SuperFriend, the national workplace mental health organisation, has launched a new workshop to its online learning platform, MySuperFriend, on managing challenging interactions and conflict in the workplace.
Recommended for all staff members in a workplace, the Managing Challenging Interactions course explores conflict management styles, effective methods of communication and de-escalation techniques for challenging and stressful interactions. The course aims to build an understanding of why conflict arises and promote real-life strategies for how to manage conflict in the workplace.
It will be accessible on the MySuperFriend platform, which was launched last year as an interactive digital experience to help improve the mental health and wellbeing of Australian workers and workplaces through various learning modules.
Pippa Rose, Head of Consulting at SuperFriend said: “It’s very exciting and timely to launch this new course on the one-year anniversary of the ‘working-from-home’ phenomenon, which changed the world of work for good.
“Workplace conflict is a common occurrence that can affect both individuals and organisations, either due to difference in opinions, clashes in personality or difficulties in communicating effectively.
“Managing Challenging Interactions is really about understanding what conflict is, how it can impact our mental health, and how we can successfully manage it.”
Delivering healthy workplaces to everyone
The course will be delivered online through the MySuperFriend platform, suitable for all staff who have completed the 80 minute Workplace Mental Health Essentials course.
To augment the online learning, there is also a facilitated workshop that provides a practical framework to understanding anger, aggression and personal stress management. Access to additional supporting resources including tools, tip sheets, videos and articles can also be acquired online.
Ms Rose commented: “During times of immense change and uncertainty, people are having to navigate uncharted levels of stress. Whether that stems from job insecurity, financial stress or emotional fatigue, we can often find ourselves encountering challenging interactions as everyone tries to handle the world around them.
“We may come across people who present as angry or aggressive; however, it is likely that they are experiencing other emotions like worry or fear. Stressful interactions and moments of conflict in the workplace can have detrimental effects on our physical and mental health, so being proactive in de-escalating the situation is beneficial for everyone.
“The course truly reflects what we designed MySuperFriend to be: an accessible and interactive training module for all staff, which provides value and impact at a low cost. We know that training in conflict management leads to improved outcomes for both individuals and businesses,” she added.
Ways to de-escalate conflict
As part of the course, SuperFriend encourages Australian workers to follow practical steps to successfully manage workplace conflict.
This includes to: Keep calm, Empathise, Understand the Problem and Seek a Resolution.
Ms Rose added: “It’s important that we provide people with a step-by-step guide to not only managing interpersonal conflict with colleagues, but also challenging interactions with customers. By thinking of conflict in a positive light, we can drive better outcomes for all parties and protect our mental and physical health.”
“Of course, it’s important to remember that there is no ‘perfect’ way to manage conflict and everybody tackles issues in their own way. However, there are practical and effective actions we can take to support our own wellbeing and that of those around us,” she concluded.