Newslink 85 | Winter 2016

Dr Giles Brown | Editor


The focus of this issue of Newslink is the AUA. While this might sound a little odd, I felt that the focus of Issue 85 should be recent AUA developments, since these have been numerous and significant. This issue details all the hard work and innovation that has been undertaken by the Association, how your subscriptions have been spent and, importantly, how the Association can both benefit you as a result of these changes and further consolidate its position as an authoritative advocate and champion for the sector nationally and internationally.

Significant changes to existing programmes and provision (such as the PgCert, website and other electronic offerings) have been augmented by new ventures such as the AUA Mark of Excellence, underpinned by an overarching rebranding, as seen in stylistic changes throughout this issue of Newslink. Key players in these developments have written articles for this issue, which will allow you to explore further what has been going on and to follow up on aspects which interest you.

These changes have been overseen by our Board of Trustees and the AUA Office in Manchester (formerly the ‘National’ Office), and in light of this I thought it timely to present short Trustee and Office staff profiles so you can put faces to names, know who to contact about specific issues and to offer help/volunteer for roles in the governance structure. Importantly, these profiles will also help you in approaching our Trustees and Office staff at Conference and other AUA events to say hello, share your experiences and provide feedback and suggestions.

In terms of developments for Newslink, it has been my aim to include a number of shorter articles which provide ideas and guidance across a range of topics. In this issue there are two examples of this which I hope you find useful; 10 recommendations for providing a positive LGBTQ university experience and tips for confident communication. The latter is the first in a new series of bite size articles presenting top tips and developing key skills. As always, suggestions for future topics (and other content) are always welcome.

I hope you find this issue helpful in updating you on recent Association developments, and directing you to the associated material and key individuals who can offer further help and advice.

Jan Shine FAUA
People Development Consultant, Paullus People Development

These bite-size articles will encompass all levels and areas of HE professional services activity, offering key skills, top tips and even what to avoid! In the following article, Jan Shine presents her top tips for confident communication. This is the first in a new regular series from Jan in Newslink, aimed at delivering short, easily digestible and thought provoking professional development tips, ideas and skills.


Confident and effective communication is not just about what and how you communicate, equally important is the way in which you cooperate, connect and interact with others. The following points capture some of the key features of applying verbal and non-verbal communication skills confidently and professionally for positive impact in the workplace. There are also many examples of effective communication behaviours embedded in the CPD Framework, particularly in the areas of Managing Self and Personal Skills, Delivering Excellent Service and Working Together.

Use positive language
Focus on positive words and messages. For example consider the different impact of the following two statements: “I’ve considered your views very carefully, but I’ve decided…” vs. “I’ve considered your views very carefully, and I’ve decided…”

Give full attention
Focus exclusively on the interaction you are having by listening with respect and interest, by summarising when appropriate, by moving away from your PC/desk, redirecting telephone calls/ silencing your mobile devices.

Be direct
Use short, punchy sentences and clear, concise language appropriate to the context.

Demonstrate equality
Treat all parties as ‘communication peers’ regardless of structural hierarchy and relationships, for example giving equal turns and attention.

Also in this issue…

Meet the New Chair of the AUA
Kathy Fowler

Equality, diversity, inclusiveness
Ensuring a positive LGBTQ university experience

HEFAF Annual Conference
A warm welcome in South Africa

Only AUA members can access the full version of Newslink #85, Please log in or join to access the full content.