Communication, leadership and project management skills Training
Zandvoort aan Zee, Netherlands
The 4th Network meeting has taken place in Zandvoort. It has been a very engaging meeting due to its uniqueness. First of all, it has been entirely different from the previous ones as it has focused mainly on generic skills a future professional should have. Two very talented individuals (Niamh Shaw and Deirdre Lewis) have been invited to provide this training to the MetalIntelligence PhD students (ESRs) plus TCD and UCD PhD students. The aforementioned ladies have guided us into exploring our communication and leadership skills by employing group activities.
The first training emphasised on networking (no one is ever going to forget the game with 13 balls thrown around at one another, cannot say more regarding it, my lips are sealed) and communicating science, using each participant’s project as an actual example. The goal of every separate activity was to explain the project in a clear, understandable way to a general audience using few words and having specific time to do it. It has been fun and gave us the opportunity to reflect on how we carried the task out in retrospect.
Leadership training has been met with enthusiasm by the students as not many participants have had such an experience previously. The course was given in an active way – a discussion was readily triggered which encouraged all students present to take part in. One of the most important parts of it was the leader traits (positive & negative) and how team building can be achieved. What stroke me the most is how a leader can maintain morale in a team.
The project management module began with defining the terminology so often used but sometimes not entirely understood. Speaking for myself, I found very interesting the project life cycle and the planning involved (work packages, task allocation, delegation, cooperation, team work). Other aspects involved into proper decision making include financial planning and budget management. This part of the training ended with the discussion of case studies from past projects in order to answer the question of which project is successful and which not.
The training as a whole has made a very good impression on us since most of us have never had the chance to meet and talk with professionals specialising on communication and project management.
We would like to thank all those involved in organising the course!