Courageous Conversations

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 proven 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.

The pandemic we all face, with COVID-19 being the contexts we 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.

This interactive 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 workshop participants using virtual features such as break-out rooms, chat, Wordle, Postits, and polling. It will be fruitful fun.

What do participants say?

“Some things I would have probably told you I already knew (i.e., we know what we should be doing – right?) – however for someone with some age and experience, this program, how it was delivered, the framework and practice that was applied (even in a short time) was invaluable. It was rich in learning about myself and how I can improve and more effectively help others. Well done.” - Participant, 4-5 Aug 2020

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 Chair for Senior Executive Fellows Program, and Lecturer in Public Policy in the Center for Public Leadership 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.

Event Details

Dates: 16 - 17 August 2022

Location: Online (Zoom)

Fees: $999 AUD (inc. GST)

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*Every person who completes the Executive Master of Public Administration, Executive Fellows Program, Towards Strategic Leadership or an international program becomes part of our alumni. Alumni are eligible for discounts. Only one discount is redeemable for each registration.

This workshop will be delivered via Zoom providing a platform for inspiring and engaging delivery. Participants are encouraged to utilise a personal device if Zoom is unable to be accessed via work issued devices and network connections.

Got a question?

If you have a question, please contact ANZSOG's Program Delivery team with the program name as the subject line to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call us on +61 3 8344 1984.

Please read our cancellation, transfer and refund policy before registering.

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