Faculty of Medicine hosted A4L Skills academy 2023

When it comes to building capacities for being an excellent researcher, manager, or co-worker of any kind, working on the underlaying soft skills is a must. A4L Skills academy 2023, hosted by University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Medicine on June 8 – 10, 2023, tackled just that. Under the profound knowledge and experience of four very skilled lecturers 30 participants from eight European countries explored their stress coping mechanisms, natural and accustomed role in creating team synergies and boosted their presentation skills.

Event was organized as part of a H2020 project “Alliance4Life_Actions” and at the beginning Assoc. Prof. Sergej Pirkmajer, project’s UL MF coordinator, greeted participants and shared with them interesting facts about UL MF’s history and its role in the project. 

First lecturer, Associate Professor Maja Rus Makovec from UL Faculty of Medicine (Slovenia) introduced participants, who ranged from PhD student to principal investigators, with the top-down and bottom-up coping processes, resilient affective style, importance and traps of habits, the effect of over-mentalizing and what are the boundaries of professional communication at our work. After providing a number of real-life examples participants were invited to think and work on their coping style.

Second part of the day was orchestrated by Associate Professor Tea Vukušić Rukavina from University of Zagreb, School of Medicine (Croatia). After introduction of the fundamental aspects and outcomes of the teamwork, participants discovered which one of 4 DISC personality types matches their behaviour in everyday life and in stressful situations. Second part was invitation to the project management and achieving team synergies. The results of the task were surprising for everyone involved, as the different structures of teams showed what happens with personal results and the team results if team personalities are balanced or not.    

Second day was devoted to public appearance and how to master our presentations. Assistant Professor Karolina H. Czarnecka-Chrebelska and senior specialist in international projects Kinga Zel, both from Medical University of Lodz (Poland) prepared a thorough review with many examples on what we need to be careful on when delivering a presentation – among others how internal consistency influences the delivery of our presentation, how to avoid defective beliefs about one-self and auditorium, how our body language adds to the full impression of our presentation, and how being familiarized with the 5-component model of communication can help us. 

On the last day Professor Matej Tušak from University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Sport (Slovenia) presented important psychological determinants of success through stories of famous athletes with surprising game changing beliefs and actions, that outplayed the limitations and unexpectable obstacles on their way and made them change their results into the golden stories of success. Being small or coming from underdeveloped environment does not automatically mean we have no possibility to shine and succeed. Sometimes we just need to boost our internal motivation, observe more thoroughly the environment and our performance, and test some new approaches.