Courageous conversations: leading the path ahead

Communication is the top challenge, and the top opportunity, for leaders and potential leaders and having difficult conversations is a key part of communication.

This interactive online workshop is designed for you to learn a new approach to conversations (and giving and receiving feedback) across your personal and professional life.

Dr Dana Born – a lecturer in public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School and distinguished former military leader – will show you how to transition from argumentation to reflective engagement, negotiate a “win-win” or at least a compromise, and practice the “why” and “how” of fruitful and constructive feedback.

After COVID-19 the contexts you are operating in will be even more complex and navigating the way ahead will involve courageous conversations and courage. This will mean putting curiosity and empathy ahead of judgment, recognising others’ feelings and perspectives, as well as getting a better understanding of your own

The workshop will span 5 hours across two days. You will learn and discuss a framework for having courageous conversations, practice applying it in small groups, debrief together in a large group and then work in pairs co-mentoring on participant cases.

You will engage with Dr Born and fellow participants using virtual features such as break-out rooms, chat, Wordle, Postits, and polling.

What will you learn?

On completion of this course you will be able to:

  • understand and apply the structure of a ‘difficult conversation’
  • know what makes some conversations so difficult and why you avoid them
  • learn how to give and receive fruitful feedback
  • practice ‘reflective engagement’
  • use persuasion and influencing without authority as part of your strategies.

Who should attend?

  • Mid-to-senior-level managers in the public and not-for-profit sectors who are interested in their own leadership development and the leadership development of others.

Who will lead the course?

Dr Dana H. Born – Faculty Co-Director for the Center for Public Leadership, Faculty Chair for Senior Executive Fellows Program, and Lecturer in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School (HKS), as well as a retired Brigadier General with 30 years of service in the United States Air Force. Read Dr Born’s biography.

ANZSOG alumni receive a 15% discount. Every person that completes the Executive Masters of Public Administration, Executive Fellows Program, Towards Strategic Leadership or an international program becomes part of our alumni.

The Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG) is a global leader in education and government-focused research relevant to the public sector.

ANZSOG was created in 2002 by government, for government, with the active collaboration of our partner universities.


Online (AEST)