Top Ten List of De-escalation Techniques
(The “P’s” of de-escalation)

1.Proximity - when facing an upset person, it is almost always better to be farther away than too close.

2.Pace - when we get nervous we tend to rush our responses or think too deeply.  Be conscious of when your anxiety level is heightened and slow down when required and speed up when necessary.

3.Purpose - anything you say and do during tense situations may communicate a real or imagined meaning to the upset person.  Act and speak with purpose.

4.Process - don’t allow yourself to get caught up in the process of de-escalation.  Stay flexible and adjust your responses and behavior to the situation.

5.Plan - whenever possible, think through anticipated difficult sessions and meetings.  Imagine as many “what ifs” as you can and develop plans of how you will respond.

6.Practice - Practice how you will be with that challenging person.  Remember, perfect practice makes perfect.

7.Presentation - give prior thought to the form and style of how you will present upsetting information.  Some people need to receive bad news alone.   Others need to have visible support when dealing with stressful situations.

8.Pivot - when it is clear that the upset person is too upset to calm down or is invested in being upset, use the (Feel/Felt/Found) technique to manage their behavior. 

9.Persuasion - in order to be persuasive it is important that you have accurate and relevant information about the upset persons' issues.   Do your homework.

10.Pre-empt - sometimes you have an idea as to the other person’s agenda.  If you think that what you have discovered is a major issue, present your solutions early on to prevent the individual from beginning to escalate.