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Conversations about having conversations

Conversations about having conversations

“I worry about having these conversations. What I’m going to say and how I’m going to say it.”

Giving people tools to better handle challenging conversations is the focus of a new program, Breakthrough Conversations, run by the APSC.

Thirteen SES officers from nine APS agencies participated in the pilot and all said they would apply their learnings in the workplace.

Tim McNamara from the APSC said the program was developed after extensive research into the capabilities required of SES in their leadership and stewardship roles of the public sector.

“The program aims to build the capabilities of our SES to better communicate in the variety of complex situations they face,” Tim said.

In the one day workshop participants learnt models and techniques they then used in scenarios that allowed them to practice their challenging real life conversations.   

“Participants told us they appreciated being able to practice these conversations and to receive feedback. And also the opportunity to have discussions with colleagues facing very similar challenges,” he said.

In the next phase participants receive three coaching sessions over the next three months to help them work through their conversation challenges and to further develop their capabilities.

The APSC will be working with at least two large agencies in the coming months to implement this learning with their SES cohorts.

If you would like more information about Breakthrough Conversations, please email learningdesign [at] apsc.gov.au.