Testimonials

We have been working with Pro-Development now for a few years in helping to support the development of our talent through Development Centres and tailored coaching. I worked with Michelle for 6 months on some areas that I was keen to develop and found her coaching approach really worked for me, always encouraging me to reflect, review and take action. Her style was warm and open, patient, always listening, reflecting back and offering feedback to help me move forward. The coaching has been immensely useful for me.

Emma Brough, Howdens Joinery, October 2017.

Thank you for facilitating a day that engaged all team members at various points and levels throughout the day. There was a great mix of activity, reflection and opportunity for the team to take on different roles. A day to remember.

Mary Strode, Leeds Beckett University, May 2017.

I really enjoyed the workshop, it was really well planned and presented. The facilitator was really welcoming, supportive and funny there was a lot of content to cover in one day, but by using lots of different activities, the facilitator made the session very interactive and interesting. I look forward to putting into practice what I have learnt both at work and in my personal life.

HR Team, Leeds Beckett University, April 2017.

One of my workforce recently completed a management development course. Previously she was extremely unconfident in her abilities as a leader of her team. This affected her personal life as well as her work. Following this course it has been like a magic potion. Her whole life has changed. She no longer need constant reassurance and she is so much more confident in her decisions at work. She always was a very good team leader its just now she really knows she is.

Thanks to pro development for working your magic.

Catherine Hyde, Kiddies Corner Day Nursery, March 2017.

Inturf’s ‘maiden voyage’ into employee engagement was a journey that started with Pro-Development. We had decided after a couple of planning meetings with Michelle that we would try a ‘team day’ first to include some fun activities that would suit everyone and which took them out of their comfort zone (a little) but especially a day that would build on our new ‘vision and values’.

We hadn’t done anything like this before and didn’t really know what to expect but it could not have been a better start to our new adventures – the day got everybody together in a different environment and gave the Pro-Development team the chance to put their skills into action, illustrating Inturf’s ‘vision and values’ in a subtle but highly effective way. Now the team are more cohesive and lighter on their feet and ultimately they understand much better about where we are going on our journey.

Stephen Edwards, Inturf, February 2017.

What a programme! I was pushed out of my comfort zone so many times. I was challenged, I was asked a lot of questions and made to look at myself. You would have thought this would be a total nightmare, however, this has to be one of the best courses I have ever been on as I have learnt so much without being in a classroom.

Going through this journey has allowed me to improve my confidence and self-belief. I didn’t know this would be possible but taking part in all the challenging activities along with the fantastic coaching sessions has allowed me to achieve.

A big thank you to the team!

Veronica Ridsdale, JWP Creers, January 2017.

Michelle and her team at Pro-Development have worked with myself and my development team at Howdens Supply Division on a number of development interventions and projects. This has included personal development coaching for high potential employees, team building and team performance development and the creation of Development Centres for talent assessment. Michelle is extremely creative in her design approach, ensuring it is completely aligned to business culture, values and model which enables greater impact and validity for the individual, team and business overall. Michelle is extremely personable and uses a range of experiential learning techniques and reflection that enable true learning experiences to occur.

I would highly recommend her for any bespoke personal, team, management and leadership development interventions.

Beverley Stewart, Howden Joinery Group PLC, December 2016.

A fun filled, challenging programme, bringing management skills to life. Valuable learning to bring to the workplace. An excellent company to work with and I exceeded my own expectations in learning.

Emma Hunton, DE Ford, November 2016

A challenging, amazing and fulfilling programme which has helped me regain my confidence, self-belief and shown me my true potential. Onwards and upwards from here!

Sarah Harrison, DE Ford, November 2016

Thank you Pro-Development for your time (and patience!) with me. I have really enjoyed our coaching and it has really helped me to understand myself and my relationships and value in improving them. As a reflector, I left each session with areas to consider and actions to take and felt I was supported in a way that suited me and my style which was appreciated.

Hannah Sumner, Howdens Joinery, August 2016

Pro-development assisted our firm with putting together our first ever employee engagement survey. Although I had been involved with employee engagement surveys previously these were normally done by big global companies for the large companies I was working for. I was apprehensive initially about doing the survey and collating all the information I didn’t know where to start and could only think it was going to be an awful lot of work, and then I met Pro-development! They took care of the whole process guiding me and helping me to prepare I could do as much or as little of the prep work and feedback work as I wished or was able.

The advantage of using Pro-development instead of the bigger providers was that I was able to adjust the questions to everyday language that we use as a firm. When using other providers previously I had found myself explaining the questions to all employees prior to the roll out of the survey which took a huge amount of time. Pro-Development provided me with a project proposal with suggested dates and timelines, it was visual to enable me to keep on track. Best of all they were on the other end of the phone to answer my many questions and came in to help when needed.

All in all a great service and a great survey thank you Pro-development.

Andrea Wilby | HR/Office Manager, Crombie Wilkinson Solicitors LLP, July 2016

“I was struggling to know what steps I could take to improve my business when Pro-Development was recommended to me. Having first met Pro-Development over coffee, I felt they soon appreciated our problems and had a quick feel for the business therefore we were tackling issues head on quite quickly. They have been a complete revelation, increasing my awareness of my staff and customer’s requirements with a friendly and informal approach. My staff and I are learning what true teamwork is and our customers are really beginning to see the difference.

I have enjoyed working with Pro-Development and learning so much about myself and my business, it has sometimes been an uncomfortable experience but always handled well and I have truly felt coached along the way. Pro-Development always arrive cheerful when some of the staff have viewed the process with trepidation and helped me to get their buy in to what we are trying to do ie make Dennis a better business both in terms of output and job satisfaction. I like the relaxed approach and friendly style, not being too ‘businessy’ with the staff and keeping things fairly informal.

The employee engagement project was invaluable although it turned up some uncomfortable information at times. I felt I was helped to be ‘big enough’ to cope with it and to realise that change was necessary. The staff have benefited from it, some more than others, but it also made me aware of those that are willing to adapt and those that need more work. It has given a voice to some who felt marginalised and allowed me to understand the inner machinations of the business.

Katie Dennis, Managing Director, Dennis Distribution, June 2016
The Pro-Development team epitomise the winning combination of being professional, knowledgeable, passionate, and huge fun to work with. As a participant on their recent Leadership Development Programme, I learned so much about myself which was immediately applicable to the workplace (and at home!), which meant the return on money and time invested was a no-brainer. The course cleverly combined experiential outdoor learning in groups (with very different and stretching activities to anything I’d experienced before) with one-to-coaching sessions in between, and it’s this combination which is really powerful. If you’re serious about your own development as a leader, I couldn’t recommend them more highly.

Ed Reid, Owner, TAB The Alternative Board, May 2016
With help from the lovely people at Pro-Development, our team building day at Harmony House Cookery School helped us to improve communication, feedback and delegation skills along with becoming dab hands at pastry! Throughout the day, Pro-Development ran a variety of sessions on how to communicate successfully, with focus on delegation, honest conversations and feedback, which were then combined with cooking challenges which provided an opportunity for the learning to come to life. It was a hugely valuable day that really showed us how to bring out the best in each other by sharing and understanding each other’s strengths and values. It brought us together even more as a team and demonstrated to us that you really can have your cake and eat it!

Monica Green, Director, Partners Group, May 2016

I have just completed the Pro-Development Management Development Programme and after a lifetime of training in various guises I have to say that nothing has or I think will ever come close to this course. The learning methods employed ensured continuous light bulb moments as we spent 7 months exploring different elements of leadership and working in teams.

It was a privilege to be selected onto the directors cohort because Pro Development only run a couple of courses per year. There were 6 of us on the program which meant that we got very personal feedback and support. Each month we took part in different activities, in teams in a kind of ‘Apprentice’ style environment, which exposed all of our strengths and opportunities to learn. The feedback from my program colleagues and from Pro-Development has provided me with huge learnings about my own management skills and opportunities to focus on.

I cannot thank you enough for selecting me for the course, you even ensured it was 50% funded through LEP.

I would highly recommend this style of training to any business owner or manager of a team, it is great fun and most importantly you cannot fail to learn and develop as a leader as a result.

Thank you!!

Andrew Firth, Managing Director, Ascensor, April 2016

Suzanne is really good at engaging people in the activities, very interesting and enjoyable.  She is a fantastically enthusiastic presenter and I really enjoyed this session, probably one of the best I have attended.  Thank you very much – brilliant session!

Skills for Supervisors course, Leeds Beckett University, February 2016

Many thanks for your recent help with my business development. It has been great working with you. The process has been fun and very useful in guiding me towards leading a larger company. You quickly worked out where the focus was required and what was needed to take my business forward.

I am a much more confident leader now, having learnt that communication with staff is such a vital element of running and developing a business.

Dave Wright, Director, www.dawlogisticsltd.co.uk, December 2015

It was an interesting and well delivered session; enjoyable, relevant and interactive. Michelle is really enthusiastic and engaging and fun. Very passionate and great subject knowledge. Lots of good ideas and models to use. The workshop provided the right balance of being interactive with lots of different activities enabling us to get involved along with providing lots of good information. Michelle really engaged with the audience and provided a nice mix of anecdotes and where to find more support.

Engaging Teams workshop, Leeds Beckett University, November 2015

We recently engaged with Pro Development to deliver an in house Management Development Programme for a group of first Line Managers to give them the skills to step up into a true management role, thus allowing the Directors to concentrate on strategic priorities. Michelle and Sue came to meet with us at the start of the project and took the time to really understand what we wanted to achieve from the programme. Following the initial design, they listened to our feedback and reshaped the programme until we were all satisfied that we had a programme which would meet our needs, and which allowed STG to work collaboratively with Sue and Michelle to deliver the programme in partnership.

The resulting programme launched in September 2015 and will run until June 2016. The feedback from the cohort of Managers has been extremely positive, and all are very much looking forward to the rest of the programme. Sue’s delivery style is very relaxed, informative and engaging, and she ensures everyone participates, without putting pressure on anyone. We will definitely be working with Pro Development on future projects.

Rebecca Wallis, Strategic Team Group, November 2015
“Having engaged Michelle and Pro Development to run Ascensor’s summer teambuilding beach party this year, I was impressed by the thought process that went into planning the event and the delivery on the day and it was a huge success.

When Michelle spoke to me about the Management Development Programme, I initially thought it would be ‘just another training course’, but having looked into it and taken references I quickly realised what most courses miss – total engagement in the learning. Through experiential learning I have taken more from the first two sessions than most other courses, I’ve made some great contacts and had a lot of fun – roll on the next 5. In between the sessions we have a two hour coaching session that is really helping me with time management and work life balance!

Michelle also pointed us in the direction of funding so 50% is supported thorugh the government.

If you want to learn more about yourself as a leader in a business then I would highly recommend this course. Michelle is very knowledgeable and full of fun and she makes it very easy to open up, gives great constructive feedback and helps with the reflection process. Highly recommended!”

Andrew Firth, Managing Director, Ascensor, October 2015
Having recently undertaken a process of assessing our company values, working with Michelle and Sue from Pro-Development has helped me to communicate the essence of Ascensor through experiential learning. Being part of a team that includes creatives and technicians from our UK and Polish offices, I understand how challenging communicating this type of information with real awareness, can be. Working with Pro-Development, we have been able to really investigate why we all do what we do and carry the core values message to the heart of the whole Ascensor team, through a professionally organised and hugely fun beach party! Massive thanks to Michelle, Sue and the weather for making it the best Ascensor event so far.

Andrew Firth, Managing Director, Ascensor, August 2015
Very useful team building event with Pro-Development which has given me some ideas to take forward as I lead the team. A great day overall and I hope that it can become a regular occurrence.

Gavin Leatherbarrow, Risk Manager, DE Ford Insurance, June 2015
Thank you very much for your time last night as one of our panel experts at the CIPD event. I really appreciated your time and thought you did a fantastic job.

Sarah Byrne, Mosaic Events, CIPD West Yorkshire event, May 2015
We had a good sense of many of the strengths within our team, but what we found really valuable from our work with Pro-Development was uncovering people’s unrealised strengths – the things they’re brilliant at but, for whatever reason, aren’t getting the opportunity to use. We’re now actively looking for opportunities for people to play to those strengths to help us achieve our goals for the business.

Karen Tinkler, Director, Partners Group, May 2015
If you’re looking for ‘just another management development course’, then the Pro-Development Management Development programme isn’t for you. But if you want to throw yourself into something that will challenge you, take you outside your comfort zone and on a brilliant journey of learning and self-discovery, then I can’t recommend it highly enough.

Karen Tinkler, Director, Partners Group, May 2015
Having been a sceptic of using external business advisers and personal developers, even though throughout my career I have been exposed to such individuals with many levels, and degrees of both interest and success, I have had to re-think my views. With Pro-Development our business has seen and experienced a totally different approach and a very positive level of results, both financially and in the progress of the business. Pro-Development have worked with our teams in their unique way with a programme of activity to support our employee engagement including events and training across a variety of job specs. They have the ability to work with both people who have sometimes to be cajoled to take part as well as those who are willing, with an enormous amount of success. Pro-Development’s programmes and continuing developments at all levels of the business, including directors, has given a new perspective to people’s approach to business life within our group of companies, even if I say the business had a solid work ethic and ethos before life with Pro-Development. Dare I say, even I have been exposed to Michelle’s and Sue’s ideas and methods which I feel have helped to build a solid workforce. Without doubt, any business wanting to grow and develop should have no reservation in working with Pro-Development, and I would strongly encourage you to at least have a look at how they can help you.

Roger Bodill, Chairman, DriveSpeed Group, April 2015
My first day on Pro Development’s Management Development Programme was one filled with hesitation. The thought of learning through a different strategy was one that I had not been drawn towards. I was really worried that the programme wasn’t for me. Fast forward 6 months … how wrong was I! I persevered and continued along the journey and I am so pleased I did. I’ve had the pleasure of working with some wonderful people, in some cases in very difficult circumstances, and as a team we overcame our challenges! I have accomplished so much but most importantly learnt a lot about myself. Michelle and Sue are simply brilliant. Thank you.

Lou Hughes, Business Development Manager, RB Associates, November 2014
Sue and Michelle have been brilliant and have opened me up to a world which I didn’t think I would be on. They have done this by unlocking my potential both for the business and in my personal life. Their monthly activity days have shown me how I can react and behave in situations I wouldn’t normally find myself in.

Adam Chandler, Group Project Manager, Drivespeed, October 2014
When Michelle and Sue first told us that we would be working with horses on our next Management Development workshop, I was a little sceptical wondering what horses could teach me about leadership. Meeting the horses and working with them throughout the whole day was just amazing and I have to say, a surprisingly emotional experience and far from an easy day. It took so much concentration that I was thoroughly exhausted by the end of the day. I learnt so much throughout the whole day. I think for everyone that day lessons were learnt, fears were overcome and everyone worked as a team – the willingness for everyone to succeed was overwhelming. Thank you Michelle and Sue for giving me the opportunity to experience this fantastic learning opportunity – a day I will never forget.

Karen Deighton, DE Ford Insurance Brokers, September 2014
We knew that now was the time to embrace a new relationship with our employees but we did not know how. Michelle and her team at Pro-Development have shown us where we are strong but more importantly where we can improve the engagement of all employees for the benefit of the business, the leadership team and our staff. The assessment and report process alone is hugely instructive (can be challenging) but very worthwhile. The impact of the recommendations is potentially transformational. We are looking forward to taking forward the recommendations with help and guidance from Pro-Development on the journey

Peter Kay, Director, Ware & Kay Solicitors, July 2014
I attended the first day of Pro-Development’s Management Development programme with some apprehension not knowing what to expect, but what a revelation, I was instantly put at ease by Michelle and Sue. Everyone in the group comes from different walks of life but it didn’t matter, we immediately made a connection which will make the whole process far easier and enjoyable and I am looking forward to the next challenge. I know I will gain a great deal from these sessions and have already started to learn a great deal about myself. The second event which involved a walk in Hawnby, a beautiful part of the world, was much more than a walk. We discussed some subjects that in other circumstances you would not as a rule share with people you have only just met, but the conversations flowed, it was easy and we were all made to feel comfortable – what a great day thank you..

Angie Crossan, Account Manager, DE Ford Insurance Brokers, June 2014
Michelle and Sue at Pro-Development worked in partnership with Escalla on a recent high profile government training programme. From the outset, their approach and diligence in making this project work was incredible. In 20 years of training, I’ve never worked with two more committed training professionals who provided me and our client with a truly “game changing” learning experience. They are THE experts in ensuring their learners feel enthused, motivated and prepared for change. Their engagement with stakeholders was first class and they fully understand how to manage expectations of both learners’ and organisations. The feedback from both learners and client was exceptional and I hope we continue to work together to provide first class learning for many years.

Lou Mooney, Director, Escalla, May 2014
I have just joined Pro-Development’s exciting new Management Development Programme this month and having only just experienced the first day and one coaching session, I wanted to share what a great experience I have already had! I was amazed at how quickly the learning process started! What I thought was going to be a gentle easing in of “A getting to know you day” and establishing what we were going to be learning over the course quickly turned into some really interesting activities and the opportunity to apply them! Sue and Michelle create an instant rapport with everyone – getting us all comfortable with each other which means you quickly get to the task of discovery and discussing topics which in normal circumstances you wouldn’t DREAM of sharing!! At the end of the day I walked away feeling complete – we accomplished so much in just one day, yet I have six more to come and really can’t wait for more learning to happen! In addition, the individual coaching sessions offered, provide a safe haven to challenge thoughts, instil ideas and promote personal progress. I really feel like I am in capable and safe hands!

Kim Hodgson, York Science Park, April 2014
Pro-Development are always fantastic. The Customer Service/Relationship Management workshop they designed and delivered for us has really helped to re-enforce our company values and has made us think about changes we can make. The workshop was informative, well prepared and interactive and gave a great insight into customer service. As ever, it was a brilliant, motivational day with the Pro-Development girls :-) Thank you.

Jill McLaughlan, Operations Director, RB Associates, February 2014
Michelle and Sue from Pro-Development have been a fantastic asset to our company. Without their help on Employment Engagement and their thorough surveys, interviews, discussions and reporting we may have lost key staff members. With their advice and continuous improvement planning, courses, one-to-ones etc we feel we will have the most engaged proactive staff in the industry. Thank you very much for all your support and continued support.

Michelle Wallis, Finance Director, RB Associates, September 2013
Thank you for all your help with my company during a period where we have experienced tremendous changes. You have helped our whole team and we have grown from strength to strength; we are a more bonded, happier team and ready to set sail into whatever we may come across on our journey. Personally, I feel you have helped me grow and become a lot more self-assured both in my role and as an individual and this has, and will help me greatly in the future with our company. I wish you and your team every success with the fantastic work you do and I’m sure we will be using Pro-Development again in the future. I certainly would recommend you to others. Thank you for all your fantastic support and knowledge.

Catherine Hyde, Owner, Kiddies Corner Day Nursery, February 2013
One of the best training courses I have attended. Clear, straightforward, but suitably detailed and all with an informed but informal style

Paul Moran, North Yorkshire County Council, February 2013
A critical component of a successful business is a motivated workforce; taking your business to a higher level of performance requires staff that understand how to contribute to success. Michelle understands and connects with people instantly and brings a toolbox full of development skills which she applies with boundless enthusiasm to improve people’s performance in the workplace. If you are lucky enough to work with Pro-Development your business will soon benefit from their contribution.

Nigel Clemit, Managing Partner, JWPCreers, January 2013
I recently attended the Pro-Development employee engagement workshop which gave me food for thought, as well as plenty of opportunities to get involved and bounce ideas around with the rest of the group. Michelle has a warm and engaging style, and clearly knows her stuff. Time well spent.

Karen Nixon, Director, The Partners Group, September 2012
Michelle recently delivered a workshop for us which I’m sure will be the first of many. Her diligent approach from our initial conversations, into design and development, then through to delivery, ensured that our learners received a session that was both engaging and informative. Her enthusiasm in the workshop environment was infectious and she dealt incredibly well with completely mixed abilities. She has a great gift of making complex subjects seem simple and everyone left the session uplifted and ready for action!

Dealing with Michelle was a pleasure from start to finish aided by her professional approach and ‘can do’ attitude. We are already looking forward to the next workshop.

Lou Mooney, NYCC Project Manager, Training Synergy, August 2012
As a company wanting to continue to succeed and grow, we invited Pro-Development to deliver some personal development training for our teams to help enhance their skills. While working with Michelle, we identified that a more holistic approach would help provide the outcomes we were looking for and Michelle helped us develop a plan which has already started to make a huge difference to how we operate. She spent time with our teams understanding what drives and motivates them and she has worked closely with my leadership team to unlock key opportunities. Michelle’s enthusiasm and approach had a really positive impact on the teams. She has addressed some of our internal challenges and has done so with honesty and integrity. I would recommend Pro-Development for anyone who is looking to grow their business and recognises that their people are the key.

Garry Stasiulevicuis, Managing Director, Counter Intelligence Retail, March 2012
Michelle is a highly professional and skilled coach/people development specialist who has successfully developed both teams and individuals during her employment with Aviva. Michelle is very personable and has very good engagement/influencing skills at all levels within an organisation. Her strong learning and development background enable her to provide an holistic approach to the development of people, ensuring learning is adapted for all styles and preferences and embedding/return of investment is identifiable. I am aware of a number of professionals who have acknowledged how Michelle’s coaching and development has had a life changing impact for them. Michelle has won a National award for her training and development capability and I would have no hesitation in employing or using her skills in the future.

Beverley Stewart, Head of Professional Development, Aviva UK Life, June 2011
Michelle is a practical, enthusiastic professional with a passion for developing people both as individuals and as part of a team. She is naturally perceptive, sensitive and empathetic and can read the dynamics of a group. She is familiar with a variety of tools and techniques and, above all, is not afraid of the honest conversation, often avoided by managers.

Simon Alban, Head of Portfolio Management, Aviva UK Life, September 2010
Michelle worked with Synergy on it’s STA and STA Project programmes developing new talent for our training projects. Michelle delivered great results and was a pleasure to work with, I look forward to working with her agian in the future.

David Field, Managing Director, Training Synergy Ltd, June 2008

Pro-Development are so thrilled to be working with The Diana Award. Its our chance to give something back… https://t.co/kFNpQDrXKZ