UKZN’s Corporate Relations Division equipped line managers with tools to improve engagements with their teams during a leadership training workshop held at Westville campus on 27 March.

The purpose of the workshop, themed Advancing the UKZN Strategy 2017-2021 and facilitated by Mr Daniel Munslow from MCC Consulting, was to provide leaders with tools to have effective conversations with their teams and to improve internal communications.

The workshop started with Munslow highlighting the outcomes of the Internal Communication Survey recently conducted at UKZN. He said while the overall results of the survey were good, the negative comments also needed to be acknowledged.

He added that feedback from the survey and the awareness of the new strategy needed to be communicated and filtered through to staff so they themselves are better informed about their role at the University.

Through different exercises, line managers were taught how to understand their audience. They were also taught verbal communication tips and techniques, and how to master non-verbal communication and listening skills.

Munslow encouraged leaders to have informal engagements rather than structured, complicated conversations as this paralyses the intention. He encouraged multi-level and two-way feedback as it is important for leaders to know what is happening on the ground.

The line managers were tasked with conducting engagements with their staff on the new strategy and were provided with an exercise they will complete and submit to Munslow in two weeks. Managers also received a toolkit handout to use as a reference when engaging with their staff about the strategy.

The next training for Executive Management and Deans will be held on 5 April.

Words: Sithembile Shabangu