Monday, January 5th, 2009
Hobart will host the inaugural Australian Professional Development retreat (PD Retreat) this February, with a distinct focus on workplace and work-life improvement.

"Conflict at work is prolific," says organiser and sponsor Sharon Hudson. "Whether it is openly acknowledged and addressed or covert and denied it can have an enormously negative impact like a pebble in a pond; depleting the energy of the employees, diminishing the quality of their life at work and often, consciously, or unconsciously, undermining relationships within and away from the workplace, most commonly at home.

"Alleviating these undesirable affects of conflict and other failures to communicate is a focus of the PD Retreat."

Dr Samantha Hardy of the Australian Centre for Peace and Conflict, University of Queensland, will be running certificate workshops in the conflict resolution stream. The full day workshop, Managing Conflict in the Workplace, will run on Friday, and the half-day workshop, Skills for Difficult Conversations, on Friday. Delegates attending these workshops will receive attendance certificates from the University of Queensland. Shorter sessions in the conflict stream include, How to Handle Difficult Demanding and Challenging Behavior Without Becoming Drained, by resilience expert, How to develop and maintain relationships, Communication Today, among others.

"Another feature of the conference is the emphasis on work/life balance, or more aptly, learn/life balance," Ms Hudson said.

"The PD Retreat has been designed to provide a plethora of pragmatic and purposeful positive learning experiences. The environment has been chosen carefully to provide opportunities for peaceful reflection and planning; so that learning can be transferred into workplace/productivity improvement initiatives.

"This," adds Ms Hudson, "is where the return on investment will be realised."

For those who need more help finding balance, Lauren Postans (Rothbury Health & Lifestyle Connection) Real Strategies for Work/life Balance session will provide a boost.

"People need events like the PD Retreat to alleviate the 'isolation factor' generated by hours interacting with a computer screen, telecommuting, the continuous business involved in running a business or corporate roles today," Ms Hudson says.

The retreat will offer welcome relief and opportunities to network, build relationships, brainstorm and generally "sharpen the saw", as Stephen Covey puts it in The 7 Habits of Effective People. Participating in such events provides economies of scale due to the number of diverse developmental sessions available and access to the session and workshop presenters and facilitators, and their products and services, over the three days of the event. Just one good contact or idea can often pay for the entire trip.

The PD Retreat conference combines both personal and professional development opportunities, from emotional intelligence through to business ethics. As a demonstration of work-life balance, some sessions are delivered while touring the surrounding tourist attractions.

"We chose Tasmania as the location for the inaugural PD Retreat because its natural beauty and tranquility resonates with the intent of the event," Ms Hudson explains.

"Participants are encouraged to extend their stay and take some time to explore Tasmania while they are here. Bringing the family is a great idea. Accompanying partners might enjoy a day pass for some personal development or chat with a life coach."

Jan Sky's (Sky Training) workshop which explains the puzzle of your behaviour and that of others is recommended for teenagers, parents and supervisors.

The program has a diverse range of Australian and international presenters and trainers; including life and business coaches, university professors, health professionals and renowned speakers. There are several registration options available, including one or two day registration or for the full 3 day conference, which runs from Thursday to Saturday. Hotel Grand Chancellor - Hobart is the venue for the PD Retreat, overlooking the beautiful Constitution Dock, finish line for the Hobart to Sydney Yacht Race.

Presenters include Sara Brown, a chiropractor and researcher with the University of Sydney, Sharon Hudson, Management Psychologist, Talent Tools Australia, Michael Licenblat, Resilience Expert with Bounce Back Fast, Samantha Aldridge and Shane Klintworth of Relationships Australia, Michelle Bihary, psychotherapist and consultant in mental health, of The Delta Centre, among many others.

A complete program can be downloaded from the website at

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Contact Profile

PD Retreats Australia

PD Retreats organises developmental retreats for personal, relationship, professional, small business and organisational development.

Drawing on a diverse range of presenters, topics and locations PD Retreats provide leaning and development in relaxed and positive environments conducive to learning.

Sharon Hudson, PD Retreats founder, conceptualized PD Retreats as providing conference and convention style learning experiences for the general public as well as the employees of large organisations, priced to enable staff not generally considered for conferences nor conventions to attend
Sharon Hudson
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Talent Tools

Talent Tools provides Talent Enhancement Products, Accreditation and Professional Development Workshops to the training and development and Human Resource industries. The flagship product is the Extended DISC Profiling and human resource management tools.

Talent Tools is the major sponsor of the 2009 PD Retreat.
Sharon Hudson
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Resolving conflict and improving communication at work is a key focus of a professional development retreat to be held in Hobart in the New Year.



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