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Working Strategically

Page updated 5 September 2023

Working Strategically involves identifying opportunities across different areas of activity and proactively connecting the dots. Developing a vision for the School/Unit and translating this vision into action, by aligning the School/Unit objectives with the College and University’s goals and objectives.

Aurora is a leadership development programme for those who identify as female. It was developed by the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education in the UK. You can read more about the programme at Aurora | Advance HE

The programme is designed to introduce key leadership topics and skills through four online one-day workshops, complemented by online networking, action learning sets and resources.  Advance HE also host an in-person networking event as part of the programme.

The UCD HR People and Organisation Development Unit support the UCD Aurora cohort by hosting several local in-person events such as the UCD programme launch and closing events, mentee training and a mid-programme review event. On-going support is ensured through institutional mentoring.

Aurora is supported in UCD both by an overall Institution Champion, Professor Regina Uí Chollatáin, and an Aurora Coordinator in HR People and Organisation Development. 

Making an application

The closing date for receipt of applications for the 2023-24 Aurora Programme was 7 September 2023.  

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 185 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. Although the development days are run over 5 months, the mentoring arrangement is for the duration of one year to help participants maximise the benefit of the programme.

Guidance on choosing a mentor is available below:

Aurora Guidance in Choosing a Mentor

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 course is for all staff who wish to improve their critical thinking and logical reasoning for better analysis, evaluation and communication in workplace situations. The programme develops the critical and analytical thinking skills needed to correctly decipher information to influence and activate competent thinking into practical application.

By the end of this course, learners will:

  • Understand critical thinking, its purpose and presentation
  • Be very clear on the difference between good logic and bad reasoning
  • Avoid derailment in meetings and discussions 
  • Use Socratic questioning to understand the core and scope of any situation 
  • Understand bias and heuristic thinking and how they affect all aspects of implementing thinking in communication, problem solving and decision making

How long is this course?

This course is 3 hours in duration.

What topics will be covered?

  • Using Clear Reasoning: Making sense of goals 
  • Use the ‘Tree Diagram’ technique to produce clear, structured arguments
  • Learn different styles and structure of argument to produce powerful rational persuasion 
  • Overcoming False Reasoning: Using cool logic in hot situations Learning to deal with false reasoning in meetings and discussions. Understanding ten tricks of manipulation that derail clear communication 
  • Introduction to Biases
  • Heuristics: shortcut thinking 
  • Introduction to Socratic Questioning

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

No pre-course work is required. Following the session participants are directed to further reading and research on the practice of Critical Thinking in the workplace.

Booking: 
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 wish to equip themselves with the necessary knowledge and skills to effectively identify, engage, and manage stakeholders in a project. On completion of the course, learners will have the skills to: conduct a stakeholder analysis, develop a stakeholder map, and influence and persuade stakeholders.

How long is this course?

The course duration is 3.5 hours.

What topics will be covered?

  • Introduction to stakeholder management and its importance
  • Types of stakeholders and their roles - stakeholder analysis process
  • Strategies for effective stakeholder engagement
  • Techniques for clear stakeholder communication
  • Managing and resolving stakeholder conflicts - negotiation and problem-solving skills
  • Measuring stakeholder satisfaction and success 

This course is highly practical and interactive and includes discussions and activities based on real world scenarios. The trainer will also encourage learners to bring in their own experience and discuss practical, local examples where relevant.

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 answer a Reflective Questionnaire. The questions will encourage them to think about their past experiences with stakeholders, challenges they have faced, and areas where they would like to improve. 

Before the course begins each learner will also receive a 3-2-1 Personal Action Plan template. Post-training, participants will be led through a short reflective activity which will allow each learner to use this template to record: 

  • Three things they learned/were reminded about during training 
  • Two things they want to action based on the session 
  • One thing they are going to action this week.

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 programme is for all staff who would like to develop their strategic influencing skills.

At the end of this programme, participants will be able to: 

  • Develop a more strategic approach to leading without authority and influencing as well as demonstrate practical techniques to build influence and impact 
  • Understand the essential elements of trust as the foundation of influence & impact, and develop strategies for building trust with others 
  • Build their influence & impact through identifying and responding appropriately to stakeholder needs
  • Understand differences in others and how to adapt to their communication style 
  • Recognise their own style when persuading / influencing others, and demonstrate the right style for the right situation Use techniques to manage in a matrix, with conflicting priorities

How long is this course?

The course duration is 7 hours.

What topics will be covered?

  • What’s the goal – are we clear on what we want to achieve?
  • Understanding the heuristics of how we think and why we think in a particular way 
  • The What and the Why and the Who and the How
  • Self-awareness – a strategic approach
  • How people respond – positively and negatively to influence tactics 
  • Overcoming barriers
  • Reading the situation 
  • Key interpersonal skills, including strategic listening; questioning techniques; words, tone and body language
  • Using storytelling in communications
  • Styles of influencing 
  • Respecting each other’s value
  • Strengths and areas for development 
  • Skills practice and personal action plans

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

Pre work will include: 

  • Watch a custom designed short video introducing the programme
  • Complete an ‘Influencing Styles; questionnaire and bring the results with you to the programme 
  • Come with a current situation important to you where you have to influence and impact without authority. Complete this exercise using the template provided 
  • Article: Read the HBR Article: Exerting Influence Without Authority 
  • Watch the Robert Cialdini video on influencing tactics

Post course work will include: 

  • Completing actions committed to in personal action plan
  • Participants are asked to keep a reflective journal detailing situations in which they needed to influence 
  • Updating of actions and impact on digital whiteboard before action learning set
  • A one-hour, online, action learning set, facilitated by Invisio, 1 month after the programme to share experiences and learnings with one another and problem solve as needed.

Participants on this programme will have access to an online whiteboard and document repository for up to 3 months after completing the programme and all resources will continue to be available to them over this time. The materials can also be downloaded locally.

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 who wish to develop the skills to plan, execute and follow up on meetings -both face to face and online.

At the end of this programme, participants will be able to:

    • examine existing practices and mindsets in meetings, to proactively recognise opportunities to grow and develop meeting facilitation skills. 
    • identify the roles and responsibilities of everyone attending meetings of any kind 
    • demonstrate the ‘Rules of Engagement’ for conducting effective meetings and the standards required before, during and after all meetings.
    • deal with the challenges of meetings online

How long is this course?

This course is 3 hours in duration.

What topics will be covered?

This is an experiential learning experience – the workshop will be run as a meeting, with participants fulfilling designated roles. As they do so, they will practice good meeting skills and learn from one another and at the same time learn how to deal with challenging situations and people. 

Meeting Agenda: 

  • The need for better meetings
  • Key learning points from the rules of engagement, book summary and the video 
  • The role of the meeting facilitator / chair, action recorder, gate / timekeeper and active participant 
  • Handling challenging people and situations that arise in meetings 
  • Making online meetings more effective 
  • The ABC technique and practical exercise 
  • Summary of learning and actions arising from this meeting.

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

Pre work will include

As with all effective meetings, participants need to be very well prepared and are required to:

  • Study the agenda for the workshop and prepare accordingly
  • Be prepared to discuss the need for more effective meetings
  • Read a set of articles, watch a video and complete a quiz – all of which will be discussed during the meeting

Post course work will include: 

  1. Conduct a survey of meeting attendees for meetings they chair 
  2. Take the learning points from this workshop and developing a plan for implementation 
  3. Reviewing progress with their meeting attendees to embed best practice

Participants on this programme will have access to an online whiteboard and document repository for up to 3 months after completing the programme and all resources will continue to be available to them over this time. The materials can also be downloaded locally.

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.

The "THRIVE - Leadership in Research" 2024 Programme is a joint initiative between UCD People and Organisation Development and UCD Research in consultation with our training partner 64 Million Artists. This important programme will contribute to the development of our UCD Faculty members at Lecturer/Assistant Professor or Associate Professor level and supports the delivery of UCD’s strategic plans.

The programme equips participants with the skills, knowledge, behaviours and confidence needed to realise their ambitions in UCD. Utilising a holistic approach, it provides a significant opportunity for Assistant Professors/Lecturers and Associate Professors across all disciplines to develop leadership and innovation skills in a group environment with peer-to-peer collaboration and networking.

Find out more about "THRIVE - Leadership in Research" and submit your application on our dedicated webpage.

RISE Leadership and People Management Programme

The RISE programme is designed for all Senior Leaders and People Managers across UCD.

This Leadership programme has been created to support the delivery of the UCD Strategy 2020-2024, 'Rising to the Future'. As per our strategy, we commit to rising to meet the global challenges of the future through the excellence and impact of our research, scholarship and innovation, while ensuring every member of our community is enabled to achieve their full potential.  

RISE is delivered by our strategic partners Flow Group. The modules are designed to facilitate participants coming together to reflect and plan their individual and collective approaches to navigating an ever-changing and complex landscape, and each session includes personal reflection, action planning, small group conversation, idea generation and discussion.

RISE Programme Overview

This high impact programme is designed as a learning journey which consists of a number of modules which must be completed in sequence. Senior Leaders and People Managers will attend the Core Module together to share experiences and work to create common approaches and language. Each cohort will then attend their Essentials 1 and Essentials 2 modules in sequence.

RISE Insights
The programme also offers RISE Insights Sessions on HR, Finance and Research Finance. These optional 90-minute offerings delivered by our UCD colleagues provide specialist advice and guidance. Insights Sessions can be attended at any time once you have completed your Core module.

RISE Peer Connect
These one-hour self-contained sessions allow for the continuation of learning and sharing among our diverse community of people managers and leaders. The purpose of these facilitated sessions is to connect peers in small groups of three, with each person talking through a challenge, idea or insight, sharing experiences and using the group as a confidential sounding board.

These sessions can be attended at any time throughout your RISE journey.

This two-minute video explains more about Peer Connect. 

Booking your place on RISE
To book your place on any of the RISE offerings please visit the dedicated RISE Booking Portal available to People Managers and Senior Leaders.

Please note only eligible participants will have access to book on the UCD RISE Leadership and People Management Programme.

Learning Path: Strategic Leadership

Click here for more information on LinkedIn Learning.

UCD People & Organisation Development

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