• Masters of Adult Education, St. Francis Xavier University, Nova Scotia (2017)

  • Public Relations Post-Graduate Certificate, Humber College of Applied Arts and Technology, Ontario (1997)

  • Bachelor of Education, Université Sainte-Anne, Nova Scotia (1993)


  • CTI Co-Active Coach Training & International Coach Federation ACC Accreditation

  • Enneagram in the Workplace & Narrative Enneagram Professional Training Program Practitioner Track

  • Birkman Level I Certified Coach

  • Certified Neuro-Linguistic Programming Practitioner

  • Fierce Conversations© Facilitator

  • Wiley Publishing DiSC© Facilitator

  • Seminar Leader Certification, Park University Enterprises

  • Facilitation with Ease / Advanced Facilitation First


  • How to Foster Transformative Learning in Workplace Seminars, presented at the 37th CASAE/ACÉÉA Annual Conference / Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences Conference (2018)

  • Contributing author of Chicken Soup for the Soul Family Caregivers (2012)

  • If I Ran This Place… Communication for Results (2011)

Creating Conditions that Foster Transformative Learning in Workplace Seminars

St. Francis Xavier University - Master of Adult Education Research

To enrich my understanding of how to facilitate deep learning for participants in workplace seminars, I completed research on my coaching and training practice. I presented a summary of my findings at the 37th CASAE/ACÉÉA Annual Conference at the University of Regina in 2018.

I conducted an auto-ethnographical study of my private practice to better understand how I was creating conditions that foster transformative learning in leadership and interpersonal communication skills seminars. The outcome of this project includes a description of best practices and sequence of activities designed to create conditions that potentially foster transformative learning in non-formal workplace seminars.

Transformative learning is described as ‘a process by which individuals or social groups undergo a deep shift in perspective that leads to a more open, permeable and better justified frame of reference’ (Mezirow, 2000).

Mezirow, J. (2000). Learning to think like an adult: Core concepts of transformation theory. In J. Mezirow & Associates, (Eds.) Learning as transformation: Critical perspectives on a theory in progress (pp. 3-33). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.


"Debbie Matters is a wise and thought-provoking communications specialist who writes from experience. If I Ran This Place… is an easy-to-read, practical book providing inspirational tips on how to achieve win-win partnerships in the workplace. I recommend this book to leaders wanting to enhance their communication skills and professional effectiveness."

Norma Beauchamp
Partner, Medius International & former Senior Vice-President, Bayer Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals

"If I Ran This Place… is a must read for managers, directors and senior level executives regardless of the sector or industry in which they work. Communications expert Debbie Matters skillfully takes us through scenarios in which it is impossible to notrecognize ourselves in the missteps of misinterpretation and miscommunication. She art­fully deconstructs these scenarios into relevant and easy to understand theory and bridges this to comprehensive practices that can be applied in one-on-one interactions or complex change management across large organizations. The result is a thorough and stepwise approach of how to build effective communication styles for self improvement and how to foster this in others. Of the many books in this genre that I’ve read, If I Ran This Place… is the jackpot!" 

Bernard Lawless MD, MHSc, CHE, FRCSC
Provincial Lead, Critical Care and Trauma, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
Assistant Professor, Department of Surgery, University of Toronto

"For seasoned leaders, this book is refueling, igniting the need to refresh and reflect on how we communicate - a superb and concise resource."

Pamela Winsor
Director, Health System Strategies and Chief Marketing Officer, Medtronic of Canada

​"Debbie Matters has written a very practical guide for managers, filled with thoughtful approaches for managing real people, getting things done and solving issues respectfully. I highly recommend this book."

Shelle Rose Charvet
Author, Words That Change Minds and The Customer is Bothering Me