England & Wales, Global, Ireland, Scotland Personal and organisational development

Online Training: Being an effective Councillor: Effective Interpersonal Skills


This modular programme has been developed for Councillors who want to develop more advanced interpersonal skills to enable them to gain more positive outcomes when working with people.

Whilst each module is self-sufficient, pulled together into one programme this is a concentrated and powerful personal development activity which will ensure that participants are confident and competent in the communication elements of their role.

In its entirety, the three modules of this programme will deliver interpersonal improvements in the areas of:

  • Rapport building
  • Listening and questioning technique
  • Non-verbal behaviour
  • Communication style and approaches
  • Assertiveness techniques
  • Influencing and negotiating
  • Conflict resolution and mediation.

Each module lasts for 2 hours and includes a variety of learning methods which include:

  • Group discussion
  • Questionnaire
  • Exercises and case studies
  • Paired work and small group activities
  • Tutor input

Comprehensive workbooks are provided and a certificate of completion for each module will be awarded.


Module 1: Advanced Communication Skills:

4 October 2022: 10:00-12:00

This is a highly participative and engaging session that will reinforce some of the existing skills that delegates have learnt, and add value through the introduction of new elements including:

  • Understanding our own communication preferences
  • Matching and mirroring techniques
  • Fast rapport building strategies
  • Chunking – how to change the level at which a person processes information
  • Advanced questioning skills
  • Enhanced listening skills
  • Non-verbal behaviour
  • Communication predicates
  • Making use of powerful language


Module 2: The Persuasive Councillor: 

11 October 2022: 10:00-12:00

In this module, we will be exploring the skills associated with persuading and influencing – a key skill that Councillors use every day as part of their role.

Highlights of this session will include:

  • The 4P’s of Persuasion
  • How to put a proposition
  • Negotiating techniques
  • Overcoming objections
  • Developing a win-win outcome
  • Deadlock and negotiation breakdowns.


Module 3: Conflict Resolution and Mediation: 

18 October 2022: 10:00-12:00

Conflict can be hard to manage and this session has been developed to provide Councillors with strategies for defusing difficult situations, and ideas for unpicking the positions that individuals may adopt.

Key learning points from the session will include:

  • Identifying what the conflict is about
  • Understanding behavioural motivations
  • Distraction techniques
  • How to stand one’s ground gracefully
  • Using mediation skills between unhappy parties.


Who should attend?

This modular programme has been developed for Councillors who want to develop more advanced interpersonal skills to enable them to gain more positive outcomes when working with people.


Miranda Smythe

Miranda has 30 years’ experience in helping organisations (mainly local government) to identify learning gaps, and to develop tailored, creative and relevant strategies for meeting these needs with a view of helping them meet their objectives.  Miranda is also a Local Government Information Unit (LGIU) Associate Trainer and has been involved in developing bespoke programmes for Councillors including speed reading and personal safety.

In addition to her formal role, Miranda is also very involved in local community development activities, providing mental health awareness sessions for many not-for-profit organisations.  She is Chair of a local homelessness charity and has been instrumental in developing and facilitating community leadership initiatives in Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire.