Academic leadership for postdocs

19 October 2023 - 01 December 2023
(3 x 8h)
campus Hasselt


Doing research and leading… not an obvious combination. This three-day program, delivered by True Colours, focuses on a number of basic leadership skills.

The first day focuses on your professional identity:

  • Making a distinction between who you are as a person and who you are/want to be in your role as a postdoc.
  • Installing a solution focused mindset and conducting solution focused communication.
  • Influencing based on connection and on awareness of the impact of behaviour on behaviour.

The second day is devoted to (mainly one-on-one) interaction:

  • Active listening.
  • Having difficult conversations (feedback conversations, bringing bad news,…).
  • Gaining insight into different leadership styles and how to use them accurately to create an efficient balance between leading in a result-oriented and people-oriented way.

The third day zooms out to team level:

  • The importance of self-motivation and how it can be nurtured.
  • Building blocks of effective and constructive cooperation.
  • Stakeholder management: how do you get a better view on your stakeholder field and how do you set up a communication plan that helps to also have 'less obvious' conversations with 'more difficult' stakeholders.

The workshop is run by Wendy Van den Bulck, using interactive teaching, experiential exercises (e.g. group exercise to experience the importance of the building blocks of effective teamwork), 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 their own work context.

Learning outcomes

After having attended this workshop, you will be able to...

Day 1:

  • have a clear(er) view on your professional identity,
  • look at complex and delicate problems and leadership challenges in a solution focused way,
  • be clear about your expectations and needs with respect to others,
  • influence people in a constructive way,
  • establish open communication & come to clear agreements.

Day 2:

  • give and receive feedback in a constructive way to take performance to a higher level,
  • gain insight into the qualities and pitfalls of your own personal leadership style,
  • continuously check whether the leadership style (still) corresponds with what is expedient and adjust the style when needed,
  • coach others and help them to find solutions without taking over.

Day 3:

  • have a clear view on your own motivation in your role as a postdoc,
  • inspire and motivate colleagues to contribute to the larger whole,
  • be explicit about shared goals and results that you want to achieve and why they are so important,
  • explore mutual expectations about tasks, roles, and responsibilities in a constructive way and what it takes to commit to each other,
  • be clear about working agreements that guide the collaboration, rather than trusting on 'we’ll see',
  • determine which topics you should discuss with whom to improve cooperation within the team,
  • identify different parties and stakeholders that are important for realizing your goals.


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
    • (interdisciplinary) collaboration
    • oral communication
    • stakeholder awareness
  • personal effectiveness:
    • flexibility
    • responsibility
    • self-confidence
    • self-development


For whom?

  • The workshop is meant for postdoctoral researchers.
  • There are 12 places available.

When and where?

  • October 19 & November 08, 2023 - 09:00-17:00
    • campus Hasselt, Old Prison, Green room B1.1
  • December 01, 2023 - 09:00-17:00
    • campus Hasselt, Old Prison, Yellow room D1.1


  • For internal participants: Registration is closed since September 24, 2023.
  • For external participants: Registration is closed since September 24, 2023.
  • Please register only if you can attend all three days.
  • As places are limited, registering does not automatically imply that you will be able to participate. You will be notified by email after the registration deadline has passed.
  • Please cancel your registration at least one week in advance in case you cannot make it (cf. cancellation & no-show policy).

Back to the Generic competences - course offer overview