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Instructor Interview: Ros Lockley

Instructor Interview: Ros Lockley

Written by ETIA Admin

Please tell us a little about yourself?

My two sisters and I grew up on a farm in country NSW. My mother died when I was 9yo and my father re-married a wonderful woman who went on to have three more children. As soon as I could I left the farm to live in Sydney where I studied law and worked as a paralegal.

My husband and I had four children and moved to Canberra where we all now live. I started working as a mediator when the youngest children (twins) were in year 1.

How did you first hear about P.E.T.? 

I first heard of P.E.T. when my oldest child was in Kindergarten and I was struggling to discipline his younger brother. He did not respond well to time out and had massive tantrums lasting up to 40 minutes. In desperation I turned to Parent Effectiveness Training which one of my sisters was studying.

My child responded positively to this way of communicating. He wasn’t punished but his behaviour changed almost overnight and the more I actively listened and spoke my truth without blame, the more he and his older brother responded.

By the time the twins were born, the older two were using P.E.T. skills with me!

What inspired you to become a P.E.T. instructor?

Being a mediator, I heard my clients talking about their struggles with their children and discipline. I knew they would benefit from the P.E.T. skills so I trained to become a P.E.T. instructor.

You are currently teaching your sixth P.E.T. course, tell us your personal experience of conducting your first P.E.T. and subsequent courses.

My first course had just one participant. I was disappointed until I started teaching and then felt very grateful as I could give that person more time and not have to focus on anyone else. I developed my confidence in the course and speaking to an audience. I also made some changes based on how she responded. The next course had 5 participants and I was again grateful for the smaller ‘class’ last time and exhilarated to have the group dynamics.

Since then, the classes have ranged in size but are always different. I have learnt to go with the flow of the group, not get too caught up in what I should be teaching and not have any expectations of the group. Despite my low expectations (or maybe because of this), the participants always amaze me at how much they learn and grow. The stories they tell me each week and the excitement as they tell me are so inspiring.

What have been the significant areas of growth and change for your participants whilst completing the P.E.T. course?

The participants all come to the first session with frustration about dealing with their children. They soon get excited that their children are responding so well to the active listening and then they learn to make an I-message and they love the effectiveness of this. Many of the course participants in my classes are single parents, some come to the training because that is the only way they can see their children under directions from the Family Law Court. Almost all of these clients have said they also use the skills they learn from P.E.T. with their ex and that they are getting on for the first time since they separated (or even before).

What are your future plans as an Instructor? You are also completing the L.E.T. Workshop for Instructors, tell us more about your plans here?

Like the P.E.T., I see the use for L.E.T. with my Workplace Mediation clients. I had one mediation where the two employees said they wished their manager had had the skills of a mediator. I am hoping to eventually offer the Leadership Effectiveness Training to the managers who call with conflict in their workplace, particularly when the conflict is more widespread than two individuals.

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

I’d say: just go for it!

If you’re nervous, ask your partner or your friend to be the first student so, like me, you can try out your skills without too many people in the group.

I like having a PowerPoint presentation as it engages visual learning as well as auditory learning and means people aren’t looking just at me.

Use your manual, it has great tips but don’t feel you have to use everything written there. Use what feels comfortable – another reason to have a practice run. Trust yourself: you’ve been practicing the P.E.T. skills with your own family and you don’t have to be perfect to teach other people. Just one step ahead!

ETIA Admin

ETIA Admin


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.

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Loving Family | About ETIA

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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