses
  • Provocative coaching – on the fun and effective way of coaching your peers using humour, provocation, and warmth in an equal relationship to your colleagues
  • Facilitation and teaching basics – on standing in front of a group, building rapport with participants, gaining trust, achieving alignment and cohesion with them, and realising group efforts