5 Things You Might Not Know About Crisis Intervention

October 4, 2013
Two pairs of hands clasped together.

How can a boring day be a good day?

I wanted to share with you some truisms that I have discovered and promoted over the years. I hope you find them useful and applicable to your trainings and workplace.

1. Crisis intervention does not have to be complex.

Sometimes people overthink the idea of behavior management or have the perception that you need an advanced degree to understand the skills.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

What we present in our courses are basic, universal communication skills that just about anyone can learn in a couple days.

That’s not to say that you will walk out of a seminar being an expert in crisis prevention and intervention. What people do attain in most cases is validation that what they’re currently doing to manage behavior is almost identical to what CPI promotes. They also get a structure and models that help them make better decisions to get better outcomes.

And with practice, support, time, and consistent implementation, many do become experts!

2. Intervening in a crisis is not a race.

In most situations, time is on your side.

Many interventions require some time to produce the results you’re looking for. There’s no schedule to keep, time clock to punch, or crisis situation that’s going to turn into a pumpkin if you don’t hurry up.

There really is no reason to manage quickly in most cases.

Besides, as I have told training participants frequently, crisis intervention doesn’t take time, it saves time! So time needn’t be an issue.

3. Crisis intervention is more about managing your own behavior and less about managing the behavior of others.

Crisis intervention is not something you “do” to somebody.

It’s an approach. It’s an attitude. It’s a belief system and a personal culture.

Once that belief system has been put in place and that culture has been nurtured, then, and only then, are you ready to manage the behavior of others. I have never witnessed or heard about anybody who was out of control themselves and then able to handle an agitated person. It just doesn't work that way.

4. The most successful crisis intervention situations are the ones you never hear about.

We advocate for being proactive and preventing a crisis before it can actually become one. There will be no newspaper stories about something that did not take place. We recommend managing situations at an early stage and low level before it can escalate any further. You will see no YouTube videos of something that is so mundane.

Drama, fireworks, and showmanship can actually indicate that we could have handled a situation better.

I define success by the degree of dullness in my day. A boring day is an indication that my staff prevented and handled situations so well that it never made the evening news. That’s a good day!

5. Crisis intervention is everyone’s responsibility.

I’m not concerned about what someone wears to work. I’m not impressed by the number or nature of their degrees or credentials. I don’t care if someone doesn’t have direct contact with customers. Everyone is just as responsible for safety as I am, and I will never accept the excuse that ensuring safety is not someone’s job.

A rising tide lifts ALL boats.

If you enjoy the benefits of a safer workplace, you should share in the responsibilities of producing it. After all, the biggest winners are the people we serve.

Isn’t that a great reason to be involved in the learning process?

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