De-escalation Techniques Powerpoint excerpted from Community

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De-escalation Techniques Powerpoint excerpted from Community College of Rhode Island and Northestern Washington Educational Service District and added on to by SJJC 1

De-escalation Techniques There are two key concepts to remember: Reasoning with an angry, upset or highly anxious person is not possible. The first and only objective in de-escalation is to reduce the level of agitation so that discussion becomes possible. De-escalation techniques are inherently abnormal. They go against our natural ‘fight or flight’ reflexes. To be effective, we must remain calm and centered. We need to be professionally detached. Therefore these skills require practice to become useful.

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How do you know when this is a situation for de-escalation? That you or they might be personally or physically threatened? You will know it when it happens to you. You will “feel” it. Trust your instincts

Signs of Agitation Raised Voice Rapid Speech High Pitched Voice Fidgeting Shaking Balled Fists Erratic Movements Wild Gesturing Pacing Aggressive Posture

Three components to Deescalation: Nonverbal stances towards the upset person Verbal de-escalation techniques De-escalating ourselves before, during and after

Intro to Nonverbal Communication 80% -- 90% of our communication is non-verbal. It is very important to be able to identify exactly what we are communicating to others non-verbally. You may be trying to de-escalate the situation by talking to the other person, but your body language may be showing a willingness to get physical.

When people are angry, they sometimes do not “listen” to the words that are being said. Remember the difference between “hearing” and “listening.” Often, they do “see” and react to what you are “saying” with your body language. You must always be very careful with the message you are sending!

Body Language: eyes One eyebrow raised “sternness” Eyes open wide “surprise” A hard stare “threatening gesture” Closing eyes longer than normal “I’m not listening” and/or “Change your message!” (This may be a warning that you are unintentionally escalating the situation!)

Tone of Voice: how not what you say A lowered voice level may set a tone of anger which could create fear or challenges. A raised voice may set a tone of anticipation or uncertainty which may promote excitement or disruption. Speak slowly -- This is usually interpreted as soothing. A controlled voice is one of calm and firmness which promotes confidence in both parties. Humor may unintentionally offend someone and escalate the situation. -- Use humor sparingly and always direct humor toward yourself. (Be very careful when attempting humor in this type of situation!) Always be respectful to the other person. Using “please” and “thank-you” -- “Mr” or “Ms” indicates respect.

Inflection of Voice Matters What do these words mean? “I didn’t say you were stupid.” I didn’t say you were stupid. (Your brother said it!) I didn’t say you were stupid. (But I did write it on the bulletin board!) I didn’t say you were stupid. (I said your brother was stupid) I didn’t say you were stupid. (I said you were a complete idiot.)

Non-Verbal Pointers Appear calm and self-assured Maintain limited eye contact: look at but don’t stare down the agitated person; occasionally, look away Maintain a neutral facial expression Maintain an alert posture Keep your hands visible but to yourself Speak soothingly

REMEMBER: Calm is just as contagious as fear or panic

Positioning yourself for safety Be at eye level Stay at the same height Angle yourself 45 degrees Maintain distance: a leg’s distance away Keep exit clear: keep a triangle so agitated person has an escape route that is not through your space Always face the person There is less chance of aggressive behavior if two people are talking to one person.

Personal Space Invasion or encroachment of personal space tends to heighten or escalate anxiety. Note: Personal space is usually 1.5 to 3 feet -- far enough away so you cannot be hit or kicked. Do not touch a hostile person -- they might interpret that as an aggressive action. Keep your hands visible at all times -- you do not want the other person to misinterpret your physical actions. 5LCP 5wUl-0c Using the five senses

What is verbal deescalation? Verbal De-escalation is what we use during a potentially dangerous, or threatening, situation in an attempt to prevent a person from causing harm to us, themselves or others.

Some tactics are . Simply listening Distracting the other person Re-focusing the other person on something positive Changing the subject Use humor (sparingly) to lighten the mood (be very careful with this!) Motivating the other person Empathizing with the other person Giving choices Setting limits

Barriers to Communication Pre-judging Not Listening Criticizing Name-Calling Engaging in Power Struggles Ordering Threatening Minimizing Arguing

Simple Listening Points Listen Nod Do not interrupt Let them vent

Three Main Listening Skills Three Main Listening Skills: Attending: Giving your physical (and mental) attention to another person. Following: Making sure you are engaged by using eye contact. Use un-intrusive gestures (such as nodding of your head, saying okay or asking an infrequent question.) Reflecting: Paraphrasing and reflecting, using the feelings of the other person. (empathy) Listen when you are “listening.” No other activities when listening. Multi-tasking is not good when you are listening.

Other Verbal Tips: Disregard content, focus on calming Do not interrupt Do not verbally defend yourself Don’t respond to accusatory questions directly Respond selectively: listen mostly Be honest Empathize with feelings NOT behavior Do not analyze emotions Do not attempt to argue or persuade

The verbal technique of open ended questions Asking questions that cannot be answered by a simple one word answer . Are you OK?.No Can we talk?.Maybe Would you like to sit down? Yes Instead: What’s going on? Tell me what you are upset about?

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Ending De-escalation When the person has calmed down, you can then begin to address their individual situation by exploring choices they have and/or what they would like to do next: you might make a plan, get someone else to help, refer for additional support. JERk ZoWGLWQ

Now what? What to do with our left over emotions? De-escalating oneself . What are your best methods of deescalating oneself?

In the moment Walking away before you blow up or say something you regret. Taking a deep breath. Focusing on your greater purpose in the conversation. Having a personal mantra: “it’s not about me; it’s about them.” Remembering your role and your goals. Talking it out.

Preparing for stress What can you do to prepare for the inevitable conflicts in this job? Eat (don’t let yourself get hangry) Sleep (it’s hard to manage stressful times when too tired) Exercise (we all know it, but we don’t always want to ) Have other interests so work doesn’t become the end all to be all Mindfulness (we can help you with that )

Mindfulness Progressive Muscle Relaxation Guided Imagery Using all five senses Using apps to calm oneself

Using Apps Calm Harm App Virtual Hope Box MoodTools App Staying Alive App

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