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Category: managing violence & aggression

Discover why Anger Management is all the Rage

It’ no surprise that with the current economic climate that people are becoming more and more angry.

Let’s face it we all have a right to be angry at the moment.

Who is not angry with the banks for bringing the world economy to its knees? with our Local Authorities cutting services, and of course we have the expenses scandal and the newspapers taping our phones and invading our privacy.

People have every right to be angry but what they don’t have is a right to be hostile and abusive towards others.

Anger in the workplace:

With the current government cut backs many employees are experiencing increased workloads, are having extra duties placed upon them, their pay frozen or cut all of which can lead to increased stress levels.

Psychologists have identified three different types of personality

Type A: These individuals are aggressive, impatient, competitive, hit the roof if they have to stand in a queue or some-one has the audacity to be a few minutes late for a meeting with them.

These individuals appear to be completely stressed out and rushing around but not really getting very far.

Who remembers the actor John Cleese’s in Fawlty Towers demonstrating a perfect example of the above

Type B: These individuals are the total opposite to the above as they always appear to be calm and relaxed even in a crisis they are able to rationalise the situation and make those around them feel completely at ease.

Again going back to the TV Bobby Ewan in the famous sit com Dallas typified the type 2

constantly staying calm and rational whist battling with his type A brother JR always, Bobby always trying to do what is right and fair for every-one and rarely getting emotional.

Type C: Tend to bottle up their emotions and if challenged will usually total deny that there is anything wrong.

This type is often the most difficult to deal with as they can explode on you without warning.

In conflict resolution training we talk about the pre-attack triggers, Warning & Danger signs and the importance of identifying and responding appropriately to these signals to diffuse and prevent escalation.

Type C’s are often experts at hiding their emotions and don’t need to be triggered as they are already there waiting to move onto the next stage of the assault cycle escalation in many cases this is compounded by the fact that the person they eventually explode on is not the person they are angry with but some innocent bystander who was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

How many times have you watched the news on the television about some tragedy involving some-one going on a killing spree shooting neighbours, relatives, colleagues, or total strangers and you hear people who knew them being interviewed saying things like they were perfect neighbours, friends or colleagues very quiet, kept themselves to themselves etc.

Examples of the above include the Hungerford disaster (Michael Ryan), Dunblane Massacre: (Thomas Hamilton), Kimbra Taxi driver (Derrick Bird) and Raoul Moat who taunted Northumberland police prior to taking his own life.

The perfect solution for the workplace is to only employ type B’s if you want to have a safe and enjoyable place to work, but reality is not like that.

I suspect most people reading this like myself have worked with both type A’s & type C’s

These individuals if not checked are a burden to both others and themselves.

Attending a good Conflict Resolution training course will help staff identify types A & C.

Conflict resolution training will also give staff the necessary tool kit they need to identify the triggers, the Warning & Danger signs enabling them to apply the appropriate diffusion strategies.

Types A & C could also benefit from conflict resolution training and benefit further by attending a Stress Management training course

Brooks Jordan Training Services training provide training on both Conflict Resolution, Stress Management and a host of Corporate Management training programmes.

For more information please visit our web site http://www.brooksjordan.co.uk

Handling Conflict

Consequences of  failing to provide Conflict Management training:

Five things you need to know about handling conflict in the workplace if you want to protect your staff and avoid an expensive prosecution and adverse publicity.

A recent Magistrates Court prosecution brought by the Health and Safety Executive last month (January 2012) demonstrates the costs for organisations which fail to invest in training aimed at addressing work place violence, refer to article below.

Social care workers exposed to violence and aggression

A social care organisation has been fined for exposing workers to the risk of violence and aggression.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) launched an investigation at Dimensions (UK) Ltd, a not-for-profit organisation that provides support services for people with learning disabilities, after a support worker was kicked in the eye by a client on 31 December 2009.
The investigation revealed that between March 2009 and December 2010, Dimensions did not have adequate processes in place to control the risk of workers being exposed to violence and aggression.

Dimensions (UK) Ltd, in Reading, was fined a total of £14,000 and ordered to pay £30,000 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching Section 2(1) and Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

So how can organisations be sure they are compliant with current Health & Safety legislation?

1. To comply with current Health & Safety legislation employers must carry out a Risk Assessment and have Policies & Procedures in place to address potential workplace violence.

2. The risk assessment must be carried out by a competent person. In reality this is usually carried out by individual/individuals who have personal knowledge with the working practices and any potential high risk duties that employees are responsible for carrying out.

3. Policies and Procedures must be put in place with control measures to address the identified issues to reduce risk as far as is practical.

4. If training issues are identified e.g. the need for Personal Safety, Conflict resolution/Management, Breakaway Skills or Physical Intervention Skills training this must be addressed.

5. A system/ procedure for recording Critical Incidents must be put into place.
Continual assessment must take place to establish that the policies and training are having the desired effect in reducing incidents of workplace violence.
Staff must be encouraged to complete a critical incident form for every incident even if the incident appears trivial or it was a near miss.

These reports must be reviewed on a regular basis and further control measures should be put in place if ongoing issues are identified.

Should an incident occur which results a serious to an employee the enforcing government body the Health & Safety Executive will be checking that the above criterion has been adhered to?
Failure to address any of the five above stages will normally result in a prosecution.

As can be seen from the above prosecution failure to invest in Conflict Management training can be costly for an organisation and lead to bad/adverse publicity.

During the trial at Newcastle Magistrates Court particular reference was made to the fact that due to lack of training the employee was not able to recognise the triggers which precede a violent assault and that no control measures had been put into place after previous incidents and near misses.

Sources: Workplace Law  http://www.hse.gov.uk/press/2012/coi-ne-00812.htm

Here at Brooks Jordan training services we are finding that more and more organisations are now sending their staff on Personal Safety, Conflict Management and Physical Intervention training courses even before they actually take up their current employment duties which will obviously give them and their staff much greater protection.

This is actually mandatory now in many organisations e.g. the Security Industry.
Prior to commencing employment as a door supervisor or event steward employees will need to attend an accredited level 2 award (City & Guilds 1884 Conflict Resolution or equivalent).

For more information about training in Workplace Violence. Personal Safety, & Conflict Management visit our web site: www.brooksjordan.co.uk

Conflict Management in the workplace

There are many causes of workplace conflict & there are few organisations that do not experience this at some time or other.

Causes include poor management, individual anger management problems, stress possibly due to a bad working environment or problems at home this list is not exhaustive.

Below is an example of the tragic consequences of stress/conflict in the workplace not being addressed.

Teacher arrested on suspicion of attempted murder
Pupil allegedly hit with a dumbbell.

Teacher Peter Harvey not guilty over dumbbell assault on pupil
A teacher who beat a boy’s head with a dumbbell while shouting “die, die, die” walked free from court yesterday after being cleared of attempted murder because he was mentally unwell and had been tormented by the pupil.
In a case that raised doubts about whether there was sufficient help available for stressed teachers struggling with disruptive children, Peter Harvey, 50, was cleared after the jury deliberated for little more than an hour. He was also cleared of grievous bodily harm with intent.
You can read the full story here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/jul/09/teacher-arrested-mansfield
Peter Harvey did not go into work on that particular day with the intention of attacking a pupil with a set of dumbbells that would be totally illogical, but when adrenalin kicks in logic goes out the window.
For an assault such as this to take place a person first needs to be triggered
Road rage is a good example of this the trigger normally being someone cutting you up.
This sends a message to the brain that danger is imminent and chemicals are released at the speed of Concorde as we enter into the flight or fight mode.
Peter Harvey did not need to be triggered on that particular day he was already triggered from previous encounters with certain pupils who had been constantly baiting him and he was entering the next stage on the “Assault Cycle” Escalation which led to the Crisis stage where the attack took place.
Could Conflict Resolution/Management training have prevent this
One of the elements contained in conflict resolution training is Non verbal communication, we can-not not communicate identifying the early Warning and Danger signs are the key to prevention in cases such as this.
Stress is a major contributor to conflict and conflict increases at particular times of the year.
We have just got to the end of another year and listening to the news as I was writing this article I was saddened to hear that there had been at least one death each and every day through the festive session in the UK alone that was caused through some kind of conflict.
The world would be a better/safer place to live if conflict was identified (in others & self) and dealt with in the early stages and this can only be achieved with training.
Brooks Jordan work with schools throughout the UK to provide Conflict Resolution to teenagers to prepare them for the challengers they will encounter as they move into the adult world and we wonder is it not now the time to have this training as part of the national curriculum .

For information about the training provided by Brooks Jordan please go to: www.brooksjordan.co.uk

Or contact Chris email address: chris@brooksjordan.co.uk or telephone on 01623 407793

Conflict Resolution training

What is Conflict Resolution or as it is sometimes called Conflict Management training?

Conflict Resolution/Management training courses often cover a wide area.

The training usually contains elements of Personal Safety/Lone Working and managing difficult/potentially violent individuals.

Conflict Resolution training can also include Disengagement, Breakaway Skills and even Physical Intervention training, e.g. the new door supervisors training course now includes both Breakaway Skills training & Physical Intervention training which are nationally accredited and fully endorsed by both the SIA and Skills for Security.

However the security industry, the medical profession and law enforcement agencies all agree that Physical Intervention should always be the last resort and only considered when all other options have failed.

The starting point prior to training in conflict resolution is to find out what issues the contracting organisation is experiencing and the initial assessment should include a full training needs analysis.

This will allow the course designers to prepared relevant work related scenarios for delegates to work with during the training.

Communication skills need to be explored and delegates need to be able to use the relevant Communication skill tools to practice diffusion techniques when working through their work related scenarios.

Delegates also need to able to identify different types of conflict that they may experience which can be divided into three broad areas as follows.

  • Conflict in the work place: e.g. conflict with colleagues, management, work place bullying etc.
  • Conflict with service users: individuals whom the engage with outside their own organisation.
  • Conflict within ourselves: Anger management issues.

All three elements can often be found in one organisation and if not managed this can have a devastating effect on staff morale and in the worst case scenario even bring down an entire organisation.

There are many reasons for conflict in the work place and the conflict needs to be identified and dealt with swiftly before it escalates into something far more serious.

Training in this area is far more difficult than in the other two categories.

The training needs analysis will often identify numerous training issues and different training needs, e.g. one to one training (anger management issues), Individual group work, and whole group participation.

The training will need to be delivered by highly qualified and experienced trainers.

Qualifications should include a general teacher/trainer qualification (Ptlls) or an equivalent qualification. A qualification in communication skills, e.g. NLP or TA (ideally both), and finally a recognised Conflict Resolution qualification such as the level 3 award in Conflict management.

Trainers need also to have personal experience of dealing with conflict and ideally have considerable counselling skills.

In my January 2012 blog I will be identifying the causers of workplace conflict and how to address these to create a better working environment for staff and management alike.

For information about conflict resolution training go to our web site: www.brooksjordan.co.uk or email Chris @brooksjordan.co.uk

Brooks Jordan chosen to deliver ‘Independence Day’ training for St Bede’s School East Sussex

Brooks Jordan is working with St Bede’s School in East Sussex to deliver personal safety training to students preparing to leave school for a gap year or to go to university.

When St Bede’s first approached Brooks Jordan they asked for breakaway skills training for their year 11 pupils but after the first booking, Senior Tutor Coranne Laws booked an additional date with managing violence & aggression trainers Chris Jordan and his team of experts for sixth formers.  Coranne commented,

‘We booked Brooks Jordan as part of a scheduled Personal Safety Day for year 11 students with the aim of preparing our students for the potential risks associated with the greater freedom and autonomy they begin to experience as they move into adulthood. We were looking to provide our students with some practical advice and techniques to enable them to avoid and manage possible threats to their personal safety when in the community, particularly in the evenings.’

Coranne went on to explain why St Bede’s had found Brooks Jordan’s training so useful;

‘The year 11 sessions were very successful, student feedback was positive and supervising staff supported the view that the Brooks Jordan sessions were excellent. Students were taught to understand aggressive body language and how to use their own body language to de-escalate potentially aggressive situations. Following this success we decided to book them again to train year 13 students, this time focusing specifically on preparing students for moving away to University. The trainers shared their knowledge of crimes commonly committed against students and gave advice to enable them to avoid common pitfalls.

Our 6th formers appreciated the opportunity to discuss strategies and techniques and found the chance to practice breakaway techniques both enjoyable and empowering.’

Director Chris Jordan commented:

‘The training is about raising awareness, getting young people to consider potential risks and to plan ahead.  It’s also about looking out for each other when socialising – what might be regarded in police parlance as ‘target hardening.’

We’re delighted that St Bede’s School has chosen Brooks Jordan to deliver personal safety training to its pupils. The school is pleased with our work and we look forward to working with them for many years to come.


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