Virtual four week course for non-executive members of public sector boards, committees and governing bodies

Peer to peer learning

Practical tips and techniques

New tools and frameworks to try

Want to make more of a difference for your council, health board, public body or school?

Whichever sector you work in, the principles of constructive challenge and support are the same. So are the skills you need to make a difference through your questions and suggestions. 

This four week virtual course is for anyone in a non-executive or independent role on a public body including:

  • School governors
  • Scrutiny councillors
  • Independent members of health boards
  • Non-executive members of housing association boards
  • Non executive members of public boards

This course is for you if you are:  

  • Worried that you are not challenging enough or challenging too much
  • Looking to make progress in the face of unconstructive opposition
  • Looking for useful tips and techniques 
  • Wanting to make more impact in meetings but not sure how
  • Interested in refreshing your thinking and practice 
  • Feeling stuck and not sure how to move forward
  • Lacking confidence at meetings

Discover new ways of working that are just right for you

This practical course will help you to make more confident and effective contributions in meetings.

Specifically the course will help you to:

  • Notice what’s working well so you can do more of it
  • Find new things to try that are just right for you
  • Try things out in a safe space
  • Share good practice ideas with others in similar roles
  • Spark new ideas by working with people working in other sectors
  • Overcome personal challenges and obstacles
  • Work effectively in virtual meetings

What participants have said

A thought provoking course. It helped me think through the best ways of ensuring conversations are constructive and minimising destructive behaviours that can so often derail meetings.  Councillor Liz Atkins, Overview and Scrutiny Chair, Lambeth London Borough Council

The best remotely delivered course I have experienced, an excellent blend of teaching and small group work to reinforce and apply learning. From the first session I was able to apply course insights to my Chair role, with better results straight away.  Jonathan Flowers, Non-Executive Director and Advisor. Chair of In2SCienceUK

Thought provoking and relevant course with plenty of ideas to take away and try.  David Lloyd, Programme Director and Deputy Chief Executive, Tpas Cymru

The Constructive Conversations course gave me a comprehensive theoretical framework based on research by conversation experts and plenty of pointers to more in-depth reading. It was also very practical, with loads of helpful examples and many opportunities to practice constructive conversations.  Anna Verhamme, Higher Education Consultant and former director of strategic planning and governance

An extremely enlightening and valuable course. I learnt a lot about myself as well as “the conversation” and I enjoyed meeting the other participants. I’m surprised at how much fun it was! Cllr. Sharon McCarney, Deputy Mayor, Fishguard and Goodwick Town Council

This course is brilliant and I would recommend it to everyone. It gives you the thinking and the practical tools – and it’s so valuable to have the time and space to consider these things and learn together with others.  Noreen Blanluet, Director, Co-production Network for Wales

How does it work?

The course includes four sessions on Zoom, two-hours each, across four weeks.

Each session is a mix of working in small groups and presentations. The interactive format allows you to work on issues relevant to you.

There are up to 20 participants on each course. 

Four Themed Sessions 

July: The four sessions are on consecutive Thursdays 10.00- 12.00 starting 1st July

The sessions are:

  1. How to constructively challenge and support 
  2. How to make a constructive contribution 
  3. How to build a constructive conversation 
  4. How to deal with challenging situations 

Drawing on the wisdom of conversation experts such as coaches, facilitators and mediators, the course will provide you with tools and frameworks that you can use and share with others on your board or committee.

  An optional task, set at the end of each session, will give you the chance to develop what you have learnt

  A LinkedIn Group, exclusively for the use of participants, will allow you to share any questions or suggestions with Dave and others on the course anytime over the four weeks

Included with the course

At the end of the course you will get:

  All of the taught materials along with the work that the group has done in each session

  Continuing membership of the Constructive Conversations LinkedIn Group – available only to those who have completed the course

   A Constructive Conversations mug to show off at your next meeting 

Your course facilitator – Dr Dave Mckenna

Dr Dave Mckenna

Dave has delivered courses, workshops and webinars for a range of organisations including the Centre for Governance and Scrutiny, Tpas and Academi Wales. He is a self-confessed scrutiny and governance geek with extensive experience working with local government councillors and members of public bodies. Trained in solution focussed techniques, Dave combines enjoyable group work with insights from research and original tools and frameworks. Recently Dave has been co-facilitating Zoom meet-up for local government scrutiny officers.

You can find Dave on twitter or LinkedIn or check out his website for loads of helpful blog posts.

How much does it cost?

The standard price for this course is £150.

Bookings close on the day before the course starts at noon. Joining instructions will be sent to registered participants shortly after.

If these dates don’t work for you, or there are no dates available, please drop me a line on my contacts page and I will let you know when the next dates are released.

Book now

July sessions are all 10.00-12.00


Not sure if it’s right for you?

Want to know more?

Check out this video of me introducing the course. 

Just drop me a line on my contacts page.