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Ethics office

United Nations Leadership Dialogue 2018


Welcome to the resource page for the 2018 United Nations Leadership Dialogue. Between ‎now and 30 November 2018, all managers in the Secretariat are asked to host a one-and-a-half hour ‎dialogue session with their direct reports on the topic, “Speaking Up: When Does It Become Whistleblowing?” This year’s Leadership Dialogue focuses on when and how you can respectfully dissent with management, raise concerns about interpersonal and workplace disputes, and make formal reports of wrong-doing. You will look at what to do, where to get assistance and how the consequences of your decisions are critical to our collective success.

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. Upon completion of the programme, respective Executive/Administrative Officers are requested to submit to the Ethics Office final participation statistics for their respective Departments/Offices by 31 December 2018.

All materials needed for the Leadership Dialogue are provided via the link box above. Detailed instructions for the 2018 Leadership Dialogue programme may be found in the Leader’s Guide. The Guide additionally contains feedback forms for Departments/Offices to complete and return to the Ethics Office. To open or download the document(s), click on the link(s) provided. If you cannot download the materials, or if you have reviewed the materials and still have questions, please contact the Ethics Office directly.

The most important thing is that you enjoy the session. Having been conducted since 2013, feedback on the Leadership Dialogue initiative has been very positive. We are confident you will have a similar experience regarding the 2018 programme.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q.‎ Why should I do this programme?

A. All managers in the Secretariat are asked to host a one-and-a half hour session with their direct reports on this year’s topic, “Speaking Up: When Does It Become Whistleblowing?” All heads of departments will be asked to confirm to the Ethics Office that their managers have completed their Leadership Dialogue sessions. Discussing when and how to speak up on issues of concern or to report wrongdoing builds a culture of openness, transparency and accountability, helping us keep ethics and our core values at the forefront of our work.

Q.‎ I am expected to lead the dialogue for my team but I am not a great trainer or public speaker. Do I have to do this programme?

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. This year, we have also added a PowerPoint presentation to help guide the discussions. The most important thing you can do, besides being prepared, is to be honest and open with your team during this discussion. While the Guide provides practical examples under each topic for your ease of reference, you may wish to think about examples from your own experience or that of your colleagues, as this may make the session more authentic.

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 that 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 programme is designed in a “management cascade” style, which anticipates that ‎you will lead your session once your manager has conducted his/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 direct reports to engage in ‎a discussion with each other about the importance of speaking up, in a civil and constructive way. Having someone other ‎than the manager lead the discussion does not achieve the purpose of the programme. ‎ ‎

Q. My manager has scheduled the Leadership Dialogue session. As we do this every year, can I skip one session?

A. You shouldn’t skip a session, as the topic is different every year. The programme began in 2013 with conversations about our Oath of Office; in 2014 the topic was respect and tolerance in the workplace; in 2015 it was individual responsibility; in 2016 the focus was on fraud awareness and prevention; and in 2017, the standards of conduct in relation to regulations and rules about gifts, political activities, harassment, and sexual exploitation and abuse. This year’s topic on speaking up focuses on dissenting respectfully and constructively, raising concerns about inter-personal conflicts and workplace disputes, and coming forward with reports of misconduct or cooperating with duly authorized audits and investigations. In addition, participating in the Leadership Dialogue session offers yet another opportunity for you and all colleagues to exchange thoughts, experiences, challenges and solutions with your team and manager.

How can I learn more about ethics standards and issues?

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 ” (pdf icon) , which is also available in French (pdf icon) , and The Roadmap: A Staff Member’s Guide to Finding the Right Place (pdf icon) on the Ethics Advice and Guidance page.

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