Communication that can de-escalate situations.
Did you know that how we communicate can either escalate or de-escalate a situation? Have you ever been in one of those disagreements with a spouse or friend and you notice your mood is frustrated, but then they say 1 thing and all of a sudden you are Mach 10 mad?
That’s because communication does matter. Whether your communicating with a spouse, friend, or in a professional setting, the way we communicate matters.
Let’s talk about De-escalation. The quickest way to de-escalate a situation and conversation is to calm your mind, listen more than you talk, and lead with empathy. Some of these are key concepts in Motivational Interviewing, what we train.
Calm your mind. Easier said than done when emotions are high. Whether you are a police officer trying to de-escalate a situation, a spouse trying to calm an argument or a boss trying to calm an employee, when emotions are high, it’s HARD to not fight fire with fire. The quicker you can learn to calm your mind the sooner we can help de-escalate the situation faster.
Listen more than you talk. Again, this is easier said than done! When emotions are high and you are tied to the situation it is hard not to get lots of words in. But when trying to de-escalate, it’s crucial to be mindful about when you choose to speak. Opting to WAIT and listen, rather than jumping in to speak and get YOUR point heard. The key in listening is to let the other person talk. Your job is to listen 90% of the time.
Lead with empathy. Have you ever been in a heated argument, and thought to yourself, “lets think about this from their point of view and not my own.” You are not alone, that is one of the hardest skills to learn. Although hard to learn, it’s so effective in de-escalation of a situation. The more we can lead with trying to understand THEIR point of view first, speaking from their reality instead of our own, the sooner we can rectify the situation.
So slow down, calm your mind, listen more than you speak and lead with empathy. This will make it much easier to de-escalate situations moving forward.
To read more about how successful Motivational Interviewing is in De-Escalation, check out our “Improved Outcomes” page under our about section to read more about our work with Law Enforcement.