The Client

The Academy is the organisational development arm of the University of Liverpool. Amongst its many functions, it offers a broad range of inclusive opportunities supporting experienced, new and potential leaders and managers across academic and professional roles.

The Assignment

The Academy at the University of Liverpool was looking to partner with a highly experienced facilitator to deliver their two-day Stepping into Management workshop.


The course would focus on:
1) the development of personal and interpersonal skills of managers and leaders
2) creating an understanding of the role of the manager within a university setting


The workshop was to supplement the University’s existing suite of leadership development programmes for existing/new managers which included middle and senior management development.


They wanted to feel confident that the successful facilitator represented the university’s values, was an advocate for a coaching approach and had a style of delivery that would keep participants engaged throughout.


It was also important that they would be able to encourage participants to take their learning back into the workplace after the workshop ended to further develop their skills.

The Training

For people to learn they need to feel safe so the focus for Denise when she is delivering any training is to settle people in and ensure everyone receives a warm welcome; setting the expectations for the day right at the start. Participants like to hear there is absolutely no role-play and that slides will be kept to a minimum – so no death by PowerPoint.


Denise brings a unique set of skills and shares her own experience and the highs and lows of being an award-winning manager. She also has sufficient understanding of the University of Liverpool and its working environments to enable the content of the training to be real and impactful which adds to the positive learning experience for all delegates.


During Day 1 Denise introduced a range of practical tools and techniques, handouts, encouraged group discussions around what makes a team and introduced some popular leadership concepts for people to reflect on and identify with. What makes a good manager? What makes a “not so good” manager?


The focus for Day 2 was on helping individuals explore their own and others’ personalities, diving a little deeper into communication skills and providing participants with the opportunity to experience a coaching conversation.

The Outcome

By the end of the workshop participants were better able to:
• Understand the role and responsibilities of a manager
• Reflect on current approaches to management and consider whether different management styles would be more appropriate
• Identify effective team building and team development actions to improve team motivation and morale
• Recognise the importance of delegating work and identify an approach to delegate effectively in order to make better use of time and provide development opportunities for the team
• Appreciate the effectiveness of a coaching leadership style
• Apply their learnings post-sessions to their roles

The Numbers

• 100% of participants felt more knowledgeable after the workshop
• 100% of participants felt more confident after the workshop
• 100% of participants would recommend the workshop to a colleague

Individuals’ Feedback

“The course was fantastic and gave insight into managerial roles and also helped us to reflect on ourselves; if management was for us; what kind of manager we would like to be. The activities throughout the course were helpful in demonstrating the points and allowed us to engage with other attendees and Denise in an informal and safe environment.”


“Denise delivered the course in a way that made it easy to be engaged. She allowed us time to reflect and acknowledged our individual reasons for taking the course, which I think made the material all the more important to each of us.”


“This course exceeded my expectations. A fantastic mix of information and activities, covering a plethora of areas related to a management role.”


“Hello Denise. Just thought I would send you a quick email, as last week I was interviewed for the vacancy of Grade 6 Assessment Team Coordinator in the Management School at UOL and I was successful! I’ve started the job with immediate effect, so I will be employing all of the advice provided in your ‘Stepping into Management’ course. I can’t thank you enough, your ideas made me believe I was ready to step up!”

A note from Denise

Since 2018 we have run ten Stepping into Management programmes, attended by over 175 people including two virtual programmes in the height of the pandemic. It’s really important to me when I am partnering with a client that they feel confident that I am representative of their other offerings meaning the learning experience is seamless for participants. I feel very much a part of the Academy and the warm welcome and “nothing is too much trouble” attitude during the planning stage really sets us up for success.


There is nothing so rewarding to see participants arrive on Day 1, often feeling a little apprehensive about what might happen and then see them leave on Day 2 feeling confident that they have much more information and insight about what management is all about and what their next steps are towards becoming one.

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