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“Effective conversations: From energy guzzlers to energy boosters” 

Leiderschapstraject & webcasts

The Netherlands Food and Consumer Safety Authority (NVWA) asked us to develop and give a training course on the theme of effective conversations as part of its programme on showing leadership and receiving leadership. This workshop, consisting of three modules, focused on managers within the NVWA.  


How do you get managers, who often have many years of experience and a huge level of (substantive) commitment, to start providing their teams with attention, direction and peace of mind? The focus was on doing practical exercises in order to hone and expand their repertoire of effective conversation skills. “Effective conversations” – it sounds so simple but those are often difficult to have in practice. As a manager, you want to achieve something with individual employees or with your team. And your good intentions are not always understood and acted upon. Why is that the case? And above all: what can you do about it?  


On the basis of several discussions we had with (prospective) participants, we co-created a programme with the NVWA. In that, we paid attention to things like having “adult” conversations, reflecting, expressing expectations and dealing with emotions (both of the manager and of those on the receiving end of their leadership). As we gave the workshop well into the pandemic period, it was conducted entirely online with small groups, with plenty of room for practice. We also held about 30 webinars for larger groups. And those webinars we later turned into webcasts. You can watch one of them below.   


The participants learned how to engage more effectively in conversations with their employees, colleagues and supervisors, without losing energy. For many participants, “the penny dropped” as they realised that not only content but also perception and experience play important roles in both leading and receiving leadership. The participants were given tools but also opportunities to practise applying them. 


Upon completion of the programme, we were asked if we could provide something like it for their employees as well. We are currently working on creating a similar programme for them. 

Do you also struggle with having effective conversations? With giving direction and steering the movement? Does providing leadership within your organisation ever require too much energy? Contact Jacques at

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