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Instructor Interview: Jackie Lazzaro

Instructor Interview: Jackie Lazzaro

Written by Kathryn Tonges

Thank you Jackie for agreeing to be interviewed. You have just conducted your first Be Your Best course. There is so much that other instructors can learn from your experience.

Jackie please tell us a little about yourself.

I am originally from the UK emigrating to Australia in 1986 and am now living in the west of Melbourne. I have 4 children and completed the PET program 25 years ago. The concepts were completely new to me and transformed how I parented.  I have a management position within the disability field and am constantly moved and amazed at what a profound effect listening has even for those individuals that are nonverbal.

How did you first hear about B.Y.B.? 

Through my friend Judith Richardson. Judith walks the talk and I have always admired the way she deals so assertively and confidently with any situation, nothing seems to phase her, it was a case of wanting a bit of what she had. I had already completed PET and BYB just seemed to be a natural progression.

What inspired you to become a B.Y.B. instructor?

I use the skills from BYB every day both personally and professionally. They have given me so much confidence and have been transformative in my life both personally and professionally. Whilst becoming an instructor well and truly took me out of my comfort zone I felt I wanted to share the skills with others so they could also experience the profound benefits.

Congratulations Jackie you have recently successfully completed your first Be Your Best course. You are now an authorised instructor! Tell us your experience of conducting your first course.

It was a steep learning curve, but I had so much support from Judith at every step of the journey that I never felt out of my depth. I gave myself permission to make mistakes and learn from them which was very freeing. I completely trusted the material. It felt such a privilege to pass it on each week to the participants then to hear the stories relating to their accomplishments and the difference it made in their relationships.

How did you gather your first group of participants?

I made a list of all my networks and those that could be interested in the BYB program. I got clear around my intention that I would like to offer the course to young adults then approached my own children and their friends.  After getting some understanding of the issues they grapple with I related the relevance of the BYB content to resolving these issues in a nonconfrontational way. My first program had 11 participants.

What were the significant areas of growth and change for your participants after completing the B.Y.B. course?

Participants reported the following:

Greater understanding of their own needs and how to meet them in a non-confrontative way. Feeling more at ease and organized and able to work towards their goals.

Not feeling guilty anymore. Able to speak up and deal with conflict. Being able to listen and create the space for others to solve their own issues, feeling relieved to not have to come up with solutions.  Learning to say no. Overall experiencing clearer more confident communication. Closer more trusting and connected relationships.

What are your future plans as a B.Y.B. Instructor?

I will be running future sessions. Judith is organising sessions to discuss setting intentions and marketing which will be extremely helpful in planning and moving forward.

Do you have any words of encouragement or advice for new instructors who are about to conduct their first course?

Just set your intention, the date and start having the conversations.

The material will guide you and there is always support available if you need it. The process of facilitating is so rewarding and listening to the stories along the way of how participants lives are changing makes it all worth it.

Thank you Jackie for taking the time to share and inspire newly trained instructors and those who have taken a break for awhile. ETIA wishes you all the very best as you conduct future courses and change the lives of many.

Kathryn Tonges

Kathryn Tonges

Online Australia & NZ, QLD

I have been deeply rewarded seeing positive transformations in families by teaching P.E.T. effective communication skills since 1978. My two sons are now parents, and I am witness to their natural use of P.E.T. skills in all their interactions with children and people. My passion is to share these skills with others through these options: 1. Parent Effectiveness Training - for parents, grandparents, carers. 2. Be Your Best – personal empowerment skills for self, relationships, and the workplace. 3. Teacher Effectiveness Training – increases the quality of interactions between student and teacher with more teaching-learning time. 4. Instructor Training - I am a Master Trainer of P.E.T., B.Y.B., T.E.T. and Y.E.T. for ETIA Ltd. In my teaching career I taught from early childhood to tertiary level focusing on Child Development and Communication Skills. I lived in Beijing for seven years and conducted P.E.T. and B.Y.B. courses for expatriates as well as training expatriates to become P.E.T. instructors. I have written for parenting magazines in Beijing and Australia and blog for my website The Parent Within ( Whilst in Beijing I co-authored a book with P.E.T. Instructors I had trained, to help expatriate children cope with the changes in their life. In the last couple of years I have taken on the position of President of ETIA Ltd. Children, parenting, and effective communications continues to be my passion as I share these courses both online (Australia and NZ) or face to face in Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast as well as coaching parents individually.

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About ETIA

The Effectiveness Training Institute of Australia (ETIA) Ltd is a not-for-profit, community based organisation that is dedicated to making courses in communication and conflict resolution skills available and accessible to all people in Australia.

ETIA’s mission is to provide individuals with effective communication and conflict resolution skills to build connected, harmonious relationships.

Our inspiration and programs come from the late Dr Thomas Gordon who is the author and founder of Parent Effectiveness Training (P.E.T.) program and Gordon Training International (GTI).

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