De-Escalation of Interpersonal Conflict

Course Preview

Course Author(s)

Randy Means J.D. - Randy Means & Associates (

Course Summary

In human relations, nothing works every time and there is no communicative prescription that will always be effective. That said, our study of social science and our own deep experience in law enforcement both tell us that some strategies and methods work better than others, and in more instances. We proceed from that understanding.

In the context of this training, “non-escalation” means making decisions and choosing behaviors that are unlikely to agitate a situation and make it worse.  Verbal and non-verbal communication skills are the key.  By the time we are involved in a real physical altercation, most opportunity for meaningful bi-lateral communication is gone, at least for the moment.

“De-escalation” techniques refer to those decisions and behaviors that tend to reduce emotional tension, aid in problem solving, and thereby reduce the likelihood of the need for force.  Attempts at rationality can be useful if the subject is still processing logic. And, if de-escalation succeeds in reducing emotional tension, there may be a corresponding increase in the subject’s ability to hear logic and other rational persuasions, which could then win the day.

This course will cover, in detail, the following material:

  • Mindful listening
  • Using your emotional intelligence
  • Asking questions, reframing, and paraphrasing
  • Visualization: changing our response to our “hot buttons”
  • Arrive mentally prepared
  • Verbal language: our word choices
  • Cooperation and compliance
  • Police and customer service


Course Syllabus

  • Module 1 - De-Escalation of Interpersonal Conflict

    • Introduction by Randy Means J.D.
    • General Introduction
    • Communication Skills and Emotional Intelligence
    • Mindful Listening
    • Using Your Training in Emotional Intelligence
    • Visualization
    • Arrive Mentally Prepared
    • Verbal Language: Our Word Choices
    • Cooperation and Compliance
    • Customer Service
    • Summary by Randy Means J.D.
    • Assessment
  • Module 2 - De-Escalation: Real World Application

    • The Reality of De-escalation
    • De-escalation Skills Training
    • Example: Man with Machete
    • Example: Man Armed with Knife
    • Example: Attempted Suicide by Cop
    • Example: Arrest Depressed Man
  • Module 3 - Final Assessment

    • Assessment