We’re offering free half day taster sessions of GradStart for eligible universities. Whilst the format and content can be flexible, here are a few ideas, taking into account different amounts of time available.
We don’t run sessions about the GradStart programme (this would be rightly described as a covert selling exercise). And we would strongly prefer not to run sessions about “the skills gap in British industry”, “the shortage of “soft skills” in the workplace”, “emotional intelligence: what is it?” and so on (though we would, if asked)—they are for another occasion.
We aim to give an audience a taste of GradStart. An experience of what happens on a GradStart programme. A chance to learn something of (we hope, permanent) value.
We propose therefore to select parts of the GradStart programme which are capable of standing alone and present one or more of these.
There would be audience participation, for sure, and, if some people feel nudged a little out of their comfort zone, we guarantee to restore their equilibrium before the end of the session.
By presenting a small choice of subjects on this page, we are not restricting what we are prepared to offer. We are happy to do a session on any topic in the GradStart programme. All the emotional intelligence ones broadly fall under one or more of these three headings:
o Relationships with other people in the workplace
o Leadership and why being the boss isn’t the same as being a leader
o Communication and why, just because you’ve said something to someone, doesn’t mean you’ve reached them.
Our recommended half day (2½ hours net of any breaks) session is:
Dealing with difficult people. This scores because it deals with a real problem that most (all?) people have and enables us to provide content as well as some pointed, and sometimes transformative, exercises. Many recent graduates entering their first job will encounter pretty quickly someone who is “difficult” to deal with and will usually feel they have noone in the business to turn to.
Other half day sessions which would fulfil the dual purpose of giving a taste of GradStart whilst being of real use to participants are:
Handling stress. Putting aside the fact that a lot of stress is caused by “difficult people”, there is a lot we can teach about hoe people approach stressful situations (like Finals, say, as well as work situations) and plenty of recent experience in audience members we can call on.
Communication skills (this should probably be titled Why can’t I get through to them?). This is a session on empathy and communication: you can’t communicate well if you don’t understand what sort of message the other person likes hearing.
Being a leader (this should probably be titled, I thought leadership was for the bosses). GradStart is based on a servant-leadership model of leadership, and this session elaborates on this. Possibly less opportunity for audience participation, but very thought provoking for some.
If it is felt useful, we could do a half day on Five things you’re going to hit in your first year of work and how to deal with them. This risks being rather bitty. It would include extracts from the above and may include topics such as How to contribute effectively to a meeting and Why the boss is a control freak.
We suggest stripping out content from the above half day sessions. There would be less opportunity for audience participation, but we would include at least one significant exercise.
o Ten/seven/five tips for dealing with difficult people
o Three pitfalls in your first year of work, and how to deal with them
o Handling the change from student life to the world of work
o Dealing with your expectations of work, and others’ expectations of you
o and so on.
All these sessions need no more than space in which to hold them. (We like to use a flipchart, but it isn’t essential; we certainly don’t use slides.) I rather like the idea of “pop-up” sessions, delivered in the university grounds, in the sunshine.
We are very flexible and can deliver sessions on anything in the emotional intelligence part of GradStart at a moment’s notice (we wouldn’t have our props and handouts, but that isn’t a reason not to do it).
Please contact Jeremy Marchant, firstname.lastname@example.org or 01 453 764 615, to discuss this further
by Jeremy Marchant . © 2015 Akonia Ltd . added 25 april 2015 . image: Free images