Inspiring Change with Stoke-on-Trent City Council “Fantastic and well-informed training.”

Hello all and welcome back to my blog posts.

Last week saw my entertaining the troops from Stoke-on-Trent City Council, yes, my old stomping ground and a sterling two days was had by all. I am often blown away by workers and their resolve to make a real difference to people’s lives and this was obviously evident when I trained the learners from Stoke. Across the two days of Motivational Interviewing (MI) we looked at how to inspire change behaviour in both the young and the older (more ambivalent) customers.

The interaction with the learners was very inspiring, especially when I listened to their endeavours during the past eighteen months. Some staff have really thought outside the box, realising new and innovative ways to interact and engage with their service users. They really have worked above and beyond and toiled with grit and determination during these (oh so dark) Covid days.

They enjoyed the bespoke nature of the course and how I had created training films just for them, films that demonstrated I fully understood the nature of the work they are undertaking with families across Stoke-on-Trent. I’ll be training the remainder of the team this week and I can’t wait!

Here is the feedback and I can certainly say I was rather ‘chuffed’ by the comments:

“Absolutely brilliant training! Very enjoyable, interactive, thought provoking and reflective of my practice. Using Zoom for online training wasn’t even a barrier to learning, as it has been in the past year. Thank you so much Steve, for giving us some great tools and skills to become better listeners for the children and families we work with. During the training I found myself reflecting on how I could have worded things better with some particular young people who have recently disengaged from my support. I cant wait to utilise my new skills!”


“I don’t very often enjoy training but this was an absolute exception, it was very informative and interactive. It has been really nice to spend time with some of the Team working on practical examples and expanding our knowledge. Steven has a very real life approach to training and working with and talking to people.”


“The best training I’ve been on for quite a while, thank you.”


“Steve was clearly very knowledgeable and made the learning easy to understand. It has been very enjoyable experience and I feel confident that I can now incorporate this into my work practice moving forward.”


“Fantastic and well-informed training.”


“The training was highly informative and relevant to my role. It has given me lots of new things to put into place to help me support and empower our families. The trainer was funny and kept the group engaged, not an easy task given that it was over zoom. Lots of interactive tasks that I enjoyed and helped me learn new ways of working. I would recommend this training to anyone that works with the public or families. Excellent handouts and resources to use and lookback on. Thank you Steve, I was dreading two days of training, but I am looking forward to the session where we can meet face to face.”


“Brilliant training delivered by a brilliant trainer. Steve is very knowledgeable and takes the time to put all we are learning into context of our work and gives great examples and throughout the training has modelled the topic using paraphrasing, probing and reflecting whilst working with us. I would recommend this training for anyone working with families as it gives you skills to stop, to think, to understand, empathise, reflect and feedback to gain information, acknowledge the person and show you are really listening and there for them. Good to use when working with a family and stuck on the family resisting change, telling us nothing works they have tried everything, then using open ended questions, probing, re phrasing, reflecting, amplifying and summarising - using talking therapy to effect change.”


“I loved every bit of the training. I feel like I have gained new skills which will improve my practice. I also feel that the families will benefit from the training I have received today. The balance between information, slides and practical group exercises was just right. Thanks for the breaks and all the variety in your presentations. I love your drawings so may ask for one in the future. I look forward to the follow up session. Hopefully we can bring with us a family we are working with and try out some our MT skills and get feedback from you.”


“The motivational interviewing training was fabulous, learnt so much and will absolutely take this forward into my job and working with the children and families. Steven is the perfect person to conduct training of this kind. Energetic, funny and knowledgeable with some great anecdotes. Well organised and great resources provided. The two days have flown by and that can’t often be said for training. Thank you!”