Addressing The Entire Spectrum Of Human Conflict

Verbal Defense & Influence
(Instructor Certification)

Point-Of-Impact Non-Escalation, De-Escalation and Crisis Intervention Tactics for Our Nation’s Guardians


This four-day course certifies participants as Verbal Defense & Influence™ (VDI) Instructors so, upon successful completion, they can teach VDI within their organization. VDI is a point-of-impact conflict management training program.

The principles of VDI, which have been taught worldwide for more than 30 years, are grounded in academic research and real-world application. The structured framework, in which these principles have been synthesized, makes the course material easy to learn, remember and apply — and simple to teach.

Verbal Defense & Influence is a program of Vistelar, a global consulting and training organization focused on addressing the entire spectrum of human conflict at the point of impact. Vistelar’s vision is to make the world safer by teaching everyone HOW to treat each other with dignity by showing them respect.


Course Benefits

Verbal Defense & Influence’s field-proven, HOW-TO methodology has been shown to provide the following benefits:


  • Reduced interpersonal conflict
  • Increased self-confidence and persuasion skills
  • Enhanced physical safety
  • Improved work, family and social relationships


Communicating Under Pressure Card

  • Reduced complaints, liability and injuries
  • Improved performance, morale and workplace safety
  • Better team cooperation and collaboration
  • Lower workplace stress levels


  • Reduced threat of litigation
  • Less use-of-force incidents
  • Improved post-incident reporting
  • Better matching of report with video record


  • Less escalation of conflict to emotional/physical violence
  • Improved ability to engage in difficult conversations
  • Increased competence in addressing verbal abuse and bullying
  • Enhanced psychological well-being

A key goal of Verbal Defense & Influence is to keep front-line staff personally, organizationally, legally and emotionally safer during and following conflict.


Who Should Attend

The VDI program was originally designed for law enforcement professionals and is taught by professional trainers with extensive law enforcement backgrounds.

However, individuals from other professions who face point-of-impact conflict (e.g., corrections, private security, healthcare, education, customer service, military, public transit, utilities) are also encouraged to attend.

As stated in the Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing:

“law enforcement culture should embrace a Guardian (AKA “ethical protector”) — rather than a warrior — Mindset to build trust and legitimacy both within agencies and with the public.”

Teaching the HOW of developing such a mindset is an important goal of this course. However, this mindset is essential for every profession that deals with conflict at the point of impact — not just police.

Another key recommendation of the 21st Century Policing Report is the adoption of Procedural Justice (where perceived fairness of the process — how people are treated — is as important as perceived fairness of the outcome) and Community Engagement (where trust-building, non-enforcement activities are supported).

Teaching the HOW of such adoption is another important goal of this course and, like the Guardian Mindset, all professions facing conflict should know these Hows.

Therefore, both law enforcement and non-law enforcement professionals will gain great benefit from this course. In addition, when both are present, class discussions and training exercises are far more valuable because different perspectives are shared — an outcome made possible by the use of Vistelar’s proprietary Emotionally Safe Performance-Driven Instruction™ (see description below).


What You’ll Learn

Verbal Defense & Influence is a comprehensive, structured methodology for how to effectively:

  • Manage conflict and crisis at the point of impact
  • Implement Procedural Justice / Community Engagement
  • Develop a Guardian Mindset

Students learn how to perform Vistelar’s ten elements of effective communication under pressure: 1) Be Alert & Decisive / Respond, Don’t React; 2) Five Maxims; 3) Showtime Mindset; 4) Universal Greeting; 5) Beyond Active Listening; 6) Redirections; 7) Persuasion Sequence; 8) When Words Alone Fail; 9) Bystander Mobilization; 10) Review/Report.

In addition, Social Contract, Crisis Intervention, Responsive Proxemics and Personal Safety strategies are also covered.

Non-escalation tactics are emphasized to prevent conflict (starting the “negative dance”). Then, if the situation escalates, a structured methodology of de-escalation and crisis intervention is taught to minimize the risk of emotional/physical violence and reduce use-of-force incidents.

Another key goal of this course is to teach “how to look good on camera no matter how the situation ends up.” All actions of a Guardian (whatever the profession) are now being video recorded and, as a result, have the potential of being shown on YouTube to millions of viewers, picked up by the media and broadcasted to millions more, or used in disciplinary procedures/court proceedings.

Therefore, it’s now critical that contact professionals know how to ensure their actions (non-verbal, verbal, physical) aren’t misrepresented when viewed on camera and that their incident report matches the video record.

Course participants will learn HOW TO ensure their performance, incident report and testimony aligns with their training, as well as with the video that will inevitably be available for viewing — by the public, a supervisor or a judge/jury.

Verbal Defense & Influence training is an essential addition to any organization’s risk-management efforts.


Training Methodology

Vistelar Addresses the Entire Spectrum of Human Conflict

Like all Vistelar’s courses, Verbal Defense & Influence is taught from the perspective of the entire spectrum of human conflict (Vistelar’s “5 Cs” : Contact, Conflict, Crisis, Combat and Closure) and is easily integrated into existing training and policies/procedures of an organization.

As stated above, this course is taught using Vistelar’s proprietary Emotionally Safe Performance-Driven Instruction™ that improves retention of the course material and, more importantly, ensures students can actually perform the learned skills in the midst of stress (fire drills versus fire talks). This unique approach to training emphasizes student interaction, scenario-based skill practice (using a proprietary video recording/review technology), memorable stories (“peace stories”) and analysis of real-life events captured on video.

Each participant receives access to an online pre-work program, a student workbook, an instructor binder and, following class, access to an online instructor-resource website. Participants leave the course fully-prepared to teach Verbal Defense & Influence within their organizations.


Becoming A Certified VDI Instructor

To become a certified Verbal Defense & Influence instructor so you can teach VDI within your organization, you must attend a four-day train-the-trainer course.

You can do this either by attending one of our hosted courses that are held throughout the United States or by contracting with Vistelar to bring the course to your organization.

To access Vistelar’s training calendar that lists the available hosted courses, please Click Here.

To learn more about contracting with Vistelar to a bring a course to your organization, please Contact Us.


Additional Information