Communication, Influence and Growth Mindset at Cambridge University
Laura Drury paid a visit to Cambridge University to talk to the support and admin teams for Wellcome Sangar Institute, Wellcome Genome Campus Connecting Science, The European Bioinformatics Institute and The Babraham Institute!
We needed two sessions to fit everyone in. The subject matters were Communication, Influence and Growth Mindset and she had to engage a bit of the latter on her way to the venue after taking an accidental wrong turn into a traffic jam. Thankfully she arrived on time to the beautiful surroundings of Hinxton Hall.
Starting off by ‘sharing stories people don’t already know about you’ we uncovered some budding marathon runners, authors and people with family members in high places (Laura has their contact details). This warm-up activity is a great tool to connect people instantly because we’re all curious and interesting and sharing stories is how we relate to one another.
Laura was invited along to get the teams to think about how they interact with one another and can build their communication and influence skills. She provided inspiration and fun. There were two sessions during the day and both groups dived into the activities with gusto. The laughter flowed easily, which was ideal as humour and laughter aid positive communication by breaking the tension around uncomfortable subjects and engaging our brains to look at things from a different perspective.
Laura’s top three takeaways from the day:
Apply a growth mindset
sometimes we hear things we don’t agree with, or are told to do things that we find difficult. We can move forward more positively if we focus on someone else’s perspective, think about how we can approach something differently and decide what support we might need.
we hear all the time but spend a much smaller part of that time truly listening. During meetings or calls, give full attention, be present and listen without judgment. We all know what it feels like when someone isn’t genuinely attentive.
Ask open questions
demonstrate interest in the other person. Be interested as well as interesting. It will help build a connection, develop relationships and give you the information required. Take the opportunity to see things from someone else’s point of view.