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Negotiating Successfully with Potentially Violent People



The introduction of Section 55A – 'Inappropriate Behaviour' into the Occupational Health, Safety and Welfare Act 1986 (the ‘Act’) has placed the spotlight once again on the ever important issue of inappropriate behaviour in the workplace. Section 55A now provides Workplace Services inspectors with power to investigate and take action against employers where they have not met their legal obligations. This includes providing organisation-wide education and training.  In the education sector, inappropriate behaviour may often come from a parent or caregiver and quite often from a student behaving inappropriately. Many victims are ESO’s.  In the health sector, relatives of a patient. Today the people we deal with both externally and internally are more demanding. They are often more aggressive and sometimes are potentially violent in the way they approach issues that need to be discussed and resolved.  Coping with these expectations puts new pressure and stress on staff who are confronted with hostility,especially when working with reduced resources against a demand for enhanced response and service standards. “Continued stress, particularly that caused by interaction with violent or aggressive people has the potential to cause prolonged sick leave (averaging 16 weeks) and costing nearly $50,000 … and that is for just one person! Besides productivity issues, long term stress has been medically proven to lead to Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, cancer and heart disease"  Dr Diana Killen - Workcover NSW.  In this environment,  confidence, influencing and negotiation skills are a must for people at all levels of the organisation. There is also a need to ensure that professional management strategies are implemented that will ensure that the number and seriousness of incidents are greatly reduced by understanding the sector specific 'triggers' that cause inappropriate behaviour. This dynamic program delivers practical people-relating and coping skills where accurate, specific and effective communications are critical.



To ensure participants understand strategies that will prevent violent behaviour and develop tactics to negotiate successfully with people who are exhibiting, controlling, aggressive or violent behaviour and minimise the after incident stressors.

Who Needs to Do this Course?

This is a prescriptive course that will assist participants in identifying inappropriate behaviour. It will outline why many of the issues occur and unique strategies to address the problems prior to their occurence and also how to negotiate face-to-face with aggressive people. It should be undertaken by education sector staff, health sector staff and anybody who is likely to come into contact with potentially aggressive people. 

Why should undertake this training course?

This is an opportunity to:

  • understand many of the reasons why people behave aggressively
  • know what can be done prior to aggressive behaviour to try to prevent it
  • deliver appropriate responses to aggressive people that will stabilise the situation
  • give staff confidence to manage inapproprate behaviour and avoid negative consequences. 


  • Two 15 minute videos dealing with complaints and verbal violence in the workplace
  • Defining violent, controlling and aggressive behaviour and why it occurs
  • The results of violence in the workplace
  • The tactics of those who would use violence and aggressive behaviour to achieve outcomes
  • The effects of violent and aggressive behaviour on an individual's health
  • Events that trigger violence and aggressive controlling behaviour
  • Legitimate argument and disagreement versus aggressive controlling behaviour
  • Negotiation tactics for high risk situations

Expected Outcomes

  • Understand how to negotiate with potentially violent people and how this knowledge will help workplaces comply with the OHS&W legislation and Regulations. 
  • Identify the circumstances where unacceptable behaviour is likely to occur and know how to develop preventative strategies to avoid those situations.
  • Understanding why people choose to use aggression and violence to attain their goals.

Fees and facilitation

  • This is a three hour workshop that is facilitated at client's worksites
  • Clients may combine with other worksites where staff numbers do not support a full course
  • A training room that can accommodate at least 20 people is required with a TV/VCR/DVD.
  • The course fee is $220.00(+gst) per person with a minimum of 10 people
  • Group fees apply for 15+ participants
  • Participants are issued with an excellent full-colour reference book
  • There is a travelling charge for country areas (100+ kilometres from the GPO)
  • Participants are issued with a certificate of attendance.


 Phone | 08 8278 3588   Fax | 08 8278 5699   Email |  owen@festraining.com.au