Essential ‘social intelligence’ upskilling conference


20 October, 2022

9:30 am - 5:00 pm BST


Essential ‘social intelligence’ upskilling conference

Location: York

  • Format


  • Type


  • Duration

    7h 30m

COVID plunged us into isolation from colleagues, clients, family, and friends, negatively impacting our social skills. No matter what your ‘new norm’ is in this changed world of work, now is a good time to address the four aspects of ‘social intelligence’. Join us to hear from Sarah Creegan, and Selina Brown, from Laughology, who can help you to again flourish, rounded up by Julie Bickerdyke FCMA, CGMA, who will share practical examples from her 20+ years in finance, of how embracing ‘social intelligence’ can help develop your career.

Full description

Product information


Professional development

All learning resources available in the CGMA Store qualify for CPD for CIMA members.

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Duration:7h 30m
Access:This is a live event. You will receive information about the location, materials, and attendance after purchasing.

Return and refund policy

Programme outline

Did you know that only 2% of people have had any formal training in communication and listening? Luckily for everyone else, this conference will focus on the skills that you need, to have even better conversations. We all know that, through having great conversations, we build stronger, more positive relationships. And, when we have those, we are more successful in our role, and happier in our workplace. What’s not to like about that?

Sarah and Selina will take you on a whistle-stop tour of the four aspects of social intelligence, thinking about:

  • Effective listening and conversational skills.
  • Impression management.
  • Tuning into and adapting to others.
  • Social efficiency and awareness of rules.

For more in-depth details on each of these four aspects being addressed, speaker profiles, and the day's programme, be sure to view the conference brochure; compelling content to help you realise the benefits in reserving your place. See below for pricing, where there is an option for a group booking discount.

What to expect, learning outcomes, and takeaways …

Sarah, and Selina know that learning ‘sticks’ when people are having fun and enjoying themselves. Laughology is much more than just having a giggle though, as these presentations are underpinned by psychology and neuroscience. They will encourage lots of discussion, giving you plenty of practical, easy-to-use tips, to take away and implement.

  • Knowing how to become an even better, more active listener.
  • Understanding the importance of authenticity when trying to influence others.
  • Being better able to identify your own and others’ learning and communication styles.
  • Understanding how we can make sure everyone is okay, during and after negotiations.

So, whether you want to be better able to influence others, collaborate more successfully, or negotiate well, you’ll have a whole new set of tools to use going forward. And, if you’ve got a teenager at home, it might help with them too!

This conference is a great opportunity to at long last come face-to-face with your CIMA peers, and like-minded professionals, for a day of CPD, with the opportunity to network and socialise during lunch, during comfort breaks, also at the drinks’ reception at the close of formal proceedings.

In addition ...

Julie Bickerdyke FCMA, CGMA, who has worked across multiple sectors over the past 20 years, from manufacturing and legal, to third sector and not-for-profit, in industry and in practice, will draw upon her experiences, demonstrating how she has put into practice, the skills discussed during today’s conference, to help her progress her career.

We very much hope to be welcoming you on the day!


Thursday 20 October 2022


The Grand, Station Rise, York YO1 6GD


  • 09:30 Registration opens – refreshments and networking
  • 10:25 Delegates to be seated
  • 12:50 Lunch
  • 13:40 Delegates to be seated
  • 17:00 Close (Optional drinks reception from 5.00 - 6.30pm)


Two-course lunch, mid-morning and mid-afternoon refreshments, optional drinks reception.


  • Members £75 (£62.50 net)
  • Students £50 (£41.66 net)
  • Non-member rate £90 (£75.00 net)
  • Group booking of 6 delegates £360 (£300.00 net)

Please note: Cost will appear net of VAT until checkout. Student and Group Booking discount codes to follow.

Dress code:

Business attire

Booking information

  • 20 October, 2022 / 9:30 am - 5:00 pm BST

    Location: The Grand, Station Rise, York YO1 6GD

    Price: £62.50 (CIMA members only)


    VAT calculated based on event location

  • Julie Bickerdyke FCMA, CGMA

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    Based in Yorkshire, Julie Bickerdyke FCMA, CGMA, is Managing Director of Not Just an FD, which she founded in 2017, and through which she provides outsourced finance director services to small businesses.

    Julie’s 20+ years’ experience spans financial strategy, cloud-based solutions, forecasting, risk management, board reporting and attendance, particularly in the legal and voluntary sectors, with a specialism of helping businesses grow.

    Prior to Not Just an FD, Julie worked in the engineering industry, where she worked her way up from a part-time accountant to finance director, and then to managing director. She has experienced working as a woman in a male dominated industry, and having faced tough times through her journey, she likes to share her experiences and lessons learned, with others.

    Julie has served on the CIMA Members in Practice Panel since 2019 and currently holds the role of Secretary. She is a Past-Chairman of the CIMA West Yorkshire Branch, and she has recently volunteered as a mentor to other CIMA accountants as part of the Institute’s mentoring programme.

    Julie advocates taking care of our mental health and wellbeing. Naturally, peace of mind over your finances takes away significant stress, which is an essential part of the work she does. She is proud to be associated with businesses who are mindful employers and pro-actively look after the mental health of their staff. Julie tries to lead by example by taking time for yoga and Qi gong classes, socialising, and unwinding with a jigsaw or book.

  • Sarah Creegan

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    Sarah Creegan is a leading facilitator and consultant at Laughology, who designs and delivers learning and change programmes in the private, public, and education sector. Sarah’s learning and development knowledge, coupled with her leadership skills and experience, have stood her in good stead when designing and delivering programmes, in businesses and organisations. On leaving school, Sarah has had a varied career, working with banks, businesses, retail, educational and sporting organisations, supporting their learning and development needs, before becoming a head teacher. In her first two years of headship, she successfully managed a £7m rebuild; an expansion programme to double the number of pupils and a culture-change programme. All of these projects ensured her school went from a satisfactory Ofsted ranking, to a good. During this time, she managed key stakeholders, including local authorities, school inspectors and governors, and also successfully guided her team through an improvement programme. Sarah firmly believes in the importance of happiness, humour, and positivity in the workplace, and is one of the funniest former headteachers known to Laughology – with the possible exception of Greg Davies and Romesh Ranganathan. Her experience as a highly successful head teacher, also makes her the perfect advisor and facilitator for Laughology's education programmes. Her wealth of experience and knowledge of the inner workings of schools, the education sector, and the business world are invaluable in helping Laughology to help schools, teachers and young people flourish. Sarah was also instrumental in developing the Laughology Happy-Centred School PSHE programme.

  • Selina Brown

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    Selina is an experienced facilitator, with more than 7+ years of experience. Her background started in training and policy, and developed into performing and writing, which helped her create and deliver a wide range of workshops within the corporate, educational, and charity sectors. She has worked with companies such as Salesforce, The Federation of Entertainment Unions (FEU), Reed Smith, The Brokerage, Catalyst Housing Association, and Lloyds of London. Selina has created and delivered workshops – virtually and in-person, with an enhanced DBS check. She is passionate about building communication skills in others, which includes verbal and written skills, as well as confidence skills, because she has experienced the drawbacks of being a shy child. Selina has been able to use her experience of working within the corporate world and combine with her creativity. From this, she has created and delivered workshops building specific skills, for organisations – to name just a few …

    • The Federation of Entertainment Unions (FEU) – Communication and networking skills.
    • The Writers’ Union, National Union of Journalists, also the Equity & Musicians’ Union:
    • o Confidence and resilience skills for boosting creativity, organisational and confidence skills. Catalyst Housing Association, and the Poplar Union:
    • o Communication and confidence skills at several International Women’s Day workshops.
    • The Brokerage, also Catch 22 – Interview technique, CV, cover-letter writing, also online testing skills.
    • National Citizen Service (NCS) – Presentation skills for young adults.
    • Wandsworth Borough Council – Social policy changes related to welfare benefits, corporate changes.