Advanced Communication Skills: Between Persuasion and Empathy

Course code
Course fee (excl. housing)
Course Level

Effective communication is key for high performing professionals. If you want to bring your communication skills to the next level and work on your personal development, then this course is here for you! Two experienced professionals teach you the most valuable skills they learned themselves over the past 15 years. This course takes you beyond the ‘basics’. You will amongst others learn the highlights from principle-based negotiation, empathic communication, critical analysis, influencing group dynamics and inspirational speaking.

Last year this course course was rated with a score of 9 out of 10 by the participants.

Week 1:
Day 1: The vibe – inspirational speaking and learning to motivate an audience

•    Overview of the course and establishing personal learning objectives
•    People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care. So, what inspires you? What is your vision? What do you stand for?
•    How to inspire your audience and establish a common ground

Day 2: The challenge – putting your communication and negotiation skills to the test
•    Negotiation simulation 
•    Personal reflection on three levels: personal leadership, communication and ethics
•    Inquiry into collective action problems

Day 3: The connection – empathic communication in a professional context
•    How to listen to others beyond opinions and positions for feelings and needs
•    Which character strengths do you bring with you?
•    Creating a balance between your needs and those of others

Day 4: The argument – critical analysis, investigating what’s true, what’s right and what’s valuable
•    How to build your argument so your audience can understand them
•    Using debates for better substantive discussions
•    How to identify and address weakness in arguments

Day 5: The source – the freedom of honest communication
•    How to communicate openly and honestly in a professional context
•    The power of vulnerability
•    Creating deep connection with others 

Week 2
Day 1: The group – understanding group dynamics and your role in teams

•    What role fits you in a team?
•    How can you adjust your communication to people with different roles?
•    How to avoid the false consensus effect?

Day 2: The peace – bridging differences
•    How to deal with disagreements before it becomes resistance or even conflict?
•    How to create decisions with a group that are truly supported by everyone.
•    What do you do if others play it mean? And dealing with nasty discussion tricks.

Day 3: The practice – deepening empathy
•    Effectively dealing with criticism 
•    Personal leadership when you are under attack
•    How to stay calm when the going gets tough?

Day 4: The jump – bringing it all together
•    The difficulty with communication techniques is in applying them in your life, so let’s get real.
•    Participants will present a personal case to practice with
•    How to continue practicing and growing: the hero’s journey

Download the day-to-day programme (PDF)
Course director
Dr. Lauren Gould


Jan Reinder Rosing

Jan Reinder studied (International) Law at the University of Utrecht. In 2004 he became European Champion debating and founded Debat.NL, a company in debating and communication. In 2006 he published 'De Debatwijzer', a handbook for debaters. In 2008 he left his company and became a diplomat for the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs for which he served in The Hague and the Dutch Embassy in Ankara. In 2011 and 2012 he studied philosophy part-time. Between 2013 and 2016 he was member of the Dutch team that campaigned for a seat on the UN Security Council. In 2016 he joined the EU Diplomatic Service for three years to work on the prevention of violent conflict outside of the EU. He holds a coaching certificate and followed many trainings in amongst other meditation, empathic communication, inclusive decision making and systemic approaches.  

Imre Végh 

Imre is an international trainer, discussion leader and (team)coach in higher education, politics and development aid agencies. He worked with many politicians and members of parliament, development organisations in Uganda, Laos and Vietnam amongst others, for commercial companies and many universities such as the International Space University in Strasbourg, the Honours Programme at the University of Groningen, Nyenrode Business University and students of the University of Beijing.    

His passion is personal leadership, meaning, ethics, critical thinking and effective communication. He brings out the best of people in a disarming and an inspiring way. He likes to ask probing questions, challenge assumptions and analyse arguments, all aimed at growth and learning. An idealist in heart and soul, he likes to use his critical mind to better the world. Critical when needed, clever when possible. He likes to connect heart and mind. 

Target audience

This course is meant for advanced bachelor and master students and professionals.

Study load

The courses will start every day at 11h00. The ending time is between 15h00 and 16h00. Often, there will be a homework assignment of between 1 and 2 hours to prepare for the next day.


Course fee:
Fee covers
Course + course materials
Housing fee:
Housing cost
Housing provider:
Utrecht Summer School

Extra information about housing

In this course a limited group of participants (20) is admitted. We accept participants on a first come, first served base.

If the course cannot be offered as a classroom course due to COVID-19 restrictions it will be offered as an online course.

More information

The course will take place in Janskerkhof 2 room 0.19 in Utrecht.

Utrecht Summer School | E: | T: +31 30 253 4400


Application deadline: 
Registration deadline
01 August 2021