De-escalating a Touchy Situation

Imagine you’re waiting in line at the post office. It’s right after work, so the queue is quite long and everybody is tired and probably stressed from their various workdays, but you’ve all got important reasons to be there.  There is someone up next at the counter who for some reason has been taking a really long time to do what they came for, and it’s making everyone antsy– especially the person right behind you. He starts talking loudly about being in a rush. A minute passes and he shouts “Hurry UP!”, making the person at the counter nervous and they drop their change on the floor. The man in line swears loudly and bangs his fist on the counter. The postal clerk tells the man to calm down, and the man begins to yell again, waving his hands in the air.

We’ve all been in situations similar to this one, where someone is getting more and more worked up, and it’s uncertain which way the scales will tip: will the situation get out of hand and possibly turn violent, or will level-headedness prevail?

When a situation like this arises, the people involved can either choose to react on gut impulses and emotion and make the situation worse, or they can take a step back and do what’s known as “de-escalating“.

The word “de-escalate” literally means “to decrease in intensity or magnitude,” and can be the key component in defusing situations that are bordering on dangerous or violent. In extreme circumstances it can mean the difference between walking out alive or going home in a body bag, but in daily life de-escalation skills are also important for situations like the post office example, or even for dealing with an upset neighbor.

There are various techniques you can employ, and the following are just a few examples of ways you can use de-escalation in your daily life, and they all have to do with communication.

  1. Give Them Your Full Attention
    • It can be tempting, when someone is acting agitated or worked-up, to ignore them. Sometimes we think “They’re being unreasonable. I’m not going to pay attention to them so they’ll see how that kind of behaviour gets you nowhere.” But when someone is acknowledged they feel important and validated, and that opens the gate to beneficial communication. After all, would you want to seriously discuss anything with someone who was blowing off what you’re saying or not taking it seriously? Fully listen to the person, make eye contact, and listen with your entire body, and resist the urge to make all the socially appropriate “understanding” noises–in a tense situation those can come across as sarcastic.
  2. Don’t Raise Your Voice
    • This can be hard to do if the other person already has their voice raised, but it is crucial if you want to keep the situation from blowing up. Speak at a normal volume without adopting a patronizing tone.
  3. Get Them to Say Yes to Something
    • As silly and simple as it sounds, it’s harder for someone to stay upset if they’re agreeing with something you’re saying. Ask questions to clarify why exactly the person is upset, like “Are you feeling upset because you feel you’ve been in line too long?” or “Are you upset because of XYZ?” Not only does asking those questions make it clear that you are making an effort to understand the way they’re feeling, simply by having someone say “Yes” brings you to more of a common ground.
  4. Don’t Say “Calm Down”
    • As anyone who has ever said “calm down” during an argument knows, it doesn’t work. When someone is already worked up, saying “calm down” sounds like “you’re acting insane.”
  5. Be in Control of Yourself
    • Relax your face, use a lower tone of voice (during conflicts we tend to use higher tones in anxiety) and use a stance that is confident and relaxed, even if you don’t feel it. Conflict can often make everyone in the room feel nervous and anxiety-ridden, and if you can fake relaxed confidence just for a moment while you address the situation, others will, consciously or sub-consciously follow suit. Be very respectful when firmly setting limits, as it will be crucial for you to both address the person’s issue but retain some control of the situation.
  6. Trust Your Instincts
    • You will know within a couple of minutes if your tactics are working and the situation is calming down. If you feel like after a few minutes of trying these methods it doesn’t seem to be working, ask the person to leave or ask someone to escort them out

The next time you find yourself in a position where someone around you is worked up and getting aggressive, try these methods to de-escalate before the situation gets out of hand and hopefully you be able to stop a major problem before it begins.

 

 

 

 

[j.e.g.]

Eight Habits of A Disengaged Long Term Care Insurance agents

It is the common attitude of most long term care insurance agents to whine about their work place, complain about their co workers and to never feel well compensated. Before you start judging your work, your boss or your officemates, maybe it is best that you evaluate yourself first. What exactly are you bringing into the Long Term Care Insurance industry? Are you being an employee that is worth the compensation that you are longing for?

We, oftentimes, focus on the the inadequacies of the people around us that we sometimes fail to see our own lapses. If you wish to achieve a better position and pay in your company, maybe it is the perfect time for you to evaluate yourself and your performance.

To help you identify if you are a great contributor to the Long Term Care Insurance agency you are with or you are one of those employees who are pulling the company down, here are some of the attitudes of a disengaged employee and see if you can relate:

1.) Always complaining
It is normal for LTCI agents to get tired sometimes but when you complain incessantly, then maybe you are the one with the problem. When everything is not good enough for you, you will never have the motivation to work properly.
2.) Never gets excited
When you can no longer find the excitement to work on new LTC prospects or to even go to work on a daily basis, then there is a high chance that you are no longer an effective Long Term Care Insurance agent.
3.) Never takes responsibility for their action
A big part of working in an agency is that you will be given huge responsibilities to tackle. If you always find an excuse to say no to a new leads list or you never take the blame when something goes wrong, how will you be an effective employee?
4.) Refuses to cooperate with others
A company can only succeed if there is great team work is involved. If you do not want to collaborate with others, then you may be the cause of downfall of a business or a company.
5.) Lies
As they say, honesty is the best policy. No matter how skilled or talented you are, you will never be an effective team player or employee if you will not say the truth. Making up stories and creating web of lies will certainly not be beneficial for the company and will spook away any potential long term care insurance clients.
6.) Gossips
If there is one thing that can singlehandedly destroy a company, it is gossip. When there is gossiping, the morale of employees will be ruined. As a result, team dynamic will never be established.
7.) Takes no initiative
A company needs the initiative of their employees in order to become successful. Good employees goes beyond their call of duty if they wish to contribute greatly to their companies.
8.) Doesn’t focus on personal and career growth
A stagnant employee will not bring anything good to the company. It is a must that employees invest in themselves so that they can grow together with the company.

So, are these traits seem familiar to you? Were you thinking of yourself the whole time you were reading this? If yes, then it is high time that you start changing yourself for the better and becoming the best long term care insurance planner as you can be.

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What It Takes to Keep the Country Safe: Cops

Dreaming of becoming a police officer but not really sure on what preparations to do? There is not much needed as long as you are determined to becoming part of law enforcement, you graduate high school, pass the civil service exam and you are physically capable of running around and withstanding exhaustion. Being a police officer even if you do not have a bachelor’s degree is possible. But, this depends on the state or location you are in. It is because nowadays, there are already cities or states that require applicants to at least have an associate degree or vocational course. With the tight competition in the market, it is an advantage if you get yourself a short vocational course. So, if you really want to become a police officer, make sure you qualify on the basics.

On education, getting a high school diploma already qualifies you for the job but it won’t end here. You have to take a civil service examination and pass it because it is also a basic requirement when you want to apply for any position in the government. After you pass the examination, there will still be additional exams to pass and so make sure you prepare yourself by studying. If you think you do not have the sources, visit the local library and read books on law enforcement and if you know a police officer, get tips. This will help you go to the next level. You also have to be emotionally and psychologically stable. You will know you are when you pass the psychological examinations and interview. Of course the government wants to make sure they are hiring the right person to uphold the safety and rights of the people. Sometimes, the desire to serve may not be enough because you still need to prove you are capable.

When you have passed all the examinations, you also have to undergo physical training. You will be taught how to hold and fire gun properly. You will be taught basic first aid because this is also part of your job. Police officers are usually the first people arriving in crime scene or area of disaster. Having first aid training will allow you to save lives. In physical training you should show your strength and agility in every task. Endurance is the key to lasting and passing the training. You should not wonder why physical training can be tight because when you become a police officer, you are usually assigned outside. Physical training will be very useful when you are already out on duty.

The desire of service and helping people is a very good quality of a police officer. Add up discipline and fairness and you might become the most loved police officer in the future. Having the right attitude will make you sturdy in resisting temptations and abuse of power. When you are a law enforcement officer you are given the power to implement the law and policies. Make sure you are to be a good example to your community.