Archive for the ‘Interpersonal skills’ Category

Our latest Friday Forum at the Lisbon MBA was dedicated to the power of word. Communication skills have always been an area of much interest for me, as I spent most of my career in highly multicultural environments where communication can be a real challenge. We had four sessions, where we role-played difficult scenarios and recorded our performance on video for analysis and peer feedback – here is an example where I had to give bad news to someone (and tried to do my best at keeping a straight face as Daniel fired off an unexpected comeback):

After watching all the videos, it was truly remarkable how much progress we made. For me, the difference was in small details as the position of my hands or the way I projected my voice when addressing larger audiences. Let’s face it, we will probably never reach the level of communication nirvana attained by some, but this was a hell of a lesson! On our last session we delivered a fast-paced team presentation: we chose the popular «death by powerpoint», as it fitted quite nicely with the theme of the session, and pulled it off almost as we had done this our whole lives. 

I’m a big fan of stand-up comedy. I am fascinated by how stand-up comedians connect with their audience and masterfully manage that complex relationship. During the days following our Friday Forum I caught myself wondering how funny it would be if someone came up with a stand-up act playing a consultant, delivering their jokes in Powerpoint with punch lines zooming into the screen in clever transitions. For a day or two I played with the idea, even imagined a couple of funny lines – then I saw this, and my career as a stand-up comedian came to an abrupt end. Oh well, there’s always humour in tech management I guess…


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Unless one knows how to lead one’s self, it would be presumptuous for anyone to be able to lead others effectively. – Jagdish Parikh

When enrolling in my MBA, I wanted much more than to develop my finance, strategy and entrepreneurship skills. I was looking for a holistic approach at developing a skill set for better leadership. The Friday Forum series is just that – Fridays at the Lisbon MBA are dedicated to expanding the right side of the brain, through sessions with coaching experts focusing on creativity, leadership, personal preparedness and integration of skills.

Our first Friday Forum was led by Adriano Freire, an expert on behavioural development, strategy and innovation, and was an extremely interesting exercise in self-discovery. The session was based on EGOS, a model developed by Adriano and that will be the subject of his forthcoming book “Egos Map”. EGOS is comparable to Myers-Briggs, in that both attempt to establish a personality profile through a standard questionnaire. In EGOS, the resulting “natural” (primary) and “adapted” (functional) profiles are mapped on a 4-quadrant matrix, with the resulting detailed report being a very useful instrument to develop a deeper knowledge about oneself, understanding our relationships with others, relate one’s personality traits with career options, and be better prepared to deal with personal change management. We shared profiles among the class, which was a tremendous accelerator of interpersonal relationships – it’s difficult to believe that we all know each other for less than a month!

Other great Friday Forum sessions are scheduled: from a day putting our creativity to work at BBDO, to an ethnomusicological (take that, spell checker!) exploration of Fado. Stay tuned for more tales from the right side

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