Laughter, Empathy & Anti-Bullying Workshop – Staff

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Workplace Bullying
Workshop Session Plan
Key Learning Outcomes


The Laughter, Empathy and Anti-bullying Fun-shop was developed in response to the devastating impact of bullying in Australian workplaces and the real need to investigate and provide skills to staff on how to deal with conflict, take responsibility for the workplace and promote a positive workplace.

The purpose of the workshop is to provide participants with experiences and skills to develop positive attitudes; an understanding of themselves and others; and skills to resolve conflicts and to make a difference personally to ensure the workplace is productive and satisfying.

The course can be either a half day or full day program designed to teach skills through sharing knowledge, brainstorming, questioning and interactive activities to stimulate experiential learning.

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Workplace Bullying

Bullying is not only in the school yard it is evident in the workplace. The issue of workplace bullying is an emerging issue of concern in the business community and the general community (schools). A Griffith University study estimated that workplace bullying costs Australian industry between 6 and 36 billion. The costs included estimates for hidden costs. Furthermore, it was estimated that between 350,000 to 1.5 million people were bullied. it can cost a company approximately $20,000 per employee as a result of bullying. The issue is also considerable in schools which reflects that it is a societal problem.

Workplace bullying has real implications for productivity and job satisfaction. “People in charge, as well as your fellow workers, may use bullying as a way of exerting their authority or powerlessness. Practical jokes, offensive comments and physical abuse are all common forms of bullying which can have a detrimental effect on your health and frame of mind. You may think that your boss can throw their weight around, but if he or she does this literally, then its against the law. Recent studies have shown that the effects of bullying can be very serious with victims even suffering Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome.

Victims of a bullying may suffer from: stress, anxiety, panic attacks, lack of concentration, insomnia, low self-esteem.

A bully can be your manager, supervisor or a fellow worker. They can also be male or female with the majority of cases being same sex cases. Employers too, should not ignore bullying. It is their responsibility to provide you with a safe and healthy working environment, so the issue must be addressed. If not, then they could be in breach of Occupational Health and Safety laws”.

The Government has attempted to address this form of violence through including bullying under the Occupational Health and Safety Legislation. Under this legislation bullying is a health and safety issues and organisations are obligated by law to ensure they deal with bullying and provide a safe working environment. Organisations can be fined up to $900,000 for failing to comply with legislation. More information about OH&S can be located at Worksafe Victoria Occupational Health and Safety. Or in NSW

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Workshop Session Plan

1. Laughter, Humour, Releasing tension
2. Emotions, Expression and Empathy
3. Positive thinking
4. Perceptions
5. Communications
6. Bullying
7. Conflict Resolution
8. Solutions and possibilities
9. Praise session
10. Visualisation (meditation)
11. Conclusion and thank you
12. Post Workshop Observation Journal
13. Evaluation

Debrief (1 week later)

14. Debrief – Return to review Observational Journals

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Key Learning Outcomes

A. To become aware and actively experience humour and positivity.

1. Positive skills and techniques to release tension and view situations in a positive frame;
2. Participants will experience laughter and why positivity is important for workplace harmony.

B. To develop critical thinking to develop awareness of emotions.

3. Critical thinking skills: participants will examine their feelings, emotions and experiences in the workplace and generate questions and answers.

C. To learn philosophical inquiry to problems.

4. Philosophy: participants will be exposed to philosophical enquiry as to how they choose to see a situation.

D. To visualise, role play, discuss and positively release emotions.

5. To visualise and experience inner emotions and learn how to release them non-violently;

E. To become aware of body language.

6. To become aware through activities communication through body language;
7. To become aware and learn about how emotions are released and ways to release emotions safely in the workplace.

F. To understand empathy.

8. To discuss and role play empathetic stories.

G. To develop skills in positive thinking and self esteem.

9. To become aware and experience positive thinking and self esteem.

H. To become aware of perceptions, beliefs, experience and different realities.

10. To become aware of how perceptions are influenced by beliefs, focus and interpretations;
11. To become aware of the power of emotions and perception of reality.

I. To develop communication skills.

12. To understand how we communicate can either block or facilitate flows in communication.
13. To develop an understanding of poor communication skills and good communication skills
14. To learn active listening;
15. To develop skills in asking questions to understand people;
16. To learn to communicate ‘I Statements’ to express and own feelings.

J. To develop an awareness, understanding and ability to respond to bullying in the workplace.

17. To understand what bullying is;
18. To become aware of bullying in the workplace;
19. To role play bullying and victim behaviour;
20. To discuss how bullying can be prevented.

K. To learn conflict resolution.

21. To learn the mediation process.

L. To learn how to develop solutions.

22. To discuss possibilities and solutions.

M. To observe the workplace for one week and debrief.

23. Observations of the workplace evaluating concepts learned.