Centre for Continuing Education

Building Positive Workplace Culture and Team Dynamics Course

Business Communication. Sharpen your communication skills.

COVID-19 update: arrangement of our courses

We are now delivering courses online and in-person. Please check the delivery format of each class before enrolling.

Please note that course materials (excluding prescribed texts) are shared electronically within 48 hours of course commencement. Printing is not available.

Imagine a business where everyone is committed, engaged and inspired to do their best. You can build that business using positive leadership techniques. In this course, you will learn to create a dynamic climate in your team or organisation. Techniques taught include: capitalising on the wisdom of ‘positive deviants’ to shift cultural norms and design smarter business practices; increasing engagement by creating an energised, purpose-driven culture; and equipping your people to thrive during times of disruption, by creating a learning organisation.

This is an advanced team culture course for people who have been in leadership roles for two years or more.


This course will enable you to build a flourishing culture or team dynamic in your workplace, using positive leadership tools.


The science of positive psychology provides concrete steps leaders can take to shape workplace culture and build flourishing teams. You will learn how to:

  • actively shape organisational culture or team behaviours, using positive psychology tools
  • become a ‘positive energiser’ by shifting communication and feedback patterns in your team
  • equip your people to handle change or setbacks resiliently, by building positive psychological capital throughout your business
  • spark innovation and behaviour change by using ‘positive deviants’ as role models and advisors
  • use four simple steps to power up motivation, engagement and wellbeing levels
  • create a learning-focused organisation that will thrive in the age of disruption.


Defining workplace culture and team dynamics

‘Team dynamics’ and ‘culture’ are terms leaders frequently use, but what do they really mean? What is the relationship between organisational culture and team dynamics? How can you assess whether a culture or team behaviours are healthy?

You will be able to answer these questions using key models we’ll cover during the introduction to this course. These include the positive psychological capital model, positive deviance, self-determination theory, growth mindsets and strengths theory.

Creating a climate that supports success

Positivity outweighs negativity in organisations that have a positive climate. People think, speak and behave in ways that support each other and the organisation. They regularly experience positive emotions and genuinely care about the future of the business.

We will discuss three factors which contribute to positive workplace cultures: compassion, forgiveness and gratitude. We will also explore evidence-based techniques for influencing interpersonal dynamics and individual mindsets.

Create an action plan for shifting the climate in your workplace.

Building positive psychological capital

What’s the secret to creating a positive workplace culture? Research shows a strong relationship between job satisfaction and business results, but how do you build an engaged and loyal workforce?

The psychological capital model is a useful framework for tackling this task. Learn what psychological capital is and explore four psychological sources of positive capital: hope, efficacy, resilience and optimism. We will discuss techniques leaders and change agents can use to foster each of these factors at team and organisational levels.

Encouraging positive deviance

In the age of disruption, organisations need to be flexible and innovative. This means building cultures in which creativity and solution-focused thinking thrive. You can achieve this by capitalising on the power of positive deviance.

Positive deviance theory focuses on amplifying extraordinary performance. We will look at how to use the positive deviance model to spot outliers who flourish against the odds and have solved problems others cannot solve. You will learn to pinpoint, learn from and replicate the thinking strategies of positive deviants in your organisation. During this session, you will explore case studies of the positive deviance model in action.

Optimising engagement and motivation

When your staff member’s motivation comes from within, it’s an inspiring force. Psychologists call this type of motivation ‘intrinsic.’ Learn to harness the power of intrinsic motivation in your organisation by boosting purpose and meaning throughout your business. You will learn how to energise team performance by focusing on strengths and learn how to update your annual review, goal setting and career planning systems to focus on areas that naturally inspire your people.

Building a learning organisation

‘Cognitive flexibility’ is one of the top ten skills recruiters will look for over the next decade. Why? Because the ability to solve problems, adapt and learn will be increasingly important as the rate of social and technological change accelerates. Leaders need to equip their people to learn from experience and think flexibly.

Discover how to help your team learn from mistakes, reflect on their abilities and think laterally by adopting growth mindsets. You will learn how to use hope theory and pathways thinking techniques to facilitate problem-solving or planning sessions that will drive positive results.

Intended audience

This is an advanced level positive leadership course. It will be of interest to experienced leaders, managers, project managers and frontline supervisors. Human resources practitioners, facilitators, trainers and change agents will also benefit from attending. You will get the most from this course if you have been in a leadership or people-development role for at least two years.

Delivery style

The workshop is a highly interactive program for experienced leaders, facilitators and change agents. You will get the most from this leadership course if you are:

  • willing to contribute to group discussions about your success mindset
  • confident communicating verbally
  • comfortable participating in role-play style activities.

Delivery options:

  • presenter-taught workshop on University premises
  • online workshop via the platform Zoom.

You’ll learn through a variety of methods including:

  • mini-lectures
  • video presentations
  • Q & A sessions
  • demonstrations by the facilitator
  • practical group activities
  • individual planning activities.

Recommended reading

Biswas-Diener, R 2010, Practicing Positive Psychology Coaching: Assessment, Activities and Strategies for Success, Wiley.

Biswas-Diener, R 2010, Happiness, healing, enhancement: Your casebook collection for applying positive psychology in therapy, John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, NJ, US.

Boyatzis, RE and Akriyou, K 2006, ‘The ideal self as the driver of intentional change’, Journal of Management Development, vol. 25, no. 7, pp. 624-642.

Brunstein, JC, Schultheiss, OC, & Maier, GW 1999, ‘The Pursuit of Personal Goals: A Motivational Approach to Well-Being and Life Adjustment’, in Action and Self-Development: Theory and Research Through the Lifespan, Sage Publications, pp. 169-196.

Cameron, K 2012, Positive Leadership: Strategies for Extraordinary Performance, Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Oakland, CA.

Clutterbuck, D, David, S, Megginson, D & Congleton, C 2013, ‘Goals: A long-term view’, In S David, D Clutterbuck & D Megginson (eds.) in Beyond Goals, Gower, Surrey, UK, pp. 1-20.

Diener, E & Biswas-Diener, R 2008, Happiness: unlocking the mystery of psychological wealth, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford.

Duckworth, A 2016, ‘Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance’,Random House, Diener, E & Biswas-Diener, R 2008, in Happiness: unlocking the mystery of psychological wealth, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford.

Dweck, CS 2017, Mindset [Kindle iOS version].

Emmons, R 2007, Thanks! How practicing gratitude can make you happier, Houghton Mifflin, Boston.

Fredrickson, B 2011, Positivity groundbreaking research to release your inner optimist and thrive, Oneworld, Oxford.

Gilbert, D 2009, Stumbling on Happiness, HarperCollins UK, HarperCollins.

Goleman, D 2013, Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence [Kindle iOS version]. Retrieved from Amazon.com.au.

Goleman, D 2018, The Science of Meditation, Penguin Books Ltd.

Grant, A 2013, Give and take: A revolutionary approach to success, Viking, Penguin, NY.

Green, LS, Oades, LG, & Grant, AM 2006, ‘Cognitive-Behavioural, Solution-Focused Life Coaching: Enhancing goal striving, well-being and hope’, Journal of Positive Psychology, vol. 1, no. 3, pp. 142-149.

Gregory, JB, Beck, JW, & Carr, AE 2011, ‘Goals, feedback, and self-regulation: Control theory as a natural framework for executive coaching’, Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research, vol. 63, no. 1, pp. 26-38.

Langer, EJ 1989, Mindfulness, Addison Wesley Publishing Company, Boston, MA.

Linley, PA, & Joseph, S (eds.) 2004, Positive Psychology in Practice, John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, NJ.

Linley, A, Willars, J & Biswas-Diener, R 2010, The strengths book: Be confident, be successful, and enjoy better relationships by realising the best of you, CAPP Press, Coventry, UK.

Lopez, SJ 2014, Making hope happen: create the future you want for yourself and others, Atria Paperback, NY.

Lyubomirsky, S 2010, The how of happiness: A practical approach to getting the life you want, Piatkus, London.

McKeown, G 2014, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, Currency, NY.

Pascale, R, Sternin, J and Sternin, M 2010, The power of positive deviance, Harvard Business Press, Seligman, M. E. P. (2018). Learned optimism. London: Nicholas Brealey Publishing.

Reivich, K & Shatte, A 2002, The resilience factor: 7 keys to finding your inner strength and overcoming life’s hurdles, Three, NY.

Seligman, MEP 2011, Flourish: A visionary new understanding of happiness and well- being, Free Press, NY.

Seligman, ME.P 2018, Learned optimism, Nicholas Brealey Publishing, London.

Seligman, MEP 2011, Authentic happiness, Random House Australia, North Sydney, NSW.

University of the Sunshine Coast 2014, Reframing Your Thinking. Retrieved from http://www.usc.edu.au/media/3850/Reframingyourthinking.pdf

Wesson, K, & Boniwell, I 2007, ‘Flow theory–its application to coaching psychology’, International Coaching Psychology Review, vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 33-43.

Whitemore, J 2002, Coaching for Performance: GROWing People, Performance Purpose, Nicholas Brealey, London.

Wong, PT 2013, The Human Quest for Meaning: Theories, Research, and Applications, Routledge, Lond, England.


  • Expert trainers
  • Central locations
  • Course materials – yours to keep
  • CCE Statement of Completion

Building Positive Workplace Culture and Team Dynamics Course

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