Unfortunate incident at Dave and Buster’s restaurant has lessons about effective and successful conflict de-escalation. In late January, 2023, in Jacksonville, FL, a cook beat another employee to death.
-> If you allow yourself to become offended, frustrated, or impatient you are more likely to be the one to say or do something that will escalate a situation
-> HOW you talk to someone, your tone of voice, can escalate a situation if you are not careful
-> A large part of conflict de-escalation is knowing when YOU are not helping the situation by just being there.
Apparently a cook was observed to be in a “bad mood”, so that tells us he was going through some stuff, he was stressed and agitated about something or someone, and we know from our own life experiences that when we are stressed about something we are more easily upset by the things people do and say around us or to us.
The victim, another employee, apparently said something to the cook in what a witness described as a “strong tone” of voice. That tone of voice offended the cook, who responded, “I am a grown (expletive) man, don’t talk to me like that!”
Did the victim mean to use a “strong tone” of voice, or was it taken that way by the cook? If the victim used a strong tone of voice, maybe he was going through some stuff too, maybe he was also stressed about something in his life, bills, work hours, lack of sleep and so on and so on.
The cook was clearly offended by the tone of voice, and both men ended up getting into a physical fight which unfortunately ended up with the employee dying from his injuries a few days later. The cook has now been charged with manslaughter. And this was all so avoidable.
Unfortunate incident at Dave and Buster’s restaurant has lessons about effective and successful conflict de-escalation. Take long, slow deep breaths, stay calm, assess the situation, are you over reacting to someone’s tone of voice? Should you even be there in the first place if you are stressed about something in the first place, and in a bad mood? Develop self awareness and self discipline, don’t allow yourself to become offended, frustrated or impatient by someone or something.
Your tone of voice can escalate or de-escalate a situation, be aware that your colleague may be having a bad day and be aware that the things you do or say may unintentionally offend or frustrate them and escalate things!
How you approach and make contact with a person who you sense may be stressed and agitated will determine how successful and effective you are in de-escalating the situation.
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