Thanks to TRUSS we, the ESRs, had the opportunity to attend a 4 days management course at UCD in June. It was held by DCM Learning and it was a course after which you could obtain a QQI (Quality and Qualifications Ireland) Level 6 Certificate in Project Management. To get this, however, you need to do self-directed learning after the course and submit two assessments (one that is more theoretical and one that is more practical). But I stop here with the boring stuff :)
I really believe that everyone should take a course similar to this one. No matter if you are a CEO or an ordinary employee, this can help you to see your project(s) from a bit of a distance and to try to understand better the people that you are working with. Without going into details or start talking about the scope of the course, just let me share with you some points that I learnt from this course:
1. All leadership styles (directing, coaching, supporting, delegating) may actually be appropriate and beneficial in particular situations and the leadership style that is the best to apply in a given situation depends greatly on the people you want to apply for. Therefore, it is inevitable to get to know and understand the style/personality of the people you are working with. Straightforwardly it is also essential for a leader/manager to be able to adopt their leadership style to different people and situations.
2. The composition of a team is just as important (if not more) than the skills of the individuals in that team. With other words, if you would like to evaluate somehow the value of a team you cannot just add up the individual values/skills. The atmosphere, the communication, the ability to motivate each other, the diversity in the team are things that can significantly affect the productivity and efficiency of a team.
3. Even if you may feel that the time you spend on initiating and planning your project is just wasted, it is totally not. It is essential to understand the reasons why the project has to be done, why you are capable of doing it and so what your main objectives are. This may take much more time that seems to be reasonable to you at the first glance, but if these questions are well discussed and answered, your life will be much easier afterwards...
+1. It was just incredibly refreshing to learn and think about things that are not technical stuff. I think it should be obligatory to take a course out of your field, let's say, once in a year at least. Especially when you are doing a PhD, and in most of your time you are focusing on one topic, one objective, one goal, one project. Of course you can just take up a new hobby, and you will have much more fun probably than doing a course of anything but the key here is more the combination of learning something new, focusing 100 % on something different than your usual work, working on widening your perspectives in work/life and rediscovering your creativity, curiosity and skills that you do not actually need in your present work (and so you may have actually forgotten about having them...). Thinking about this latter, it may also be a good chance to boost your self-confidence and recover your motivation.