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Taking Initiative

Page updated 24 August 2022

Taking Initiative is demonstrated by suggesting improvements in your own work area, and acting early to address and resolve problems and find solutions.

Aurora is a leadership development training programme aimed at women and those who identify as a woman. It aims to encourage those in academic and professional roles to think of themselves as leaders; to develop leadership skills and to help institutions like UCD optimise the leadership potential of women and those who identify as a woman.

Aurora originated through the Leadership Foundation in the UK, in response to Professor Louise Morley’s (2012) stimulus paper called ‘Women in Higher Education Leadership’ Absences and Aspirations’

The programme is now delivered by Advance HE and it provides, in an interactive online learning environment, core and adaptive leadership skills and knowledge over six stand-alone days. These sessions are delivered online over a five month period.

The Aurora programme comprises of a combination of development days; self-directed learning from on-line resources; cross-institutional action learning sets and in-house mentoring. Training is delivered in an online format with attendance of between 80-100 participants.

Making an application for 2022-2023

Applications for the 2022-2023 Aurora Programme will be open between Wednesday, 14 September and 12pm on Wednesday, 5 October 2022.

You will find the application form and other relevant information via the following links:

Aurora Application Form 2022

Aurora Information for Applicants

Aurora Guidance in Choosing a Mentor

For more information about Aurora, you can visit the AdvanceHE website.

Participants

The programme was established in 2013 and has run in a number of venues in the UK and Ireland, including London; Manchester; Bristol and Glasgow and Dublin. UCD has supported over 143 women to participate in the programme since 2015,  demonstrating the University's commitment to leadership development and gender equality.

Mentors

Aurora requires that the University puts systems in place to help support and develop participants on their Aurora experience. This includes having mentors in place to work with participants; having an overall UCD Aurora Champion and also support and liaison through the People and Organisation Development, UCD HR.  Although the development days are run over 5 months, the mentoring arrangement continues throughout a calendar year to help participants maximise the benefit of the programme.

Professor Joe Carthy is currently the overall Aurora Programme Champion and Katharine Slattery, People and Organisation Development Specialist, is your contact in HR.  Should you have any queries in relation to Aurora in UCD, please contact peopledevelopment@ucd.ie.

If you have questions relating to other leadership or management development please discuss this with your Line Manager or Head of School/Unit at your annual P4G conversation.

Who is this course for?
This training is suitable for learners who want to continue to influence others in a positive way and mentor, motivate and guide others towards achievement of goals. This half-day course has been designed to address the new challenges associated with managing Hybrid Teams. During the training, we look at the benefits of a hybrid model from the employer's and employees' perspectives. We will also look at how to encourage collaboration and engagement within teams no matter where individuals are located and how to sustain inclusion for all.

How long is this course?
This is a 3.5-hour workshop - including 15-minute breaks

What topics will be covered?
This is a highly practical course and scenario-based exercises and group discussions will be used throughout to allow learners to gain a better understanding of the content covered.

Topics Covered:

  • Benefits of the Hybrid Work Model
  • Common challenges of Hybrid work
  • Manage communication and meetings
  • Identifying and reducing proximity bias
  • Delegating from a distance
  • Productivity & collaboration tools
  • Building motivation and fostering connection across your team

Do I need to prepare anything before or after the session?
Before the course, we will ask learners to complete an online survey in relation to their current role and the daily challenges they come across while managing a hybrid team. This survey will help raise each learner's self-awareness and encourage them to focus on what they want to get out of the training.

Before the course begins each learner will also receive a 3-2-1 Personal Action Plan template. At the end of the course, the trainer will facilitate a short reflective activity which will allow each learner to use this template to record: 

3. Three things they learned/were reminded about during training

2. Two things they want to action based on the session

1. One thing they are going to action this week

Learners will be encouraged to share their entire plan with their supervisor, manager or a co-worker in order to have accountability. 

For details of upcoming events or to book your place on available courses, please visit the HR - Professional Development booking centre  If your chosen course is fully booked or no longer available, you can access the UCD LinkedIn learning portal via your UCD Connect login where you will find a range of eLearning courses. 

If you have any further queries on this programme, please contact peopledevelopment@ucd.ie or call ext 4919.

Who is this course for? 
This course is for all staff members who would like to understand more about their personal resilience and how they can continue to develop their resilience, enabling higher levels of well-being and performance. The aim of the programme is to provide participants with a deeper understanding of their resilience levels, providing tools and approaches to develop resilience habits.

NB – The content of this course is also covered in the RISE programme for people managers and senior leaders, with a view to creating a common framework and language around this topic. If you are in the target cohort for RISE, you will explore this content as part of that programme, and so we recommend that you do not register for this short course.


How long is this course? 
This is a 3.5-hour workshop - including 15-minute break 


What topics will be covered? 
This course will explore the approach created by The Resilience Engine – based on more than a decade of research and application. This course has been designed to develop self-awareness and boost personal resilience in a busy world. 

Participants will explore some of the most common myths that exist around resilience, learn how they can boost the key enablers of resilience in their own lives and explore how they can resource themselves. Tools such as the Resilience River® and Resilience Dynamic® will be explored during this session. Participants will create a personal action plan which will support the creation of new resilience habits. 

This session will be both interactive and reflective, participants will be invited to explore their own resilience in an open and vulnerable way, in a safe and supportive classroom environment.

Do I need to prepare anything before or after the session? 
To gain the maximum benefit from the course, each learner will be asked to consider what resilience means to them and how they personally define it. After the course, participants will be provided with recommended reading and LinkedIn Learning course recommendations. Participants will receive “check-in” emails following the session.

For details of upcoming events or to book your place on available courses, please visit the HR - Professional Development booking centre  If your chosen course is fully booked or no longer available, you can access the UCD LinkedIn learning portal via your UCD Connect login where you will find a range of eLearning courses. 

If you have any further queries on this programme, please contact peopledevelopment@ucd.ie or call ext 4919.

Who is this course for? 
This course is aimed at all staff members. The aim of the workshop is to allow  you to tap into your critical and creative problem solving techniques and abilities in order to enhance successful performance in creative problem solving.

How long is this course?
This is a 3.5 hour workshop - including one 15 minute coffee break

What are the topics covered?
The programme concentrates on building on the three aspects of success, your Passion, Productivity & Perseverance.

By working with the acronym I.D.E.A., participants learn the creative problem solving skills of: 

  • Using your Passion to control your Emotions
  • Analysing Problems
  • Generating Alternative actions
  • Removing Obstacles & Blockages to achieve action

Do I need to prepare anything before or after the session? 
To gain the maximum benefit from the course, participants will be asked to consider a problem/issue that they would like to bring to the workshop.  These will be discussed during the course exercises and will help achieve the learning outcomes above.

Tutor course notes will be distributed after the course to enhance further learning.

 

Booking: 
This course will be available to book in early 2023 when Phase 2 of the 2022-2023 Training Course Catalogue is launched.

In the meantime you may wish to access the UCD LinkedIn learning portal via your UCD Connect login where you will find a range of eLearning courses. 

If you have any further queries on this programme, please contact peopledevelopment@ucd.ie or call ext 4919.

Who is this course for?
This course is aimed at all staff members. The aim of the course is to help participants explore some of the behaviours associated with personal effectiveness and a solutions-focussed mindset, and how they can implement these behaviours for improved effectiveness.

How long is this course?
This is a 3.5-hour workshop

What topics will be covered?
The course will look at the area of initiative, ways to become more proactive, make decisions and develop a solution focus. Participants will create an action plan for personal effectiveness during the session.

Do I need to prepare anything before or after the session?

  • Before the session participants will be asked to list what their elements of their own personal effectiveness that they would like to strengthen as a result of this course,
  • They will also be asked to list a couple of instances where they have recently taken the initiative and their experience in doing so.

Booking:
This course will be available to book in early 2023 when Phase 2 of the 2022-2023 Training Course Catalogue is launched.

In the meantime you may wish to access the UCD LinkedIn learning portal via your UCD Connect login where you will find a range of eLearning courses.

If you have any further queries on this programme, please contact peopledevelopment@ucd.ie  or call ext 4919.

Who is this course for?
This course is for all staff members interested in developing their service delivery skills. In today's customer-oriented environment, "people skills" are critical for personal and organisational success. This half-day course will give staff the skills they need to communicate professionally both with internal and external customers and enhance customer relationships through excellent customer service. The session will also help learners analyse the essential ingredients of presenting a professional image - i.e. Attitude and Behaviour. The session will also help learners understand their customer better and manage expectations.

How long is this course?
This is a 3.5-hour workshop - including 15-minute breaks

What topics will be covered?
This is a highly practical course and scenario based exercises and group discussions will be used throughout to allow learners to gain a better understanding of how principles apply in practice.

Topics covered:
● What are the features of excellent customer service?
● Defining your responsibilities to internal and external customers
● How to present a professional image - our appearance, attitude and behaviour
● Self-assessment of your existing customer service skills - the associated
strengths and weaknesses
● Professional Communication Skills
● Handling difficult customers with confidence
● Measuring client satisfaction

Do I need to prepare anything before or after the session?
To gain the maximum benefit from the course each learner will be asked to complete a Customer Service Quiz to assess how good their current customer service skills are. This will help learners to set the context for the course and allow them to focus on areas they need to improve on.

Booking:
This course will be available to book in early 2023 when Phase 2 of the 2022-2023 Training Course Catalogue is launched.

In the meantime you may wish to access the UCD LinkedIn learning portal via your UCD Connect login where you will find a range of eLearning courses. 

If you have any further queries on this programme, please contact peopledevelopment@ucd.ie or call ext 4919.

Who is this course for? 
This course is for all staff members interested in learning about the concept of the Growth Mindset as created by Dr Carol Dweck. The aim of the programme is to give participants and understanding of how operating from a Growth Mindset as opposed to a Fixed Mindset will support resilience, learning and provide a platform for reaching their potential. 

How long is this course?
This is a 3.5-hour workshop - including 15-minute break 

What topics will be covered?
This course will the theory of the Growth Mindset sharing some of Carol Dweck’s research concepts.  The course will review the Growth Mindset from an individual and team perspective. The challenges in moving to and operating from a Growth Mindset will be explored and assumptions that limit people in accessing the Growth Mindset will also be discussed.  Links to the concepts of psychological safety and vulnerability will be made. Participants will be given the opportunity to participant in individual and group exercises as part of the training. 

Do I need to prepare anything before or after the session? 
To gain the maximum benefit from the course each learner will be asked to watch the following YouTube video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2nF90sAW-Yg&t=55s 
and review this HBR article about The Growth Mindset  [https://hbr.org/2016/01/what-having-a-growth-mindset-actually-means?autocomplete=true]. 

For details of upcoming events or to book your place on available courses, please visit the HR - Professional Development booking centre  If your chosen course is fully booked or no longer available, you can access the UCD LinkedIn learning portal via your UCD Connect login where you will find a range of eLearning courses. 

If you have any further queries on this programme, please contact peopledevelopment@ucd.ie or call ext 4919.

UCD People & Organisation Development

Roebuck Offices, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.
T: +353 1 716 4919 | E: peopledevelopment@ucd.ie