Public Sector Directors (EL2s) and Assistant Directors (EL1s)

Leadership and Collaboration through Powerful Conversations

A comprehensive twelve-week experiential learning program to develop who you are as a leader

Learn to create and lead a high performing team that

delivers work on time and to standard

– and still care for the wellbeing of your people.

Who this program is for

You are a new or established Director (EL2) or Assistant Director (EL1).

You too often need to re-write briefs and documents at the last minute – perhaps in the evening or on the weekend. Your attempts to get your staff working to a high standard and delivering on time have not worked as well as you would like. Perhaps, you have been avoiding the more difficult conversations such as holding people to account or giving necessary feedback? You have been left feeling frustrated and sometimes even resentful of your staff and stressed or anxious about how you are possibly going to deliver everything that has been asked of you.

You are someone committed to their own learning and development who wants to lead a high performing, productive and reliable team that consistently delivers quality work without surprises. You want to trust your people and feel confident, calm and satisfied – even when there are disruptions to the smooth flow of work.

Probably, you were promoted to your current position because you are an expert in a technical area, an area of work in which you are both confident and competent. However, your technical expertise has probably not fully prepared you for leading people; and despite doing some training you are still not feeling as confident or competent at being a leader as you would like. The courses you did and the books you read probably left you knowing a lot about leadership, but still not doing what you know you should do. Your training, up until now, has given you ‘know about’ rather than ‘know how’. You may also have attended a course such as PEP (Personal Efficiency Program) which has helped you get on top of your crazy inbox and plan your work but this sort of productivity training does not develop the core competencies of human interaction.

“I have attended many management training sessions and your leadership training is one of the very few that I believe adds real value.  Most other management trainers focus on wishy-washy high-level aspects of management that result in attendees losing interest, and they often struggle to pay attention.  Your sessions break-down each component of leadership into small, simple, very practical steps that everybody can identify with.  The best aspect of the training is that you engage all of the trainees in a way that is interesting and non-threatening.” 

Rick Ker, Large APS Department

Proven results

Graph showing improvement in leadership performance from participating in Leadership and Collaboration program

Participants in our in-person programs have consistently reported important improvements in their confidence, general leadership ability, feedback skills and other areas of leadership competence. Directors and EL1s typically report 10% to 20% improvement in the productivity of their teams and improvements in the ‘collegiality’ of working together. A 15% improvement in productivity is like having an extra person on your six-person team!

What you will learn:

  • how to listen beyond the words and reach a genuine shared understanding with a colleague,
  • how to communicate with confidence, honesty and kindness,
  • how to use a powerful conversational framework (“conversations for action”) to eliminate surprises and get work delivered on time and to standard,
  • how to make effective requests and negotiate reliable commitments
  • how to give and receive feedback in a way that is both clear and supportive even when the topic is difficult,
  • how to complain in a way that creates change and builds positive relationships,
  • how to more effectively deal with change and disruption,
  • how to recognise and deal with moods like resentment, resignation and anxiety in yourself and others,
  • how to build moods like acceptance, ambition and wonder in the workplace,
  • how to use your posture and physiology to authentically communicate your intent,
  • how to get more done with much less stress.

“I had a situation where I was receiving work that was not what I had requested. Instead of blaming the provider I reflected upon what I had actually asked for and how I would make my expectations clearer. This promoted a greater understanding of exactly what I required, and the work then provided was what I needed.”

Large APS Department

I found the real-life examples and issues we dealt with to be useful as guidance for ongoing development – ie implementing the theory.

Large APS Department

“I have noticed a more considered and thoughtful tone in the branch. I have also found my fellow EL level staff to be more collegiate.” 

Large APS Department

How the program works

  • Each workshop includes short presentations, activities, sharing in pairs, group discussions and personal reflections. Participants make progress on real work issues during workshops.
  • Participants are introduced to new distinctions (knowing), supported in putting the learning into action (doing) and supported in shifting their way-of-being to be resourceful with the action (being). The notions of “being a leader” and leadership presence are explored.
  • Implementation through utilising distinctions “on the job” between the workshops is an essential part of the program design.
  • Practice and implementation between sessions is fundamental to the program design and a practice program is provided.
  • Adult learning methodologies are utilised in a continuous learning cycle: Plan >> Act >> Observe >> Reflect >> Plan …
  • Participants may be supported between workshops with an on-line forum where they can post questions, observations, results.
  • There are no “role plays” but there is “real play” where participants put into practice their learning.
  • Participants are not asked to share personal information and topics can be worked on without revealing the specific content.

What is included

  • Seven three-hour workshops, delivered by live video, one every two weeks.
  • Seven action and implementation plans.
  • Annotation of your seven short reports on your experiences and reflections.
  • A pdf reference and workbook.
  • Recordings of live video (main room) sessions.
  • Guidance and Q&A by email throughout the program.
  • Membership of a private group for peer support and accountability.


  • Seven live workshops over 12 weeks
  • Workbook
  • 12 weeks email and phone support
  • Feedback on six impementation reports


  • Seven live workshops over 12 weeks
  • Workbook
  • 12 weeks email and phone support
  • Feedback on six impementation reports
  • Thee hours one-one coaching (value over $1200)