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Interview with Paul Donovan: previous L.E.T. Representative in Australia

Interview with Paul Donovan: previous L.E.T. Representative in Australia

Written by Kathryn Tonges

Notes from Q & A phone conversation with Paul Donovan taken by Kathryn Tonges about L.E.T. – 25 July 2023

Background: Paul is currently changing his website to reflect what he does now which is a boutique business specialising in facilitation of senior executive teams and coaching with on-the-spot tuition. He has moved away from running L.E.T. courses and enjoys being a practitioner not training. He has not taught L.E.T. for some years.

What is the demand for the course?

Large companies have large budgets and their own consulting companies that develop training packages though none as good as L.E.T.  The market is moving and there is more likely to be opportunities with medium to small companies though their budgets are far less and pressure for staff to be working not training. They can be hard to get to, however. Consider membership organisations where small and medium businesses hang out and develop relationships.

Is it contemporary enough?

LET is timeless. Needed as much as it ever was. Most transformational programme I ever taught though it is now a harder world to receive it.

Why is it harder and why is it needed?

  • Larger companies now with budgets that use their own materials even though not as good as LET. LET is heads and shoulders above anything else.
  • EQ is going down therefore less ability to have conversations in the workplace.
  • Most people believe they are good listeners, but they are not.
  • There is an avalanche of anxiety.
  • Levels of disengagement are at 70% in workplaces.
  • Increasing centralised authority leading to unhappy workers.
  • Bosses have become more autocratic than ever before.

What other advice would you give?

  • LET is fantastic. The model is elegant and inspired. It is a worthy cause.
  • Hang in there. Be patient could be a long haul.
  • Be a presence using social media posting, videos, blogs.
  • Connect with businesses by using the language that businesses want to hear like psychologically safe workplaces; collaborative; mental health; increased professional democracy; EQ. LET is a wonderful response to that.

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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