SETAC Globe - Environmental Quality Through Science
9 September 2016
Volume 17 Issue 9
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Communication and Collaboration: A Scientist’s Guide to Improving Professional Presence and Leadership in Any Setting

Alistair Brown, University of Manitoba, and Samuel Haddad, Baylor University

Who is a leader? You are. According to John Calvin Maxwell, a noted author and speaker on leadership, “The true measure of leaders is not the number of people who serve them but the number of people they serve.”

Leadership Meme

What could stop you from being influential? One possibility is not understanding how your personality jives with others. A professional training course, “Communication and Collaboration: A Scientist’s Guide to Improving Professional Presence and Leadership in Any Setting,” which will be held on Sunday, 6 November, during the 7th SETAC World Congress/SETAC North America 37th Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida, will give you the platform you need to start this journey.

Facilitated by certified leadership expert Laurel Brown from the University of Florida, this course will focus on three themes:

  1. Identifying your style
  2. Emotional intelligence – staying grounded and self-aware when assessing and reacting to a situation
  3. Influence and credibility – professional presence

These topics will set the stage to use resources related to creating your own Individual Development Plan (IDP) during the rest of the year.

It is crucial you start at the beginning and identify your personality and who you are within a larger network of people at your workplace. You will become more empowered when you see how you react to pressure situations and work to achieve scholastic or workplace goals. This is because no amount of personal competency compensates for personal insecurity. You will become a secure leader, who use his or her gifts to benefit a team.

Emotional intelligence may sound corny or ethereal, but it represents your capability of maintaining your composure when, inevitably, conflicts arise. If you haven’t encountered conflict in your workplace yet, you haven’t worked there long enough. Disagreement and the concern of being truly heard are at the heart of all people. Understanding how your personality agrees or clashes with your coworkers and learning empathy when communicating will dictate the outcome of the situation most of the time. Emotional intelligence is putting on your big boy or girl boots and creating a culture of safety and value in your workplace. Experienced leaders listen to their team; immature leaders lead first and listen afterwards. This course will show you how to navigate through conflict and understand personal differences.

Once you develop “street credibility” within your workplace and establish that you are a person who listens, communicates and empathizes calmly through difficult situations, your influence will increase steadily. When you become an influential leader, all other leaders in the organization will get better. Good leaders not only bring out the best in followers but also other leaders through a honed professional presence. Good leaders raise the bar when it comes to performance and teamwork, and this often challenges other leaders in the organization to improve. This is a major difference in leading through influence rather than just by your position in the workplace.

The SETAC North America Career Development Committee (CDC) and the SETAC North America Student Advisory Council (NASAC) are offering this course, which will help you identify key elements for success in building and maintaining professional relationships. Through discussions on emotional intelligence you will gain a deeper understanding of yourself, your behavior and the impression you make on others.

Participants in this course will build skills to improve work productivity, teamwork and communication as they learn more about themselves and how to adapt their behaviors with others. In this interactive workshop, participants will also identify when and how to use a basic feedback formula along with influencing techniques to build respectful and trusting relationships across diverse situations.

Register for the CDC/NASAC profession training course on leadership now as space is limited. Registrants currently include students, professionals, recent graduates and sustainers from all over the globe! It will be a fun, informative course that will perfectly complement the other events that NASAC and the CDC are hosting this year.

Authors’ contact information: browna13@myumanitoba.ca and Samuel_Haddad@baylor.edu

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