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Effective management by improving your personal skills


Deze informatie is alleen in het Engels beschikbaar.

Topics: Enhancement of personal effectiveness by developing general skills
Disciplines: Psychology
Skills: Collaborating, Oral communication, Reflecting, Resilience

Admission requirements

This course is an extracurricular Honours Class: an elective within the Honours College programme. Regular Bachelor's students are also welcome. Admission is based on a short motivation statement.
A condition for participation is that you are enrolled at Leiden University for the duration of the course and hold a management position, for instance on the board of a study association or a conference organisation. This must be an unpaid position, i.e. it may not be a (secondary) job. An expense allowance, representation allowance or board scholarship from the university is not a problem. It must be a substantial, serious, substantive board position with clear responsibilities. You devote at least 150 hours to it.

Note 1: If the board duties require a lot of time, e.g. it is a full-time board position of six months, consult with the coordinator of your Honours track to request dispensation for the nominal study duration required for the Honours College.

Note 2: This Honours Class and the Honours Class Flourishing, the Science and Practice of Well-being cover similar themes and skills. We therefore recommend that students take only one of these classes.


As a student board member, you want to get things done. With your board members, you have determined what you want to achieve in the coming period. At the start, everyone is enthusiastic and full of ambition. You are going to organise fantastic things and you form a great team.
Practice turns out to be more obstinate ....

This Honours Class is designed to enhance your effectiveness when it comes to completing tasks within your board. This starts with yourself. What are your talents? What is your motivation, what drives you? In other words "what can I do and what do I want". It will also help you to recognise your obstacles, deal with stress and fear, make choices and set boundaries. Through introspection, you take a step back and examine how your behaviour influences and effects others.

Communication plays a very important role in effective management. You will have regular work sessions and meetings. If the communication between the different members of a board or with third parties (the constituency, teachers, education board, etc.) is not good, the result achieved will be less than expected. Communication is not only about how others perceive you on the outside, it is also about what you experience on the inside. What thoughts and feelings are happening within yourself, in a situation you find exciting. How does your body react and how do you behave. You also study scientific literature on communication styles.

In this Honours Class, you will receive some skills training that will help you perform your management tasks more effectively. We will practice meeting techniques and time management. You will also learn how best to give feedback and how to deal with feedback you receive. Finally, we practice conflict management.

Besides the various skills trainings, intervision is an important part of this Honours Class. Intervision is a technique where you discuss a problem under the guidance of a moderator. Each participant is given the opportunity to present an issue that they have encountered in the board position. You support each other by analysing the problem, share experiences, insights and ideas and reflect on them together. Therefore, you yourself have a lot of influence on the content of this Honours Class.

Board work is an inextricable part of this Honours Class because that is the context in which you will practice your skills and reflect on the effect.

Due to the structure of the training sessions, you may not miss more than one meeting.

Course objectives:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will have:

  • gained insight into personal strengths and weaknesses and can reflect on them;

  • gained knowledge about the theory of communication styles;

  • gained insight into the effect of personal communication style on the other person;

  • practiced the following skills: communication skills, meeting techniques, time management, giving and receiving feedback, conflict management, collaboration;

  • learned to apply the intervision technique;

  • used the intervision technique to help others analyse and solve a problem in the context of a board position.

Personal learning objectives:

  • The student sets 3 to 5 personal learning objectives that are SMART and achievable within the board period.

Programme and timetable:

The sessions of this class will take place from 17.15 - 19.00 on the following Tuesdays:

Training 1: 10 October (Old Observatory, room C0.06)
Introduction and getting to know each other
Getting to know each other and identifying where students' requirements /questions lie. Introduction to programme and training.
Analysis of the context of one's own board function. Discussion of the student's outline of the board organisation and the actors you will be dealing with.

Training 2: 17 October
Using the 'quadrant game': Where are your talents, challenges and motivation? What team roles are there? What is your natural role? What role do you occupy within the board? Does this role suit you and how does it relate to your talents? How do you relate to the other board members?

Training 3: 24 October
Drives, motivation, challenges, talents
Using your strengths (talents and drive) to face your challenges. Discuss personal learning objectives.

Training 4: 31 October
Meeting techniques
In meetings, you communicate, organise and manage together with your colleagues. A clear meeting structure plus meeting techniques are prerequisites for a successful meeting. Discussion of meeting theory and practice.

Intervision I in the week of 6-10 November
Intervision sessions last 2 hours and are conducted in small groups (about 6 people). Time blocks can be reserved during the Honours Class.

Training 5: 14 November
Obstacles and stress
Do you experience (moments of) stress when performing your managerial tasks? What are your triggers and how do you deal with them? Make a connection between your own drive and talents and the characteristics of the roles within the team. Compare these with your actual role on the board and examine where the obstacles and barriers lie.

Intervision II in the week of 20-24 November
Intervision sessions last 2 hours and are conducted in small groups (about 6 people). Time blocks can be reserved during the Honours Class.

Training 6: 28 November
Time management, keeping balance
Theory on time management. Inventory bottlenecks; give advice. What can you use for successful time management?

Training 7: 12 December
Myself and others
Communication styles. Define your own communication style and that of your colleagues? Discuss the question "To what extent do I adapt and when do I say no"? How do you give feedback in a constructive way without the relationship suffering?

Training 8: 19 December
Practice: Giving feedback and conflict management
Conflicts don't just happen overnight and often have an emotional charge. How do conflicts arise and what is your behaviour and “allergy”? What can you do to prevent escalation and resolve conflict? Practice giving and receiving feedback.

Session 9: 16 January
Final meeting "Reflection and looking ahead"
Give a pitch. What have you learned about yourself and how will you use this in the future. What is your intention and how do you translate it into concrete steps. Submit a report on reflection. Evaluation.

Short assignments will be given prior and between training sessions.

Old Observatory, room C0.05

Reading list:

Several articles will be read during this Honours Class which will include, communication styles, giving feedback, core quadrants, team roles, conflict management and meeting and chairing. This literature will be announced via Brightspace or during the meetings.

Course load and teaching method:

This course is worth 5 ECTS, which means the total course load equals 140 hours:

  • 9 training sessions of 2 hours (participation is mandatory)

  • 2 intervision sessions of 2 hours (participation is mandatory)

  • reading and practical assignments: 24 hours

  • personal learning objectives: 4 hours

  • writing reflection report: 10 hours

Context: Board work minimum 150 hours/year

Assessment methods:

Active participation during all activities is a prerequisite for successful completion of this Honours Class. You may only miss a maximum of one meeting.

The final mark of the Honours Class is based on subtests according to the following weighting:

  • 20% formulation of personal learning objectives (deadline 24 October 2023);

  • 30% reflection on board work (report, deadline 31 January 2024);

  • 50% reflection on personal learning objectives (pitch and report, deadline 31 January 2024)

Students will only pass this course after successful completion of all partial exams.

Brightspace and uSis

Brightspace will be used in this course. Upon admission students will be enrolled in Brightspace by the teaching administration.

Please note: students are not required to register through uSis for the Bachelor Honours Classes. Your registration will be done centrally.

Application process:

Submitting an application for this course is possible from Monday 21 August 2023 up to and including Tuesday 12 September 2023 23:59 through the link on the Honours Academy student website.

Note: students don’t have to register for the Bachelor Honours Classes in uSis. The registration is done centrally before the start of the class.

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