4 Common Goals of De-Escalating

Conflict in the workplace

When things get out of hand, you may feel like jumping in immediately to find a solution and end a tense and uncomfortable situation. However, acting before thinking things through may yield the opposite results. Before intervening in an escalated situation, take a minute to regulate your emotions and make sure you approach those involved in a calm manner. Avoid focusing on whether one person is right or the other one is wrong and start by letting the parties know that you are there to listen and will not take any actions until everyone has had an opportunity to express their side of the story. Make sure the parties involved do not feel dismissed or disrespected since this could increase the escalation and if, despite your best efforts, the situation is impossible to resolve, you may wish to consider getting some professional de-escalation consulting.

Goals of Conflict De-Escalation

Before attempting to de-escalate a situation, it is important to have a clear understanding of your goal. As you approach those that are involved in the escalation, visualize the result you are trying to achieve. Here are some possible goals to keep in mind.

Control a Potentially Violent Situation

Controlling a potentially violent situation can be challenging and risky. When you perceive that violence may erupt at any point, keep safe and protect yourself from harm. Seek help if you feel controlling it is beyond your ability, call law enforcement if you have to. Always keep a cool head and avoid escalating the situation further. Do not allow the violent individual to push your buttons and put you off balance. Stay calm and composed.

Build Trust and Rapport

Trust and rapport are essential for building strong and meaningful relationships with others, whether they are your clients, colleagues, friends, or family members. Trust and rapport can help you to communicate effectively, collaborate successfully, and resolve conflicts peacefully. You can build trust and rapport when you communicate openly and honestly but also admit your mistakes, your weaknesses, and your challenges. Validate their feelings and perspectives. Show genuine interest and curiosity in their points of view.

Facilitate a Positive Outcome

To facilitate a positive outcome means to guide and support a group or an individual to achieve their desired goals in an effective and efficient way. Fostering a positive outcome can involve various skills and strategies, such as setting timelines, choosing appropriate tools and methods, and defining roles and responsibilities. Communicate clearly and openly with the participants, using positive language, active listening, and empathy.

Offer Choices and Solutions

By offering choices and solutions to the parties involved you are making them feel empowered and respected. When you offer choices and solutions, you can help resolve the conflict, generate new ideas, and ultimately achieve de-escalation goals. Start by identifying the problem that needs a decision and define clear objectives. Use creative thinking techniques to generate a variety of alternatives that address the issue or problem and consider the risks, benefits, and costs of each option.

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