the best and the brightest

Pete and I spent last week in Posnan, Poland at the Negotiation Days III Conference.

We were invited there to deliver workshops on Alpha Leadership, Effective Teambuilding, Influencing Skills, and Coaching. In total, some 80 students attended our workshops.

The Negotiation Days III Conference is a conference organised for students by students. About 3,000 students attended the conference. The theme, of course, was negotiations, but the workshops and lectures covered a variety of topics like coaching and how coaching relates to and can be used in negotiations.

I was impressed by the shear skill and efficiency of the organisers. To organise an international conference of this size is no easy task, but they made it look easy. We were looked after by ‘angels’ who made sure we had everything we needed to make our workshops a success. The angels looked after us the entire time, making sure we were fed and watered both during and after hours.

My observations of the Polish students were that they are bright, energetic, fun-loving, warm, and eager to learn. I asked Artur Banaszkiewickz, one of the angels, and a 4th year International Relations major, what he felt the young 20-something Poles wanted for themselves as a generation. “We want to be seen as a nation to be important. We want to be good at something and respected for how good we are.”

My other observation is that these young leaders of the future are great travellers. Many of them travel to the U.S., U.K., and Ireland to work, learn, and practice their English.

I had a great time. Some memorable moments: being made an honorary DJ at 2am at a student party, drinking homemade Hungarian vodka at same party, and stumbling home from the big end of conference party at 5am and ripping the flesh off of a whole chicken (cooked of course!) with Artur, Wojciech, Patryk, and Pete. Oh yes, and learning the true meaning of nie martw sie after we missed our flight home Friday evening!

To see photos of Pete and I in action click here.

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