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Crucial Skills


Admission requirements

This course is only available to students of the Honours College TGC.

Maximum number of students: 30.


“Learning without reflection is a waste. Reflection without learning is dangerous.” - Confucius

In this highly interactive course we will study some of the most relevant skills for professionals in the 21st century. This course presumes that professionals with high emotional intelligence and self-awareness are the bound to become leaders of the next decades. Your consciousness on social, societal, individual and environmental levels will be enlarged through this course.

Some profound differences between university and professional life that we will tap into:

  • You will have to work intensively together with people you don’t know well.

  • You will have to present yourself and your results all the time.

  • You will have to be ready to negotiate for yourself and your organisation.

  • Nobody is responsible for your own development and well-being but you.

  • You will never have a clear idea how to get a good grade, since nobody is grading you and there are no assessment guidelines.

  • You will always be uncertain about the relevance and impact of your projects and task.

Students will:

  • Gain self-awareness and learn about their leadership style

  • Improve on their ability of Public speaking

  • How to be more creative and innovative

  • How to coop with stress more effective

  • Learn about effective conflict handling

  • Think about their professional and personal future

  • Become more efficient in their time management

Course objectives

Objectives of the course are:

  • Practise a growth mindset by identifying continuous potential for personal development

  • Examine core values and identify a personal mission statement

  • Recognise the way that communication and presentation are mutually inclusive

  • Apply personal and theoretical reflection in writing

  • Practise how to generate new perspectives on conventional wisdom to discover possibilities, creative thinking

  • Connect traditional to new notions of (entrepreneurial) value


On the right side of the programme front page of the E-guide you will find links to the website and timetables, uSis and Brightspace.

Lectures will have the following topics: Introduction and self-awareness; Creativity and innovation;
Time management; Handling stress; Communication; Handling conflicts; Future Lookout

Mode of instruction

Learning in this course is done by a combination of practising and reflection called experiental learning.

The course will be taught by Jacob Koolstra. Each theme will partly be covered by Jacob and partly by teaching groups existing of students that are guided by Jacob.

After the lecture the teaching groups will get adequate and constructive feedback from their audience.

This course is worth 5 ECTS, which means the total course load equals 140 hours.

  • Seminars: 7 seminars of 3 hours (participation is mandatory)

  • Preparation by teaching group: 15 hours per group

  • Literature reading: 1 hours/week

  • Preparational work: 2 hours/week

  • Essay Assignments: 4 hours per week

  • Reflection: 2 hours per week

Assessment method

The assessment methods will look as follows; deadline is dl.

  • 20% group grade for teaching workshop,

  • 20% group grade for reflection on teaching workhop,

  • 20% writing reframe essay on NVC

  • 10% writing autobiography

  • 10% writing Mission Statement

  • 10% writing reflective blogpost (pass/fail basis)

  • 10% writing summary of journaling (pass/fail basis)

☒ Option 1: Students could only pass this course after successful completion of all partial exams. ☐ Option 2: It is not required to successfully complete all partial exams in order to pass this course. Students are allowed to compensate a ‘fail’ (grades up to and including 5.0).

The assessment methods will be further explained in the first session of the class.

Reading list

  • 7 habits of Highly effective people by S. Covey

  • Nonviolent Communication by M. Rozenberg

  • Read: Heike Bruch and Sumantra Ghoshal: Beware of the busy manager: HBR

  • Watch Daniel Pink on motivation:


TGC coordinator/administration will take care of enrolment.

Please note: students are not required to register through uSis for this class. Your registration will be done centrally after successful completion of the class.


Annette Righolt Jacob Koolstra