Established, since 1997, leading UK based training provider.

De-Escalation Skills

De-escalation Skills

De-escalation Skills

To de-escalate a conflict situation, here are the skills you need to master.

1. When you are angry, say nothing, write nothing and send nothing.

2. Do not emotionalise or dramatise, your verbal description of the conflict or the personalities involved.

3. Instead, focus on the facts of the case and strive to objectify your description of the situation.

4. Assume a that negotiated solution to the conflict does exist and strive to find it.

5. Remember your aim is the re-establishment of a working relationship with the other party.

6. Always remain calm, objective, factual, and be professional at all times.

7. Self-discipline

De-escalation of a conflict

Sometimes, when a conflict arises, it can quickly escalate into a full-blooded argument.

Such arguments become dangerous to the organisation, since the productivity of the organisation is dependent on a sense of mutual cooperation between its members.

When the escalated conflict smashes the cooperative spirit of the team, the whole organisation suffers.

It is therefore necessary to know how to de-escalate a conflict situation and protect yourself from the potentially catastrophic damage that it can cause to your organisation.

Here are the steps to de-escalate a conflict.

1. When you are angry, say nothing, write nothing, and send nothing.

Do not indulge yourself by engaging in emotional outbursts. You cannot afford that luxury.

In any case, emotional outbursts never work-out well. They make a bad situation worse.

Learn to keep your mouth shut, when you are angry or upset.

Say nothing, do nothing, and wait a while. Wait and allow your emotional-responses to simmer down.

Remove yourself from the situation and let your intellect regain control over your emotional mind.

Allow your intellect a chance to work-the-problem in a more logical, rational and objective manner.

Think it through, step by step.

2. Do not emotionalise or dramatise, your verbal description of the conflict or the personalities involved.

When people are angry they use dangerous, highly charged language, which will almost certainly make matters worse, by triggering equal and opposite, countermeasure responses in the minds of the opposition.

To de-escalate a conflict situation, you should say nothing that will "sting" the other so much that the other person can no longer work with you.

This is the escalation of tension which you must avoid.

3. Instead, focus on the facts of the case and strive to objectify your description of the situation.

Get beyond the emotions, and go back to the facts of the case, and the logic of the situation.

Never attack the opponent's personality or reputation, instead, restrict yourself to commenting on what they actually said and did, but not who they are.

If you attack them personally, then you will escalate the emotions and make matters worse.

4. Assume a that negotiated solution to the conflict does exist and strive to find it.

Find the middle ground solution that exists between three fields of possibility:

  1. What you want.
  2. What the other party wants.
  3. What is logically possible.

The intersection of these three fields is where the solution will be found.

Notice how small the intersection between the three fields is.

It is tiny and therefore, sometimes it is very hard to find.

Invite the other party to the negotiation table, show them the diagram.

Tell them there are three sides to the situation and ask them to cooperate with you to find the middle ground solution.

5. Remember your aim is the re-establishment of a working relationship with the other party.

You need to re-establish a mutually beneficial working relationship with the other party, otherwise both will suffer negative consequences.

6. Always remain calm, objective, factual and be professional at all times.

Limit your language. Always be calm, objective and factual. Keep your voice tone and body language within strictly controlled limits; be professional at all times.

Find the middle ground solution that sits between the three fields of possibility.

7. Self-discipline

Irrespective of circumstances or whatever the provocation, always maintain your poise and emotional equilibrium.

This requires that you must develop self-discipline.

Self-discipline is a tough skill to master, but when you do, it will pay you big dividends over time.

Blogs by Email

Do you want to receive an email whenever we post a new blog? The blogs contain article 5-10 minutes long - ideal for reading during your coffee break!

Your Comments

Further Reading in Conflict Management and Handling Difficult People

  • Top Ten Conflict Management Techniques
    Your organisation needs people to cooperate. However, inevitably people disagree, which can lead to conflict situations. It is important to learn conflict management techniques, since conflicts are costly and disruptive.
    Read Article >
  • Learn How to Take Criticism
    Critical feedback is important information. It tells us that what we are doing is not working and that we need to change our approach.
    Read Article >
  • Grievances at Work
    Grievances at work are generally caused by what someone said or didn't say, or what a person did or didn't do. Obviously, prevention is preferable to trying to sort out a grievance. But what if you already have an issue. Try this six-step method...
    Read Article >
  • Performance Management Training
    Performance Management Performance management is the art of getting the best performance from other people. In order to be a good performance manager, you need to know the proper principles of performance management and you need to have the communication skills that will allow you to apply the principles to others...
    Read Article >
  • Eight causes of conflict
    Eight causes of conflict Conflict management training courses Conflict is a broad term that covers many themes. Conflict based upon the clumsy use of over emotionalised and highly judgmental language. Conflict based upon the lack of proper appreciation and praise. Conflict based upon the Misuse of humour. Conflict based on the...
    Read Article >