How will your staff and co-workers respond to stress? Are you sure, absolutley convinced, that your staff will properly handle, and not escalate, a situation with a loud, rude, obnoxious person? There is an old saying that goes something like this- You never know how you (or anyone else) will react and respond in a situation until you are in it. I can tell you that I observed that saying play out over and over again beginning with my experience as an Army infantryman in Desert Storm.
My unit and I had just spent a few weeks training in the California desert at Fort Irwin, at the National Training Center, when we were deployed to Saudi Arabia in August of 1990. I observed guys who were considered slugs pull it together and become outstanding soldiers, and I saw guys who you would think would be a poster child for Army recruitment posters totally melt emotionally and psychologically at just the deployment and the thought of maybe going to war! How will your staff and co-workers respond to stress?
People who do not consistently deal with stress in varying difficult situations (such as police officers) will either under-react, over-react, or have a vapor lock and freeze, doing nothing at all. I founded Gentle Response LLC to provide training to help people develop the skills, knowledge and confidence to effectively deal with a loud, rude, obnoxious person. At several training seminars I see over and over again examples of people who either under-react, over-react or freeze and do nothing in dynamic, realistic training scenarios. How will your staff and co-workers respond to stress?
The vast majority of people actually do not know, without some training, that they may be doing or saying something that may actually escalate a situation. During one training seminar a trainee had assumed a non-confrontational body stance and posture while interacting with my instructor/role player, but then for some reason he stepped up to the role player, closing the distance and entering the role player’s space. I asked the trainee during the critique phase why he felt the need to step up to an angry person and he didn’t realize he had. I happened to have been taking some video at the time and showed him what I was talking about. He was totally unaware that he had done that, and he was not trying to be confrontational at all.
At another training seminar for church security and church administrative personnel, a gentleman who was one of the church elders and highly regarded as someone who is soft spoken, caring and compassionate, would stay calm, actually began to lose his composure and later made the comment that he felt like slapping my instructor/role player! Other church admin personnel were very surprised at how this gentleman reacted to the scenario and his comments about how he ended up feeling like slapping the role player!
At another recent training seminar another trainee who is also known to level headed and held in high regard actually stood out to all my instructor role players for how he actually mishandled the scenarios! Of my 4 scenarios, 2 instructor/role players informed me they cut the scenario short because there was no where to go with it, that in real life the situation may very well have ended up in some sort of physical fight. AND then they cut the critique phase short because this gentleman was not receptive to any type of suggestion of what could have been done differently, and even had an excuse for everything. How will your staff and co-workers respond to stress? Are you sure, absolutley convinced, that your staff will properly handle, and not escalate, a situation with a loud, rude, obnoxious person?
You can sit down and interview a potential employee, and this candidate will be dressed for the moment, have awesome “interview skills”, make eye contact, sound literate and smart and level headed, a dream come true employee… But how will your perfect, dream come true candidate respond to stress? Are you sure, absolutley convinced, that your staff will properly handle, and not escalate, a situation with a loud, rude, obnoxious person?
The only way to know is to have dynamic, realistic training with role players simulating a stressful situation. I had one corporate security person exclaim that he could not believe how jacked up he felt even though he knew it was a training scenario! Time and time again, over and over again, people who go through the training comment that the scenarios they went through are what accomplished the most for them. Going through scenario training as a team helps develop team building, develops confidence in each other, develops an awareness to everyone’s weak points and strengths in handling situations, and scenario training helps develop stress inoculation so that when you or anyone in your staff are in the next difficult situation with a loud, rude, obnoxious person there won’t be hestitation due to the sudden adrenaline rush.
Are you sure, absolutley convinced, that your staff will properly handle, and not escalate, a situation with a loud, rude, obnoxious person? My team and I are based in Michigan but travel all over the nation providing conflict de-escalation training. Contact me for more information on how my team and I can help you and your staff effectively handle a difficult person and avoid a volatile situation from becoming a critical violent incident.