Body language in de-escalating a situation… Did you know that YOUR body language, YOUR facial expression, will help determine how your interaction with an angry person turns out?

Think about the last time you were frustrated about something and wanted to see the manager or someone in charge, and when that person came into view you either immediately felt more defensive and frustrated or maybe you immediately felt relief because you sensed your issue was going to be heard and dealt with? That was because there was something about that person’s body language and facial expression.

When you go to deal with an angry person the first thing they will see when YOU arrive on scene is YOU, your facial expression and body language, the way you are carrying yourself… If you have an expression like you are frustrated/angry and so done with the situation, or you are walking up tensed up like you are ready to get into a physical fight, there is a good chance you may have… well, escalated the situation…

There’s a natural tendency to fold your arms when you are dealing with someone who is loud, angry, but the message you are sending there is “I’m closed off to you, nothing you say will matter to me”… Moving in too close, within arms length, can be seen as being very aggressive…

You’ll want to stay no closer than beyond arms length for safety and reaction time in case the person decides to try to physically assault you… hands in view, showing you have no weapons, a universal sign of “I’m not a threat”, hands positioned in such a way that you can quickly respond to either block or grapple.

For people who don’t always deal with rude obnoxious people in their face at work, doing realistic scenario training will give them a feel for it and the confidence to work through it.

More articles can be found here on Conflict De-escalation tips and comments

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