Your attitude is CRITICAL for effective and successful Conflict De-escalation!  ESPECIALLY your attitude towards the person you are thinking you need to de-escalate!

I recently read an article on de-escalation in the latest issue of “Barista”, an industry magazine for coffee businesses, and I read something that initially really alarmed and dismayed me because I initially thought that a company teaching and training coffee house staff was teaching that the abusive, rude, and obnoxious behavior from coffee house customers and guests comes from a place of “white supremacy”, and a “culture of whiteness”.
I later had the chance to reread the article, and the comment actually came from a coffee shop owner, and though I am glad that thinking did not come from a trainer, I am still sad that line of thinking exists at all in regards to conflict de-escalation, and in my humble opinion this store owner and his staff that embrace his line of reasoning are already setting themselves up for failure.
When you teach someone that they are a “victim” of a “culture of whiteness” you are in fact creating an “Us verses Them” mentality and attitude. ANY person with that type of mentality, in a time of stressful confrontation, will sooner reach a point of frustration, indignation, sense of offense, and sense of impatience than a person who views and accepts the rude, obnoxious person and JUST ANOTHER PERSON, REGARDLESS OF SEX AND COLOR, WHO IS HAVING A BAD DAY AND MAY JUST NEED TO VENT!!!
When a person has an “US vs Them” attitude and mentality, it creates a mentality of being a victim, and/or a superior condescending attitude toward that other person, labeling them for something they may actually NOT be ( Thinking to yourself the person is a jerk and rude because they are “racist”). A person can handle a rude person for only just so long when they have convinced themselves that the rude person is doing it because the rude person is trying to “victimize” them due to “racism” and so on.
And I stress in my classes that when YOU allow yourself to feel offended, to get impatient, to get frustrated, you have only increased the probability that YOU will end up saying or doing something to escalate the situation!
There pretty much nothing that a person can be upset and venting about that YOU have not experienced in some way in your own life. We have all had problems and issues with bills, jobs, co-workers, family, friends, neighbors, and so on and so on… You MUST create a rapport, a connection, with someone who is stressed, agitated and venting with empathy and compassion if you hope to have an real chance of successfully and effectively de-escalating a person and situation.
Having an attitude of and about a person who is stressed, agitated and venting is not going to allow yourself to feel any empathy and compassion towards them, and that will be the biggest block to effectively and successfully de-escalate any situation.
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