United Nations Leadership Dialogue
Welcome to the resource page for the United Nations Leadership Dialogue. Between now and 30 June 2013, all managers in the Secretariat are asked to host a one-hour dialogue session with their direct reports on the topic, “What does it mean to be an international civil servant?” This discussion is designed to explore the nature of our obligations as international civil servants, in the context of our daily work.
Each head of department/head of mission should lead the first Leadership Dialogue session for his or her direct reports. Following that initial session, those direct reports will schedule and lead the next sessions. The dialogues should occur in this “cascading” fashion, until all managers have engaged their staff in a Leadership Dialogue. After 30 June 2013, all heads of department will be required to certify to the Secretary-General that their managers have all completed their Leadership Dialogue sessions.
All materials needed for the Leadership Dialogue are provided via the link box above. Each Executive Office has been given a hard copy of the Leader’s Guide as well. The Leader’s Guide is self-explanatory; just open up the Guide and nearly everything you need (instructions and materials) will be there.
We are pleased to feature Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, in a brief video interview, in which he discusses what it means to him to be an international civil servant. You should use the video to start the session.
The materials you need are available on this page. To open or download the document(s) and the video, click on the link(s) provided. Of course, if you cannot download the materials, or you have reviewed the materials but have questions, please contact the Ethics Office directly. The Leader’s Guide contains a feedback form for you to complete and return to the Ethics Office. We would welcome your comments and suggestions.
Most of all, enjoy the session. UN staff members like to talk about issues of ethics and integrity, and we are confident you will find that your session is meaningful and enjoyable.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. I am not a great trainer or public speaker. Do I have to do this program?
A. Don’t worry. The Leader’s Guide was designed with you in mind. Just
follow the programme that has been provided and you will find that it is
relatively easy to lead your session. The most important thing you can
do, besides being prepared, is to be honest, open, and authentic with
your team during this discussion.
Q. What if I cannot answer all of the questions raised during the session?
A. The Leader’s Guide provides summary points that should address most
questions that may be raised. However, it is entirely possible that
your staff will ask questions or raise issues not previously
considered. This is a wonderful opportunity for the group to consider
the issue and reach its own answers. For matters you continue to
struggle with, document the question and consult with the Ethics
Office. After your consultation, you can go back to your staff and
share helpful information.
Q. I am ready to conduct my session, but my manager has not yet done her session with our team. Can I go ahead with my own session?
A. The program is designed in a “management cascade” style, which
anticipates that you will lead your session once your manager has
conducted her session with you. However, you may go ahead with your
session if you are ready.
Q. Can I ask my Executive Office, or another manager, to do these sessions instead of me?
A. No. The purpose of the dialogue session is to allow you and your
staff to engage in a direct discussion with each other about this
important issue. Having someone other than the manager lead the
discussion does not achieve the purpose of the program. But don’t worry
– the Leader’s Guide was designed to make facilitating the discussion
Q. How can I learn more about international civil service and what it means for staff?
A. Feel free to download and view additional information from the Ethics
Office website. In particular, you are encouraged to download our new
ethics guide, "Putting Ethics to Work: A Guide for UN Staff”, which is also
available in French, and The Roadmap: A Staff Member’s Guide to Finding the Right Place on the Ethics Advice and Guidance page.