Academic leadership for postdocs - module 1: Solution focused influencing and leading


The leadership training program, delivered by True Colours, consists of two modules that are organized independently from each other.

Throughout this first module we aim to support and strengthen the personal leadership skills of you as a postdoc within a context of challenges. We also investigate how you can really have an impact, how you can get people to go along. We learn that influencing effectively starts with you: you can consciously choose how you want to deal with others, instead of responding automatically. You learn to connect with the other before influencing.
The trainer and your fellow participants will help you to reflect on your strengths and your challenges as a leader. We explore different leadership styles. We help you to become more skilled in coaching your collaborators and in solution focused communication. This will allow you to be more comfortable as a leader in handling all kinds of situations, even complex and challenging ones.

The workshop is ran by Jochen Bessemans, using interactive teaching, experiential exercises, self-reflection, and exchanging and learning from each other (both plenary and in subgroups). In addition, participants will be practising in simulations based on real-life cases (which will be asked for in an intake questionnaire) to ensure maximal transfer to the own work context. When organized online, an interactive learning environment will be ensured with a big focus on bringing tools and insights into practice.

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, you are able to...

  • handle complex and delicate problems and leadership challenges in a solution focused way,
  • clearly formulate specific tasks and expectations,
  • gain insight in the qualities and pitfalls of your own personal leadership style,
  • continuously check whether the leadership style (still) corresponds with what is expedient and to adjust the style when needed,
  • establish open communication & come to clear agreements,
  • coach others and help them to find solutions without taking over,
  • support a PhD student (or master thesis student) in managing his/her PhD project (or master thesis) by using some practical tools,
  • have a clear view on your own motivation in your role as a postdoc,
  • give and receive feedback in a constructive way to take performance to a higher level,
  • be clear about your expectations and needs with respect to others.


An important part of preparing for any further professional step is becoming (more) aware of the competences you have developed and/or want to develop. In the current workshop, the following competences from the UHasselt competency overview are actively dealt with:

  • interpersonal competences:
    • assertiveness
    • leadership
    • oral communication
  • personal effectiveness:
    • flexibility
    • responsibility
    • self-confidence
    • self-development


For whom?

  • postdocs
  • min. 6, max. 12 places available

When and where?

  • October 4 & 5, 2021 - 9:00-17:00
    • October 4, 2021: campus Hasselt, Old Prison, green room
    • October 5, 2021: campus Hasselt, Old Prison, yellow room


  • Registration is closed since September 3, 2021.
  • Please register only if you are sure you can attend both days. As places are limited, registering does not automatically imply that you will be able to participate. You will receive a confirmation e-mail.
  • Please cancel your registration at least one week in advance in case you cannot make it (cf. cancellation & no-show policy).