UCL Human Resources


Courageous conversations

"The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place" - George Bernard Shaw

This workshop will explore some of the key behaviours and skills required by staff to engage in 'courageous conversations with direct reports, colleagues or line managers on a variety of uncomfortable and sensitive issues at work - i.e. performance concerns, inappropriate comments etc. The workshop will focus on both the 'what' and the 'how', providing attendees with the tools, techniques and confidence to speak with clarity, courage and respect in order to create effective and quality interactions, enhanced teamwork and ultimately high performance.

Learning Aim

To explore what is required in terms of behaviours and practice in order to engage in courageous conversations and get the best out of people at work, by using an assertive, sensitive and respectful approach.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the programme participants will be able to:

  • identify some typical and uncomfortable work situations that may require a breakthrough conversation
  • describe their role in terms of tackling these issues head on, the benefits and the consequences of not doing so
  • describe how to 'manage self' effectively when faced with having to engage in a courageous conversation
  • describe and demonstrate the skills, behaviours and differing approaches that may be required when engaging in breakthrough conversations, in order to achieve positive outcomes
  • describe and demonstrate how to 'script' and engage in a breakthrough conversation

This course supports your development in line with the UCL Core Behaviours Framework.

Intended audience

This course is for all UCL staff.