Pathological Behaviours in the Workplace Conference

2 Day Conference for All Nurses


Pathological behaviours are complex and can have devastating consequences if left unrecognised and unmanaged. This conference will enable you to consider practical solutions to this persistent area of stress and conflict. Topics include:

  • Leadership character – the good, the bad and the ugly
  • Bullying as a pathological behaviour
  • The key to not taking “it” personally
  • Disarming stress to reduce toxic behaviour
  • Building awareness, trust, and resilience
  • The power of positive psychology and much, much more…

Come along to this popular event – Book now!

Pathological Behaviours in the Workplace - Sydney 2019
Get Event Alerts
Set a reminder email for this event


Day One

8:30 Registration for Day One


Welcome and Introduction

Mike Smith

Personality Pathology – Understanding Where it Begins

Negative behaviours, such as lying, manipulation and exploitation, are often a topic of conversation in a workplace environment. This session will look deeper into pathological behaviours and where it all begins … This opening session includes:

  • What are the different types of personalities?
  • What exactly are pathological behaviours and what are they not?
  • Who is more likely to act in a destructive way?
  • Where does it all begin?
  • How can you identify when someone is acting pathologically?
Mike Smith

The Smiling Assassin

Pathological behaviours in healthcare settings by definition are harsh, habitual, or excessive ways of behaving toward staff, patients, and clients or their families. While many pathological behaviours are overt and easy to identify, it is the insidious passive-aggressive behaviours that are often more challenging. This session uses case studies to:

  • Review a range of situations where vicious intent comes across as being virtuous
  • Demonstrate how to identify the mask that conceals passive-aggressive behaviours and what to do about it!
  • Give tips on “calling out” manipulative behaviours
  • Demonstrate how to stop them "getting under your skin"
11:00 Morning Tea

Dr Terry Froggatt

Power, Organisational Politics, and Pathological Behaviours

Organisational politics has a huge influence on the way people work and what they are able to achieve. Organisational politics is directly related to power and influence. This session looks at the role that power and politics play and answers the following questions:

  • What is organisational politics?
  • What are the dimensions of power?
  • Can political power-bases ever be altered?
  • How does this assist us to understand the impact of pathological behaviours?
Dr Terry Froggatt

Leadership Character – The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Why is it that leadership character can make or break an organisation in terms of patient experience, outcomes, productivity, efficiency, and staff engagement? This session considers:

  • What is leadership character?
  • Why is leadership character so defining for an organisation?
  • What happens when leadership character fails?
  • Does this failure cause pathological behaviours to manifest?
1:30 Lunch and Networking

Chris Muller

Staff Splitting – A Fast Road to Conflict?

Staff splitting can occur in any workplace setting. Whatever the reason and whoever is involved, staff need to be aware of its highly divisive and disruptive consequences. This session looks at this destructive behaviour and includes:

  • What happens when staff splitting occurs?
  • Why is staff splitting highly contagious in the workplace?
  • Why do staff splitters generally have “high conflict” personalities?
  • How can you overcome this pathological behaviour?
3:15 Afternoon Tea

Mike Smith

Violence and Compassion in the Workplace

This session will encourage you to reflect on a raft of challenging behaviours that are sadly present within health care. These include violence, aggression, and threatening communication. It will focus specifically on the link between these behaviours and compassion. As well, you will be encouraged to gain insight into why we react in certain ways to these behaviours. This session considers:

  • What is the link between violence and compassion?
  • How are you perceiving the challenging behaviours of others?
  • Does incorporating empathy into your approach to managing these behaviours help?
4:30 Close of Day One of Conference

Day Two

9:00 Commencement of Day Two

Renee Hall

Boundaries – The Key to Not Taking "it" Personally

Too often people in the workplace experience negative emotions as a result of incivility. This, clearly, can be destructive and lead to disengaged workplaces where no one benefits. Establishing and maintaining clear personal boundaries has proven to be an effective strategy for dealing with unpredictable and unstable behaviours of others, including other staff. This session highlights:

  • How can personal boundaries protect you from manipulation?
  • How can you build and maintain boundaries you are comfortable with?
  • What do you do when your boundaries are challenged?
Jan Alewood

Your Mandatory Obligations in the Workplace

The regulation of practice aims to mitigate a range of risks by providing a framework for safe, legal, professional, ethical, and accountable practice. What happens when a person’s behaviour falls outside of this? What if we believe that public protection is placed in doubt because of the pathological behaviours of a health professional?

  • What is our duty or care in this situation?
  • What are the ethical and legal responsibilities when someone’s behaviour becomes grossly unacceptable?
  • How should reporting occur?
  • What protections exist for those who are reporting professional misconduct?
11:00 Morning Tea

Dr Michael Robertson

Turning the Tables – A Trauma-Informed Approach to Colleagues

What’s wrong? Why are you acting that way? We can often quickly judge a colleague’s actions during a shift. However, there is often an underlying reason for why a person is acting that particular way. Understanding the impact of adverse childhood events and cumulative stressors later in life is essential if we are to create a safe environment that promotes resilience. This session will turn the tables and discuss the emotions of your colleagues:

  • How can adverse events impact the way someone is acting?
  • What are the effects of chronic stress and trauma?
  • What is a trauma-informed approach?
  • How can you incorporate a trauma-informed approach towards your colleagues?
Mike Smith

When Bullies Operate Under the Radar

A considerable challenge for all staff is dealing with bullies who operate “under the radar”. The insidious nature of this type of highly destructive behaviour can be a management nightmare and affect morale because it is so difficult to detect. This session looks at:

  • How to create a zero-tolerance environment for gossip and poor group behaviours that ignore and isolate a person
  • Dealing with non-engagement, sulking, and sabotage
  • Creating an inclusive environment and other strategies
1:30 Lunch and Networking

Elaine Ford

An Opportunity to Constructively Debrief

Debrief is a powerful tool used to assist in dealing with disturbing or unhelpful behaviours of others. However, without an understanding of what constitutes “debrief”, there may be a tendency for emotions to spill over and the debrief to become destructive. This highly interactive session will invite participants to come together and debrief on a range of selected, shared scenarios.

3:30 Afternoon Tea

Elaine Ford

The Power of Positive Psychology

Positivity affects perceptions, attitudes, and expectations. Positive emotions have been shown to increase feelings of energy, help you cope with adversity, and feel more optimistic about life. Constructing positive mindsets in the face of challenging situations at work – and at home – can aid us to flourish. This final session includes:

  • What is meant by “positive psychology”?
  • Is a positive attitude an innate or learned behaviour?
  • How can it be integrated into day-to-day stressful work environments?
4:30 Close of Conference and Evaluations

The Goal

Need for Program

Pathological behaviours are the subject of endless discussions in the workplace. The term is used to explain a raft of bad behaviours, including lying, manipulation, and exploitation. Understanding their implications will assist those who are at the receiving end and those who may not have identified these behaviours within themselves. In addition, it will ensure that workplace productivity and patient outcomes are not undermined by petulant and self-serving attitudes.

Purpose of Program

The purpose of this conference is for nurses and midwives to be able to identify and understand destructive interpersonal and organisational relationships that adversely affect them and their patients in the workplace, as well as considering strategies to overcome such pathological behaviours.

Your learning outcomes:

Use emotional intelligence to identify and respond effectively to pathological behaviours in the workplace
Minimise the impact of highly destructive behaviours of others on the self through enhanced personal resilience
Establish clear personal boundaries and maintain them to diminish the effect of manipulative behaviours
Initiate a positive, patient-centred culture that decreases the impact of self-serving behaviours on workplace productivity


Pathological Behaviours in the Workplace Conference



Pathological Behaviours in the Workplace Conference
11 Hours | 30 Mins



Get a Letter of Support

Are you looking for support from your manager to attend this event?
Enter your email below and we'll send you a letter of support

Related Courses

Topics :

Mailing List

Stay up-to-date with the latest event information from Ausmed.