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EMBO Laboratory Management Course: Communication and negotiation for female leaders

This workshop focuses on personal factors such as self-awareness and self-confidence as well as interpersonal factors such as communication skills and negotiation. Self-reflection as well as communication tools will help participants to strengthen self-confidence and become comfortable in who they are and what they want. Participants will gain an understanding and mastery of the negotiation process, which will support them in reaching their professional as well as private goals, and in building lasting partnerships.

At the end of the workshop, participants will:

  • be more aware of who they are and what they want
  • know how to build relationships based on interest and opportunity, rather than on conflict or persuasion
  • recognise the characteristics and consequences of different forms of interaction
  • learn how to use effective questioning and listening techniques, verbal and non-verbal
  • have an overview of the negotiation process and understand each step
  • feel strengthened in their self-confidence as a leader in science

The format of the workshop is highly interactive and practical, involving case-studies, role play, small group work and discussion sessions. Participants will get actively involved in the course, discussing their own life experiences and being self-reflective, in a stimulating and guided process. They will acquire tools that can be readily used in daily life.

Trainers: Melissa Davies and Dr. Hilde Janssens   





Welcome and frame-setting


Personality, bias, stereotypes

  • Knowing who you are will influence how you interact/communicate
  • Awareness of your personality gives you a better understanding of what you need and who you are
  • Recognizing biases & stereotypes and their impact will help you in dealing with them in a satisfying way




Negotiation – a state of mind and a process

  • Discover various ways to manage relationships, and how to situate each one within overall strategic vision of relationship management, going from unilateral to bilateral
  • Understand how to build relationships based on interest and opportunity, rather than on conflict or persuasion
  • What is negotiation? Definition, 5-step process, characteristics, conditions and requirements


End of day 1



Negotiation – roadmap

  • Goal analysis: how to prepare a detailed analysis of what I want to achieve (for me, my team, my project).
  • Tool “Roadmap”




Communication skills & tools

  • Thoughts, feelings, behaviours & needs influence how we communicate with others and vice versa
  • These are influenced by our personality (which includes our history, culture, gender and experiences)
  • Becoming confident in who you are and what you want will lead to better communication and fulfilment

Encounter – managing the (negotiation) meeting

  • Aim, structure of encounter, what should I say and how
  • Questioning and listening techniques – build your toolbox
  • Communication insights and tips


End of day 2




  • Complexity of conflict
  • Evolution (steps and speed)
  • Management or resolution?
  • What are the most effective questioning and listening techniques for dealing with conflicts?
  • How to develop awareness of verbal and non-verbal signs, and of potentially disruptive games


End of workshop and lunch