Communication Skills for support personnel and starting PhD students: Establishing Connective Clarity

Communication Skills for support personnel and starting PhD students: Establishing Connective Clarity

personal effectiveness
communication skills

Online course

Start date:

02 March 2021


2 & 16 March 2021

General context

The general aim of effective communication is creating visibility for your messages. This is often felt to be a challenge, in communication in hierarchical contexts as well as in conversations amongst peers. Giving yourself the mandate to create this visibility, feeling yourself able to do it, and daring to actually start such conversations are core elements in communicating with impact. 


After this programme you will be able to:

  • deal with problems and delicate issues in a solution focused way and to use solution focused language.
  • have clear messages, to state these messages as you mean to and to communicate your messages to others so they really understand them as you mean to.
  • consciously choose how you want to respond to other people’s behaviour instead of to react in an automatic mode.
  • to connect with other people’s messages without losing connection with your own.
  • to have impact in an assertive – not aggressive – way.
  • to give direction to difficult conversations (saying no, bringing bad news, giving feedback)
Extra information
  • This training is only open for VIB participants and is free.
  • Note that this course will be tailored towards the needs of support personnel and more junior PhD students. A course on the same topic will be organized for more advanced PhD students and postdocs. More information can be found here.
  • Note that upon no show without valid justification a fee of € 100 will be charged and you will be blacklisted for the VIB training program for 1 year. Click here for more information. 


True Colours

True Colours® is a creation of Lisa Boelaert and Herwig Deconinck – inspired by 17 years of working together and our shared drive, dream and vision concerning people, development, teamwork & change.

As a change consultancy, True Colours has built a niche within research and academic organisations on the one hand, and they work for profit, non-profit, production and service companies on the other hand.

True Colours coaches:
•Individuals (coaching/training/supporting)
•Teams (team coaching, conflict mediation, team development, teambuilding)
•Organisations (process support, work conferences and large group interventions, setting up and guiding change programmes, strategy exercises, …)

regarding the changes that are happening to them or in which they find themselves.

True Colours likes to combine their insights and experiences in HR, solutions-focused work practices, organisational design and lean management, and personal and team leadership.

They specialise in short-term projects within a long-term relationship: a thorough knowledge of the client enables us to respond maximally to concrete requests and makes change possible in the short-term. They have been working together with VIB for more that 10 years now.

Contact True Colours :


The programme consists of 2 days (with an intermediate period of about 2 weeks):

Day 1 (2 March 2021): Connective Clarity: Solution Focus approach, impact of behaviour on behaviour, active listening, assertiveness, basic communication skills

Day 2 (16 March 2021): Directing Difficult Conversations: saying no, giving & receiving feedback, bringing bad news, dealing with resistance, dealing with emotions

Practical info

Extra information

This training is given online and consists of 2 days each time starting at 9.00h and finishing around 17.00h. We will use zoom as the online platform, the link to the zoom meeting will be sent a few days in advance.

Before the start of the training, the participants get an online intake questionnaire. This enables us to attune the training maximally to their needs.

The training is (inter-)active: we provide content and tools that participants will actively try out during the training.

We work plenary (presentation, explanation and discussion) and in subgroups. Online trainings are more tiring than real life sessions. Therefore, we provide enough variation in work forms and there will be enough off-screen moments.