Peter Navratil, P. Eng, MPA joined the UBC CSCE Student Chapter to share his lessons learned from more than 20 years in the public sector. Relating his involvement with advocating municipal engineering for the both the City of Vancouver and the City of North Vancouver, Peter shared his expertise on what makes great civil engineering leaders.
The group started by reflecting on where they felt they were on a self-awareness chart that split thinking and feeling into extroverted or introverted styles. Peter described from experience which types of response is important in developing leadership skills. He stated the importance of being an active listener and how it helps in managing conflicts. From his experience, he suggested students look for positions that require certain abilities rather than technical skills. In other words, abilities to manage processes and communication skills (such as interacting with the public) sometimes are more important than the skills taught in school.
Summary of Tips to Improve Leadership Skills:
- Be an active listener
- Read about the topic (self-development books)
- Practice public speaking
- Balance work with extra-curricular activities
- Shift from skill-based towards ability-based jobs
- Reflect on your actions and how to improve
Thank you Peter for giving us this fantastic presentation.