Online Workshop

Understanding Behaviour: What Research Tells Us About Human Behaviour in Stressful Circumstances

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About this Workshop

Understanding Behaviour provides an opportunity for staff to examine what current research describes as the impact of trauma, scarcity, poverty, social exclusion and intersectionality on human behaviours that staff encounter on a daily basis. Staff are able to reflect upon and plan for the most effective responses in dealing with these situations.

NOTE: This is an interactive, virtual workshop, which is different from a webinar. Participants will be expected to participate through voice and video, and to engage with each other and the facilitator in large and small group discussions, to learn from each other and practice skill development.

It is highly recommended that participants take this workshop before enrolling in The 3-D MicroCoaching Model™ and Competencies workshop.

Learning Objectives

  1. Examine current research and theories that reflect on service user and staff behaviours 
  2. Explore the psychological and behavioural outcomes associated with socio-economic conditions of poverty, social exclusion, trauma and scarcity  
  3. Understand intersectionality as a lens to analyze personal and systemic bias

Who Should Attend?

Workshop Dates and Registration

It is highly recommended that participants take this workshop before enrolling in The 3-D MicroCoaching Model™ and Competencies workshop.

Please note: Participants who register for this workshop have the option to add on the The 3-D MicroCoaching Model™ and Competencies workshop and will receive a discount code.

There are currently no upcoming dates scheduled for this workshop. If you would like to enquire about bringing this workshop to your organization or staff, please contact OMSSA's Director, Education Christie Herrington.


  • Members: $350 + HST

  • Non-Members: $455 + HST

  • Please note: Participants who register for this workshop have the option to add on the The 3-D MicroCoaching Model™ and Competencies workshop and get a discount code when registering for this workshop.

Technical Requirements

OMSSA will be hosting this virtual workshop using Zoom, an online, interactive platform that you can join straight from your web browser, or by downloading 'Zoom Client for Meetings' on your computer or tablet

Participants will be expected to join the workshop via both video and audio. Participants should therefore have access to a desktop computer, laptop computer or tablet with:

  • a webcam or built-in camera

  • a built-in microphone or a headphone jack where you can plug in a headset or earphones

We strongly recommend that participants use a headset or earphones with a built-in microphone in order to limit background noise. 

System requirements: Click here for more detailed information on system requirements from Zoom.


John Howley and Marianne Seaton are the pre-eminent designers and deliverers of professional development curricula in Ontario Works and related social services programs and agencies throughout the province, and beyond. Marianne has been consulting in the social services sector as the principal of Collaborative Strategies Inc. since 2008 and John through his company, Labour Market Partners Inc., since 1997. Their work encompasses many Consolidated Municipal Service Managers and District Social Services Administration Boards, from the largest urban municipalities to the most rural and remote.

Following their careers as social assistance and employment program front-line workers and managers, each achieved subsequent success and recognition as a leader in program development and change. Marianne is the former Acting Executive Director and Director of Professional Development for the Ontario Municipal Social Services Association (OMSSA). John is the former Director of Employment and Training for the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto, Social Services Division (now the City of Toronto).

Their work in helping multi-barriered Ontario Works clients achieve success in the world of work includes the design and delivery of SAIL for Clients, a competency-based program that they have delivered in various areas of the province, often in association with community colleges, including Sault College, Confederation College and St. Clair College. John and Marianne also collaborate on designing and delivering employment programs for social assistance clients in a range of other programs, including Movement to Employment (employability profiling); Movement to Improvement (life skills development), and Movement to Learning (literacy and skills training preparation).