Internal, open access

Developing Self

We have a variety of courses provided which may be useful in your role. To check availability and book a course, log into the Employee Self Service.

Espresso Session: Assertiveness

Figuresonglobe250Outline: This session is for anyone wishing to understand and develop an approach that is assertive and effective.

Following the session you will be able to:

  • Understand the way human brains are wired and the link to our 4 main behaviours
  • Use reframe techniques to regain a state of positive resourcefulness
  • Apply several assertive techniques, up to 3 of these in real-time

Communication Skills for Research Staff

Pause and consider the nature of your job: you attend meetings, give presentations or papers at conferences, write a thesis and technical papers, speak to your line manager and your team members. There are many forms of communication and each can be learnt and improved. Leaders spend 80% of their time in communication with others. This is not just the ability to communicate, but to do so effectively towards specific outcomes.

The workshop provides tools and techniques to improve face-to-face interactions, give presentations that keep people interested, tips on how to be a good listener, and guidance on better writing skills. Highly interactive you will learn through exercises, some done on your own, others together with other participants. Your investment today will be the foundation of your success tomorrow.

Crucial Conversations

Outline: Are you having the same conversation over and over with no results? Are you avoiding some conversations? Do you sometimes let emotions get the better of you? This course gives you a set of tools to enable you to hold difficult and important conversations where opinions differ and may be emotionally charged, so you get the results you need.

When attending, please come with a Crucial Conversation you need to have so you can work on a real situation (in a confidential setting).

A Crucial Conversation has three elements: 

  • High stakes
  • Differing opinions
  • Strong emotions

Important: This course attracts a cost of £125 per person for the participant pack, book and audio resource. We will require your departmental project code at the time of booking. Please ensure that you have gained authorisation for this from your budget holder.

Following the session you will be able to:

  • Understand why you are not currently getting the results you want
  • Stay focussed on what you really want
  • Learn to see when the conversation is going off track and take action 
  • Make the environment safe in order to talk to almost anyone about almost anything 
  • Create mutual understanding and purpose to keep in dialogue
  • Be persuasive not abrasive and master your own emotions
  • Practice using the skills over the 2 days that will build up to enable you to handle Crucial Conversations well

Developing Your Presentation Skills

Outline:  This workshop is for experienced academics and who would like to develop their presentation skills to enable them to give conference presentations, seminars or to lecture more effectively. The small group allows for individual feedback and advice. Contents will vary depending on participants' needs but may cover use of the voice, body language, nerves, microphone techniques, breathing and audience issues. The facilitator regularly coaches barristers and politicians as well as running similar courses for academics at universities including Oxford and Cambridge. Previous groups of Reading academics have all thoroughly recommended this session to other colleagues. Lunch is provided, group size is strictly limited.

Networking for Research Staff

Outline: Do you feel shy and uncomfortable at conferences? Do you feel networking is self-seeking and smacks of using people? On the contrary, "The currency of real networking is not greed but generosity" - Keith Ferrazzi.

This session will enable you to develop this important skill, which will: enable you to use contacts to discover opportunities; open more doors; and speak to the right people. All of which can have lifetime benefits for you.

Preparing to Teach: large Group Presentation Skills

Outline: If you are not used to giving lectures or presentations to large groups, you may well be worried! This session will help to boost your confidence by getting your breathing right, making sure you can be heard, pacing your delivery, coping with nerves and presenting with a professional image.

Espresso Session: Presentation Skills - The Theory

Outline:  Presenting information is one of the most basic communication skills that we need in business. It can also be a difficult skill to master due to a combination of factors both personal and practical. In this session we will focus on the practical. You will learn effective planning and preparation techniques to increase your chance of achieving your aim.

Who is it for?

Anyone who will be presenting to audiences in the future or who have some experience of presenting and wish to increase their planning and preparation effectiveness.

Following the session you will be able to:

  • Explain the psychology behind successful information transfer
  • Write effective presentation aims and milestones
  • Select the most useful data to achieve your aim 

Espresso Session: Presentation Skills - The Practice

Outline:  Presenting information is one of the most basic communication skills that we need in business. It can also be a difficult skill to master due to a combination of factors both personal and practical. In this session we will focus on the personal. You will learn to increase your personal effectiveness when presenting to achieve your aim.

Who is it for?

Anyone who has attended the 'Presentation - the skills theory' session and wishes to put what they have learned into practice and receive feedback. Also, people with some experience of presenting who wish to improve their poise.

Following the session you will be able to:

  • Use body language to convey confidence
  • Make vocal adjustments to create your desired impact 
  • Create a plan to improve based on your practice & feedback 

Presentation Skills For Non-Academic Staff

Outline:  In a very small group you will have the opportunity to give a short presentation on a topic of your choice. With the aid of input from fellow-participants you will receive constructive feedback on your presentation style and suggestions for areas where you might try some different approaches. 

Responding to Cultural Difference

Outline: To help you respond effectively and positively to cultural differences in order for students and staff to adapt to the University environment.

Who is it for?

Anyone dealing with students or staff from different cultures who would like to know more about how to improve communication and increase understanding.

Following the session you will be able to:

  • Gain an understanding of some of the transition process into working/studying in a different culture
  • Gain understanding of cultural differences and how to provide a supportive response
  • Know where to signpost students for further support

Time Management

Outline: Issues covered will include work-life balance, the need to differentiate between importance and urgency, planning, prioritising and using a range of strategies and time saving ideas.

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