We have a training program at the Institute that is more or less the cousin of the Nonviolent Crisis Intervention® training program. It is called the Prepare Training® program. It is designed for those who work in markets like higher education, hotels, hospitality, government, libraries, manufacturing, transportation, casinos, nightclubs and retail. It focuses on providing for the best Respect, Service, and Safety of everyone in markets like the ones described whether it involves customers, coworkers or visitors to the workplace. It is a program I have facilitated many times in the past and still occasionally do. Like many trainers I try to personalize the program so that I can communicate my passion for the techniques and philosophy advocated in the program.


I think about my father who just celebrated his 84th birthday. He is a strong, proud man who has always sacrificed for his family. He has been an inspiration to me and I love him dearly. He is beginning to suffer from the effects of dementia. He often forgets things and can sometimes get confused. I think to myself how I would want him to be treated if he were in your hotel or on your bus. If he was confused and not following direction. If he began to challenge you or started talking about things that were totally unrelated to the issue at hand. I ask myself how I would want him treated.


I also think of my wife. She was born in Vietnam and English is her second language. We met in Saigon and moved to the United States back in 2000. I am extremely proud of her and cannot imagine life without her. Although she is easily understood most of the time, she can have trouble understanding the language. Colloquial English terms and idiomatic phrases are often confusing to her, yet that is how most American born speakers of English communicate. I have learned to simplify my English and use whatever Vietnamese phrases I can when communicating with her. Most people don’t know to do that or how to and as a result, communication is sometimes garbled and frustrating for both parties. I can relate as I experienced the same thing when I lived overseas. I think to myself how I would want her to be treated if she were in your store or having to go to the DMV to get her drivers’ license reissued. If she did not understand your explanation or know how to follow the procedure. I ask myself how I would want her to be treated.


And then I think of my son. From the day he was born, I knew he was everything I had ever wanted in a boy. I love him so much that I can’t even describe it. Unlike his father, he is rather shy and quiet. He often spends time alone in his own little world and doesn’t often crave group activities. He would rather throw the football around in the backyard with his old man than join a football team. He can take a long time to express himself and sometimes is stymied altogether on how to communicate his feelings or reveal his misunderstanding of a subject or issue. He does not have any learning disabilities, cognitive issues or developmental challenges; he is just an introverted and bashful boy. I think to myself how I would want him to be treated if he were in your library or at your restaurant. If he could not tell you what he needed or didn’t respond to your question. I ask myself how I would want him treated. And then I know the answer.


I would want all of them treated with the best Respect, Service, and Safety that any of you could muster. I would want them to be treated with patience and kindness. I would want them to be safe no matter what the circumstances. Wouldn’t you want the same for the people in your life who you love and cherish?


For more information on how to help your employees help others, please visit the Prepare Training® website.