Postdoc Workshop 2015
Leadership and Management Skills for Postdocs
“I would strongly recommend this workshop to all postdocs, whatever their plans for their career are. These skills are universal and can help us be better scientists, function well as part of a team and become good leaders”, says Julien Limenitakis, University of Berne, after attending the first SystemsX.ch Postdoc Workshop. He was one of 16 participants of the two-day course, which took place in February 2015 in Gerzensee, Berner Oberland.
The workshop titled “Leadership and Management Skills for Postdocs” was run by hfp consulting, a company which exclusively focuses on training and coaching life scientists. The course addressed the human aspects of doing science, in order to influence and support both the present scientific work and future careers of the participating postdocs.
The main topics of the workshop were:
• Key communication skills
• Dealing with conflicts
• Organizing your work: setting goals, setting priorities, and delegating
There was high interactivity through partner work in pairs and small groups, case studies, and other activities. The workshop included as much theory as necessary, and as many exercises as possible, which was well received by the participants: “The exercise that used real life examples was just brilliant”, says Tri Thanh Pham, University of Basel.
Other postdocs highlighted the content and general atmosphere as particularly valuable, and praised the course leaders: “The instructors were great; well prepared, honest and very approachable. They were also flexible enough to change the content according to the participants’ needs”, says Petra Schwalie, ETH Lausanne. For her, the most important take-home message was personal: “The concept of leadership does not seem as abstract, distant or even scary as it did before the course. I came back feeling more confident and optimistic.”