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Cover image for lecture: What is Staff Splitting?

Lecture Overview

Staff splitting can occur in any workplace setting. Whatever the reason and whoever is involved, staff need to be aware of its highly divisive and disruptive consequences. This session looks at this destructive behaviour and ways you can overcome it in your workplace.


Portrait of Karen-Ann Clarke
Karen-Ann Clarke Visit

Dr Karen-Ann Clarke is a registered nurse and a specialised mental health nurse, with 30 years’ experience of working with individuals and families impacted by the experiences of mental illness. Using a feminist narrative methodology, her PhD research explored the way that women diagnosed with depression made decisions and meanings about receiving electroconvulsive therapy. As a lecturer in nursing at USC, Karen-Ann is responsible for the coordination of mental health curricula across multiple undergraduate and postgraduate programs. Teaching in excess of 900 undergraduate students each year, she is passionate about the value that immersive mental health simulation can bring to student’s learning and clinical skills, and the way that it can safely bring to life theoretical concepts related to mental health care. Karen-Ann currently supervises a number of honours, masters, and PhD students and is part of numerous research projects, involving visualisation and simulation, mental illness, suicide prevention, and the inclusion of people with lived experience of mental illness into the teaching and learning space.


76 Total Rating(s)
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Marta Durance
18 Sep 2019

This was presented very clearly by using basic examples of pathological behaviour patterns. Generally we have an awareness of issues being created but we cannot determine exactly what is going on. By taking a step back and not being emotionally involved in the drama , you can look at a situation with a higher level of emotional intelligence and know that it is not about you but rather the unhealthy behaviour patterns of others.

Portrait of Jacqueline Glasgow
Jacqueline Glasgow
29 Aug 2019


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Julie Wockner Pace
17 Aug 2019

I think it was a great overview of Staff Splitting. The power of simply naming the inappropriate yet insidious nature of this behaviour is overwhelming and empowering. It happens in every work place and can make or break careers. It was said that the "Splitter" often has had a number of work places but I have also witnessed people being made to feel so distraught by this difficult to name occurance that they will either change shifts to avoid the person or completely leave the organisation so the Splitter can move to their next victim. Well presented, simply explained, so affirming - I thoroughly enjoyed it and will be referring to it definitely in the future.

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Emily Webster
15 Aug 2019

Very well presented and easy to engage with, very relevant examples.

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Tricia Munnerley
01 Aug 2019

Excellent presentation. It provided me with a far greater understanding of the drivers behind such behaviour and how best to manage my response to them.

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Carole Lesley Arbuckle
31 Jul 2019

Excellent presentation. Very informative and useful solutions that can be easily applied

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Kathryn Bromley
24 Jul 2019

very informative

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Elle Brown
22 Jul 2019

This was a great resource, it added to my understanding of Splitting and how to not react. It enabled me to think about how I will behave in future and remove my incomprehension of this behaviour.

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Robyn Joy Carter
20 Jul 2019

Very enlightening. Identifies and gives a label to staff who are splitters and empire builders This information helps you to understand what the behaviour is and how to manage yourself around it to remain safe from being The Target of Blame and letting these individuals ruin your workplace.

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Melinda van de Brug
10 Jul 2019

I thought it was a great resource. Gave a clear description of that staff splitting is and how to deal with it as individual's and a team when it occurs.