Queen’s and Mediation NI offering first-of-its-kind conflict resolution in the workplace training

Queen’s University Belfast is working in partnership with Mediation Northern Ireland on a first-of-its-kind immersive conflict resolution training programme. The training aims to tackle the issue of workplace conflict using simulation and immersive technologies, enabling participants to put their training to the test in interactive scenarios that closely replicate their workplace environment.The training will not only support employees in the workplace but has the potential to be significantly cost-saving for employers.

The three-day training programme will involve two days of conflict resolution training delivered by Mediation NI. On the third day participants will have the opportunity to test out their new skills in the KN Cheung SK Chin InterSim Centre at Queen’s, a state-of-the-art simulation centre.

The InterSim Centre, which has been operating since 2021, prepares the next generation of healthcare professionals for many of the complex realities of modern clinical practice, by encouraging the development of real-world skills, in a safe, guided environment.

Technologies such as replica hospital wards and healthcare suites, a highly immersive virtual environment room (the ‘CAVE’) with a variety of changeable locations, lifelike manikins and AV technologies are used to train Dentistry, Nursing, Midwifery, Medicine and Pharmacy students at Queen’s. Some of these facilities will now be used to help tackle the issue of workplace conflict, giving participants the option to trial their new learnings in a psychologically safe environment that looks and feels like their workplace.

Professor Gerry Gormley, Professor in Simulation in the Centre for Medical Education and Interim Director of the KN Cheung SK Chin InterSim Centre at Queen’s, one of the Programme Directors of the training programme, said:

“Simulation has a long tradition in Health Profession Education. Over this time, we have developed a strong evidence based in how best we can guide learning from experience in simulated environments. One such area is helping individuals develop the skills and behaviours to meet challenging conversations with confidence. More than what you say, but also managing the emotional and identity side of such conversations. We are delighted that we can share our expertise in the development of practitioners who mediate conflict in the workplace.”

Dr Paul Murphy, Senior Lecturer from the School of Arts, English and Languages at Queen’s is also one of the Programme Directors of the training programme. Paul, who specialises in simulation-based education and training, said:

“Since  InterSim Centre opened in 2021 techniques from the dramatic arts have been used to help our healthcare students hone their expertise in a simulation-based setting, giving them the opportunity to rehearse their skills, without risk, before they transfer them to clinical practice.

“We hope to transfer this way of learning to a new programme- allowing participants to test out their new conflict resolution skills in InterSim. This innovative and experiential new approach will utilise the latest technology to enhance and apply learning from the programme.”

Enda Young, Managing Director of Mediation Northern Ireland explains:

“It is estimated that workplace conflict is costing Northern Ireland employers £850 million a year. Conflict in the workplace can occur across a wide spectrum of behaviour, from a low-level difference of opinion to serious incidents of bullying or harassment. Not all conflict is necessarily negative, but even a minor disagreement between people can fester and escalate if it is not addressed and resolved at the earliest opportunity. We believe that having our teams, staff, managers and leaders better equipped to deal with conflict makes our organisations better places to work.

“We look forward to working in partnership with the KN Cheung SK Chin InterSim Centre at Queen’s on this innovative new programme aimed at tackling conflict in the workplace.”

The first 3-day immersive conflict resolution training programme will be presented on 26th & 27th March 2024 in Mediation House, Belfast, and 9th April 2024 at InterSim, Queen’s.

For further information or to book onto the course visit www.mediationni.org/training, email info@mediationni.org or call 02890 438614.

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