Leadership & Management Development

Leadership & Management Development

Leadership & Management Development

Senior Leadership Development - Aspiring & Current Leaders 2019 / 2020

Latest News:   Remaining modules of the Current & Aspiring Leaders 2020 are all taking place in June remotely.

A key action point of UCC’s Strategic Plan 2017-2022 is to ‘strengthen leadership development by maximising participation in a dedicated leadership development programme across the university’. This is to meet the goal that all UCC staff ‘are enabled to reach their full potential’.   

To deliver on this, we are now in year three of IMI certified senior leadership development programmes, designed to help develop 'Aspiring Leaders' & 'Current Leadersin UCC.

These have been developed in conjunction with the Irish Management Institute and are delivered in house by IMI faculty.  Each programme consists of a number of modules.  The goal is to develop the competencies of potential leaders and leaders at an individual level which will in turn contribute to the strengthening of the overall leadership capability within UCC.

Both programmes are framed by a set of leadership competencies – personal, team and unit leadership, analysis and decision making, management and delivery of results, interpersonal and communication skills and self-development.

The programmes distinguish between staff a) new to, considering or interested in a leadership role (Aspiring Leaders Programme) and b) experienced staff typically at Head level or about to take on that role (Current Leaders Programme).

Each programme consists of two modules (2 x 2 days).  Further on-going support will be provided through opportunities for action learning, online resources and institutional level support, including mentoring.  



Following approval by UMTO on 29th January 2019, as of February 2019 'all new employment contracts for academics at senior lecturer level & higher and professional & technical staff at grade 7 & higher (or equivalent) are required to participate in the most relevant IMI/UCC Senior Leadership Development Programme to them, to further develop their leadership development capabilities’.   Should you wish to discuss which programme may be most relevant, do not hesitate to contact Anne Gannon (ext.3860) or Mary Horgan (3659) or your HR Business Manager. 


More information >>



Contact: Anne Gannon, ext. 3860 or Mary Horgan, ext. 3659 or your HR Business Manager.

Updated: June 2020


Integrating Coaching Skills into Management

Dates: Thurs Nov 28 & Thurs Dec 12

Duration: 09:30 - 17:00

Venues: Muscrai, Aras na Mac Leinn (Nov date) & North Wing Conference Room (Dec date)

Facilitator: Pat O'Leary, UCC ACE


This practical 2-day programme aims to equip UCC Managers with the knowledge & tools to successfully integrate coaching skills into their professional practice.


Participants will explore:

  • The history of coaching & how it differs from mentoring
  • The alignment of coaching with positive psychology 
  • How to develop a person-centred presence
  • The GROW model of coaching
  • Solution focused conversations
  • The coaching relationship

Innovative Problem Solving

NOTE: Booking for programmes will only take place once advertised to all staff.

Participant Group: Senior professional, administrative & technical personnel 

Dates:  Monday 23rd March 2020

Duration:  09:30 - 16:30 

Venues: Muscrai Room – Aras na Mac Leinn

Facilitator:  Jay Chopra, Making Shift Happen


Many problem solving/invention techniques focus on “left-brain” approaches based largely on logic and process.  A more effective approach uses “whole-brain” methodology to solve problems innovatively. This methodology uses “left-brain” approaches (based on logic, process and analysis), coupled with “right-brain” approaches (based on creativity, team-work and collaboration). 

This one-day workshop will focus on the practical application of the following areas: 

1: The Whole-Brain Innovative Problem Solving Equation & associated tools.

2: Habits/Behaviours that inspire collaborative problem solving, teamwork and innovative solutions.  


As part of this programme a 3 hour on-site check-in will be provided to participants on 15 January 2020.

Feedback from past participants includes:

"Really fantastic course, i enjoyed the conversations and discussions"

"Very well run, very skillful presenter"

"Very enjoyable course"

"Would recommend this course"


updated December 2019

About Dr. Jay Chopra 

Jay knows what it takes to solve problems and invent in a professional environment. He completed his PhD and postdoctoral studies here in UCC. Earlier in his career, he worked for almost 5 years as a Research Scientist/Project Manager at Pfizer, playing a key role in innovations that had huge commercial impact. Jay spent 12+ years in total at Pfizer. His most recent role at Pfizer was Global Director of Innovation, Behavioural Change and Intrapreneurship, where he served as a member of the Innovation Leadership Team for the Pfizer Global Supply organisation (approx. 20,000 people) for 5+ years. Jay is co-founder of the business consultancy, Making Shift Happen www.makingshifthappen.ie 

You can find out more about Jay here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jay-chopra-6567496b/ 

Critical Thinking for Effective Decisions

NOTE: Booking can only take place once advertised to all staff.


Participant Group: UCC Staff with managerial apsirations & with current decision making responsibilities 

Date: Wednesday 20th November 2019

Duration:  09:15 - 17:00

Venue: Muscrai Room, Student Centre

Facilitator:  Valerie PierceClear Thinking In Action


Successful Decision Makers

  • Understand the real issues facing themselves and others
  • Retain clear focus on the task they want to achieve
  • Communicate ideas in a way that makes sense to others


Decision making involves 3 essential skills:

  • Ability to solve problems
  • Make decisions
  • Influence others to carry out action

This workshop will:

  • Increase your areas of influence
  • Give credence to your decisions
  • Enhance your confidence


On completion, you will know how to:

  • Understand the difference between making, delivering and implementing a decision
  • Be clear about the outcome you want to achieve
  • Remain ‘Passionate’, not ‘Emotional’
  • Argue clearly & to the point
  • Achieve staff & stakeholder commitment 


  • "Well-paced training; lots of new ideas & approaches. I love the way it encouraged creative solutions to problem solving!" 
  • "The team exercises were excellent & really opened my mind to different perspectives."

Contact: Staff Wellbeing & Development, ext. 3591

Updated: August 2019

HR Orientation for Newly Appointed Heads

Participant Group:   Newly appointed Heads of Schools/Heads of Department/Heads of Units

Dates: TBC

Venue: North Wing Conference Room

Duration: 4 x 2 hour sessions 

Facilitators:  HR Managers


This programme run by UCC HR Managers is designed to introduce newly appointed Heads to the full range of HR policies and procedures which are relevant to their role in addition to exploring the role and responsibilities of the Head in relation to the following areas

  • Staffing and Recruitment
  • Performance Management
  • Leave Management
  • Handling Conflict
  • Staff Wellbeing and Support

All sessions run from 3-5pm.

Introduction to HR, Staffing & Recruitment 

Weds 23 Oct 2019

North Wing Conference Room

Performance Management 

Weds 06 Nov 2019

O'Rahily Building 244

Leave & Sick Leave Management, Research HR, & Garda Vetting

Mon 02 Dec 2019

North Wing Conference Room

Handling Conflict, Staff Wellbeing, Managing Leavers

Weds 18 Dec 2019

North Wing Conference Room

This programme which is in its third year has been developed based on feedback from newly appointed Heads on their requirements to be most effective in the HR aspects of their role.  It also offers the opportunity to meet Heads from other areas of the University and to find out about the various HR supports that are available to them during their Headship.

Previous feedback includes the following:

"Thank you for a very useful programme.  It has definitely helped me in my Headship role."

"The information on university processes, regulations and supports was very useful to me as a new Head."

"I gained an insight into the challenges of leadership in university management, assertiveness skills as well as a new network."

Each participant is offered individual follow up coaching after each session.

Contact: Anne Gannon, Staff Welfare & Development Manager, Ext: 3860 or your local HR Business Manager

Updated: August 2019

The Successful Team Leader Programme

Participant Group: Team Leaders in academic, professional and research areas

Dates & Duration: These workshops take place between 10am - 12.30pm on one Tuesday morning each month between September & May 

Venue:  Will change month by month

Facilitators: UCC HR Managers

The Successful Team Leader Digital Badge

Full details of the Successful Team Leader programme can be found here >> The Successful Team Leader 2019-20

Individuals who attend at least 6 workshops in the Successful Team Leader programme within an 18 month period and complete a short reflective statement (600-word limit) describing the learning which they have taken back from these workshops in their approach to work will be awarded The Successful Team Leader Digital Badge. This badge recognises the personal and professional development journey taken by UCC staff in focusing on personal effectiveness skills.

*Attendance at 6 workshops combined from the two programmes can count toward the attainment of the digital badge.


The Successful Team Leader takes place monthly from September to May.  It comprises of short (2.5 hour) sessions, facilitated by HR Managers & designed to provide specific work-related knowledge, guidance and practical skills enhancement to Team Leaders across UCC. 

The workshops cover a wide range of areas designed to support line managers in successful HR management.  Each month a new a new topic is explored.

The sessions are interactive and practical in approach.  They are intended to provide support for managers through the sharing of information and guidance, and the opportunity for skills and knowledge development. The programme also provides opportunities to network with colleagues across the university. 

To book a place on any one or number of The Successful Team Leader workshops, please email traininganddevelopment@ucc.ie.


“This session was excellent and I would highly recommend it along with the sessions I attended previously.  Please continue to provide these sessions as they are an invaluable resource for those developing in management roles and those in management roles dealing with a new issue for the first time

“I found this programme very beneficial and feel more confident as a manager now to deal with issues as they arise.  It was very useful to be able to speak to the group and the HR presenters for advice and guidance. I would really recommend this course”

"I really enjoyed the course and have taken away some excellent strategies that I can put to use immediately."

"I found it very informative – an eye-opener!  It has certainly made me look at managing change in a whole new light."

Contact: Staff Wellbeing & Development, ext. 3591

Updated: September 2019


First Steps Into Management - Digital Badge

Target Audience: SEA level / Grade 5 (or equivalent in the other staff categories) and who aspire to managing staff in future 

Application Process: Having discussed with your line manager, email traininganddevelopment@ucc.ie, outlining why this programme is relevant to you at this stage in your career (400 word limit) highlighting the relevance to a) your role b) your unit & c) the Strategic Plan 2017-2022.  

Deadline to apply: Deadline for receipt of application is Friday, 6th September 2019 to traininganddevelopment@ucc.ie 

Criteria to apply & earn Digital Badge

  1. Must attend all workshops.
  2. Must be willing to complete an MBTI questionnaire & follow up feedback session
  3. This programme is open to staff at SEA / Grade 5 level & equivalent & who are not currently participating in the Effective Employee programme.
  4. Give a short presentation at end to participants / peers on personal learning from the programme 

Note: Due to demand, we have scheduled two programmes to run consecutively: Oct - Nov 2019 & Nov 2019 - Jan 2020. Dates for both are provided in the documents linked below. If you are only available for one set of dates of one programme, please advise in your application. If available for both set of dates, please advise of your preference. We cannot guarantee we will be able to place all on their preferred programme.   


OCTOBER - NOVEMBER 2019>>  First Steps into Management Oct - Nov 2019 Programme Outline

NOVEMBER 2019 - JANUARY 2020>>  First Steps into Management Nov 2019 - Jan 2020 Programme Outline


Workshop Outlines



An introduction to management & evolution of management style

  • What is management & how does it different from leadership
  • Identifying different management styles

Anne Gannon


Mary Horgan

Personality type & management (MBTI)

  • MBTI is a highly versatile developmental tool, helping one gain a deeper understanding of oneself, how one interacts with others & others with you & how you approach your work.
  • Using MBTI to reflect on one’s management approach

Anne Gannon


Mary Horgan

Managing Others

  • Consistent, effective & appropriate communications
  • active listening
  • giving effective feedback & receiving it

Reg Friddle

Identifying my approach and style as a manager

  • Using MBTI & the Johari Window, to understand your ‘manager mode’ & adapt where appropriate

Anne Hennessy


Engaging Others

  • motivating
  • influencing &
  • developing others

Anne Hennessy

Presentations to peers

Anne Gannon &

Mary Horgan

Presentations to peers

Anne Gannon &

Mary Horgan

* Every workshop takes place in the Boole Library Seminar Room, except 1st Nov. '19 session. This takes place in the NW Conference Room.

Participant Feedback - June 2019

  • It has improved my self-awareness, opened me up to blind spots in my own work. 
  • The way the course was structured into intermittent half-days kept each session fresh while preventing it from impacting too greatly on the day to day work.  I will be recommending it to my co-workers.
  • It has given me the confidence to believe in my abilities to lead a team while providing me wth the necessary tools to incorporate various techniques in progressing university business.
  • This programme gave me so much more than I anticipated it would. The structure offers great variety in terms of content & facilitators. Having to present at the end pushed me out my comfort zone & I felt great after it. 
  • The whole programme was refreshing & engaging & I looked forward to every session. It really thought me to ... really listen to colleagues and to attempt to make our working environment a more pleasant & 'safe' place to come into every day.
  • If I felt I was drowning at times, this programme was the oxygen tank that has brought me up again.


Aurora 2020/2021

Latest News: Deadline for receipt of application - Friday 24 July 2020.

Note revised cost of €400 per participant.

1. What is Aurora?

Aurora is the women-only leadership development programme developed by Advance-HE in the UK in response to research which indicated that the level of women in influential and senior positions in higher education is now lower than well over 10 years ago.  

2020-2021 Aurora will be delivered online. While face to face sessions provide a great networking opportunity and experience, given the present situation, online is currently the best solution.  The structure in terms of delivering four content days and two action learning set days will remain.  Advance HE will be adapting content to reflect some of the current themes for women leaders e.g. leadership when remote learning and working.


2. Who can apply? 

The programme is targeted at women in lecturer, senior lecturer, research and professional services roles (administrative & technical) across all academic disciplines and throughout university administration.  It is designed to introduce key leadership topics and skills via the workshops and action learning sessions. Further, on-going support is ensured through action learning, online resources and institutional level support including mentoring and UCC Aurora Champions. 

In 2020-2021, UCC has committed to making available up to 20 places on the programme.   

  • Female academics and researchers up to and including senior lecturer level or equivalent. 
  • Female professional staff (administrative & technical) up to equivalent professional services grades. 

Applicants need to be ambitious for a career in the sector and interested in exploring leadership and management as one option for progression.  As there is a significant institutional commitment to supporting participation on the Aurora programme, applicants must be supported by a nominator.  

3. Who can nominate UCC participants to the Aurora Programme?

UMTS members can nominate applicants to the Aurora programme & this must be endorsed by applicant's Head of Unit. 

UMTS members >> https://www.ucc.ie/en/support/president/senior-mgt/

4. Cost 

For 2020/2021, the cost has been considerably reduced from €1,400 to €800 in total.  Staff Wellbeing & Development (HR) will provide up to 20 x €400 scholarships with local units undertaking to fund the remaining €400.  (Please note revised cost to €400 from €325)


5. Application & Nomination process

Click here >> *** AURORA Application Form '20-'21 ***

Applicants must submit a personal statement (anonymised) of no more than 800 words, indicating why they should receive one of the scholarships & what the consequences of their participation will result for them, their unit and the organisation.  Applicants must explain specifically how they anticipate Aurora will change for the better the delivery of their role.  Specifically applicants need to address the following questions: 

  • What development needs and/or leadership challenges are you experiencing in your current role?
  • How do you perceive Aurora specifically would support you in addressing these needs/challenges?
  • What specific outcomes do you wish to achieve from your engagement in Aurora 6 months after completion (Nov.'21). You may find it useful to use the SMART formula to set out your aims and outcomes (i.e. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant & Time-bound).

NB: On the form applicants will:

  • provide nominator's support via signature on form or confirm their support via email
  • provide head of unit/manager's support via signature on form or confirm their support via email
  • provide the local unit cost code from which the fee (€400) is to be paid.
  • confirm their availability for all dates and hold these dates pending successful nomination. 


The completed form should be sent as two attachments in the same email i.e. pages 1 & 2 and page 3 in word format to traininganddevelopment@ucc.ie by 5pm, Friday, 24th July 2020, inserting Aurora Application into email subject line.

Workshop Dates 2020-2021 

Intro Webinar                               24 November '20                  
Identity, Impact & Voice 

1 December '20

Politics & Influence

19 January '21

Action Learning 1

9 February '21 

Core Leadership Skills 

9 March '21 

Adpative Leadership Skills 

20 April '21 

Action Learning 2 

11 May '21 


6. Evaluation of Applications

An Equality Sub-Committee will be established to access applications based on the anonymised personal statements submitted.  Applications that exceed the word limit and/or fail to provide details of Nominators, Unit level support for attendance and/or budget codes for payment of balance of fees may be eliminated.  

While it is impossible to entirely anonyomise applications, names of applicants will be removed.  Decisions will be made on the following criteria, based on the personal statements submitted:

  • How Aurora specifically will address the development needs and/or leadership challenges the applicant is experiencing in their current role;
  • The degree to which the expected outcomes as identified by the applicant are realistic and of benefit to the individual, unit and University. 

The decisions of the Equality Sub-Committee will be final.  

7. Communication of Outcomes

The Department of Human Resources, on behalf of the Equality Sub-Committee will communicate the outcome to all applicants and nominators shortly after the meeting of the Sub-Committee. 

8. Any questions?

Anne Gannon or Mary Horgan  

Updated: 30 June 2020

Change Management

Date: Tue 19 Nov 2019

Time: 10:00 - 13:00

Location: North Wing Conference Room

Providers: Michelle Healy & Michelle Nelson, Office of the Deputy President and Registrar  

Places on this workshop will be prioritised for line managers currently working on change projects.

This change management workshop utilises the Prosci model of change management. This program will help managers proactively lead colleagues through change. In this fun and interactive workshop, you’ll learn how to define and accept your role in change plus gain practical frameworks for becoming an effective change leader.

Developing and Enabling a Customer Services Ethos

Note: Booking for programmes can only take place once advertised to all staff.

Date: Tues 24 Sept 2019

Duration: 09:30 - 17:00

Venue: North Wing Conference Room

Facilitator: Invisio

Programme Objectives

On completing this workshop, participants will know how to apply a framework for delivering an exceptional customer experience, create the right culture and manage, motivate and inspire people who are responsible for the delivery to live the values and behaviours necessary for success.

Programme Content will include

  • Introduction to the programme
  • Your experiences and the psychology behind Customer Experience
  • PIETER – A structural framework for an exceptional customer experience
  • Reflections – Where are we now – where do we need to be – how will we get there?
  • Management as facilitators of customer service excellence
  • Mapping the customer experience journey
  • What gets measured…improves: Measuring customer experiences
  • Reflections – Where are we now – where do we need to be – how will we get there?
  • Short cycle consulting exercises (team problem solving)


Participant Feedback (29 Jan. '19)

  • 'Really couldn't recommend it highly enough - very useful.'
  • 'Well done on the provision of an excellent course. I am a very happy customer!'
  • 'Very enjoyable course. I have several take aways & action items.'


ADKAR in Action

Date: Weds 1st April 2020

Duration: 09:30 - 14:00

Venue: WGB 226 – Western Gateway Building

Facilitator: Michelle Nelson, Office of the Deputy President & Registrar

TARGET AUDIENCE: UCC staff who completed the Prosci Change Management workshops in 2018/19.


This practical programme is targeted at staff members who have completed our Change Management Workshop and who want to put their knowledge of ADKAR® into practice. 

Each attendee will be asked to focus on a practical change project (no matter how small!) they are currently implementing and that they are willing to discuss with the group. The workshop will be highly interactive and aims to enable staff to learn from one another’s experience of managing change in UCC. 

Programme Agenda 

  • Understanding how to apply the Prosci ADKAR® Model to facilitate change within the UCC context
  • Managing stakeholders – bringing others through change
  • Understanding and mitigating resistance to change
  • Embedding Change Successfully

IMI Cork Open Programmes Spring 2020

For the IMI Cork Open Programme schedule Spring 2020, we are pleased to advise that the IMI & UCC are offering a limited number of places to UCC staff on these Cork based open programmes. There will be no tuition fee for successful UCC applicants via this process. 

The list of programmes & number of available UCC places is provided below. The IMI Cork Spring 2020 Brochure & the brochure on the Diploma in Management provide detailed information on each programme, dates and entry requirements. 

Before applying for a programme, we ask staff together with their Head/Manager to assess the course against their own professional & personal development plans, the relevancy to their role and the unit’s & UCC’s strategy. 

Please note the following:

  • one must be available to attend all the Cork course dates of the specific programme and sign to this effect
  • one must discuss the programme with one’s Head / Manager & get sign off from them in support of their application 

Decisions will be based on your 600 word personal statement via the IMI Spring 2020 Open Programme Application Form   This will demonstrate why the programme would be particularly beneficial in addressing your own, your unit’s & UCC’s requirements. 

NOTE: Closing date for receipt of applications is 5pm, Friday 7th February to traininganddevelopment@ucc.ieApplicants will be advised of the outcome of their application shortly after this date. 

Short Programmes & Diploma

Programme Title

No. of places

Advanced Negotiation Skills       


Essential Skills of Management     

Finance for Non-Financial Managers  

Mini MBA 

Taking the Lead - Women in Leadership

Diploma in Management (18 days)

  • 11-13 May '20
  • 8-10 June '20
  • 24-26 August '20
  • 21-23 Sept. '20
  • 19-21 Oct. '20
  • 16-18 Nov. '20

Feedback from previous UCC participants:

  • "The Frontline management 3 day course was excellent, providing me with a number of new ways to organise my workload and lead a team of people. It was great to discuss with other people from various different backgrounds the different challenges they face as a manager or what kind of a manger we would hope to be in the future."
  • "The Women in Leadership course was very impactful, full of reflection and self discovery.  I would recommend this course to other female UCC staff as it is a journey of self discovery covering issues related to energy management, listening skills, development of a purpose statement, your inner critic and goal development.  The learning environment was enhanced by  the support of the facilitators and the participants in the group."
  • "I completed the Mini MBA and found the course hugely beneficial. It was great to step outside my comfort zone, both in terms of topics covered and regarding fellow course participants, who worked in various public/private companies. The case studies were extremely interesting and definitely gave me a new perspective on how I want to progress in my current role and future progression, plus gave an opportunity for headspace outside of the office."

Updated: February 2020



Maximising Performance Under Pressure

Date: Tues 19 November 2019

Duration: 10:30 - 13:30

Venue: Muscrai Room, Aras na Mac Leinn

Facilitator: Valerie Pirece, Clear Thinking in Action

The aim of this 3 hour workshop is to help you to achieve strong and sustainable performance both for yourself and your team. In particular we will concentrate on the theory and practice of the following Critical skills that maximise performance under pressure and help to achieve clear thinking in action. 

(1) Think with Passion – not Emotion

One of the most important ways to perform best under pressure is to ensure your thinking is working in tandem with your goals. A critical Thinking tool for this purpose is to be aware of the difference between being Passionate, versus being Emotional about our goals, as both of these states of mind produce different abilities and levels of thinking. 

      (2) Use Cool Logic in Hot Situations  

  • In critical situations, understanding Good Logic from Bad Reasons means taking the first step towards confident decision making and away from collusion – the nightmare of all successful teams.
  • Can you spot thinking errors in you/your colleagues/your clients that may change the dynamic of your influence?  Examples are ‘All or Nothing’ thinking – Blame – personalisation – fortune-telling – mistaking feelings for facts – etc. 
  • This session develops the skills set to spot these thinking errors as they happen so as to overcome ‘staircase wit’, the brilliant ability to know after the meeting what we should have said during the meeting… 

(3) Be Innovative through the Power of Negative Thinking

    • Learning to separate ‘Negative Thinking’ from ‘Negativity’.
    • Apply the DNA Technique to use negative thinking to remove Obstacles & Blockages that hinder successful Action. 

Staff Wellbeing & Development

First Floor, Block E, Food Science Building, UCC, T12 YN60