Emotional competence at work (Day 1 of 2)

Crawford School of Public Policy | Executive course
Policy Essentials
Public Sector Leadership for Senior Executives
Skills for Future Leaders


Emotional competence has been widely demonstrated to be a critical factor for individual and team performance across the spectrum of working life. Especially in public policy work - where values, interests and resources compete, and time-pressures and expectations are high – emotionally competent behaviour can be an important driver of success.

Linking to neuroscience research in cognition and emotion, and using experiential participation, this highly interactive, three-part course helps individuals to recognise the complex basis their behaviour. Participants will gain insight into their own EC and have the opportunity to explore methods for:

  • increasing their personal resilience especially in high pressure settings
  • recognising, challenging and modifying unhelpful default inclinations and assumptions
  • relating successfully to others, especially those with different work styles
  • developing a growth mindset.

The course is run in three Parts consisting of two in-class days, separated by a two-week component in which participants will be provided with material to support on-the-job reflection and development. The course concludes with guidance for further development of EC skills when “back at work”

Enrolment in Day 1 is a prerequisite to enrol in Day 2

See related course: Emotional Competence at work (Day 2)

Course overview

The learning outcomes will be:

  • clear grasp of what EC is and why is it important
  • a grounded view of where the student him/herself stands
  • insight into how they ‘operate’ with respect to EC
  • insight into, and relevant skills for, increasing EC
  • a prospect for growth beyond the end of session

Part A (in-class session): Emotional Competence - self awareness and self-management

Day 1 will include:

  • defining EC and offering research evidence of its relevance
  • outlining key ideas about dual systems in the brain and the interdependence of thinking and feeling
  • assessing, via an on-line, in-class survey some relevant ‘style’ questions, providing the feedback as a ‘profile’ on the same day
  • discussing the findings of the survey, including comparisons between predicted and actual scores, using interactive methods in the workshop
  • introducing some key frameworks and techniques to surface and identify participants’ typical behaviours and responses in their workplace setting.

Part B (workplace learning): Reflecting on Emotional Competence in the Workplace

During the two week period that separates the in-class sessions, participants will undertake some reflection and preparation activities back in their workplace. Using the frameworks and techniques offered at the end of Day 1, participants will be provided with supporting material to:

  • engage in active reflection about their styles and tendencies at work, and
  • prepare material that will be used as inputs to Day 2.

Course presenter(s)

Dr Pamela Kinnear

Pamela Kinnear is an experienced policy professional, skilled facilitator and strategic thinker with over 20 years’ experience of high-pressure leadership in senior executive roles across government (including PM&C), non-government (e.g., Universities Australia), as well as research agencies and think tanks. In these roles she has been involved in the development, implementation, analysis and evaluation of numerous national-level initiatives across a wide range of public policy issues. The diversity of Pamela’s public policy experience means that she can understand issues from a variety of perspectives, fully aware of the tensions and challenges involved in time-pressured, high-profile, complex and controversial policy work. She is a skilled facilitator who brings an enthusiasm for interactive experiential thinking and learning methods that support innovative but realistic insights and transformative change for individuals, teams, projects and partnerships.

Dr Stephen Mugford

Stephen Mugford has been an independent consultant and trainer for over 20 years, following a successful and high profile academic career specialising in sociology and social psychology. Trained in the UK, he held academic posts in Wellington, NZ, Berkeley, California and in Canberra, where he taught at ANU from 1974-1996. His unique blend of academic training, practical experience and a lively interest in innovation creates a stimulating and exciting approach to his consultancy, underpinning work in team building for senior managers, change management, executive coaching and the facilitation of meetings and workshops.He has worked with the public and private sectors as well as NGOs in projects as diverse as establishing a senior leadership teams for the RAF in the UK and helping the YMCA deal with change, through to evaluating peace-making programs in South Africa. A 15 year engagement with the RAAF senior leadership team (2000-2015) was recognised with a formal Chief of Air Force Commendation in 2015.

Updated:  27 October 2021/Responsible Officer:  Crawford Engagement/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team