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Conversations in Practice - Purpose, Style and Authenticity

Date: Thursday 12 September 2024

Time: 10am-12pm (London, UK) with a ten-minute break

Price: Free

Speakers: Fredrik Eliasson, Michael May, Professor Nigel Tubbs

This webinar is about listening, thinking and talking and how these essential skills are used in conversation. Dialogue is often the foundation for understanding and human connections that can result in learning and personal development, trust and confidence, and motivation to change.

Unapologetically philosophical, this webinar will consider the complexity of conversations, the assumptions we make about them and their power to transform our thinking, wellbeing and relationships.

In practice, there is rarely time to reflect on the big questions. Here are some of the big questions this webinar will explore in relation to conversations...

  • Do we acknowledge and respect the power imbalance between us and those we serve?
  • Do we believe we can see through someone else's eyes?
  • Who do we bring to conversations - our title and authority or our whole ourselves?
  • Is it possible to separate the personal and professional, and are there personal costs in trying to do this?
  • What does honesty and integrity sound and feel like?
  • How much care do we take when we choose our words and the way we frame our questions and answers?
  • Do we think carefully about the assumptions and contradictions in what we say?
  • Do our words reflect our values and our actions?
  • Do we feel like it's okay to show our vulnerabilities and not to have clear answers?

In light of exploring these fundamental questions, we will be challenged to reflect on the art of conversation and its place in our practice.

We'll explore whether philosophy and styles like motivational interviewing can help us to develop critical conversation skills and how that can impact on our practice, our wellbeing and the wellbeing of those we are in conversation with.

Expect to question whether conversation skills are appropriately valued in our practice and feel motivated to be more proactive and intentional about developing your listening, thinking and speaking skills. There's a lot at stake if we don't do this well and we can help people to change their lives for the better when we do.


Learning outcomes:

  • Critically reflect on the importance of conversations and the value placed on them in our practice
  • Develop a broader understanding of the impact well-developed conversation skills can have on our own wellbeing, our ability to motivate positive change and the wellbeing of those we are in conversation with
  • Critically examine the assumptions that we bring to conversations and reflect on what they mean for our ability to be authentic and present with other people
  • Feel motivated to be more proactive and intentional about developing your listening, thinking and speaking skills.



Who should attend?

  • Social Workers (students and newly qualified to Principal Social Workers)
  • Health Professionals
  • Police Officers
  • Youth Justice Workers
  • Independent Reviewing Officers
  • Foster carers
  • Team and Service Managers
  • Mental Health Professionals
  • Anyone who has conversations with children, families and adults across social care 
  • Anyone who feels that it's time to care about the art of conversation and is ready to be challenged


Meet the speakers


Fredrik Eliasson

Fredrik Eliasson, BS, is the CEO and senior consultant at Cultivate Kindness AB, bringing over two decades of leadership experience in various government operations, including corrections, substance use disorder, mental health and youth care. His passion lies in promoting the adoption and effective implementation of evidence-based practices in practical contexts.

As an independent consultant, Fredrik collaborates with organizations and companies both in Sweden and internationally, specializing in communication, transformational leadership, organizational culture, Motivational Interviewing (MI), and implementation strategies.

Recognized as an expert in Motivational Interviewing, Fredrik is a co-founder of MILO - MI in Leadership and Organizations.

Michael May

Michael May has worked in the sexual violence field for more than 15 years. He led SurvivorUK (the primary organisation supporting male victims) to national prominence and reach, successfully campaigning for inclusion of male victims on central and local government agendas. His campaigning efforts led to the first national and local funding specifically for male victims of sexual violence and their inclusion in national reporting.

He also guided the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse in its engagement with minority audiences across all projects. Specific attention to challenges in minority attendance in the IICSA Truth Project increased BAME participation from 2% – 12% and LGBTQ from 4% - 14%.

Michael is currently an engagement and communications consultant, working with corporate and voluntary entities to explore barriers to message penetration and take up of offers in minority communities, and to shape solutions. He capitalises on a background in the voluntary sector, a strong network in community spaces, and his own protected characteristics to enable open and forthright conversations with often resistant stakeholders. He uses skills gained as a lawyer, through psychological training and as a former public relations consultant to critically assess what’s being said and arrive at succinct, market focussed and evidence-based recommendations.

Professor Nigel Tubbs

Nigel Tubbs was Professor at the University of Winchester for 15 years after having been a school teacher in West Sussex and Brighton the 1980s and early 1990s. He lead two undergraduate programmes, in Education Studies, and more recently in Liberal Arts, which was the first such programme to be reintroduced into English universities for many decades (having begun life in Ancient Greece with Plato and Aristotle).

As a university researcher he wrote nine books, including Socrates On Trial, which was a New Statesman book of the year 2021. He is currently part of a new venture in higher education called Think Learning.