“Anger is only one letter short of danger” – Unknown.
It can be very difficult to remain calm when confronted with someone who is angry or rude. However, maintaining your composure is the best way to prevent an incident escalating and possibly becoming violent.
Niton Training run courses on conflict resolution, so I spent a day with the training team to pick up some useful tips.
*1 Communication is key – Talking to someone with a clear, level voice is important. Don’t raise your voice in response to someone shouting at you, and definitely don’t swear back! Often incidents are triggered by miscommunication. Take a second to think about what you’re going to say, and explain why you are doing what you are doing and so on. If there is a language barrier, use an aid like a Kwikpoint Visual Language Translator.
*2 Breathing – It might sound a bit airy-fairy, but it works. Take a few long slow inhalations and exhalations (in through the nose out through the mouth) before tackling any situation where violence and aggression might occur. The action of the breathing is itself calming, but it also allows a few moments to collect your thoughts and think about your next step.
*3 Danger signs – Learn to recognise warning and danger signs. Subtle changes in people’s voice or body language can alert you to the fact that the situation may be escalating. Importantly, be prepared to leave. There is no shame in running away and living to fight another day.
*4 Stand back – Always take a step back to consider the risks to yourself from other people and nearby objects, and the specific dangers of the location you are in (i.e roadsides or industrial units).
*5 Exit strategy – Despite your best efforts there may be some occasions where things start to spiral, so you should always look for an alternative exit before you even enter.
Because communication is essential, not just in hostile situations, a Kwikpoint Visual Language Translator is an excellent addition to your duty kit. Language can often be a barrier, so the VTL’s offer an easy way to communicate. They are ideal for conversing with people who don’t speak the same language as you, but also for children or people with medical conditions that make it difficult to talk or are hard of hearing. Easily recognisable pictures mean you can point to relevant images to convey the details of an accident or crime and offer assistance. It is one way to avoid any misunderstandings.
There are a number of different versions available, some specifically designed for law enforcement and the emergency services.
To get the best training and advice on how to deal with difficult situations, or to get your certification for a number of law enforcement techniques, Niton Training offer courses for
- Conflict management (NCFE Accredited)
- Handcuffing & restraint techniques (NCFE Accredited)
- Baton techniques
- Special Constables – designed specifically for SC’s
If you or your company have a particular requirement, the courses can be adapted and customised to suit. All our trainers have served in the police and/or military, and all have been involved in education and training roles as part of that service. They have an enormous amount of real life experience as well as knowledge of all current legislation, advice and guidelines.
Niton Trainers really are the best people to prepare you for life on the front line.