Violence in the Workplace

Introduction Managing the Aftermath of an Incident
Policy Employee Responsibilities
  Examples of Prohibited Behavior Supervisor Responsibilities
  Warning Signs Management Responsibilities
  De-Escalating Threatening Behavior
Quick Reference Sheet
  Behavioral Intervention Team Online Training
  Being Prepared

Strategies to De-Escalate Threatening Behavior

The following conflict resolution strategies may be helpful to de-escalate situations where an individual is exhibiting threatening or intimidating behavior:

  • Project calmness, move and speak slowly, quietly and confidently
  • Encourage the person to talk; listen closely and patiently
  • Maintain a relaxed but attentive posture
  • Position yourself at an angle to the person rather than directly in front
  • Arrange yourself so your access to emergency exits is not blocked
  • Acknowledge the person’s feelings
  • Ask for small, specific favors such as asking the person to move to a quieter area, or to move outside
  • Use delaying tactics to give the person time to calm down, such as offering a drink of water (in a paper cup)
  • Point out choices, break big problems into smaller ones
  • Avoid sudden movements and maintain 3-6 foot distance
  • Call the police when it is safe to do so
  • Call the Behavioral Intervention Team when the person has left

(c) 2006 Legal Learning Group and Littler Mendelson, P.C. Reprinted by permission.