Newcastle University

Newcastle University


Working with both Academic and Non-Academic staff, we designed and ran a series of Effective Performance Conversations programmes which were aimed at improving the engagement, coaching and feedback skills of leaders when discussing performance in their teams.


We designed a half day highly interactive session with a specific brief of covering group sizes of up to 60 in order to generate momentum for the change initiative. Following a hugely successful pilot to senior leaders, we were asked to roll the programme out to all academic staff. The sessions had six drama based facilitators working in pairs to cover the sixty staff members simultaneously, making sure that interaction was high and individual skills were developed. Delegate evaluation comment some weeks later: “I considered the session to be of the highest quality, presented in an extremely well-rehearsed and professional manner.  Conversations acted-out, inspired ideas of how to cope with potentially confrontational and difficult situations and/or colleagues.”


The Staff Development Unit was initially worried that it would have trouble filling the sessions.  However, after the first session subsequent courses became so popular that over-subscription became a real issue.   Indeed, following the initial suite of programmes which were aimed exclusively at Academic Staff, we were asked to deliver another suite of programmes for Clerical/Admin Staff.  When these were completed, to similar success, we were asked again to develop another for the Maintenance Teams.

“We used 2macs’ drama based techniques to explore how attitudes and behaviour can have a profound effect upon the culture and ultimately the success of an organisation.  Using drama was viewed as an exciting vehicle for facilitating a process of changing awareness and behaviour.  For those who attended, the training provided a greater insight into the complexities of performance conversations.”

Linda Robinson

Staff Development Manager