AUA Creating Conversations: an interactive, multi-use, development resource

As a Learning and Development Practitioner, I am passionate about learning being engaging for participants and I enjoy finding different and innovative ways of facilitating this for the staff and managers I work with as a Leadership and Development Adviser for LJMU.

I have created three resources for the AUA (Association of University Administrators), to support staff, managers and institutions embedding the AUA CPD Framework, through raising awareness and understanding of its value, and demonstrating a number of different ways it can be used to have impact and influence on work, practice and professional development. The three resources I have created are AUA Building Behaviours, AUA Behaviour Insights and AUA Creating Conversations. The resources have been well received across the HE Sector and their use at LJMU contributed to the achievement of the AUA Mark of Excellence and myself winning AUA Member of the Year 2017 and 2019. My favourite of the three resources is AUA Creating Conversations as it provides a substantial amount of useful and varied information for both managers and staff.

AUA Creating Conversations is a card-based game encouraging critical reflection, discussion and debate around the nine AUA Professional Behaviours, centred on individual and collective strengths and areas of development, aligned to the AUA CPD Framework and work-related objectives. It demonstrates the pragmatic value of AUA CPD Framework extremely well and provides insight for managers and colleagues on individual and collective perceptions in relation to pre-determined development or work-related objectives. The resource supports individual, team and institutional development planning.

AUA Creating Conversations highlights which Professional Behaviours (and descriptors) the individual and group are currently focusing on, and in what category (Self, Others and Organisation). This information can be used by staff and managers to support professional development planning, objective setting, delegating responsibilities and contextualising current focuses in relation to job roles and performance. The activity has three parts: Part One and Two provide insights for individual focus, and Part Three for collective focus and development planning through action learning style discussion. The information produced as a result of this activity, will give staff and managers discussion points for future appraisals, performance reviews, development planning, objective setting and general catch-up meetings with line-managers. This activity takes 60 minutes to complete.

The cards can be used to make a number of excellent variations of this activity; these include a Johari-style version; Tinder-swiping version; versions targeted at team development, team building and enhancing skills such as communications, critical thinking, and persuading, negotiating and influencing; working on projects and collaborative tasks; and micro-versions using specific Behaviours and development categories.

AUA Creating Conversations will be available via the AUA website soon. Until then, if you would like further information or a downloadable version of the resource to print and try yourself, please contact me, Michael Monaghan via, or, the AUA via

Many thanks for reading my first LDF Blog!

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