Igor Coqueiro
Biotechnologist, Ph.D. | Medical Science Liaison

The most remarkable aspect was how the experiences in the personal development programme brought us together

I participated during three years in the Personal Development Plan of the OrganoVIR Labs consortium, designed and facilitated by Ingrid Valks from the power of time off. The plan was not just a boost for our professional growth and provide us with training to become resilient and confident leaders prepared to face the challenges of the 21st Century; it also acted as an incubator for developing our social-emotional skills. During this journey, we celebrated our diversity, strengthening fundamental values ​​such as empathy, compassion and mutual respect among our colleagues .

Part of the team of highly interesting coaches are a theater coach, as well as a voice coach to help us with exercises focused on voice and body expression, it was a true dive into the universe of self-discovery and personal improvement. These practices not only aimed to improve our communicative skills, but also transformed us into more attentive observers of ourselves and others.

The body expression exercises were like windows that opened to the non-verbal language that we constantly use in our daily interactions. Learning to convey trust, understanding and empathy through our gestures and posture has proven invaluable, especially in an environment as multicultural as ours, where words can fail to capture the complexity of the messages we want to convey.

Likewise, improving our vocal expression has become a powerful tool for effective communication. We discovered how the right intonation and voice control can elevate a simple message to a level of true impact, engaging our listeners in a deep and lasting way.

Furthermore, these exercises challenged us to overcome the barriers of personal inhibition often present in research and multidisciplinary collaboration environments. We increased our self-confidence and this was reflected in more convincing presentations and more open and constructive discussions during our group activities.

The pillar in the personal development plan about our values and beliefs guided us to understand and respect cultural differences through an open dialogue about different practices and beliefs. This unlocked our potential of effective and impactful communication with others from around the world. By adopting these strategies, the OrganoVIR consortium has not only overcome cultural and language challenges, but also benefited from the richness of diversity.

But perhaps the most remarkable aspect was how the experiences in the personal development programme brought us together, regardless of our cultural or linguistic background. Body language and voice have proven to be universal communication tools, allowing us to build bridges across our differences, uniting our diverse group into a cohesive whole.

The benefits of these exercises transcended our meetings. We continue to apply what we learn in our everyday interactions, making our communication more effective and our collaboration more harmonious.

In this inspiring environment, genuine connections flourished and lasting relationships were solidified, which transcended mere professional collaboration, transforming into true friendships and sustainable alliances. These human bonds have not only endowed us with the ability to deal empathetically and skillfully with challenging people and situations, but they have also shaped our journey, making us more well-rounded and compassionate leaders.

Igor Coqueiro
Biotechnologist, Ph.D. | Medical Science Liaison