1. #1

    Default Verbal de escalation tactics

    I would like to start a thread on verbal de escalation techniques, we covered it during our academy but a refresher is always nice, so are different ideas. I read verbal judo once, lost it can't find it for the life of me. This is what I learned (please add)

    -let them vent

    -use a calm but firm voice

    -mantain a non threatining posture

    -dont move forward in the conversation until they have calmed down

    -redirect (example I am -------tired of waiting in line, you can respond with I can understand why you must be angry thats a long time to have to wait which you must follow with it is not necessary to be yelling at the employees the way that you are)

    *on a side note your posture/uniform appearance/fitness level directly correspond to tactical communication IMHO, I believe that an officer with a clean uniform, good hygiene, proper posture, and physical fitness is likely to experience less problems then the officer on the opposite end of the spectrum, I have spoken to several police officers about this and they all agree that the above noted things and more are crucial in tactical communication

    thank you and have a nice day

    stay safe

  2. #2


    It has been several days since I posted this topic, no one has responded (rather sad really considering the importance of it) moderators can you please close this thread


  3. #3


    i can see what you mean about the uniforms the mall across the road from me look like complete slobs and the fitness part they are very overweight couldnt chase anything but their third chins.they always seem to get trouble across there then the people come across the road and are actually pretty well behaved because i dont try to stand over them and be tough.if someone is doing something stupid i will generally say something like can you please stop doing that as you are going to get hurt and i dont want to do first aid to you,normally they are with their mates and feel a bit stupid.but i always try to talk before i have to get physical with anyone cause you just dont know what might happen.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Pensacola, FL


    Here at our hospital Verbal DeEscalation is pretty much our only weapon. (darn hands off policy) I encourage my officers to learn as much as you can. I agree that appearance (ie nonverbal communication) is extremly important. If you look like you know what your doing it can bring a situation under control that much easier (sometimes )

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Feb 2006


    One person controlling the conversation ans deveral staff on hand if possible is the way we do it here. We can call a duress and have three security officers and sometimes five or six wardspeople to assist. Safety in numbers seems to work effectively for us. At least five people for a takedown. Remember to remain calm in yourself, don't let the patient see you nervous and most important don't argue or disagree in front of the patient.
    We haven't had trouble for a while, Let's cancel security!

  6. #6

    Join Date
    May 2006


    We are taught MOAB (Management of Aggressive Behavior) in our training. It encompasses much of what you wrote DT.

    Talk is always good IMO. Beats the heck out of a struggle and chance of someone getting hurt. Though we carry OC, Tasers and batons, they are farther up the use of force scale - and should be. It's always good to have newer and inexperienced officers observing and learning how effective verbally de-escalation tactics can be.

    We usually have numbers working for us too. Several officers as a show of force (as the situation escalates) many times gives the patient pause about taking active agression towards us or staff.
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." -Aristotle

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada


    In our hospital we have mandatory "Code White" training that centers around Non Violent Crisis Intervention (with verbal de-escalation being a HUGE piece) with re-fresher (re-cert) courses annually.

    We have no tasers, batons or spray so we rely heavily on NVCI and verbal de-escalation skills to bail us out. When that fails (and our folks view it as a failure -even though you can't win them all and some patients/visitors are hell bent on causing a physical confrontation) we call a Code and get strength in numbers to assist.
    Keep an open mind, but not so open that your brain falls out! - Unknown

  8. #8
    Charger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Longview, WA


    Verbal Judo is one of those things that SHOULD be taught to every S/O out there, but rarely is. The lack of this training, (or lack of attention span during training on the S/O's part), is what gets a lot of the "hot-headed" S/Os in trouble out in the field. Subject makes verbal threats, S/O loses temper and begins arguing, arguing turns into a physical altercation. Happens all too often.

    A big part to remember is the "Say what you want, do what I say." philosophy.

    "I understand your position sir, but animals simply aren't allowed here."
    "I can appreciate your situation ma'am, but you still need to leave."
    "I can sympathize with you sir, but you can't leave your vehicle here."

    Another key point is getting the subject to agree with you as much as possible. The more you can get them to say "yes", the harder it becomes for them to say "no."

    S/O: "Sir, your vehicle is parked in a fire lane, it can't remain there."
    Sub.: "Whatever! I see other people park here all the time!"
    S/O: "That may very well happen when I'm not around, but I still can't allow you to leave it here."
    Sub.: "!@#! you, I'm not moving it."
    S/O: "Okay sir, there's 2 ways we can handle this. On one hand, I can call the Police, and have them respond out here to give you a citation for court which would include a hefty fine. Or on the other hand, you can simply move your car. If I have to call the Police, that means we're going to have to wait here for them to respond, which takes more time out of your day and mine, right?"
    Sub.: "Yea.."
    S/O: "It also means they're going to be angry about having to come out for a parking issue, so you've basically wasted the Police's time when they could be handling more important things, right?"
    Sub.: "I suppose.."
    S/O: "Not to mention, that you'll have to take MORE time out of your schedule to go to court, and pay money you didn't have budgeted, to take care of the fine, right?"
    Sub.: "Well, yea.."
    S/O: "So overall, it would be MUCH better for everybody involved if you simply moved your car, wouldn't it?"
    Sub.: "Yea, I guess so."
    S/O: "So will you move your car now sir?"
    Sub.: "Oh, all right, fine. <grumble grumble>"

    Sure, the subject might not be HAPPY, but the situation got resolved peacefully, without having to escalate it to PD.

    One thing to note, however... In my PERSONAL experience, the "get them to agree" tactic tends to have the REVERSE effect on people who are drunk. They usually DEMAND that you call PD. Not exactly a bright move, but since when are drunks known for making good decisions?

    Food for thought..
    Corbier's Commandos - "Stickin it to the ninjas!"
    Quote Originally Posted by ValleyOne View Post
    BANG, next thing you know Bob's your Uncle and this Sgt is seemingly out on his a$$.
    Shoulda called in sick.
    Be safe!

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    West Virginia


    I sometimes deal with people who think they should have won money when they actuallly didn't or think they lost money when they actually didn't.

    The first thing I do is ask them to a quiet area to explain their situation, give me their "Why or Why nots".

    I THEN find out what actually happened. There is no way for the company to cheat as there is always several customer witnesses plus it is all literally in black and white. I am intentionally being vague due to client confidentiality.

    Anyway I have their view then I am shown what happened, and more often than not several customers volunteer info.

    Anyway the complaintant is not disrupting business, their claim IS checked out, and they get to use me as a verbal vent.

    After they calm down they are politely escorted to pick up their belongings and then out. We do this to give them a prolinged cooling off period then they are allowed back the next week. (If they have left quietly)
    If they keep argueing or come back next time argueing then they are banned.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Oct 2005


    all of the verbal judo in the world wont help you against a person who has already decided he wants to fight. Ive run in too a few of those especially since i started working at the project. Ive drawn oc on a hell of a lot of people in the last year ive been there. actually sprayed 6. the others were either arrested on arrival of police or decided a face full of pain wasnt worth it.
    Last edited by bigdog; 05-25-2006 at 07:31 AM.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

Log in

Click here to log in or register