England & Wales, Global, Ireland, Scotland HR, workforce and communications, Personal and organisational development

Developing political awareness & sensitivity: the key to working effectively with Members


Whilst the relationship between elected Members and officers has always been important for local government this is particularly the case when the organisation faces changes brought about by COVID 19 as well as financial pressures and the need make tough decisions about priorities. It may also be the case that collectively Members and officers are working together to achieve significant organisational change. In addition, it can be a challenge for new staff coming into the organisation to grasp the importance and efficacy of political leadership. This workshop is a chance for those new to working in a political environment with Members to understand the respective roles and the skills needed. It is also a chance for more experienced officers to reflect on their experiences and add to their toolkit of approaches and skills.

Outline programme

  • Welcome and introduction – clarifying workshop and individual goals
  • Understanding the roles of officers and Members and the challenges the relationship can create.
  • Sharing experiences and approaches
  • Introducing the two components for working effectively with Members
  • Building a foundation of awareness – how knowledgeable are you about your council’s members
  • Mutual empathy and understanding – putting yourself in the members shoes
  • Influencing with integrity, building strong and effective relationships with Members
  • What kind of officer are you? Identifying unhelpful strategies
  • Personal and organisational actions


This session will use the Zoom platform.


Keith Crampton, Wiz Training and Development Ltd.

Keith is an experienced trainer, coach and facilitator specialising in local government but with experience in private sector organisations as well as charities. Specialising in organisational and culture change Keith has worked with authorities of all types. His experience before forming Wiz was as a training and organisational development specialist working in both local government and the NHS. He brings an enthusiastic and engaging approach coupled with a focus on achieving real improvements in individual and organisational performance.

Who should attend?

Any officer who has significant interaction with elected Members or who wants to develop their understanding of the complexity and subtlety of the relationship. Particularly useful for managers new to local government needs to develop an understanding of this aspect of how councils work.