Speaking Up, Listening Up workshop

Based on major research study into ‘speaking truth to power’, which draws on insights from organisations across the world, including the NHS, this workshop addresses some of the realities of speaking up and listening up. Participants learnt practical ways to make a difference to who gets heard – and what they as individuals can do to hear others and be heard.

It explicitly considered  areas from the individual, inter-personal and systemic perspectives, which were:

  • How we silence ourselves and are silenced
  • How we silence others (intentionally and unintentionally)
  • The individual and organisational consequences of silencing
  • What we can do to find our voice and encourage voice of others
  • How we can increase our impact and influence by using voice effectively

By the end of the workshop participants had a much greater understanding of the barriers to the free flow of communication – and had some tools and strategies for lowering the barriers and finding their voices.


Ben Fuchs is a senior consultant with The Kings Fund and guest faculty with the London Leadership Academy. He has been a practicing psychologist for over 25 years, developing leaders, teams and organisations. He works with leadership and organisational development across the health sector – with STP’s, acute trusts, commissioners, community and local authority services. He has also worked in international development, leading conflict resolution projects in Nicaragua and Northern Ireland.

John Higgins is a researcher, author and coach who has worked for many years with the faculty and students of the Ashridge Doctorate and Masters in Organisational Change. For the last 4 to 5 years he has been immersed in a major study into the practice of ‘speaking truth to power’, summarised in a July 2016 paper (co-authored with Dr Megan Reitz) ‘Being silenced and silencing others; Developing the capacity to speak truth to power’. They are currently writing ‘Speak up! Say what needs to be said. Hear what needs to be heard’ due for publication in 2019.

Kira Emslie is voice and presentation coach with Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts. Working with physical presence, breath and voice, she teaches techniques used by professional stage performers to help leaders overcome their barriers, nerves and fears about speaking or presenting in front of others. This helps leaders to increase their personal confidence and their ability to effectively get their message across and to influence others. She also works with the London Leadership Academy’s Women Leadership Network.

Workshop participants said:

“One of the best days development wise in a long time. Evidence based & tools to use moving forward.”

“Very engaging & relevant.”

“Delivery was really engaging.”

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Contact us

NHS South West Leadership Academy
South West House
Blackbrook Park Avenue
Somerset TA1 2PX

Telephone: 01454 252719

Email: leadership.SW@leadershipacademy.nhs.uk



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