Archive for May, 2016

NVCM for Customer Service Personnel

May 16th, 2016 Comments off

Non-Violent Confrontation Management (NVCM)–what is that? It is the art of de-escalating a potentially volatile situation by verbal and non-verbal techniques. In this modern age of workplace violence awareness, it is something that should be part of your basic training for employees who face the public, clients or customers, or others who are involved with your business and might have a complaint or more serious ax to grind.  Just about any business that provides services to the public has probably had incidents where a person got very emotionally charged and out of hand due to one, or both parties, failing to control the situation and letting their frustration and emotions get the better of them. Receptionists, salespeople, customer service representatives, hospitality staff, health care staff, public servants, etc., are all types of employees who could benefit from this kind of training. Often these positions are filled with people whose personality or technical skill got them the job. However, they need some additional tools when the people they have to engage with turn nasty or even potentially violent! Organizations owe these employees the training to help them deal with those circumstances.

Let me be clear that this NVCM training is not intended to help in situations that have already become extremely aggressive or violent. That’s entirely a different type of training. NVCM training applies when a situation is just beginning to show signs of stress, tension, emotion, or some loss of rational behavior. Regaining control before things get out of hand is the goal.

This type of training should include the following components:

  • Recognition of possible underlying factors
  • Recognition of the role fear plays in the engagement
  • Understanding the stages of escalating behavior
  • Verbal de-escalation techniques
  • Non-verbal de-escalation techniques
  • Environment/location alternatives
  • Setting limits
  • Posturing and body positioning for safety
  • Notification systems (getting help discretely)
  • Deciding when to break contact and seek assistance
  • Recovery –regaining calm and control

Many of these lessons I’ve learned as a police officer, doing close personal protection, and workplace violence consulting. I was able to defuse and avoid many confrontational situations that might have gotten worse if I didn’t understand these concepts. Give your employees the same tools. You owe it to them for their safety. For more information about courses available visit


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