“Write a Report Like You Train in Order to Improve Both Your Reports and Your Performance”

Guest Moderator – Brine Hamilton, CHPA

Special Guest – Joel Lashley

Today, Brine Hamilton is joined by Joel Lashley, the author of Vistelar’s book titled Confidence in Conflict for Healthcare Professionals. Joel has worked in public safety for over 30 years, including 18 years of service in the health care setting. He also co-developed a program for managing the challenging behaviors of children, adolescents, and adults with autism and other cognitive disabilities for police officers, corrections officers, and healthcare providers.

Their discussion dives into the topic of how good report writing and good training go hand in hand.

Some of the takeaways include:

  • How under-reporting in healthcare settings leads to less safe environments of care
  • The elements of writing a complete report
  • Why good training leads to better, timely and more complete reports
  • How a well written incident report can be used to justify one actions when questioned by those in authority
  • How The Persuasion Sequence can be used as a simple roadmap for writing a great report

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To learn more about this topic, click here to read an article by Joel Lashley on the same subject.

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TRANSCRIPT

Brine Hamilton:

Welcome to the Confidence in Conflict podcast. I’m Brine Hamilton and we’re joined today by Joel Lashley. Joel, thanks for joining us today.

Joel Lashley:

Morning. Thanks, Brine. Glad to be here. Thanks for having me.

Brine Hamilton:

Absolutely. Now, before we get in, I just want to give you an opportunity to introduce yourself and just share some of your experience and why we’re discussing this topic with you today.

Joel Lashley:

Okay. Well, I’ve been in public safety all of my adult life and first started in healthcare safety and security in 1991. So that makes me a veteran, I think. It’s the 30th anniversary. So 30 years in acute care, behavioral health, home-visit nurses and social workers, CPS workers at the visit, the home, working with and training them. Currently, I work as a writer and an instructor with Vistelar.

Brine Hamilton:

Excellent stuff. Now, the thing that we’re going to be focusing on today is incident report writing. I guess we’ll kick it off by just discussing the benefits of good incident report writing.

Joel Lashley:

Well, there are lots of benefits that I don’t think we communicate very well to people who do the work in the field. They have… It’s always a struggle as leaders in security and public safety to get people to write reports, to be complete, to report incidents.

Healthcare, in particular, among clinical staff, is notorious for under-reporting. They’re good at reporting about medical issues, but when it comes to violence, disrespect, gateway behaviors that lead to violence, that they’re notoriously bad at. For lots of different reasons, because they think it’s part of the job and all the things that they’ve been told over the years that isn’t true and it’s just made them more vulnerable. So when we report incidents, the biggest benefit is we get more reaction to incidents and we get safer and we get more compliant.

Joel Lashley:

An example of that would be when I worked on an initiative with a hospital to get them to increase reporting, the security responses went way up at that hospital. So security is being called much more. They were writing many more reports. At the first meeting with the Chief Nursing Officer and leaders among the nursing and medical staff, their perception was the hospital’s going crazy. He goes, “there’s all kinds of violence in the hospital”. And I said, well, actually what’s happening is people are calling more. And as we examined the results, we saw that incidents of nurses experiencing violence, even insofar as workman’s compensation claims, had been cut in half in that period. And the thing that started that was getting people to report more. So the biggest benefit it is, is it keeps us safer and we get hurt less. And that’s real-world results that people have to start to understand.

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Joel Lashley:

The other one is it justifies our FTEs. Leaders know that. We have to have our staff understand that, in order for us to keep, to hire more people because you say you need more help, or in order to protect your job when they start cutting back, we have to be able to demonstrate your worth. And that’s, at the corporate level, that’s done in reports. That’s the only thing it’s judged by. How many reports you’re writing and what are they about? And then for the individual, it’s your opportunity to shine. The individual officer can write a good report, make themselves look good, and still be honest. They write a good report, which makes them look good. When we promote inside security organizations, if we’re not looking at the reports that those candidates are writing, shame on us. Because that should be one of the primary metrics. So I would consider all of those very important benefits of some good report writing.

Brine Hamilton:

Yeah. There’s something interesting that you mentioned in there too, was just looking at the fact that there are more calls for security being made. But also, just within your incident reporting, if you’re really breaking it down with the subcategories in the incident types, you can really drill down on what type of violence is occurring in what the impact is to help tell that story as well.

Joel Lashley:

Absolutely. That’s a big part of how the reports are analyzed. Then we can see reducing incidents, not only because security is intervening, but we’re teaching clinical people real prevention.

Brine Hamilton:

Litigation is always an important consideration as well, in terms of the documentation. What are some of the key considerations for report writing with the reality that reports can become evidence in court?

Joel Lashley:

Well, first of all, I think we have to think in terms of more than our reports for evidence in court, because, you can have your whole career and only go a handful of times in the hospital security wind up in court. Your reports are judged by leaders. By physicians, by hospital leaders, system leaders, internal attorneys like you’re saying, corporate counsel. So the most important thing to consider is in order to make my report defendable, is it has to be timely. That’s probably the biggest barrier right now. As I saw it working in leadership in healthcare security, was if we have to go back and write the report after somebody asks for it, it’s suspect. No one’s going to believe it. They’re going to think you made it up. Your point of view is always going to look bias. So if it’s not timely, it’s not a very good report. No matter how well you write it.

Joel Lashley:

It has to be complete because if you have to go back and add stuff, that’s always suspect. So it has to be timely and it has to be complete. If it has to be changed, even if it’s the truth even if it was just a mistake, it has to be changed, it’s always suspect. That attorney can always say, ‘well, why did you go back and change this report?’ and create suspicion in the judge’s mind or a jury’s mind, or whoever might be listening. And that’s valid suspicion. So it has to be timely and it has to be complete. Of course, it has to be truthful. If it’s not timely or complete, whether it’s truthful or not, people aren’t necessarily going to believe what you have to say. As one of my mentors who trained me, and one of the founders of Vistelar, the company I worked for, he always says, ‘if you didn’t write it down, it didn’t happen’. You got to go back and write a report later, it doesn’t matter what you got to say. No one’s going to believe it. So in order for it to defend us in court, or face to face, or to leaders, it has to be truthful, timely, and complete.

Brine Hamilton:

Absolutely. That’s some good stuff there. Now, something that we spoke about offline was the persuasion sequence. So for those who may not be familiar with the persuasion sequence, can you explain how it ties into articulation in terms of report writing?

Joel Lashley:

Yeah. Like we said before, healthcare is notorious for under-reporting incidents. The persuasion sequence is a way to get people to think about how to respond to incidents, how to report the incidents, and how to defend their actions later. The persuasion sequence is the part that we get to in what we call non-escalation or de-escalation training. Is when people are resisting, pushing back, they don’t want to comply with our requests, commands. They don’t want to cooperate with us. Whatever the case might be, we have to be able to persuade people. We have to be able to go beyond this is the policy and you must follow it or you have to leave. This is just a challenge that almost never works. The old paradigm of ask, tell, make, how’s that working for you? It doesn’t work for the police, doesn’t work for us. So we have to get good at persuading people.

Joel Lashley:

The way we do that is, we ask people to comply with us because people want to be asked, not told. Ma’am, can I ask you not to yell or curse there’s children around and they can hear you. Or, see that the little guy in the wheelchair? He doesn’t look so good. You’re yelling and cursing. This has to be a safe and appropriate environment. Don’t want to give that ole guy a heart attack. That’s not a HIPAA violation. The guy’s right there, he’s sitting right there, he’s in a wheelchair. We’re building context for that person. This is the environment we’re in. We’re modeling the behavior by being quieter, also very persuasive. But what we’re doing is we’re asking them to comply and we’re telling them why in real-world reasons. This has to be safe and appropriate environment for our patients. There are children here, I think we’re frightening them. We’re waking up the other patients. Those sorts of things. And then when that doesn’t work, ‘Hey F you and that little dog too’ is their response, then we can trot out the policy. Well, the policy is we have to observe silence between 8:00 AM or 8:00 PM and 8:00 AM, whatever your policy is. Do you understand the policies I told you, sir? Most people, if we ask them and we tell them why we give them really good reasons, will then comply. They’ll say, okay, this is whatever. They’ll comply. They may not have a great attitude about it, but we focus too much on attitudes. The attitude will come later. We just want them to comply. This is ridiculous. Okay. Whatever. As long as they comply, that’s good. Okay, thanks sir, for your cooperation, give good closure.

Joel Lashley:

Once in a while, that doesn’t work and then we have to offer them their options. Sir, if you stop yelling and cursing, we can step over to this conference room. We can have a discussion. I can call the nursing supervisor, whatever I can do to help. If you insist on yelling and cursing and disturbing the other patients, we’re going to have to ask you to leave. We don’t want to do that. Rather, you just cooperate with me now and let me work on helping you with your issue. I’m not going to go anywhere. We’ll help you with that. Most people will take the good choice at that point. But if we threatened them, which is a natural thing to do. If you don’t stop yelling and cursing, you’ll have to leave. “I ain’t leaving”. That’s the response you’re going to get. It’s persuasive to help them make a good decision, starting with the goodwill. That doesn’t work, then we have to give them a final chance. We’ll get to why that’s important for reporting. Is there anything I can say to get you to cooperate, sir before we have to escort you out of the hospital? And they still don’t cooperate, then we take appropriate action according to our policies. If it’s escort people out, if it’s take them to a safe area and you don’t call it social, whatever our policy is in our facility, that’s when we take action. Then we’re able to defend them later. So not only is this an effective tool for persuading people that I’ve used for many years in my career. And I got so good at it that when someone, when I asked someone, give them their options, and they told me to flake off, I had to think for a minute. Okay, now what am I supposed to do? Because it was that effective. And I had to think about that for a step. Is there anything I could say? But for those times when they make the bad choice, you have to be able to defend that later. And it’s very effective for doing that.

Brine Hamilton:

It’s great in the sense that it actually when you’re articulating it, you actually are showing that you gave them multiple opportunities to comply. It’s not as if security just rushed in and dragged that person away. I think the communication skills are the most important tool for the frontline security professional. I know one thing I used to say as well, that worked well for me was if the individual would say, if they’re swearing and you’re asking them ‘please don’t use foul language. There’s other people here and their response is ‘F them’ like you had alluded to. The other thing that I used to always do is say, ‘but okay, for myself, I’m, I’m speaking to you very respectfully. Can we just have a respectful conversation?’ Usually, a lot of times that would work as well.

Joel Lashley:

That is a great tactic. And I’ve used that as well. Very similar kind of wrap. I said, ‘sir, I’m treating you with respect. Can I ask you to treat me with respect as well?’ That sort of thing. That’s a very effective tactic. And I’ve used that too. And it’s part of persuasion, building context for people.

Brine Hamilton:

Yeah, absolutely.

Joel Lashley:

One of the myths in healthcare, and if you’ve worked in healthcare, you’ve heard this one. If you’ve worked in for any length of time and the myth is, ‘if I say something, it’ll make it worse’. And the reality is it’s usually if we don’t say something, it gets worse. Most of us have heard people say after you say something like that, ‘Sir, I’ve been treating you with respect. Can I ask you to treat me with respect?’ they’ll say, and most of us have heard people say this, ‘I’m sorry. I didn’t mean that I’m just upset.’ And everyone who’s heard that is exploding that destructive myth. What if I say something, that’ll make it worse because I’ve heard that a dozen times in my career and it always makes me crazy. Cause that’s the foundation for training is helping people. That it’s not true that if you say something it will make it worse. It’s not true that if we kill them with kindness, they’ll get nicer. Part of that mythology.

Brine Hamilton:

Yeah. And I guess the one caveat there, if you’re saying to the individual ‘I’ve been speaking with you respectfully’, you actually have to have spoken to them respectfully so that.

Joel Lashley:

Yeah. Yeah, you got to do it or it’s meaningless. That’s for sure. People have different ideas of what being respectful is. So, that’s part of training is we actually train people how to treat people with dignity by showing them respect. So exactly. It doesn’t mean anything if you’re not walking the walk.

Brine Hamilton:

Yeah, 100%. Now, I want to talk to you about some of the challenges in terms of incident reporting. So, what are some of the common challenges that you see in terms of reporting in the healthcare environment?

Joel Lashley:

Well, getting people to write reports, to begin with. To report things. When people are under-trained or unsure of themselves, even if things go, well, they may not want to report it because they’re worried about being judged. They don’t want to write the report cause it’s paperwork and it’s a hassle. So getting people to write reports is huge. People are looking for the easy answer. How do we get people to report more? Once we’ve decided to increase reporting, which will dramatically affect the amount of violence and disruption that we have in our facility, because part of that is getting clinical staff to call us more. It has to be a thoughtful decision, but it requires investment in leadership. We have to invest in training for the clinical staff, why it’s important for them to report control gateway behaviors, like yelling, cursing, things like that.

Joel Lashley:

Why it’s a myth that if you say something it will make it worse. We need people up here to respond to this. So we have to make a real investment in people’s point of view, their worldview in healthcare. So that means some education. And then it means some training so they know what to write. Their persuasion sequence, we have to train people how to do that. So they know how to articulate it so they can articulate it for their reports. So they know what to write. We tell people, write a report who what, when, where, why, how, and then we cut them loose. Training and reporting are intimately related. We have to report like we train.

Brine Hamilton:

You made me think of something there. I think another effective thing that you want to be able to leverage as a security director, or again, we talked about it a little bit. We touched on it a little bit earlier in terms of analytics and the data that you’re pulling. Now say, for example, there’s a situation where you have a patient who’s been threatening or that they’ve actually been violent. They’re still in the facility. If you have your team, if you just create an incident category for, for example, violence prevention rounding. Maybe you have another word for it, but as your team is going through and doing those roundings, again, that’s another statistic that you could show how your team is working to prevent those incidents from occurring. But, it only comes with that reporting.

Joel Lashley:

Yep. And rounding is a way to generate that. I’ve seen that done. I think that it’s very effective and works well. I’ve had hospital leaders actually get involved in security rounding. Chief Nursing Officers and such going round. So they’re not just hearing it from us, they’re hearing it from their leadership. ‘How are the patients today? What kind of… How is so-and-so in 103?’, based on the history and such. So security rounding, I think, is an important tool. Something we should all be involved in, in healthcare security.

Brine Hamilton:

Absolutely. Now, in terms of the under-reporting piece, what are some of the ways that you found effective to actually get more of those reports generated, get people to actually call security? Really just get people out of that stigma that violence is part of their job.

Joel Lashley:

Well, rounding, like you said. I mean that’s… We actually got many institutions involved in putting it in their nursing orientation. Once we give nurses and other healthcare providers this training, the thing I probably heard the most is ‘why didn’t I get this in nursing school?’ Nurses show up at a hospital, fresh out of nursing school, fresh-faced and eager. And no one told them they had just joined the most violent profession in North America. No one told them that. No one told them that depending on where they work and which hospitals and any hospital, that they’re going to get assaulted more than a corrections officer at a prison. No one told them that. We have to tell them in orientation in a way that maybe we won’t scare them off that violence is not part of the job. If people touch you inappropriately, curse at you, yell at you, threaten you, sexually harass you, scream at you, demean you, this is how you respond. And this is how we get safe. This is how we get help. We have to make that part of their training. We wouldn’t even consider not giving basic safety training to corrections officers. We don’t do it for nurses.

Joel Lashley:

And nobody knows more about this really than the healthcare security people who have studied this, understand it. And once you become a resource in your facility, by how you train, being more involved in training with nurses or with other staff, the more they’ll rely on you. At one hospital where I worked at when outlying clinics would call for things like ‘we have a child with autism that comes to our clinic and has a meltdown every day. Can you send somebody to train our staff?’ You would think they would send a psychologist. You would think they might send a nurse that works with children with neuro-cognitive disorders. They sent the security trainer. Think about that for a minute. We were actually part of the clinical picture at that point. Entering into the medical record what we did. And then you see real changes in culture. Real changes in the amount of violence we experience. It has to be in their orientation, in their education and training, that violence isn’t part of the job. That killing with kindness… would you, if one of your peers said, ‘Hey, I went on a date the other day and the guy called me the B word and shoved me’, would you tell her to kill him with kindness?

Joel Lashley:

Go out, go out with him again, just kill them with kindness. It’s a ridiculous thought. It’s a ridiculous paradigm. The way we respond isn’t unkind. It’s professional and respectful. But to lavish them with praise and lots of sorries and thank yous when people are disrespecting us, just generates more violence. Validates it, encourages it. If you say something and make it worse, what’s the nonverbal message of silence? It’s okay to treat me that way. I have no authority. You’re entitled to treat me this way. Nothing will happen if you do it again. That’s the most dangerous message of silence. We help people understand those dynamics, how gateway behaviors lead to violence, cursing, yelling, threatening. They’ve studied these extensively. We can share those studies with clinicians like the staff study from Australia, Dr. Loretta Luck. She found that it was something like seven out of 10 violent attacks on nurses were proceeded at some point by a sarcastic comment. ‘Where’d they get you?’ ‘Where’d you get your diploma, out a cracker Jack box?’ Who would think that that was a precursor to violence? It’s a reliable one. So we have to train people to recognize, oh, I’m in danger now. They’re disrespecting me. And how do I redirect that? Your statement, ‘Sir, I’ve been treating you with respect. Can I ask you to treat me with respect as well?’ And most times people will reset. Okay. That’s not going to work here. It may work at home. It’s not going to work here. And then they reflect the behavior that we model, that’s usually the case.

Brine Hamilton:

Yeah. It’s important-

Joel Lashley:

That was a long-winded answer.

Brine Hamilton:

No, it’s all good stuff because it is important to be able to take that approach where you can be assertive without being overbearing. You’re really still driving home the point that that’s not going to be effective here. You need to basically fall in line. Now you spoke earlier about the important elements of writing a report. So, the five W’s and How. One of the things that you really emphasize was, it’s important to properly train the why and the how part. Can you elaborate on that a little bit?

Joel Lashley:

Yeah. When you think of writing reports, everybody gets the who, what, when, where, why, how .. And we spend a lot of time on who, when, where. And we’ll really control that. We spend a lot of control on that and time on that. I, officer Smith, arrived at the urgent care clinic due to a disturbance complaint at such and such time, on such and such date. Very formal. And then we’re good. We’re okay. We’re done report writing. Write it really formerly like that. When you arrive, where you went, and what the call was about, and you’re good. Now write your report. And spend almost nothing on the why and the how, which is the most important part of the report. You could cut off the top paragraph that everybody’s so worried about. And here’s the really interesting part, Brine. How we talked about before. How if you have to change it, it’s suspect. Those things that we’re so worried about are the one exceptions to that. In other words, think about it. If I wrote a report and gave the wrong date and the wrong time or the wrong time, and someone caught it and said, ‘oh, hey, you put the wrong date on here. That was yesterday.’ Oh, okay. Then you changed it. No one would care.

Joel Lashley:

All right. What we don’t get is the how and the why. How did I do what I did? How did I come to the decision that I made? How did I try to affect the behavior in the other person? How did I address them? How did they react? We don’t spend almost no time training them on that. And we don’t train them on why we did what we did. I threw the person out of the hospital. Why did you do that? They’re being disruptive. Well, how are they being disruptive? Is that in your report? Well, what did they say? Were they yelling? Were they cursing? Were they crying, mumbling under their breath? All these things that we leave out that we can’t articulate later and we have very much different. And if we have to make it up later, or we have to recall it later and then write about it later, no one’s going to believe it. Because it’s too late now. We train people how to respond. And then we teach them how to report their response. And the best way to do that, I guess, would be to give an example.

Joel Lashley:

So from my own career, I was once asked to make an account of myself to a physician. I was the third shift security supervisor at the time. And we had to escort the mother of a cancer patient out of the hospital. A minor cancer patient, a pediatric cancer patient. You could imagine that’s the last person you want to throw out of a hospital, the mother of a child with cancer. It’s almost unfathomable. So we did what we had to do. We responded, did what we had to do. I made the decision. So really I did what I had to do. And then the next day, as you might imagine, the physician wanted my head on a plate. So she called the security office. I’m going to knock that guy up here right now. I want to know why you through my patient’s mother out of the hospital.

Joel Lashley:

So I go up to the floor, she meets me by the elevator. She’s loaded for bear. She’s really hot. Before I can even open my mouth, the elevator doors opening, ‘Are you the guy that threw my patient’s mother out of the hospital?’ I said, yeah, I was a supervisor last night for security. My name is Joel. I’m a security supervisor for third shift. Reason I’m here is, I understand you’re really angry about my decision to escort the mother out of the hospital last night. If you have any questions for me, I’m happy to answer them. That’s a universal greeting that we train to use. So when we walk up and give a universal greeting, it really affects other people’s behavior. Answers a lot of questions in their head. Kind of removes that perception that you’re just a jerk.

Joel Lashley:

So she looks at me and then she says, well, that child had cancer. Don’t you know that? And I said, yes, doctor, I do understand that. However, the nursing staff called about a disturbance. And when we arrived, we could hear mom all the way down the hallway, yelling and cussing at midnight. There’s other parents standing outside the door, looking really worried and angry. It was a cancer unit and that pediatric cancer. So you have to think about all of those patients being frightened and woke up. So, we responded immediately. He said, you just threw her out? And I said, no, that’s not how we’re trained to respond. I said, I approached her at a respectful distance. I introduced myself like I did to you. Hi, my name’s Joel I’m security supervisor on duty.

Joel Lashley:

I said, then I asked her if she could stop yelling and cursing and let her know that I was there to help. And she said, well, what’d she say? She said, F you and F them kids. So then I really explained why it’s important and told her what I can do for her. I said, ma’am if we can walk over to this conference room so I can call the social worker for you. I said, I can call the hospitalist, the physician on call might answer any questions you have. Patient relations… I said, whatever your issue is, I’m not going to go anywhere. I’m at your disposal to help address your issues. But can I ask you to please stop yelling and cursing because you’re waking and frightening the children and they need to rest.

Joel Lashley:

And we’re worried about your daughter as well, that she gets the rest that she needs. And she said, F you and it’s a free country, F you a little dog too, kept yelling and screaming. So when the doctor said, well, so you just threw out. And I said, no, I didn’t do that. I said, at that point, we’re trained to give them their options. So I said, ma’am we have a couple of them. I said, if you go with me to the conference room, stop waking the children, said I can call anybody, or help you in any way that I can. But if you insist on yelling and screaming, we’re going to have to escort you out of the hospital. Don’t want to do that. Rather you to come over and join me over here and we can work on your problem.

Joel Lashley:

And she said, well, what’d she say then? And she said, F them kids and F you too. Doctor said, okay, I get it. So I understand you did everything you could. I said, then you threw out. I said, no, I didn’t throw her out. And she looked at me kind of puzzled like, you didn’t? And said, why not? I said, well, at that point in our training, we’re supposed to give them an opportunity to change their mind, to reconsider. Well, so I said, ma’am is there anything I can say to get you to stop yelling and cursing so I can help you rather than escort you out of the hospital? I’d like to think so. But at that point she just kept yelling and screaming so we didn’t have any choice. We couldn’t just leave her there, yelling and screaming and frightening and disturbing the other parents and children. And doctor said, and then you finally threw her out?

Joel Lashley:

Yeah, I said. Well, you’re a nicer person than I am. That’s what she said to me. So she went from wanting my head on a platter to saying, wow you took a lot more crap than I would have. This is essentially what she said. If I had just shown up and said, well, I did everything I could, but she just wouldn’t listen to reason. That’s not good enough. We have to be able to articulate the steps we took. And all we have to do is repeat our training. And then we can write that in our report. Then we can do, I, officer Lashley, arrived on even such, such time on such date and due to a disturbance call and met with Mrs. Smith. And then I get in the why and how. I observed that she was yelling and screaming and disturbing the other patients and parents. Other parents were stepping out of the room.

Joel Lashley:

And then I arrived, did my universal greeting. I can articulate even how I announced myself. So no one says you just rushed in. No, I didn’t. I stood five feet away, which is part of the proxemics that we train at Vistelar. I gave them a universal greeting. Hi, my name is Joel. The reason I’m here, I’m the security supervisor on duty. The reason I’m here is I could hear you down the hallway. That seems to be a disturbance. So do you have any questions? Can you tell me what’s got you so upset today, ma’am? That relevant question. And then I’m able to say that I asked them to stop and told them why. I’m able to say I offered them options and they took the bad one. And then I’m able to say, I gave him a last chance, an opportunity to reconsider and they didn’t take that.

Joel Lashley:

And so that we were forced to then escort them out of the facility. Good for court. Good for that patient’s doctor. Maybe even good for that patient, that mother’s husband. Because, after you’ve done this for a while, I’ve had wives call me and say, Hey, thanks for throwing the old man out last night. This particular woman, she wrote a letter to the president of the hospital. Thanking me for my recent… said I treated her with respect and apologizing for her behavior that night. I never got a letter for finding somebody’s car. I never got a letter for a lost person. I got letters for throwing people out of hospitals though. It’s not what you do, it’s how you do it. It’s like the police officer who gets lots of thank you this when he writes people tickets. It’s because of the way they do it. It’s not what they do, it’s how they say it.

Brine Hamilton:

Couldn’t agree more. Now, one thing that you said early on there was when you’re talking about articulating the behavior. One thing that I used to teach managers, even in terms of performance management, and it applies to this as well, but you want to focus on the behavior. So you want to actually really describe that. Not just say the person was being rude or they were being disrespectful. You want to articulate that and say, okay, what were they doing that was rude? What were they doing that was disrespectful? What were the behaviors that they exhibited?

Joel Lashley:

Yeah. And that’s so important. It really means everything because disrespect is subjective. It’s your opinion what’s disrespectful but yelling isn’t subjective. They were yelling, shouting. They said, call me an M-Fer. That’s not, that’s objective. That’s disrespectful wherever you go. You call people names, call fat people fat, racial epithets. Those are some, those are objective. Those are disrespectful in everybody’s worldview.

Brine Hamilton:

So one thing I want to hit on, Joel, is in terms of training. So when you’re training security officers to write reports, what are some of the things that you’re trying to really focus on or identify through that process? In terms of just their abilities to actually properly articulate what transpired?

Joel Lashley:

Okay. Well, the first… In order to do that, first we have to train them, have to train them in defensive tactics. The stabilization tactics: their verbal, non-escalation, de-escalation, crisis management, racism, all that stuff, .. We have to train them that thoroughly, help them understand it, demonstrate it, articulate it, and then we can teach them how to report it. Because when we say ‘I went in and I stabilized that patient’, then they’re able to articulate, I approached perpendicular to the bed, my hands above my waist. As the patient reached up, I stabilized his right arm at the wrist and the elbow onto the mattress. And then, you get the idea. So they’re able to articulate then, through the lens of their training, what they’re doing. We can’t do it backwards. They have to be trained first and then we can train them to report what they do. So really if we’re having people hit the floor right away, which often happens in hospitals. Is there going through the training period, and they’re being accompanied by, hopefully, by a training officer. That as they’re being trained, if they’re going through a different defensive tactics courses and stuff, they can rely on their training officers to guide them through the reporting process until they’re completely trained and able to generate the report based on the common language themselves.

Joel Lashley:

I don’t know if that’s the answer that you were looking for, Brine.

Brine Hamilton:

No, that’s good.

Joel Lashley:

Okay.

Brine Hamilton:

Okay. I’ll wrap it up here. Well, thanks Joel. That’s some great stuff there. Now, is there anything I haven’t asked you yet that you’d like to discuss at this point?

Joel Lashley:

No, I got… Yeah, I guess I would just like…I think it’s important to emphasize for people that communications training is less about what you say and how you say it. And people know that, but what does that mean, really? Nonverbal communication is something that we have to train on when we’re teaching people these skills. Their tone of voice, the volume of their voice, all behavior equalizes. As security people, we have to demonstrate confidence, concern. We have to lead people down with this. You can’t force them to calm down. Even though we try real hard, it never works. Calm down! We have to learn to lead them down. Once we learn to lead them down and put them to sleep with our presence, then you’ll get really good at this job.

Brine Hamilton:

Awesome stuff. Well, Joel, thank you for taking the time. Thank you for letting us benefit from your experience in the field. I think there is some great discussion here and I appreciate it.

Joel Lashley:

Okay. I really enjoyed it, Brine. Thanks.