Those of you who have been reading my blog regularly will know all about the POLITE System we have developed for our conflict resolution training. If not here are my previous posts on positioning, observation and listening which are the first three letters from the POLITE system.

The de brief process has been created to help those people who do their training sessions and learn useful strategies but then forget what they have learned.

The idea is that the de brief is held after any incident has occurred which included some level of aggression or even violence. The process I have created includes a number of questions based on our POLITE model, which will examine each of the areas I have discussed before. For example: What was your position compared to the service user? Were you stood up or sat down etc etc?

From this line of questioning it will quickly become evident what they could have done differently. The victim is able to discuss/vent with their line manager about how they feel and how they could have handled the situation differently, so the next time a similar situation arises they know how to deal with it more effectively.

The de brief should be integrated, where possible, into your everyday working, so it gives the staff members an element of structure. My belief is if it becomes a system that is used every time there is an incident, the staff member won’t feel picked on because it’s a standard process and they expect it to happen.

Even better if the leanings are shared with their colleagues, the team becomes much more used to dealing with conflict and real life scenarios.

All of the information collected from the de briefs can then be collated and used as direct feedback in future scenario based training therefore continuously improving the training.

The reason why our armed forces are so effective is because they have a standard procedure of de briefing. They look at what went well and what could have been done better and that’s what you should be doing here.

So here is the de brief in full.

There is no excuse for abusive or aggressive behaviour by a service user and it is important to avoid placing any blame on a victim in any incident of work related violence. Going through this process of reflection will help to ensure that individuals can stay as safe as possible if a similar incident should happen in future, and embeds good practice.

It is important to share learning with colleagues as there might be information about a particular individual or group of people who have been identified as particularly difficult or threatening. It could also include effective ways that an individual has found for solving particular problems.

  1. Position What was your Position compared to the service user? (You stood up or sat down, service user stood up or sat down, how far away, directly facing, angled, behind obstacle.)
  2. Observation What did you observe? (Service user moving forward, service user moving back, single syllables, body language.)
  3. Listening What level of listening did you employ? (1 not listening, 2 pretending listening, 3 selective listening, 4 active listening, 5 empathic listening.)
  4. Intuition what was your intuition telling you? (get out of here, I can handle this, I’m not scared, I’m out of my depth, I’m getting through to them now.)
  5. Talking what questions were you asking? (5WH- What? Where? Who? When? Why? How? )
  6. Emotional State Control what was your emotional state like? (Your mood, your attitude, your behaviour, tiredness, had enough; I’m not taking this, how in control of your emotions are you?)

I am interested to hear what would you add to this list and why?