Training: Holding Honest Conversations

Now with the flexible option to be delivered in a virtual online classroom and soon to return, face to face training.

Do you ever feel you really SHOULD raise issues with someone at work – but yet you don’t raise them?  Maybe to give challenging feedback or to manage poor performance?  Or maybe you feel that you are not being really listened to? 

Often, we shy away from honest conversations: we feel awkward, don’t want to upset people, or are not sure how to start. Yet while these issues remain unresolved, there are consequences for us, for them and for the organisation. This half-day course will enable you to explore different approaches and techniques to ensure that these conversations really succeed.

Key Features

  • The key importance of behavioural flexibility;
  • The use of Forum Theatre to put techniques learned into practical use
  • Techniques to ensure you get your messages across with clarity;
  • Techniques to enable others to contribute to the conversation;
  • Honest conversations are brought to life with via forum theatre techniques, an innovative, engaging and practical way of allowing participants to develop understanding and skills, while avoiding the discomfort of taking part in role-play.

Designed for: 

Current leaders, anyone who aspires to take on a leadership role or who wants to hold honest, authentic conversations with others.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Recognise the impact and consequences of failing to hold effective and honest conversations and the potential benefits of doing it well;
  • Recognise that different individuals need to be supported in different ways;
  • Understand what it takes for people to be able to listen to challenging messages;
  • Explore and practice questioning and listening skills;
  • Set up an achievable action plan.



10:00 - 14:00


£550 + VAT


St James's Park, London


4 September 2020 Book8

Lead Trainer

Angela Blacklaw

Angela Blacklaw

Angela Blacklaw has a broad range of experience working within and providing training for the public sector. Her expertise cover a range of topics including communication, leadership, wellbeing and resilience and talent management.

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Angela Blacklaw

Angela Blacklaw

Angela Blacklaw has a broad range of experience working within and providing training for the public sector.

Angela designs and facilitates training on a variety of topics including identity and branding, action learning, and career coaching. Angela has delivered training to a variety of public sector clients such as Ministry of Justice, Hampshire County Council, DWP and DfID on a range of topics including communication, leadership, wellbeing and resilience, and talent development.

 Angela is dedicated to creating sustainable change in the public sector. To this end, she has served as Head of Internal Communications in the Food Standards Agency, Head of Change Communications and Culture Change in Defra, and Head of Talent Development in the Department of Health. In addition to her roles working within these organisations, Angela has also supported the public sector through her expert training. Angela has also supported leadership development for Health Education England, NHS Leadership Academy, the Church of England, Sellafield Ltd and Liberty Mutual. 

Angela has worked to provide transformational learning opportunities on the individual and organisational level for two decades. She is a skilled communicator and trainer specialising in galvanising organisational change and designing and delivering courses that challenge and strengthen participants.  

Angela Blacklaw earned a Certificate in Organisation Development from the NTL Institute and a Master of Science in Human Resources. She is also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and a Neuro-Linguistic Programming Master Practitioner.  


  • Fellowship of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD)
  • Certificate in Organisation Development (NTL Institute)
  • Master of Science in Human Resources  
  • Post-graduate Diploma in Training Management
  • Certificate in Training Practice
  • Registered with the British Psychological Society (BPS) as Test User, Occupational: Ability and Personality (formerly Level A and B).  Qualified in Jung Type Indicator, Emotional and Social Competency Indicator, Talent Q and Korn Ferry Hay Group’s own Leadership Styles, Organisational Climate and Growth Factor Inventory tools.
  • Master Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming
  • Certificate in Programme and Project Management
  • Bachelor of Science (Biological Sciences)

Lead Trainer

Nicki McKay

Nicki McKay

Nicki has a wealth of expertise at a senior level within a number of organisations, both public and private.

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Nicki McKay

Nicki McKay

As a consultant, trainer, facilitator and coach Nicki has worked with a variety of organisations including the NHS Leadership Academy, Department of Health, Department for Work and Pensions, the Competition and Markets Authority, Health Education East of England, Kent Surrey and Sussex NHS Leadership Collaborative, Human Tissue Authority, Central & Ceil Housing, Delphi Automotive and Virgin Atlantic.

Nicki's core specialisms include:

  • Broad experience of implementing organisational development initiatives and best practice, including organisational design, 360-degree feedback, competency framework, talent management
  • Proven facilitation skills: delivering a wide range of training activities, from programmes for staff aimed at confidence-building and developing self-awareness, to leadership development programmes using experiential learning, personality profiling and feedback on observed behaviour
  • Qualified coach: ILM Diploma in Management Coaching and Mentoring, with significant experience of coaching individuals at all levels of seniority
  • Extensive experience of using psychometric tools as part of management/leadership development programmes, 1-1 feedback and development sessions, and selection and talent development programmes
Tailored in-house training

Civil Service College can deliver In-House training within your organisation that is exactly tailored to meet your individual training requirements.

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Call 020 8069 9000 to take your booking or for advice on choosing the right course for you.

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