“Our team had six online sessions with Pro-Development. I must admit to being a little apprehensive to begin with, but Michelle soon put us at our ease, and I began to look forward to the sessions. We learned a lot about each other, and this has helped us communicate more effectively amongst ourselves, and there has also been a lot that we have been able to use with our respective teams. Copies of all the course materials were sent to us, which helped us prepare for the subsequent sessions, but are also useful in rolling out some of these ideas amongst the wider company. As a result, we are all a lot more comfortable in asking for, and receiving feedback on our own performance.”
Jan Fitzpatrick, Manager, Classroom Secrets May 2021
“We identified we had a need to improve our facilitation skills and having met with Michelle before, knew she would be able to help. The whole experience working with Pro-Development has been a pleasure, from the pre meetings, the delivery and through to the follow up.
All the delegates who attended the training, commented how much they enjoyed the experience and how their confidence has increased together with their ability to run brilliant, facilitated sessions. Many of the delegates quickly put their skills to good use and delivered effective sessions of their own.
The one thing I value about working with Pro-Development is how quickly they understand our business and therefore how they ensure the service they provide fits in seamlessly with our own development initiatives.”
Lee Newbould, Senior L&D Manager, Benenden Health December 2020.
“The Working Remotely online session that Michelle delivered at York Business Week was so great. It was my highlight of the week and gave me such a boost personally and professionally. I’ve put Zoom coffee catch ups in the team’s diary following this, and we had a virtual lunch break together last week. I really can’t thank you enough; those of us who attended were quite evangelical about making positive changes together after that session.”
Eleanor Bryson, Marketing Manager, Make It York, November 2020.
“We came to the team at Pro-Development because we wanted to improve working relationships within the senior leadership team. Remote working meant the whole team had to re-learn how to work together again, and added into the mix were new-to-role managers. Michelle listened to our challenges and provided ideas and advice on ways to tackle it. The whole senior leadership team have had two sessions with Michelle so far. These sessions have brought us all closer together by providing a safe space for us to open up and share our values, strengths, areas for development and vulnerabilities. In particular, the conversations around what ‘trust’ means to each one of us has really helped us all understand how we can best work together. The DiSC profiling was a real eye-opener, and for all of us we realised why we each act and react in particular ways. We have found the sessions valuable, and our middle leadership team are going to be joining us for future sessions too. Thank you Michelle (and your team)! ”
Sián Stebbings, Operations Director, Classroom Secrets, November 2020.
“Access to the help and funding made the decision to get assistance developing our team a no brainer. All teams need nurturing to get the best but unfortunately the pressure of the day to day business can mean this is something that can be neglected. Knowing that a happy functional team means we can do the best for our clients we appointed Pro-Development to run a team building day which was a big success. We found that getting someone from outside the business was a positive allowing people to be more open in discussing the issues and opportunities. We will defiantly be using Pro-Development again to help rebuild the team spirit after so many weeks of remote working during lockdown.”
Rob Mollan, Managing Director, Mollan & Co Accountants Ltd, August 2020.
“We hugely enjoyed working with Michelle. What we asked for was some support to facilitate some ‘moving on’ for our SMT after some staffing changes, and to help us set out what we wanted to achieve as a team going ahead. Michelle provided us with a thought provoking and constructive route forward, that not only supported us as a team, to listen and appreciate one another’s differences, for me personally, it also allowed some personal reflection that will support my development as a leader.”
Aissa Gallie, Head of LEP Communications and Organisational Development, York & North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership July 2020.
“On behalf of Leeds City Region Skills Network, thank you very much for your contribution to our tenth conference, The Power of Communication. As you can appreciate this year’s conference has been particularly challenging in the light of COVID-19 restrictions. We were particularly grateful therefore, that you could contribute to the virtual event. We had three hundred delegates registered to participate, the highest level yet. Thank you once again for your input and we look forward to our continued collaboration with you”.
Louise Tearle, Partnership Director, West Yorkshire Consortium of Colleges, July 2020.
“I would recommend this process to every business owner/manager. It’s amazing how much insight we got from a questionnaire which literally took each team member about 2 minutes to complete. The feedback is very clear, easily understood and massively impactful. On digesting the findings I went through a range of emotions (including fear and anger) but these very quickly subside as you realise how valuable and important it is to understand exactly how your team is feeling during these very unusual and, for some, frightening and stressful times. Michelle’s findings have instantly become the foundation of our communication plan with our team. We will still be using the knowledge we gained long after the current crisis ends. Thank you Pro-Development”.
Gary O’Brien, Managing Director, Ardent, April 2020.
“On reflection, I’d probably attended several of Michelle’s webinars before realising that she worked in the York area. In anticipation of my own relocation to York, I first contacted her, before meeting her in person at the York Business Show 2018. I’ve since learned that, in addition to running her own business, Michelle is the current Chair of York Professionals, and has been instrumental in organising daily People Panel Zoom calls for York business leaders, members of the City of York Council, and other professionals during the COVID-19 Pandemic. There are not many people I’ve met who are quite as enthusiastic as Michelle. In all of my dealings with her, I’ve found Michelle to be extremely generous, considerate, positive, personable, sincere, fun, and thoughtful. In my opinion, Michelle is a real asset to the York community, and have no doubt that her selfless-commitment, boundless energy, and authenticity will be remembered long after the last COVID-19 patient leaves York District Hospital. I regret that I don’t yet know the staff at Pro-Development, but do know that Michelle cares passionately about her staff, and is an outstanding role model to lead York Professionals.”
Richard Gadd, Developing Business Excellence, April 2020.
“In the difficult Covid-19 times, Michelle has started to pivot her business and provide a free training online via conference calls. She covered how to manage teams remotely and the information and timing was perfect. She is an expert in people management and engagement. Very much appreciated at these difficult times.”
Caroline Hale, Hale Portfolio Ltd, April 2020
“A huge thank you from me Sue for all the support you have given throughout our period of coaching sessions. Not only have you given me the tools to influence in my role, your support has enabled me to be true to myself in being brave and just being my true authentic self in the delivery of my work through people. I am now more equipped with a toolkit of resources to support me. It has been an absolute pleasure working with you, and I hugely appreciate the efforts you have gone to in making our journey as a team a success with the combination of delivery with the coaching sessions and experiential off-site days. You have truly been a gift to each and every one of us, and we have some great memories and for that I thank you, and extend to you my Pure love”.
Jo Shippey, Pure Retirement, April 2020
“Michelle is truly an inspiration for me in these challenging times. I have loved listening to this again today and feel so much more prepared to support our managers and leaders.”
CIPD North Yorkshire – webinar: Engaging a virtual team, March 2020.
“I just wanted to say thank you to Sue for a great couple of days with us this week delivering “Bringing out the Best in Others” workshops you designed for us.
I really enjoyed the day myself, and for me it was a nice combination of some new stuff and a good reminder of other ideas and things to implement. I know a lot of people who hadn’t had this sort of thing before are very fired up about it now, which is great! Your tips and ideas are already making a huge difference to the appraisals we have already run since. Lots of others things too, but it went down really, well, so thank you, and Sue, you were great!”
Duncan Morter, Crombie Wilkinson Solicitors, December 2019
During the last 18 months, we have worked with Pro-Development on a significant project to change our mission, vision and values for our business. We worked specifically with Sue on this project and she has been incredibly collaborative throughout. The workshops that Sue organised and facilitated were engaging and creative and everyone involved felt really bought in to this project. We now have a new set of values that have been launched which are beginning to take shape and become a driving force behind moving our business forward.
We are now looking to work with Michelle on a Leadership programme, which also promises to be a great event that will continue to help embed our new values throughout the business.
We would highly recommend Pro-Development – a real investment to any business.
Ann Southgate, Cellhire plc, November 2019
Have you ever felt like giving up at work?
Comments like “I don’t need this” “there must be something easier to do than this job” and many others.
A few months ago I said the same things and didn’t realise I was that bad to the point I was affecting people negatively in my home life and work life, I had to do something about it!
A now business friend of mine Michelle Mook helped me start on a journey to get my head straight and no it’s not an overnight fix and yes I have slipped a few times but I am now on the path to getting back to the old Dean and not just pretending to be the old Dean.
Michelle and the team at Pro Development have helped me with this so far as they do for other individuals and teams, helping bring businesses closer, getting to know your team and who you work with.
Dean Towers, BCS Electrics, November 2019
Fantastic! What a great way to learn and improve on my leadership abilities. The Management Development Programme was incredibly rewarding, fun and focused on enhancing skills as well as introducing new skills and ideas. Its been a whirlwind of learning with great opportunities to challenge myself and to figure out who I am as a leader. I have put much of what I learnt into practice and I am already start to reep the rewards.
Catherine Adamson, Kaleidoscope, July 2019
We wanted to consolidate our values and bring them to the forefront of our everyday work. We had grown and employed a new team member and I wanted the chance to develop our core values as a team to ensure everyone felt included and empowered. I wanted help in understand each individuals motivators and reasons for coming to work each day so we can ensure we maintain and grow employee engagement.
Working with Pro-Development has been great. They understood our needs and suggested a team day with activities to underpin and work on our values. We went on the team day which allowed us to be out in the fresh air away from our desks and then followed up with a session to discuss how we embed the values into the business. I now understand individual values and I’m confident they are in-line with our overarching company values and feel confident in my ability to motivate and engage the team. We have a vision board which we created together pinned up in the office and have core values with positive and negative examples to aid with future recruitment. The day also helped us bond further as a team, thank you.
Sally Parker, Business Owner, Pick and Mix Marketing, June 2019
“The Train the Trainer programme was great, really helpful and insightful. It has the right balance of theory and practical and the pace and timings of the programme were just right. Michelle was absolutely brilliant, very kind, friendly and professional as well as really adaptable to the learners needs. She quickly adjusted to any situation and made sure all the learners were comfortable and getting the most from the training. It is sometimes easy to get overwhelmed when learning new things but that didn’t happen. Genuinely enjoyed every minute.”
Nick Hill, The Big Word, May 2019
What a wonderful day with you Vicky! So well looked after by Kate at York Cookery School. The #teambuilding was an incredible full day with the United by Design crew. We were certainly put through our paces with some incredible insights, learnings and actions to truly bring our great team closer and performing better for the business and our clients.
Owen Turner, MD, United by Design, May 2019
A thoroughly worthwhile investment of my time as really made me think about ways to personally improve myself and leadership capabilities. Great engagement from everyone who attended as openly encouraged to do so through active exercises and honest sharing of situations and examples. The day raced away as full on with great content.
Mark Bates, Make It York, March 2019
Thank you again Pro-Development for another amazing Masterclass on ‘Retaining and Bringing out the best in your talent’ for the Strategic Business Growth Programme. I don’t know how you do it, but everyone always leaves with a smile!
James Clayton, Programme Manager, Winning Pitch (Strategic Growth Programme), March 2019
An excellent day which has provided me with a lot of tools and structure to increase leadership skills. I will be planning in time to work on my action planning when I am back in the office.
Amy Bourne, NFU Mutual, March 2019
An excellent course that taught me how important it is to keep focus on self preservation as part of being a good leader and role model as it is to look at improving my emotional intelligence of others and observation of others. Michelle, Thank you, you are an excellent mentor and trainer!
Mike Jaconelli, Simpson York, March 2019
Loved it! I never expected to find so much out about myself and to have so many actions to take back to my job role. Michelle was fantastic – really engaging and an excellent facilitator. Loved that we were made at ease to ask questions throughout. Keen to attend the ‘Honest Conversations’ workshop! Really nice to have a small group as allowed people to open up more and share experiences – kept it very engaging. Thank you!
Sarah Alderson, York St. John University, March 2019
Absolutely brilliant! So much information! Need to be disciplined and make sure I make time to go through the pack details and really familiarise myself with some of these fantastic techniques. Michelle is just SUPERB – so lovely with everyone and passionate about what she does and how she delivers it. A fab day and really enjoyed it – more of it please!
Louise Daly, York Racecourse, March 2019
“Hi everyone at pro development.
I would love to share my achievements of the Pro-Development programme nearly 2 years later and cannot believe how much easier it has made my life. After all the highs and lows and nearly throwing the towel in half way through the programme, I cannot thank you guys enough for the encouragement to face my fears and carry on and Sue for being there to listen and encourage me to open up and be honest to myself and others. It has been life changing for me inside and outside of the work place. I use the programme every day without even thinking about it and share it with others. Honest conversations are now a natural way of life (my biggest fear to have conquered) I can not thank you guys enough”.
Gill Paterson, DGP Intelsius Ltd, November 2018
“Yorwaste has undergone several years of change both in terms of business structure and growth via acquisition. This generated a rather fractured culture and poor communications thus reducing business effectiveness.
Yorwaste met Pro-Development and after some initial meetings and scoping exercises engaged with them on a management develop programme. This initially just looked at the Executive and Senior Managers but has recently expanded to include the Future Leaders of the business.
Pro-Development have been outstanding in their efforts to understand Yorwaste which has allowed them to tailor their approach and delivery focused training packages. The Pro-Development team have now run 4 courses for us and what we particularly like is their ability to link each training package with another thus generating continuity across the management structure and reinforcement of lessons learnt.
Since first working with Pro-Development 6 months ago, Yorwaste has noticed significant improvements in communication within the business. Greater staff engagement and therefore trust within the business. We have also seen many of the staff grow in confidence.
If I had to single out one key benefit of working with Pro-Development it is their ability to understand our business and tailor their training to meet our needs, the personal touch”.
Kevin Smith, Yorwaste, October 2018
“Sue designed and delivered our Future Leaders Programme, working closely with us to provide a tailored and engaging programme for 26 aspiring leaders from across our university. The detailed session plans Sue produced for each part of the programme enabled us to review and discuss what would work well ahead of each session and adapt accordingly, based on the group and our requirements. Participants fed back that they particularly enjoyed the interactive and practical nature of the sessions and appreciated Sue’s engaging approach, knowledge and valuable insight throughout. A brilliant programme for our future leaders”.
Chris Pickard, Leeds Beckett University, October 2018
“Working with Pro-Development on our employment engagement over the last few years has been brilliant! We have transformed the way we interact with our staff, improved on so many areas year on year. The benefits to the company have been huge; employee retention, fully engaged in our vision, work to our values, reduced sick days etc…all of this can only improve your business! Our latest score of 96% is fantastic and we couldn’t have done this without the help of Pro-Development”.
Michelle Wallis, Drivespeed Group, September 2018
“As a long standing business, we had grown comfortable as a working unit and we wanted to explore how we could challenge this to improve engagement, motivation, efficiency, communication and productivity with and within our teams and locations. The experience of working with Pro-Development has been positive, challenging and enriching through support and guidance to take a step back and look at things in a different, less obvious way. We had a positive response from our teams to the engagement survey and resulting activity we have undertaken and were able to carefully assess the benefits and rewards for our teams other than just salary and bonuses. The process was challenging for the leadership team but encouraged us to plan ahead for the benefit of our teams and our clients. The guidance, advice and openness has been invaluable and the gentle reminder and nudge has helped us maintain our momentum.
The ability to grasp our issues, create a culture of staff engagement and suggestions of positive ideas to form an effective Action Plan has been most worthwhile. We would strongly recommend a conversation with Pro-Development.”
Liz Hall, African Pride, September 2018
“Pro-Development helped two members of the Two Ridings team think through their longer term career options. We had all done team development but through our annual appraisal process these two staff members agreed there was a need for one to one time with a development professional to help them think through their longer term career options and plan their future development needs. Pro-Development staff were very responsive to this and offered to help them with a structured interview. This offered a confidential safe space for staff members to consider their strengths. Pro-Development also acted as a critical friend to support them to be positive about their future choices. Both members of staff commented very positively on your approach and found you easy to work with. We can already see the difference in the team members as they are more confident and questioning and clearer about their place in the team”.
Jan Garrill, Two Ridings Community Foundation, August 2018
“Pro Development took time to understand the issues from YSP team feedback and carefully considered what work I could do myself with the team and what should be facilitated by Pro Development. Janette was very intuitive and drew together a project plan to deliver a number of workshops which had to be very short bursts. Janette was well received by the YSP team and there were some good learnings and understanding. Her communication style was very clear and concise, warm and friendly. We made good progress in dealing with the issues raised and work continued after the sessions with team members keen to put their learnings into practice. The experience working with Pro Development felt very bespoke to fit our business requirements, nothing was too much trouble and I would recommend for team development.”
Tracey Smith, York Science Park, May 2018
“The coaching provided by Suzanne, at Pro-Development, helped me explore challenges and opportunities from different perspectives which has resulted in tangible strategic business improvement as well as personal development.”
Simon Lazenby, Strategic Team Group, April 2018.
“I needed a 360 feedback for a newly formed leadership group and found Pro-Development very good, helpful and full of imaginative ideas. What I have particularly valued about working with Pro-Development was the helpful, friendly relationship and keenness to really help; the personal touch. The individuals have all really benefited from the one to one sessions with Pro-Development to really understand the detail of the feedback and where to focus on their development. The Line managers of those that took the profile also greatly benefitted from a greater understanding of how a 360 profile works. A much better approach than I have previously experienced with other organisations, thank you”.
Caroline Wright, EnviroVent Ltd , March 2018
“If you’re a business owner/MD and are frustrated with unmotivated staff who seem to operate in slow motion, rather than align with your business goals, I’d recommend you speak with Michelle.
I’ve seen Michelle speak twice now on employee engagement. Firstly, what a lovely person, second Michelle comes across as a passionate expert in here field. She offers insights, and most importantly solutions into creating highly engaged people at work. Many of the challenges Michelle solves, really resonate with me from my experience of running large, fast moving teams. She helps businesses both large and small, to create highly driven cultures of people who want to feel part of something, to care about their colleagues, customers, and the bottom line”
Simon Darlaston, Sandler Training, February 2018
“We worked with Pro-Development on our staff engagement survey towards the end of 2017 and found them very friendly and helpful in their approach and have really valued the quick and helpful responses we had when needed. The process has been extremely helpful and the meeting to discuss the results gave some great insight from an independent view on how well we were doing and what we could work on.
We were proud to achieve such a fantastic engagement result and as a result of the project, we have identified that the work already done in regards to vision, values and teamwork is working with some improvement actions to maintain momentum and progress. Our review process, both performance and financial has already improved with set dates throughout the year and the business improvement ideas collection and team input was another key area for us to work on throughout 2018 and onwards, which can only improve results throughout the team and company.
Thank you – it has been a pleasure working with you.”
Ben Wilson, MPM Ltd, January 2018
“The coaching was the best part of the course. I though Janette was universally excellent. She was supportive and listened brilliantly whilst never letting me off the hook for where I needed to take more responsibility. The extra literature she provided has made an immediate and positive impact on my business already. I enjoyed all the workshops, working with people with different skills and personalities but similar values was rewarding. Both Sue and Janette were excellent, really enthusiastic and supportive throughout.”
Rob Scott-South, Ambiente, January 2018
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
Alex really enjoyed the programme and I watched her grow as she attended each of the sessions. Overall, the result has been an increase in her self-awareness, confidence and assertiveness. She has now taken on more of a management role in our small team as the business continues to develop. I feel that what she has learnt will give her a solid platform for leadership in the future.
Rachel Goddard, Intandem Communications, September 2017
We had a team building event off site and Michelle successfully led and facilitated the sessions. She has the ability to put you at ease straight away with her warm, engaging personality and is great at delivering the agenda and expectations for the sessions ahead. She has a genuine caring personality, is a lot of fun to work and has a ability to coach, question how you engage with people including your team and tease out the answers to questions or challenges that will really make you pause and reflect. She really makes you question things, your personal approach and to the team and surrounding work environment you’re operating in. I came away from the team building sessions feeling more knowledgeable, energized and motivated to apply my learnings to both my role and personal life. Michelle made me feel valued throughout the team building sessions and I still use some of the techniques to this day. I value Michelle’s opinion and I would highly recommend sourcing Michelle’s company and expertise again – it’s always a pleasure to work together!
Sarah Eccles, GDI Project Manager, Howdens Joinery, August 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.
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.
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