Training Course: Safe Conversations

Safe Conversations - Active Listening Skills, Open Questioning and Engaging in Difficult Conversations

Effective and supportive communication skills are essential in providing support to others. Our workshop takes some of the practical skills in motivational interviewing and active listening to help workers have meaningful and engaging conversations with the people they work with. This approach uses open-ended questions and active listening skills to support workers to promote behavioural change.

These skills can be especially useful for people working directly with clients, who find it difficult to have them focus on actions and outcomes. When clients are focussed on the immediate emotional impacts and experiences of challenging situations, their support workers may be the only person they have to open up to. Motivational interviewing and active listening skills can help support staff to give space to this need to open up, whilst also supporting focus on information gathering, practical activities and solutions, and reflective practice.


This workshop is an introduction to motivational and active listening communication skills with a focus on practical application.


By the end of this workshop participants will:

  • Understand supportive communication skills in both speaking and listening.
  • Be confident in the practical application of these skills in a supportive environment.

Our workshop includes:

  • How to use effective questioning techniques.
  • How to use active listening skills.
  • How to reflect and feedback to your service-user.

Who is it for?

This workshop is for staff and volunteers of voluntary, community, and social enterprise organisations across the UK. It is especially useful for people working one-to-one with service-users, such as advice workers, support workers, volunteer coordinators, and social prescribers who may have received training on systems, processes, and policies, but not on effective communication techniques. Participants do not have to have previously experience, as this workshop can work as an introduction to the theories of motivational interviewing. There will be a maximum of 15 participants per workshop to allow for meaningful engagement.

Adult education and learning
Mental health support
Health advice
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