Our response to Covid-19

Creating a safe learning environment

“Creating a safe learning environment" just acquired extra meaning courtesy of Coronavirus

At The Change Forum, our top priority is everyone’s health and wellbeing, as it is for so many others around our global community.

We’re acutely aware that our live workshop formats may potentially be a spread-point for COVID-19, however remote that chance may be. So, we wanted to let everyone know personally what precautionary measures we have put in place at all our workshops and coaching clinics – in-house or public.  And if you’re reluctant or uncomfortable to participate in face-to-face sessions just yet, you can opt to do our programs live-online in 2021 including personal coaching.

Due to the lingering persistence of COVID-19 outbreaks, we’re observing all health precautionary requirements in our live on location clinics and workshops, as recommended by Federal and State Governments. These are:

Before you attend:
  1. If you are unwell or have any concerns about presenting with possible symptoms of COVID-19, please do not come to the workshop
  2. If you have been overseas, or had contact with anyone who has returned from overseas in the past 14 days, please reconsider attending.
  3. If you have been in contact with anyone in the past 14 days who may be presenting with possible symptoms of COVID-19 please do not attend.
  4. If you have been in an identified COVID-19 hotspot or had contact with anyone else who has, please do not attend.
Register with confidence:

If you choose not to attend on these grounds, we will discuss options for alternative arrangements for you to undertake the program (or an equivalent learning) at a later time. Please note that any COVID-19 related cancellation will not incur a late withdrawal penalty.  A full refund of your course fees will be available if you are not able to either nominate a substitute to attend in your place or arrange a suitable alternative course to attend once the health risk period has passed.

So, you can register for our courses with the confidence of knowing that your course fees will not be lost should situations change.

Attending the program:

For peace of mind, we want you to be aware that we ensure all venues we use are compliant with current COVID health regulations.  We also ensure that venues are to be thoroughly sanitised before the start of each workshop day. 

During our workshops, we’ll also be taking preventative measures that we’d ask your assistance with observing:

  • Smaller gatherings: We’ll be strictly limiting workshop numbers to ensure adequate distancing at the venue – generally around 10 people or less 
  • Hand-health: Hand sanitiser will be available in the room and we would encourage everyone to use it regularly.
  • Careful catering: Most venues we use provide their own catering. We will be checking their protocols around food preparation but also insisting that communal plates of food be replaced with individual serves .
  • Masking: If you wish to bring along your own hand-sanitiser, tissues or wear a protective mask, please do. Mask wearing has been proven to be an effective measure that can impede spread of the virus.
  • Surface issues: surfaces such as tables will be re-sanitised during breaks and the room will be sprayed while you’re out
  • Physical distancing: we will try to arrange workshop lay-out to allow as much personal space as we can between people, observing the 1.5 metre rules wherever we can.
  • Social Contact: we’ll ask you to please avoid handshakes, hugs, physical touching or breathing on each other during the workshop. In relation to this, we will also be facilitating workshops in ways that observe distancing and reduce any closer contact where possible
Going on-line live

While we believe that face-to-face learning experiences are irreplaceable, you will progressively be able to opt for live on-line access to a selection of our programs in 2021, including personal coaching, if that is your preference.


Keeping up-to-date

For up-to-date information on government regulations and recommendations, see Queensland Government COVID updates at https://www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/health-alerts/coronavirus-covid-19/current-status and Queensland Health information page: http://www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/health-alerts/coronavirus-covid-19 and Australian Government COVID updates at https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert. For another perspective, also see the BBC’s useful information page ‘Coronavirus what should I do?’  at https://www.bbc.com/news/health-51048366.


Director – The Change Forum

Updated 10 January 2021  

Scroll to Top

High Tension Encounters

High Tension Encounters (HTEs) happen regularly in any workplace  offices, schools, hospitals, councils, work-sites, factories… 

The negative impact of poorly-handled HTEs on colleagues, customers, patients and work-teams is well-attested. Whether it’s toxic personalities, inveterate arguers, belligerent bosses or conflict-ridden contrarians, HTE’s distract from productive work focus, detract from good results, debilitate teams, distress and unsettle us, and create caustic cultures in the long term…

  • The frequency of HTEs has been measured in several settings. For example, one study found 85% of us experienced chronic conflict in our work-lives, with 30% saying it was always or highly frequent. 
  • In schools, principals on average say they have five difficult encounters a day, while another study of operating theatres reported at least 1 and up to 4 HTEs among surgical teams per operation. 
  • Another study reported 64% said they were dealing with a toxic personality in their current work environment and 94% said they’d worked with someone toxic at some time. 
  • Other studies reveal that school principals are abused on a regular basis by parents and 91% of nurses reported verbal abuse from physicians or patients, with 10% saying they witnessed disruptive physician behaviour daily. 
  • The ongoing impact of these HTEs exact a significant emotional toll, with one study suggesting negative encounters affected people five times more strongly than positive ones.

The customary line is that conflict is beneficial – it clarifies, corrects, changes and leads to better solutions and decisions.

Yet another line of thought suggests something quite different: that it has prolonged negative consequences that undermine relationships, trust and collaboration as well as distracting from task-focus and wasting resources in prolonged conflict mediation processes that largely don’t work.… 

So, whether or not it is sporadically constructive, in many instances conflict it seems is damaging, harmful and linked to high stress and staff turnover. 

Building conversational capability to better deal with difficult HTEs may not reduce their frequency but it can help us to handle them better, have more constructive confrontations and mitigate some of the negative consequences that follow on the heels of unregulated conflict.

© Bill Cropper – The Change Forum 2023

Before you go...

Why not subscribe to have news, insights and updates delivered straight to your inbox…

News &