UCL Human Resources


Developmental Conversations

UCL is committed to ensuring our colleagues are supported in their professional development and appropriately guided to realising their full potential through 1:1 conversations and appraisals.

What is a developmental conversation?

1:1 meetings between a colleague and their supporter (often referred to as appraiser) can typically focus on day-to-day responses to the work environment instead of discussing and supporting our colleague’s developmental journey that is aligned with their performance goals.

On a regular basis, these 1:1 conversations should be purposefully structured to enable us to review progress against our goals, to share lessons learned and discuss how to improve going forward, with longer term developmental planning in mind.

Two women talking

Principles of developmental conversations:

As we discuss in our online “Developmental conversations” learning module, developmental conversations should be OPEN and provide the opportunity for two-way feedback.

Setting developmental goals:

UCL’s 4 dimensional approach to goal setting is designed to provide us with purpose for achieving our full performance potential.  Structuring our goals in this way allows us to incrementally strengthen our professional development across our Career Frameworks, achieve greater focus and fulfilment in the work that we do, embracing UCL's Ways of Working to deliver our academic mission.

Illustrative examples:

  1. Discover my potential 

  2. Deliver my role and align to UCL strategy 

  3. Defer/Discontinue activity that hinders my performance 

  4. Demonstrate Ways of Working 

Using GROW model for discussing goals:

The GROW model (often used in coaching) provides us with a guided structure for having developmental conversations, and is particularly useful when setting or revisiting goals.