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Sept 2018 soft skills role in academic consulting projects - sami gheriafi -

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Talking Points & Agenda:
Overview of Universities engagement with the external world beyond pure academia and research
Overview on AUB’s Engagement in Consulting Projects Regionally
Situational Analyses of university dynamics and faculty engagement
What key soft skills do we really need when we manage projects?
How do soft skills facilitate project execution with difficult clients?
Learning Objectives:
Understand how academia dynamics differ than consulting.
Know the key soft skills project managers need to cultivate when leading consulting projects.
Get insights on the effectiveness of those soft skills when managing difficult clients.

  • It was excellent lecture and i really enjoyed the two exercises reflecting PM challenges in the real world and how soft skills are important to overcome these challenges!
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Sept 2018 soft skills role in academic consulting projects - sami gheriafi -

  1. 1. Role of Soft Skills in Academic Consulting Projects Sami Gheriafi, EMBA
  2. 2. Agenda ‣ Introduction ‣ Corporate Relations in Academia ‣ Consulting Practice in Academia ‣ University Dynamics: a situational analyses ‣ Soft Skills needed to manage projects ‣ How helpful are they? ‣ Q&A
  3. 3. Corporate Relations in Academia ‣ One stop shop to university resources ‣ Transforming knowledge into practice ‣ Efficient R&D activities ‣ Integrated research development ‣ Bridging corporate & academic worlds ‣ Corporations are no longer philanthropists. They are investors in higher education for a return of knowledge
  4. 4. Win-Win relationship University gets Corporation gets Jobs/internships/fellowships for students Future employee recruitment Executive Education participants Executive education training for employees Expanded research capacity; access to real-world problems Campus research collaborations Licensing revenue Licensing patents Equipment/facilities fees Access to specialized equipment Event funding Event sponsorship/publicity
  5. 5. Consulting Practice in Academia ‣ Beyond pure research ‣ Application of expertise for the benefit of others ‣ Impact driven, financially enriched ‣ Elevates quality of higher education
  6. 6. The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do. Steve Jobs
  7. 7. University Dynamics (EEFs) ‣ Nature of engagement ‣ Employees vs Freelancers? ‣ Varying levels of commitment ‣ Areas of specialization ‣ Areas of research interest ‣ Do it on my own pace ‣ Varying motivations ‣ Access to research data ‣ Financial returns ‣ Engagement with external parties ‣ Conflicting priorities ‣ Institutional ‣ Faculties/Departments ‣ Individual ‣ Purpose of engagement ‣ Institutional Impact ‣ Institutional financial returns ‣ Regulatory compliance ‣ Compliance with applicable local and international laws
  8. 8. The Soft Skill ‣ Communication ‣ Team work ‣ Creativity ‣ Problem solving ‣ Adaptability ‣ Work ethics ‣ Time management ‣ Leadership ‣ Attention to detail ‣ Interpersonal skills The Consultant The Client
  9. 9. Communication ‣ Clarity ‣ Confidence ‣ Respect ‣ Empathy ‣ Listening ‣ Constructive feedback ‣ Friendliness ‣ Written communication ‣ Verbal communication ‣ Non-verbal communication – Body Language
  10. 10. Teamwork ‣ Conflict Management ‣ Delegation ‣ Listening ‣ Active listening ‣ Collaboration ‣ Cooperation ‣ Coordination ‣ Idea exchange ‣ Mediation ‣ Negotiating
  11. 11. Adaptability ‣ Curiosity ‣ Self-management ‣ Decision-making ‣ Calmness ‣ Optimism ‣ Open-mindedness ‣ Analysis ‣ Self-confidence ‣ Organization ‣ Self-motivation
  12. 12. Problem Solving ‣ Analysis ‣ Lateral thinking ‣ Logical reasoning ‣ Initiative ‣ Persistence ‣ Observation ‣ Persuasion ‣ Negotiation ‣ Brainstorming ‣ Decision making
  13. 13. Creativity ‣ Divergent thinking ‣ Inspiration ‣ Imagination ‣ Reframing ‣ Mind mapping ‣ Insight ‣ Innovation ‣ Experimenting ‣ Questioning ‣ Design
  14. 14. Work Ethics ‣ Integrity ‣ Responsibility ‣ Discipline ‣ Initiative ‣ Dependability ‣ Commitment ‣ Self-motivated ‣ Professionalism ‣ Teamwork ‣ Time-management
  15. 15. Interpersonal skills ‣ Empathy ‣ Humor ‣ Mentoring ‣ Networking ‣ Sensitivity ‣ Patience ‣ Tolerance ‣ Public speaking ‣ Positive reinforcement ‣ Diplomacy
  16. 16. Time management ‣ Goal setting ‣ Prioritizing ‣ Self-starter ‣ Planning ‣ Decision making ‣ Focus ‣ Delegation ‣ Stress management ‣ Coping ‣ Organization
  17. 17. Leadership ‣ Empathy ‣ Selflessness ‣ Agility ‣ Listening ‣ Humility ‣ Cultural intelligence ‣ Authenticity ‣ Versatility ‣ Generosity ‣ Trust
  18. 18. Attention to detail ‣ Critical observation ‣ Listening ‣ Organization ‣ Scheduling ‣ Analysis ‣ Introspection ‣ Memory ‣ Acuity ‣ Recall ‣ Questioning
  19. 19. The Consultant … is a technical team leader on a highly technical project. He wants to involve himself in all aspects of the project management to ensure full oversight on how the project is managed administratively, to determine what resources to deploy, when, and how. He also wants to oversee spending, decide on what to buy without due process. He is powerful enough to cause harm to the project. His decisions are impacting the project finances and causing stress on you administratively. This is tainting your reputation as a project manager with your leadership and your relationship with the client. The Consultant
  20. 20. The Client … contracted us to help improve the standards of their educational offerings and support services. The services agreed to do are broad such as review of programs, improve student recruitment, review of HR function, etc. The Client became dissatisfied with service delivery. Payments were withheld. Services were halted. We need the Client and we need the work! The Client
  21. 21. Com m unication Team w ork Adaptability Problem solving Creativity W orkEthics InterpersonalSkills Tim e m anagem ent Leadership Attention to details Active listening ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Analysis ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Confidence ✓ ✓ Critical Observation ✓ ✓ ✓ Decision making ✓ ✓ ✓ Delegation ✓ ✓ ✓ Empathy ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Initiative ✓ ✓ ✓ Negotiation ✓ ✓ Organization ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Questioning ✓ ✓ Self-confidence ✓ ✓
  22. 22. Lessons Learned ‣ Hard skills are essential in our specific industries ‣ Soft skills are the attributes that cut across all industries ‣ Our natural abilities can be nurtured when discovered ‣ Relating to emotional intelligence is a key success factor Hard skills may earn you a spot on the project but Soft skills will successfully get you through the project
  23. 23. Thank You

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