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CE1603

Professional
Skills

Module Leader: Dr Seyed Ghaffar


Seyed.ghaffar@brunel.ac.uk
Howell Building 204
College of Engineering, Design and Physical Sciences

Managing your time


How to reduce your stress levels?

Brunel University London


http://www.brunel.ac.uk/cedps
College of Engineering, Design and Physical Sciences

Reasons for stress?

 Doing the wrong work

 Not identifying how much time it will take at the start

 Trying to do too much

Brunel University London


http://www.brunel.ac.uk/cedps
College of Engineering, Design and Physical Sciences

Reasons for stress?

 Ignoring a problem

 Producing a timetable that is too rigid, and you can’t keep to

 Thinking the deadline is a long way off.

 Not getting help when you need it

Brunel University London


http://www.brunel.ac.uk/cedps
College of Engineering, Design and Physical Sciences

Solutions to overcome the stress?

1. Check the deadline;

2. Think realistically how you work;

3. Think about what is (or might be) coming up in your life;

Brunel University London


http://www.brunel.ac.uk/cedps
College of Engineering, Design and Physical Sciences

Solutions to overcome the stress?


 Think SMART – identify targets that are:

Brunel University London


http://www.brunel.ac.uk/cedps
College of Engineering, Design and Physical Sciences

Solutions to overcome the stress

 Do a risk evaluation to help avoid difficult situations

 Possible problems?

 Causes?

 When/where?

 Significance?

 Solutions?

Brunel University London


http://www.brunel.ac.uk/cedps
College of Engineering, Design and Physical Sciences

Solutions to overcome the stress

 Talk to others;

 Get your tutor/supervisor’s email, office phone number and


check their availability;

 Arrange regular meetings with your supervisors/tutors

Brunel University London


http://www.brunel.ac.uk/cedps
College of Engineering, Design and Physical Sciences

 Make sure you balance hard work with life!

 Life is All About Balance

Brunel University London


http://www.brunel.ac.uk/cedps
College of Engineering, Design and Physical Sciences

Skills we need?

 Communication: To share thoughts, ideas and solutions

 Collaboration: Working together, team working to gain solutions

 Critical thinking: Looking at problems in new ways, linking,


learning

 Creativity: New ideas, evaluating existing ideas

Brunel University London


http://www.brunel.ac.uk/cedps
College of Engineering, Design and Physical Sciences

Communication

 Communication: To share thoughts, ideas and solutions

Brunel University London


http://www.brunel.ac.uk/cedps
College of Engineering, Design and Physical Sciences

Basic principles of Communication

• Everything we do is a communication.
1
• The way we begin our conversation often determines the
2 outcome of the communication.

• The way message is delivered always effects the way


3 message is received.

• The real communication is the message received, not the


4 message intended.

• Communication is a two way street, we have to give as well


5 as gather.

Brunel University London


http://www.brunel.ac.uk/cedps
College of Engineering, Design and Physical Sciences

Basic principles of Communication

Complete

Correct

Concise

Clear

Brunel University London


http://www.brunel.ac.uk/cedps
College of Engineering, Design and Physical Sciences

Essentials of Communication
 Always think ahead about what you are going to say;

 Use simple words or phrases;

 Increase your knowledge on all subjects you are required to speak about;

 Check twice with the listener whether you have been understood accurately
or not;

 In case of any interruption always do a little recap of what has been already
said;

 While listening, always make notes of important points;

 Ask for clarification if you have not understood something;

Brunel University London


http://www.brunel.ac.uk/cedps
College of Engineering, Design and Physical Sciences

Essentials of Communication
 Do not instantly react and say something in anger;

 Do not use technical terms & terminologies not understood by majority

of people;

 Do not speak too fast or too slow;

 Do not assume that everybody understands you;

 Do not interrupt the speaker;

 Do not jump to the conclusion that you have understood everything.

Brunel University London


http://www.brunel.ac.uk/cedps
College of Engineering, Design and Physical Sciences

Collaboration

 Collaboration: Working together, team working to gain solutions

Brunel University London


http://www.brunel.ac.uk/cedps
College of Engineering, Design and Physical Sciences

Essentials of Collaboration?
 Interpersonal skills

 Respect for people

 General agreement

 Responsibility and accountability

 Trust

Brunel University London


http://www.brunel.ac.uk/cedps
College of Engineering, Design and Physical Sciences

Essentials of Team work

Common
goals

Respect for
Leadership
differences

What
teams
Mutual need Interaction
and
trust involvement

Open Self-
communication esteem

Brunel University London


http://www.brunel.ac.uk/cedps
College of Engineering, Design and Physical Sciences

Critical thinking

 Critical thinking: Looking at problems in new ways, linking,


learning

Brunel University London


http://www.brunel.ac.uk/cedps
College of Engineering, Design and Physical Sciences

Essentials of Critical thinking?

Four elements of critical thinking

1. Maintaining doubt and suspending judgment

2. Being aware of different perspectives

3. Testing alternatives and letting experience guide

4. Being aware of organisational and personal limitations

Brunel University London


http://www.brunel.ac.uk/cedps
College of Engineering, Design and Physical Sciences

Essentials of Critical thinking

Brunel University London


http://www.brunel.ac.uk/cedps
College of Engineering, Design and Physical Sciences

What will happen without critical thinking?


1. Easy to jump to wrong conclusions

2. Misjudging a problem

3. Waste of resources

Brunel University London


http://www.brunel.ac.uk/cedps
College of Engineering, Design and Physical Sciences

Creativity
 Creativity: New ideas, evaluating existing ideas

Brunel University London


http://www.brunel.ac.uk/cedps
College of Engineering, Design and Physical Sciences

Essentials of Creativity
“The essential part of creativity is not being afraid to
fail” Edwin H. Land.

Avoid being formula driven;

Create meaningful new ideas.

Brunel University London


http://www.brunel.ac.uk/cedps
College of Engineering, Design and Physical Sciences

Essentials of Creativity

What is creative?

1. Having the quality or power of creating;

2. Resulting from originality of thought,


expression and imagination;
3. “Creativity is just connecting things.” Steve Jobs

Brunel University London


http://www.brunel.ac.uk/cedps
College of Engineering, Design and Physical Sciences

Essentials of Creativity
Creative or NOT?

http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/creative-architectural-design/
Brunel University London
http://www.brunel.ac.uk/cedps
College of Engineering, Design and Physical Sciences

Essentials of Creativity
So, when is something “Creative”?

New Meaningful

Brunel University London


http://www.brunel.ac.uk/cedps
College of Engineering, Design and Physical Sciences

Problem solving process?

Brunel University London


http://www.brunel.ac.uk/cedps
College of Engineering, Design and Physical Sciences

Problem solving process

Define the real problem?

 Gather information;

 Ask these questions:

1. Has it been solved before?

2. Is it worth solving?

3. What resources are available in solution of the problem?

Brunel University London


http://www.brunel.ac.uk/cedps
College of Engineering, Design and Physical Sciences

Problem solving process

Evaluate the Gather Break problem


problem information into parts

Take action Select best Identify


solution solutions

Examine Test and Problem


results review Solved

Brunel University London


http://www.brunel.ac.uk/cedps
College of Engineering, Design and Physical Sciences

Problem solving process

Who are effective problem solvers?

1. They tackle the problem with a holistic approach;

2. They are concerned with accuracy;

3. They persist, ask questions (of themselves and others);

4. They sketch and draw figures;

5. They take time to understand the facts and the relationships

surrounding the problem.

Brunel University London


http://www.brunel.ac.uk/cedps
College of Engineering, Design and Physical Sciences

The habits of highly effective people


1. Be proactive: take the initiative, admit mistakes and move on;

2. Begin with the end in mind: know where you want to be, identify how

you will accomplish it;

3. Put first things first: list your main concern, say no to unimportant stuff;

4. Think win/win: identify key issues, get everyone involved in the decision

and committed to the plan of action.

Brunel University London


http://www.brunel.ac.uk/cedps
College of Engineering, Design and Physical Sciences

Problem solving Video


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7yDmGnA8Hw0

Brunel University London


http://www.brunel.ac.uk/cedps
College of Engineering, Design and Physical Sciences

Problem solving - Organisation

SWOT Analysis

 S: Strengths
Internal
 W: Weaknesses

 O: Opportunities
External
 T: Threats

Brunel University London


http://www.brunel.ac.uk/cedps
College of Engineering, Design and Physical Sciences

Why use SWOT?


 To help organization focus its activities into
areas:

1. Where it is strong, and

2. Where the greatest opportunities lie

Brunel University London


http://www.brunel.ac.uk/cedps
College of Engineering, Design and Physical Sciences

Why use SWOT?

1. Match Strengths with Opportunities

2. Convert Weaknesses into Strengths

Brunel University London


http://www.brunel.ac.uk/cedps
College of Engineering, Design and Physical Sciences

Problem solving - Organization


How to use SWOT?

 Write down the answers to the following questions.

1. What are your advantages?


2. What do you do well?
3. What do other people see as your strengths?
4. What could you improve?
5. What do you do badly?
6. What should you avoid?

Brunel University London


http://www.brunel.ac.uk/cedps
College of Engineering, Design and Physical Sciences

Problem solving - Organization

Lead

Communicate

Define Plan Monitor Complete

Communicate

Re-Plan

Brunel University London


http://www.brunel.ac.uk/cedps
College of Engineering, Design and Physical Sciences

Key Messages

1. Make sure you balance hard work with life;

2. Key Skills we need: Communication, Collaboration,


Critical thinking, Creativity;

3. Problem Solving Process: Define, Plan, Monitor,


Complete.

Brunel University London


http://www.brunel.ac.uk/cedps