Leadership and management

  • As a manager at Oxford Brookes, a range of development opportunities are available to you. Some are considered essential to your role and others are open to you according to your needs at different times. Much of our management development activity is linked to the Brookes’ Leadership Capabilities Model and some can lead towards an accredited qualification. All managers are encouraged to discuss their development with their own managers, and, if further information is required, with an OCSLD consultant

  • OCSLD has identified a range of management development options/tools to help you  with your personal, professional and career development and to support and strengthen your senior management team:

    This approach to our senior management development was established after a needs analysis with Deans and Directors. They asked for a flexible and personalised approach because ‘no one size fits all’. They were also clear that a senior management course was not wanted at the present time.

    Executive development

    As a Brookes’ senior manager, you face considerable challenges delivering the  2020 Strategy and leading our University in an increasingly complex, fast-changing and interconnected world. One way in which you can prepare to meet and deal with these challenges is to focus on your continuous development and be the best that you can be. 

    You can select whatever options/tools best meet your needs - taking account of:

    • your past experience, skills and training
    • the requirements of your current and possible future roles
    • your aspirations for the future. 

    Your line manager or an OCSLD Consultant can support you - as part of the  PDR process. Normally, any costs associated with your learning and development will be funded from the appropriate faculty or directorate budget.

    These tools can also be used for  Executive team development.

    OCSLD has designed a new Brookes’ Leadership programme for both academic and professional service (support) staff at grades 8-12 with at least one year's experience of managing staff.  

    OCSLD offers a range of training courses to enable new managers - whether you are new to Brookes or you have been recently promoted - to be fully effective as quickly as possible. These courses will teach you essential management skills and introduce our key HR processes. They support our commitment to create a supportive coaching culture at Brookes. All these courses are run as open courses or they can be requested as for a group of faculty or directorate staff.

    • Effective performance conversations. This half day workshop focuses on the actual performance conversation and has been designed to enable managers to carry out regular performance conversations with staff to help them to be effective in their jobs and to deal with any issues as they arise.

    • Managing Attendance. This one day course helps you to manage sickness absences more effectively and explains when and how to involve HR and Occupational Health.

    • Introduction to Leadership and Management. This two day course explores the management and leadership role and gives practical strategies for carrying out the key tasks and building the management relationship.

    • Time management. This is a online course, so you can work through it at your own pace and when it suits you. 

    • Recruitment and Selection. This programme, which is mandatory for all new managers, comprises a short online Moodle course followed by an intensive one day training course. It covers the Brookes recruitment and  selection process, employment legislation and equal opportunities, and enables you to learn interview skills. On successful completion of the course, you will be able to take part in recruiting and selecting staff.
    • Personal Development and Review (PDR) for Reviewers. This one day course is mandatory for all new managers. It examines the Brookes PDR process and will enable you to understand and carry out your responsibilities for PDRs - using a coaching style of management. 

    Coaching provides a safe space for you to work confidentially on issues of concern with a skilled coach.  It helps you to express your thoughts and feelings freely in a supportive and non-judgemental setting and deal with the complex and confusing world of work more creatively. It is a powerful mechanism for personal and professional development, and helps facilitate personal change which leads to improved performance. Many successful managers regularly use coaching to help them deal with challenges and achieve better results.

    A coaching session usually lasts one or two hours and is part of an agreed programme of between three and six sessions. Ideally, the coaching is held in a quiet, private place, away from the manager’s office. The first session of your coaching should involve checking whether you and the coach think you can work together effectively and agreeing the specific arrangements of the coaching. Most people look forward to their coaching sessions and find it an enjoyable and enhancing experience.

    An OCSLD consultant can help you to decide whether an internal coach or an external coach may be the most effective option for you.

    Internal coaching

    At Brookes, we have invested in our internal coaches by training staff in the well-respected Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) Coaching and Mentoring Level 5 Certificate Programme.  We now have a small pool of ILM qualified coaches who work in a variety of roles across the university and volunteer their time to coach colleagues. In addition to this, OCSLD consultants also offer their coaching services to colleagues.

    External coaching

    Some people prefer to work with an external coach because they feel that an external coach can be more objective and also, they are not likely to bump into an external coach regularly at work once the coaching is finished. The factors which might influence you in making your choice include cost, availability and the nature of the issue(s) you want to work on.

    OCSLD is developing a list of preferred external coaches. These people are known to us and have a successful track record as coaches. This does not guarantee success because coaching is a very personal but it does minimise the risk of a poor coaching experience. Payment for a coaching programme is usually made in advance or after the first session. 

    Teams are complex and ever-changing entities comprising of individuals with different personalities and needs who rely on each other to achieve common objectives. Taking your team out of its normal environment and daily work routines provides opportunities to:

    • see a different side to each other’s personalities

    • make new connections (especially if there is regular turnover of staff)  

    • calm strained relationships caused by operational pressures  

    • discuss and work collectively on key projects and important work issues

    • initiate and progress new initiatives  

    • build team cohesion and confidence  

    Types of team development days

    Most team development days (or awaydays) involve a mix of work and non-work activities. Here are some examples of the wide variety of team development days that OCSLD has supported:

    Morning Lunch Afternoon
    Drumming Lunch

    Developing meaningful KPIs

    Preparing for our external review

    Brookes Restaurant Lunch

    Department SWOT analysis

    Working smarter not harder

    Envisioning hub & spoke working

    Roles and responsibilities

    Promoting a consultative approach


    Outdoor activities

    Driving 4x4/ Pistol shooting/ Reverse snooker

    Myers Briggs Personality session Lunch

    Handling difficult callers

    Coaching one another in the dept


    Preparation and logistics

    Good preparation is the key for a successful team event. We recommend that you book a date well (even up to a year) in advance to ensure maximum attendance, the right choice of venue and the availability of your preferred internal or external facilitator (if you need one). 

    Your link OCSLD consultant can meet with you early in the design process to carry out the necessary diagnostics which include:

    • understanding the context for the team away day

    • determining the objectives for the day

    • exploring options for the content

    • providing ideas for activities, work sessions and venues

    • establishing the available budget

    • inquiring upon special needs and reasonable adjustments for team members

    • identifying other arrangements required - e.g. transport, room requirements,  hospitality

    • determining who will facilitate the event  

    Please contact your OCSLD Link Consultant to discuss your requirements.