Motivational Conversation for Community Building: Learn the skills needed to connect and engage with the communities we serve

Motivational Conversation for Community Building: Learn the skills needed to connect and engage with the communities we serve
Duration: 60 Minutes
Module 1Module 1
Recorded on: 2021-06-24
Unit 1Slide Deck: Motivational Conversation for Community Building
Unit 2Transcript: Motivational Conversation for Community Building
Unit 3Workbook: Motivational Conversation for Community Building
Unit 4Recording: Motivational Conversation for Community Building

Getting people to mobilize around a goal isn’t always the easiest thing to do. The same goes for getting the community members into building relationships with law enforcement that have faced serious backlash and scrutiny in the recent past. In such situations, forcing and telling people what to do may not be the best approach to move them in the direction of change.

Al Cobos joins Justice Clearinghouse to share how Motivational Conversation can help accomplish the goals of community building. Al has over has been with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) for more than three decades where he is currently the Sergeant for the Training Bureau’s Education-Based Discipline/Leadership Unit. Apart from this, he is the owner and the primary consultant of Dychelon LLC that helps organizations and individuals improve professional performance.

Specifics of this webinar include:

  • Motivational Conversation 101: Its goal, approach, use in community building, and what it should be rooted in to be successful.
  • Points from Sir Robert Peel’s Nine Principles of Modern Policing that allude to legitimacy, cooperation, de-escalation and community building, and the role of motivational conversation in establishing these.
  • Foundational aspects of motivational conversation that emphasize…
    • The right motive for the intended change.
    • Socratic questioning as a purposeful way to create conversations that can then lead to relationship-building.
    • Influence as a means to establish relationships with groups/people.
    • Voice-giving as one of the tenets of procedural justice alongside trust, respect, and neutrality that opens up communication with the community.
  • The importance of leading the communication by asking instead of telling to create involvement and conversation.
  • The process and elements involved in motivational conversation – intent, conversation, relationships, and the results.
  • A look into the three perspectives that influence and impact efforts towards community building.
    • Societal worldview which is the amalgamation of the perspectives resulting from the interaction between different segments of society.
    • Conflict mindset that occurs between groups and individuals as a result of differences due to political and socio-economic conditions.
    • Personal lens that takes into account individuals’ experiences and value judgment.
  • Evaluating conflict mindset by looking at what drives the conflict, ways to bridge the gap, initiating conversations with the groups in conflict, and the consequences of not engaging.
  • Assessing how personal values and experiences allow us to judge other people/groups which can inadvertently impede relationship building and impact our societal worldview and conflict mindset.
  • A run-through of the questions to ask when setting goals for community building highlighting the reason for the engagement, the individuals’/groups’ skills, perspectives and roles, and ways to resolve conflict.
  • How motivational conversation creates engagement that leads to positive change, fosters relationship-based policing, and creates a culture of communication that ultimately leads to community-building.

Points raised during the Q&A were about:

  • Measuring community trust in law enforcement.
  • How a culture change allows community-building initiatives to flourish without the need for additional resources or manpower.
  • Sample questions to ask to gauge the community’s perspective and initiate conversation.
  • Handling instances when there is no response from the clients to the questions you’ve posed.

How citizens can use motivational conversation to engage with local law enforcement.



Other Webinars with this Speaker:


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This webinar has been pre-approved by the Maine Animal Welfare Program for 1 Continuing Education Unit for the State of Maine’s ACO annual training. You can find more information about Certification, required annual training or submitting materials for credit at Maine’s Animal Control Officer Resource Page.



Resources and Handouts


Audience Comments

  • Ways to have conversations with people and communities to make positive change. Great topic! — Alicia
  • How to start the process of engaging the communities through motivational conversations. Therapists use motivational interviewing with individual clients and this expands the concept to communities, organizations, and groups. — Christine
  • Instead of posting agenda topics, pose questions so that attendees can be already be thinking about the topics and are prepared to contribute to the conversation. This concrete takeaway was very much appreciated. — Dayna
  • The nice breakdown of the fundamental questions that an LE agency must have answered for itself before engaging with potential partners so that the forthcoming interactions are more likely to be viewed as positive and fruitful by both sides which may encourage further community building and partners’ greater consideration of LE perspectives. — Frederick
  • Great presentation. Very well organized and I like how the presenter was able to relate the training to a variety of aspects of our professional and personal lives. — Jill
  • This is exactly what I needed! We are working on implementing some deepened community engagement initiatives and have hit a few bumps. This provided me with some great tools and perspective to move the work forward. Thank you!!!! — Kristen
  • I teach disability awareness classes and use body worn clips of successful interactions, and the most successful/skilled officers are often using motivational interviewing/conversation, without really knowing about this field. So it was interesting when you commented that for some people, this is just second nature. Thank you! — Nancy



** This webinar has been certified by the National Sheriffs' Association and may be eligible for Continuing Education Units through your POST. Please consult your local certification processes for additional details. Paid subscribers that attend will be able to download a jointly issued attendance certificate that includes the National Sheriffs' Association logo.
Additional Resources
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