Addressing The Entire Spectrum Of Human Conflict

EMS and Fire

What Type of Instructor are You?

Hello,

This is Gary Klugiewicz.

I am the director of training for Verbal Defense & Influence that I recently had an phone conversation with Doug Lynch, one of our Vistelar Trainers.  He asked an an important question about the difference types of instructors that I wanted to share with you.

His question to people who provide instruction to others was What type of Instructor are you?

I asked him to provide his thoughts on this question that I posted below:

When I first started as an instructor, I proudly called myself a trainer. I was in front of people and telling stories, showing PowerPoints, getting a few laughs and told to come back again. I thought I could train. But, my students were failing to do what I needed them to do once they left the class. Was it me? Was it them? Was it both? Thus, started my journey.

I sought out mentors and coaches and was lucky enough to meet and learn from some of the best in the business; Gary Klugiewicz, Bob Lindsey, Peter Jaskulski, Dave and Betsy Smith, Jack Hoban, and about a dozen more. I am thankful for their patience and transfer of knowledge. It became apparent I was a Presenter, not a trainer. There was much more that needed to be accomplished in a classroom than just getting people to agree with what I was instructing.

Below is a small bit of that information to help  instructors better understand what they are doing, what they are capable of and what they need to be able to perform to master a style/level. It helps us to explain to non-instructors what to look for and what to expect from different styles/levels. In most cases, these are levels, not styles. Instructors progress through them from 1 to 4 over a career/lifetime. But, there are always exceptions.

  1. Presenter / Presentation: Passive, lays out information for students. Minimal, if any, checks for understanding, learning and performance are done. To become a Presenter, one becomes proficient at public speaking and holding the audiences interest.
  2. Teacher / Teach: Passive, guides students through information, confirms cognitive knowledge.
  3. Trainer / Train: Active, students learn how to perform tasks, ability to perform under stress confirmed.
  4. Coach / Coaching: Efficient, mastery of the levels below them. Able to TRAIN people to be competent at any of the first three levels.

His categories illustrate an increase in both competency and effectiveness that I find thought-provoking.   Do we want our instruction to merely provide information or do we want it to provide skills and changes in long-term behavior?  As with most things, the answer depends on who you are instructing, your purpose, and the length of time you have to do it.

Please post your comments below.

Are you really trying to persuade a person to do something or are you just checking off the boxes.

Hello,  This is Gary Klugiewicz.

Dave Young and I just finished facilitating a four day Verbal Defense & Influence Instructor Class at the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office located near Minneapolis, MN.  It was a very interesting class with lots of interaction with the instructors in the class.   Daniel Zeller, a security patrol lieutenant for Mall of America, brought up an interesting observation that he had made about how officers sometimes use persuasion during officer / citizen contacts.   In VDI training, we spend a great deal of time on the Persuasion Sequence that is a five step process for persuading a person to do what an officer is asking them to do.   Dan has seen this process sometimes circumvented so that it becomes a checklist that allows an officer to take action rather than a vehicle for de-escalation of conflict.   This problem goes way beyond public safety applications and impacts all contact professionals who have to deal with difficult persons.

Read on to see what this VDI Instructor has to say about this issue:

“In regards to the Persuasion Sequence when we are in contact with a subject and want them to do something, some officers may view it as merely a checklist or steps they need to follow in order to make an arrest. Rather than using the technique to generate voluntary compliance, cooperation, and collaboration, they fly through the options and confirming non-compliance because their department policy states that is what they are required to do prior to making an arrest under these circumstances. Although this does not occur with regularity, it can be assumed that it does occasionally happen.

With the newer officers they should be reminded that time is on our side. They should take the time to attempt to persuade the subject and not be so quick to throw on the handcuffs. It would be in our best interest to address it with our line officers and remind them that the Persuasion Sequence is there to do just that, persuade the subject to comply, rather than be taken into custody. We need to be in the guardian mindset and treat these people with dignity and respect.”

Thank you Lt. Zeller for this insight into the challenges of persuasion.   Tom Cline wrote an interesting article entitled “Are You a Helper or Hunter” in American Street Beat that can be accessed at  https://apbweb.com/are-you-a-helper-or-hunter/.  Are you functioning and using the persuasion sequence as a helper, i.e. protector or as a hunter, i.e., an enforcer?  While public safety officers and other contact professionals have to enforce laws, policies, and rules,  they must always remember that their primary function is that of a protector.   Remember that the purpose of the Persuasion Sequence is to generate voluntary compliance, cooperation, and compliance – not to be a vehicle to quickly take action.   By efficiently and effectively asking, explaining why, presenting options, and giving the person a second chance, you will have the best chance of persuading the person and not have to resort to taking action.

Please post your comments below.

 

Rudeness can be perceived as racist

Hello.

This is Gary Klugiewicz.

I saw this electronic post a couple weeks ago and I have been thinking about it regularly.  I wanted to respond to it but didn’t know exactly how to do so.   The comment made by the chief in the original article linked below was that the comments were rude, not racist.   While he got the types of comments right being “rude” and “racist”, the “not” was not exactly right.

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/king-fort-worth-kin-arrest-not-rude-racist-article-1.2924541

In our Verbal Defense & Influence training, we focus attention on the importance of the term “empathy” and our attempt to look at a situation through the other person’s eyes.  We refer to this as “Active Intelligence Gathering” and explain that, if you don’t know where the person is coming from  i.e., their perceptions, how can you know how to get them to assist you in taking them where you want them to go.

The trouble with being rude is that it is by itself unprofessional and counterproductive.   When your unprofessional behavior is viewed by someone who already believes that you may be a racist. then your rude behavior rapidly becomes what can be perceived as racist.  We spend a great deal of time in our training practicing the Universal Greeting, a professional introduction of “non-escalation” so we never start the slippery slide downhill from rudeness toward what can be perceived as racist behavior.   While we can’t change someone’s preconceived notions of us, we can do a lot to not escalate the negative atmosphere that often exists in a conflict situation.  Keeping the conversation professionally polite even when faced with an angry person will allow you to use “Active Intelligence Gathering” to find out what is causing the conflict. This will allow you the best chance of generating voluntary compliance, lead to cooperation, and even end up in collaboration.

Remember that you are not responsible for the bad decisions made by the person that you are interacting may make but you are responsible for the process.   You want to look good on camera, i.e. professional, where ever the situations ends up.

I look forward to your comments.  Please post them below.

Arma Training Edged Weapons Agency Wide Instructor Program

Dave Young here.

Inmates are the masters at developing and using improvised weapons. Every year corrections officers seize hundreds of improvised weapons confiscated inside their facilities. Everything from a file down comb to sharpen toothbrush to melted down plastic ware.  There is no limit is their imagination.

Your safety depends on your understanding what to look for; how do identifying threat indicators during contact; managing distance to control position; knowing what your escape routes are; and understanding when it is time to disengage.

The class then provided realistic “hands on” and “weapons on” responses to an edged weapon assaults.

In addition, on the front-end, the class covered how to de-escalate the situation and the back-end how to follow through after the incident to keep everyone safe both physically and legally.

Watch the video link below to see the class in action.

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I want to thank all the trainers in the state of West Virginia to include the West Virginia regional jails instructors on a great job, energy and effort this week!  See everybody again soon!

 

Can Traumatic Brain Injuries lead to Homelessness?

Holiday Greetings to all of our readers.

As we celebrate the holidays with our families, let’s take a moment to think about those people who are less fortunate than us.   Take homeless persons as an example of people less fortunate than many of us.   Radio Health Journal recently did a program on the topic of Brain Based Injuries and Homelessness.  They discussed the possible factors that can lead to homelessness.   One of these factors was brain injuries.   We know that brain injuries can be a factor leading to Post Traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD) in our veterans.   We know that many veterans are homeless.   This audiotape discussion of the relationship between brain injuries and homelessness when coupled with plight of many of our veterans raise the possibility of an an interesting relationship between veterans and homelessness.   Listen to the audiotape and give us your comments.

https://radiohealthjournal.wordpress.com/2016/10/16/brain-injury-and-homelessness/#more-2825

Please do what you can do to support our homeless and our veterans in this time of holiday giving and remembrance.

Crisis Intervention: The Power of the Initial Contact

Dave Young, Kati Tillema, and I just finished a great class at the Las Vegas Metro Police Department.   Vistelar has just updated it material with a major upgrade to it curriculum and courseware.  New manual, workbooks and PowerPoints were added. Check out the class photo.

Dave Young made several additional to the material with tactical nuggets that better explain what we do and how we do it.   One of these nuggets explained that the power of the Universal Greeting in that it establishes contact, builds rapport, and gathering information from people who are usually extremely difficult to find common ground.  People remember the beginning and end of conflict situations.  Use the Universal Greeting to make a positive, memorial initial contact.

Take a look at this video where Tom Wiehe from the University of Cincinnati Police Department empowers a person with significant mental health issues to control his her behavior at the point of impact.  Watch this video that emphasizes the importance of using EMPATHY as a tool of Active Intelligence Gathering to quickly get information necessary to keep everyone safe – now and later.  Tom’s thoughtful initial contact made the difference between a positive successful encounter and another viral video on YouTube showing another questionable interaction.

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Please post your comments below.

 

Saying or doing the unexpected to catch a person “off guard” during verbal conflict

Greetings,
This is Gary Klugiewicz.
Jeff Mehring, a conflict management consultant and trainer, has shared a number of his concepts with us in our Vistelar posting in the past.  This time he focused on how to put the brakes on an escalating verbal conflict situation by interrupting the person’s thought processes with unexpected verbalization and body language.  Check it out.   I think you will find it very interesting.  We have already incorporated it into our distraction redirection training.
Could you read his post, try it in your work environment, and get back to us with your feedback in our comment section?
We would love to hear from you.
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The Power of “Huh” and “Hmm”

 

Often, in a conflict management situation, particularly when someone is attempting to redirect or persuade another through verbalization, words don’t easily come to mind.  There is a lot to take in while trying to formulate just the right thing to say, so the verbal redirection or persuasive argument has its desired effect.  It’s at times such as this that saying and doing the unexpected, thus catching the other person off-guard, can be very helpful.

Saying and doing the unexpected has several advantages.  First, it causes the other person to pause and make sure that what was heard is accurate.  The pause, even if for a second, breaks tension and causes an individual to reconsider what is taking place.  Second, saying or doing the unexpected creates doubt in the mind of another concerning what is normal, in essence instantly establishing a new norm which causes hesitation and the need to reorient, which allows you to stay one step ahead and establish a position of advantage or control.  Third, when the pause or hesitation takes place, it provides you with an assessment opportunity to determine if the other person is reasonable or not.  Remember, you cannot reason individuals out of a position they didn’t reason themselves into.  If the other person doesn’t respond in a reasonably predictable fashion, pausing or hesitating, you will need to switch gears and move to another tactic.

All this being said, what are some unexpected things we can say or do?  One is understanding the power in two small and seldom used words in the beginning stages of a conflict.  Those words are “huh” and “hmm”.  When coupled with a quizzical tone of voice and a facial expression, which in and of itself conveys interest, there is great potential to catch the other person off-guard and move the confrontation in a positive direction.  Saying “huh” or “hmm” in a confrontation is unexpected, and since words and actions must match, a quizzical facial expression should be employed and will be equally unexpected.  When individuals become aggressive, they expect an equal or greater response or reaction; the unexpected is a preplanned and practiced response instead of a “tit for tat” reaction.  In addition to the “huh” or “hmm”, use follow-up words which match what you are trying to convey.  For example, “Huh, that’s interesting, tell me more” or “Hmm, I didn’t know that, let me see how I can help”.  “Huh” and “hmm” should be seen as a means of opening gateways to further communication.

Unfortunately, all too often our verbalizations close doors, for instance statements such as, “I understand”, when the other person is convinced you don’t understand, or “You must feel frustrated”, which is the same as saying “I understand”, since you have assumed how the other person feels instead of asking “Are you feeling frustrated?”  There are also common phrases such as “calm down” or “settle down” which close us off from others, but are used on a regular basis.  All of these verbalizations are expected by others, learn to say or do the unexpected.  Start with a quizzical “huh” and “hmm” and watch the doors of opportunity to resolve a situation through redirection and persuasion fly open.  There is power in those words.

 

How to distract a person in crisis

Learn how to redirect a person in crisis by establishing credibility through common experiences.

Dave Young and I have been traveling all over the country training contact professionals from a wide spectrum of disciplines from public safety to healthcare to educators.   Our attendees have shared a wide range of peace stories demonstrating the power of non-escalation and de-escalation with appropriate physical intervention tactics.   These peace stories are very powerful because like Chuck Remsberg, author of the internationally known Street Survival book series, likes to say “No one says it like the people.”   His comment refers to the fact that no story is better told than by the person experiencing the event.   A video recollection by the person experiencing the event is the most powerful retelling of the story because now the words are supported by the person’s own tone of voice and facial expressions.  This video recording of the story allow the viewer to experience the reliving of the event by the person telling the story.

The peace story video linked below is a case in point.   Keith Molinari, the director of public safety for Castleton University, recalls a response to a student experiencing a PTSD episode.   One of the responding security staff made an immediate connection with the veteran and was able to stabilize the situation by being able to redirect the student.   While we caution contact professionals not to say that they “understand” what the person is experiencing, if they have experienced what the person in crisis has experience, it can be a powerful tool establishing credibility and build an immediate relationship that can allow for a peaceful resolution to the incident.   Learn more by watching the video and make sure to comment below.

Dave and I would like to thank Keith for sharing this powerful peace story.

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Rockville Centre, NY PD 2016 VDI Instructor Class introduces new VDI Material

Hello there.

Gary Klugiewicz here.

Vistelar introduced a number of significant changes to our courseware at the recent Beyond Conflict Conference held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  At last week’s Rockville Centre, NY Police Department Verbal Defense & Influence Instructor Class, Dave Young and I first presented this material.  We introduced the new manuals, workbooks, and PowerPoints.   The material was very well received.

Watch the video below that explains how we now review incidents using the Point-of-Impact 6 C’s of Conflict Management.  This new incident review concept included Context, Contact, Conflict, Crisis, Combat, and Closure to describe how conflict can be prevented and/or managed.  This video also describes how the revised Communication under Pressure Card helps contact professional to manage these conflicts.   Please comment below on your thoughts on my explanation of these changes.

Let’s keep everyone safe.

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Vistelar conducts a VDI Instructor Class at the Dearborn, MI PD

Hello.

This is Gary Klugiewicz.

I just finished facilitating a Verbal Defense & Influence Instructor Class at the Dearborn, MI Police Department.  We had a great class with lots of high level collaboration going on as the participants shared their experiences and stories.  We were able to add the new material that will be rolled out at the Vistelar Beyond Conflict Conference that will be held this week in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Please watch Bill Thompson from the St. Joseph’s County, IN Police Department performing the Five Maxims Elevator Speech Video that explains the Vistelar Core Concept of Treating People with Dignity by Showing Them Respect.   This is done utilizing the Five Maxims which explains how to show people respect.   Bill Thompson did a great job.   Please comment below.

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