A well-rounded skill set leads to greater success
Launched in the Fall of 2011 for students in the Full-Time MBA program, the Self-Development Lab (SDL) is a voluntary, not-for-credit program that bridges the gap in business education between academic studies and practice. Through workshops, lectures and labs led by in-house professionals, students gain the real-time problem-solving abilities they need to tackle interpersonal challenges in the workplace and beyond.
The SDL programming runs parallel to the first year core curriculum. Participation is not mandatory, but many students choose to take advantage of the opportunity to develop interpersonal skills that will augment their effectiveness as individuals and leaders.
Self-Management: Developing a Leader's Instincts
This lecture series is an introduction to the personality structure of a successful leader and the means by which students can modify their own behaviours and habits to build precisely the instincts they seek. It is difficult to solve problems without a clear understanding of one’s own pattern of thoughts, behaviors and interactions. Self-Management aims to give students a better understanding of the psychological mechanisms that influence themselves and those with whom they interact.
Voicing Yourself: Training in Self Expression
Voicing Yourself is an intensive workshop series designed to drastically improve students’ full expressive capacities in crafting public messages that are impressive, impactful and compelling. Small class sizes, interaction and individually tailored feedback ensure the focus of Voicing Yourself is always the individual. Participants report remarkable improvement in their quality of sound, physical expression, confidence, power and effectiveness in formal presentations and in their everyday lives.
This one-hour strategic planning exercise focuses on developing students’ capacity to sustain internal conflict and to make plans in the face of uncertainty and ambiguity. Students will map their short and longer term goals as well as strategies to attain them and methods to anticipate and overcome potential obstacles.
Communicative Blueprint I: Presentation Coaching
Teams have the opportunity in Communicative Blueprint I to attend a 45-minute private session where they will receive guidance and feedback on presenting and optimizing audience interactions. This module aims to get students to think precisely about the problem they are trying to solve in making a presentation and the means by which they are trying to solve this problem. The questions posed in this module will help students model and understand their intent and purpose in making a presentation, and the degree to which the presentation itself achieves their purpose.
Communicative Blueprint II: Designing Your Core Message
This module aims to develop students’ ability to make clear and compelling presentations in various environments including the classroom, management meeting, board meeting, investor meeting or interview. Students will have an opportunity to refine their skills at developing a consistent and authentic core message through gained understanding, practice and individually tailored feedback.
Communicative Blueprint III: Interactive Presentations
As a follow-up to the Case Analysis Competition in Term 1, this mapping session will help students evaluate the degree to which the Q&A portion of the presentation fulfilled the basic goals of demonstrating competence and an ability to think on ones feet, in a way that is connected to the substance of the presentation. Students will receive feedback on the degree to which answers were responsive, relevant and informative, the degree of connection established with the substance of the question and the intent of the questioner, and the degree to which the answers provided added or subtracted from the overall mission of the presentation.
Interactive Blueprint I: Presence
In this module, students are guided in methods of establishing trustworthiness, rapport and conveying competence in group situations. Students will practice, in real-time, and receive extensive feedback regarding their ability to connect with an audience. This module, being experiential in nature, encourages students to witness and compare their own perceptions with those to whom they present.
Interactive Blueprint II: Integrative Dialogues (Personal Cases)
This module is aimed at helping students understand and, where applicable, re-design and re-engineer how they communicate and relate to others in difficult interpersonal situations. It is structured as a personal laboratory experience where students will, in real-time, practice achieving an integrative outcome involving differences of perspectives, perceptions and beliefs in situations where a collaborative outcome is essential. The module is meant to give students the opportunity to practice ‘change through understanding’.
Making Your Case
This module provides aspiring managers with a user-friendly, field-tested, proven and powerful tool to organize ideas into a logical framework. The aim is to ensure that hard work and well conceived plans do not fail as a result of poor communication. Students will have the opportunity to enhance the clarity of their presentations, use tools to evaluate the logic of their presentations and arguments, and develop the ability to evaluate others’ presentations and logic.