Utrecht, Netherlands

Soft Skills for (Future) Diplomats and Peacebuilders

when 9 August 2021 - 13 August 2021
language English
duration 1 week
credits 2 EC
fee EUR 600

re you an (aspiring) diplomat or peacebuilder? And do you have ideals for a better world? And would you like to work on your communication and personal leadership skills? Then this is the place for you! During this summerschool a seasoned diplomat and an experienced peacebuilder, both with lots of training experience, will work with you on you need to know in order to contribute to making this world a safer, more peaceful and more sustainable place. Expect a fun and highly interactive training that is both about thinking and feeling.

People aiming to contribute need to know themselves deeply and master some difficult skills. You will learn how to maintain your moral compass, use compassionate communication skills and develop personal leadership. Based on case-studies from the field of international relations and many exercises, a seasoned diplomat and expert trainer will help you to start this process.

This course is meant for anyone who is interested in learning about personal leadership and communications in the field of international relations. It is not necessary that you are (already) active in this field.


Day 1: the problem – personal leadership in dealing with international challenges
• Overview of the course and establishing personal learning objectives.
• People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care. So, what inspires you? What is your vision? What do you stand for?
• Building bridges between cultures.

Day 2: experiencing collective action problems - a simulation
• Negotiation simulation.
• Personal reflection on three levels: personal leadership, group dynamics and morality.
• Inquiry into collective action problems.

Day 3: harnessing the power of group dynamics, empathy and negotiation skills
• How to deal with disagreements before they lead to resistance or even conflict?
• How to create decisions with a group that are truly supported by everyone.
• How to stay calm when the going gets tough?

Day 4: your moral compass – character strengths and values
• Which character strengths do you bring with you?
• The power of honest communication and feedback.
• What to do if the other party plays a mean game?

Day 5: challenge – being a compassionate and effective professional
• The difficulty with communication techniques is in applying them in your life, so let’s get real.
• Participants will present a personal case to practice with.
• How to continue practicing and growing: the hero’s journey.

Course leader

Dr. Lauren Gould

Target group

This course is meant for advanced bachelor and master students and (young) professionals.

Fee info

EUR 600: Course + course materials
EUR 200: Housing fee (optional)

Register for this course
on course website