Prof. dr. Johan Ackaert is Dean of Law at University Hasselt.
“We had the feeling that we weren't acting professionally enough in the supervision of our PhD candidates. My colleagues and I each had our own way of working, and we used our own discretion. But trial and error just aren’t good enough. That's why we asked Aletta for help. Eight members of staff took the course on Situational Leadership together.
During the course, I learned how to get to the heart of the matter. Usually when there are issues with someone you work with, you can detect some subtle signs early on. There might be hiccups in your communication, it gets difficult to make appointments, things like that. At that point, it's important to try and find out what the underlying problem is. You can do that by starting a conversation in which you are clear, concrete, and even direct. And those are things you can actually learn.
The training sessions with Aletta Wubben are very interactive. She shared a theoretical framework with us, but the coaching itself was very situational and focused on everyday practice. We did role-plays in order to practice difficult conversations. At one point, we practiced a real conversation with one of my PhD candidates. She was a very good student, but I had a sense that something was not working.
We had a very open and candid conversation with Aletta’s guidance. It was quite a confrontational conversation, but afterwards we were both very relieved. That improved our cooperation significantly, and at the end of the day, she delivered a very good dissertation.
Aletta understands how the academic world works. Her training is very relevant for our daily work. You learn how to encourage yourself to really get to the crux of the problem. I would absolutely recommend a coaching course like this to every academic.”