I've been teaching Verbal De-Escalation for seven years, and every time I teach, I learn something new from our students. I recently taught a class for 25 students from a large organization, and I was reminded that everyone deals with De-Escalation differently.
What is De-Escalation? First starts Escalation, in which we have a cycle or stages in which conflict and/or undesirable behavior worsens or becomes more intense, serious, or potentially dangerous.
De-Escalation is the utilization of research-based positive behavior supports and interventions to lessen and alleviate conflict with the goal of returning to the stage of recovery or state of calm.
We are learning how to not only De-Escalate but also recognize when someone needs to be De-Escalated, which is a learned skill. Taking a training class is a great first start, but you must realize that with all training, you must practice what you have learned, or you will lose it. Everything we do requires effort, and that includes dealing with difficult people. In training, we know the verbal and physical triggers to avoid, the importance of our own body language, and how we can help support someone who is Escalated. The most important thing that we must learn is we don't have control over anyone else but do have control over how we respond to them.
I also always look for a way to build a connection with the person I am trying to assist with De-Escalation. Remember, anger is just an emotion that we have all experienced and that you can build a connection through. You might not be able to relate to that person's personal experience, but you can relate that being angry is not a great feeling, but it's part of being human. Even without proper training, today, you can have patience, empathy, and understanding that the person you are dealing with, might not be that different than you.