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Skillslab - Professional and personal development

Vak 2016-2017

Admission requirements

Admission is conditional on submission for the minor Innovation, Co-Creation and Global Impact
A knowledge of Dutch is not necessary. You should have obtained your propedeuse before starting this minor.


“Many great ideas have been lost because the people who had them could not stand being laughed at.”

This course trains you to become more effective in making decisions and getting things done through an investigation of those values, assumptions and habits that will strengthen your empathetic, ethical and expressive qualities. The first part of each class focuses on analytical, ethical, and empathetic reflection, while the second part builds professional and personal skills. To be effective in school, work and private life, students must be able to activate a range of functional skills, such as project planning and financial management, as well as personal skills, such as creative thinking, presenting, listening and negotiating. These skills will help you to navigate the complexities of life.

Course objectives

After this course you will be able to:

… assess, reflect and report on your professional development
… train and apply planning, budgeting and legal techniques
… assess, reflect and report on your personal development
… train and apply negotiation, listening and presentation techniques
… manage your target audience
… plan and budget a pilot experiment
… execute a pilot experiment
… test your startup on the target audience


Nov 9/ 10h-13h: Who am I, how do I get to know myself and what are my talents and pitfalls?
Nov 17/ 10h-13h: How do I cope with pace, information, and unpredictability? Followed by a planning training
Nov 23/ 10h-13h: What is money? A swap, illusion or power? Followed by a budgeting training
Nov 30/ 10h-13h: How do I handle opinions, what is right and wrong? Followed by a legal training
Dec 7/ 10h-13h: How do I relate myself to others? Followed by a negotiation training
Dec 14/ 10h-13h: What is empathy? Followed by a active listening training
Dec 21/ 10h-13h How do I become more persuasive? Followed by a presentation training

Mode of instruction

Interactive lectures and workshops

Course Load

This is a rough breakdown of the course load
• 21 hours are spent on attending lectures and workshops;
• 21 hours are spent on preparing for the seminars;
• 8 hours to write an individual essay;
• 16 hours to write a group report.

Assessment method

Assessment and grading method:

• Individual essay assignment 40% of final grade
• In class assignments and daily reflections 20%
• Group report 40% of final grade
• Obligatory attendance of the lectures and workshops (Pass or Fail)
• Rounding off grades to 0,5 decimales is subject to class participation.



Reading list

• Björn Bjerke, Understanding Entrepreneurship (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 2007), Chapter 4 (“To understand entrepreneurs”).
• Carol Dweck, “Mindsets and human nature: Promoting change in the Middle East, the schoolyard, the racial divide, and willpower”, American Psychologist, 67:8 (2012): 614-622.
• Karim Benammar, Reframing or the art of thinking differently, (Amsterdam: Boom, 2012), chapter 4 & 5 (pp. 55-75).
• Roman Krznaric, “Empathy and Climate Change: Proposals for a Revolution of Human Relationships” (2007).
• Jeremy Rifkin, “The Empathic Civilization: An Address Before the British Royal Society for the Arts” (2010).
• Aristotle, Rhetoric, Book I.2.
• Amy Cuddy, Peter Glick, and Anna Beninger, “The dynamics of warmth and competence judgments, and their outcomes in organizations”, Research in Organizational Behavior, 31(2011): 73-98.
• Alison Wood Brooks, “Emotion and the Art of Negotiation”, Harvard Business Review, 93:12 (2015): 56–64.
• Deepak Malhotra, “Control the Negotiation Before It Begins”, Harvard Business Review, 93:12 (2015): 66–72.
• Erin Meyer, “Getting to Si, Ja, Oui, Hai, and Da”, Harvard Business Review, 93:12 (2015): 74–80.
• Thomas Nagel, “The Fragmentation of Value”, in his Mortal Questions (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012).
• Melanie Mitchell, Complexity: A Guided Tour (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009), Chapters 1 (“What is Complexity?”).
• Zygmunt Bauman, Liquid Modernity (Cambridge: Polity, 2000), especially Chapter 2 (“Individuality”).


You have to register for both the minor and the course in Usis. Registration for this course only is not possible.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs



Sjoerd Louwaars


This course is part of the minor in Innovation, Co-Creation and Global Impact. You can only take the course as part of this minor.