tradecraft…use of force [continued]

juvenile justice case files: use of force (the aftermath)

when i left off in the last post, i had just ‘taken a kid down’ and had him in a control hold on the ground (awaiting back-up)…

well, back-up did arrive…in the form of four other staff members…who all grabbed a limb and help me restrain the young man…

after a while, we were able to get him calmed down and into one of the quiet rooms near the staff office…i thanked them all for their help and they went back to their kids…

by then it was shift change and other staff began to show-up…after i had filled them in on the day’s events, they took over running the kids through their routines while i sat in the office and “wrote up the incident” (everything gets documented–especially, in cases like this–when you have to restrain a child/use force)

of the staff that were now “on shift”, one of them was my supervisor …he looked over my report and we talked about what happened…he said that i handled things well, best i could, given the situation…he said he would handle processing with brett…then, he asked me a really interesting question:

supervisor: do you know why he acted that way? i mean, do you know why he might’ve acted that way, today, specifically?

(i thought about it for a minute)

me: …a bad day?

supervisor: today’s your last day, right? your last shift. he’s on your case-load and you’ve got a good relationship with him…we see this happen sometimes…he knows you’re leaving and he wanted your attention…for some kids, for some of the kids that come through here…to act out, it’s the only way they know how to get ‘that attention’…

then he got up, shook my hand and said, “hate to lose you, good luck”…and went back to working with the kids…

and i was left there, in the quiet of the office, with that thought…

anyways…

regarding the use of force:

  • sometimes you have to use force to keep people safe;
  • federal, state and local law enforcement agencies do a good job of instructing their officers in the use of force; juvenile correctional agencies don’t always do a good job of that (if i had relied solely on the techniques that they had showed me–during a half-hour training–i wouldn’t have been able to control the youth or the situation);
  • if you’re in juvenile corrections you might want to consider self-defense/martial arts training…add it to your repertoire…it just might make the difference in the way a situation is resolved (i studied judo and aikido and those skills have served me well…there are other arts that are equally effective);
  • appropriate use of force is key; the amount of force i used was necessary and reasonable in order to gain control of the youth–it was not excessive; unfortunately, there are some people in this line of work who like to “get physical” or “thump” kids…and who take things too far…not cool…we don’t need those kind of people in this profession

tradecraft…use of force

while it’s true that your voice is your most important tool in herding cats…

sometimes words aren’t enough…

sometimes, no matter what you say–a kid will take it to the next level and the situation will escalate…so, what do you do then???

well, first let me say that this post primarily relates to working with kids in juvenile justice settings…though (nowadays) it could apply to those working in schools or other youth settings…

so, if they escalate–if they take it to the next level…you may have to “go hands-on” with a juvenile or “physically restrain” a child in your care…it’s a fact…

if you’ve been following the blog then you know that i’ve talked about takedowns before…though the focus of those other posts was different and the takedown that was referenced was, most often, peripheral to the main point of the post…

the story i’m going to share is significant for two reasons: 1) it highlights the importance of the use of force and defensive tactics in this profession (valuable skills to have) and 2) it was i time when i was pretty much on my own to “make the call” to use force…in this case, i was the only person that was going to stop someone from getting hurt…

let’s start off with a classic clip from jackie chan…to get us fired-up for the story…

now, that you’re sufficiently prepared for this…let’s get to the real life story…

juvenile justice case files: use of force (the incident)

it all started out as a normal day at the idaho youth ranch (a minimum-secure juvenile facility in central idaho)…i showed up for my day shift on saturday morning at 7:00 am…upon arrival, i greeted the night staff and we visited for a little while before getting down to business…then, we started “wake-up” and “morning chores” (each kid had an area of the unit, in addition to his own room, that he was responsible for keeping clean–the tasks didn’t take too long to complete, typically) before heading out to breakfast…

we were about an hour into our morning routine when the first curve ball came…it was the time when my ‘regular partner’ would normally show up and replace the night staff…except, on this particular morning my partner didn’t make it in…eventually, the call came and we got word from a supervisor that my partner was out sick and a sub would be there (shortly) …the sub who showed up was an older woman, late 50s…and someone who didn’t normally “work on the units” with the kids…so, when she got there i thought…this should be interesting

so, we got them through chores, breakfast, and onto to the day’s activities (which included some time in the gym, doing “house activities”, and with their horses-it’s a ranch after all-giddy up!)…throughout the day some of the kids were getting a little “mouthy” with each other–this could be best described as low-level, aggravating verbal exchanges that would flare up occassionaly…par for the course in this kind of work (in juvenile justice, most of your time is spent reminding kids about “what the expectations are” and redirecting them when they’re not doing what they need to–and, giving consequences, if needed; a lot of the kids who end up in these facilities have never had anyone set “boundaries” or “limits” for their behaviors…so, that was our role:)…anyways, early on i had a bad feeling in my gut…like something more serious was simmering just below the surface…

well, through lunch and into the early afternoon activities the initial low-level aggravation  grew into a larger unrest within the group…specifically, between two kids on my case load…kids we’ll call brett and andy…

their increased unrest was enough of a reason/warning sign to change the day’s plan..so, after conferring with my partner, i told the group we were heading back to the unit for some quiet time (where all residents would be in their rooms and quiet for a half-hour) to settle things down…during the walk back, brett and andy were still “going at each other” (verbally)…and their peers and i were trying to redirect them–at that time, the idaho youth ranch operated under a therapeutic philosophy called the “positive peer culture”…where the juveniles had a large stake in redirecting, confronting and helping their peers…and, generally speaking, such an environment had its advantages when trying to get the kids to comply with their program requirements (i mean, i could say something to a kid that he may or may not hear…but, when it’s a peer-especially in those teen years-it carries a lot of weight)…

anyways, neither the peers’ comments nor mine made any difference to brett and andy…they continued on in that same manner…and because we weren’t getting through, my next move was going to be ‘to speak with brett and andy individually’ while the others were in their rooms for quiet time…to try to head off any major trouble at the pass–but, as it turns out…i never got the chance to do that…

once we were “back on the unit”, i told all the kids to head to their rooms for quiet time…and every single youth complied, except for brett and andy…not only that, but their exchange got ‘more heated’…with brett beginning to threaten andy (like he was going to hurt him)…

it’s funny…i remember exactly where everyone was at this moment…it’s burned into my memory–andy was on my left, at the end of a hallway that led down to a series of rooms (including his own); brett was on my right, in the common room just outside the staff office (his room was not in the same hallway as andy’s); across from me, forming up the last corner of the diamond was my “partner for the day” (and she looked worried)…and honestly, i couldn’t blame her…i was worried, too…my heart was beating fast–i was sweating and hoping it wouldn’t go to the next level, you know…i don’t care who you are, but situations like this are extremely stressful, tense and unpredictable–and most people don’t like it when things escalate to this point…to the edge of physical conflict or violence…

so, we tried to stay calm ouselves…and redirect their behavior and get them to go to their rooms…by talking to them, by using our voices like we were trained to do…and while this tactic worked throughout the day to “diffuse little arguments” and “get them back on track”…it wasn’t working now…not at all…

in fact, their voices got louder and their language got more aggressive…neither one was backing down…

and then i knew what was going to happen, i knew it was going to hit the fan…so, press play on the eagles’ heartache tonight…you know how it goes, somebody’s gonna hurt someone, before the night is through…somebody’s gonna come undone, there’s nothing we can do…

so, i looked at my partner and nodded (she had a radio in her hand) and i said…

call for assistance…

(a ‘call for assistance’ would let the other staff in the other units know that there was a crisis “in-progress”, and that they should send any extra staff they had to our location as soon as possible)

anyways, once she clicked “the call button” and opened her mouth, brett lunged towards andy with his arm cocked (like he was going to hit him)…

and then, three things happened simultaneously…1) i grabbed brett mid-lunge; 2) andy bolted down the hallway and hid in his room; and 3) my partner disappeared…

once i had brett, i held him across the mid-section…he was struggling…he wasn’t fighting me as much as he was trying to get loose and pursue his target (andy)…but, he was thrashing…somehow, i managed to hold him in that way for a little while–importantly, although brett was just 15 years-old, he was my about my height/weight and he was a strong and athletic kid…so, this “up-right hold” was not ideal and i knew it wasn’t going to last for long (there was no way i could hold him like that until back-up arrived–it was not going to happen)…at the same time, i knew i couldn’t let go…so, i thought…

i’ve got to take him down myself–the sooner the better…

but before i did, i spoke to him, i told him (in my best raspy, clint eastwood voice)…

you’re going down…

(to this day, i don’t know what possessed me to say that…probably one too many 80s action flicks in my youth)

after i said those words, i spun him towards me and did an “outside of the foot sweep”–in judo, we call this throw osoto gari (large outer reaping)…and it can be really effective when done correctly…in this case, i nailed it and he went down (with me holding onto his shirt collar with one hand and his fore-arm/sleeve with my other hand) and i went down, too, on-top of him…as is the natural momentum/flow of this throw…esp. if you want to get them in a hold on the ground (which is what i wanted to do)…so, i went quickly into a side control hold (kuzure kesa gatame)…in this position, i had him and he wasn’t getting out…never-the-less, he still struggled and yelled…

so, i just held him there, pinned down (waiting for backup to arrive)…and i spoke to him againthis time i said…

it’s going to be alright, it’s going to be ok…

[to be continued…]

tradecraft…your voice (part V)

make no mistake…talking to people, engaging with people who are coming at you with aggression and anger (and not losing control of yourself) is difficult…i was lucky to have people around me who showed me how to navigate those situations (by their example), friends and coworkers who showed me the way…

in my journey, herding cats…i learned three simple phrases to help me (get) back in control–these phrases were/are really important for me in my work with young people (no matter the setting)…i consider them to be gems…maybe you will too…

these phrases are called “deflectors”– and my favorites include:

regardless, never-the-less, and be that as it may

let me give you a scenario when these deflectors served me well…

the scenario that i am going to share took place at the school where i currently work at (as a high school teacher)…the school is part alternative high school and part career-technical education center–the students we instruct are from a variety of backgrounds and have had a variety of life expriences…some of the kids we teach are tough to work with and are resistant to authority and being in school–they are similar, in some regards, to what you would experience working in juvenile justice…

one day, during my first year of teaching, a female student had her phone out in class (this happens all the time, cell phones are one of the biggest distractions and disruptors in today’s classroom–and because of the disruptive nature of phones, we have classroom rules against having them out)…she was about two rows back, one student in a class of twenty…

so, i addressed her…(names have been changed to protect the innocent;)

me: alexis, can you please shut off your phone and put it away

(alexis did not respond to me, continued to have her phone out…and showed ‘what was on her phone’ to the girl sitting next to her–so, at this point, it wasn’t just her learning that was being affected, but those around her were being distracted as well)…

me: alexis, can you put your phone away

alexis: no, i don’t have to…i can be on it if i want

me: not true, you know the expectations…so, plea–

alexis (interrupts me and takes it to the next level): you’re fuckin’ bullshit, mr. d.

it’s funny, when certain things happen in class–everybody listens…this was one of those times…instantly, the class got “real quiet”…i’m pretty sure it was the most quiet my classroom has ever been (with students in it)…and at that moment, after she said what she had said, all of the students were looking at me…waiting… thinking…what’s he gonna do, now?! (you could read it on their faces)…

i had the same question, for a minute…then, my juvenile justice brain clicked on…and, luckily, i remembered the deflectors…at the same time, i told myself–stay calm…

(i took a deep breath)

me (my voice and tone were ‘even’): regardless, you need to follow my directions–you need to put away your phone…i’ll give you one minute to do so, if you don’t…i’ll take your daily points for today (each day, students earn daily points…it is a way they “get paid” in our career-tech programs)…

a minute came and went, then she responded–her response was original…

alexis (looked up from her phone and spoke–aggressively): you’re fuckin’ bullshit, mr. d.

me (still ‘even’ in voice and tone): never-the-less, we have work to do…put your phone away and let’s get to it…look, if you put your phone away now, you’ve only lost one day’s points and we’ll move on–don’t do it, continue on in this way, and i’ll take tomorrow’s…i’ll give you a minute to choose…

all throughout this exchange the class was transfixed, their eyes flicked between us–some heads swiveled back and forth (from me to her)…like they were watching a tennis match… at this moment, their attention turned back to her…

another minute came and went…and she responded again…

alexis: you’re fuckin’ bullshit, mr. d. (still with her phone out, still not complying)

at this point, what flashed through my mind…what i wanted to say was–no, you’re fuckin’ bullshit–bitch!!! (gives you an idea of just how twisted my mind is, right?!:)

but i didn’t say that…not “out loud” anyways…instead, i countered once again with my last deflector…

me (still calm): be that as it may, you know what you need to do…last chance, put your phone away or i’ll have to send you down to the resource room–for not complying with me and for the ‘disrespect’ (the resource room was a room where the school resource officer would meet with a student–a “time out”, if you will–nowadays we have a version of ISS were kids get sent, it is monitored by a regular staff member–not a school cop)

(she was a fighter, stubborn and unwilling to back down–and so, she came at me again)

alexis: you’re fuckin’ bullshit, mr. d.

(i exhaled)

me: ok, alexis, head on down to the resource room

she got up (with her phone, of course) and headed on down to the resource room…i took another deep breath and continued on with class…20 minutes later she came back to class and actually set her phone on my desk and got back to work…(later, i thanked the officer for “having my back”)…

interestingly, i never had a problem with her in class again and we got along well after that…

a few days after the incident, i was able to talk to her about what went wrong...to process the incident…to talk about expectations and consequences…to listen to her and what was going on with her…she explained to me that, at that moment, on that day…she was having a really hard time with things at school and in other classes (w/friends)–“it was all going to shit” (she told me)…turns out that her outburst had nothing to do with me, phones, or class rules and expectations…she was having a bad day–and, it just came out on me…

this is a really important part of the story…because, what happens often times is about something else…what is going down in a kid’s life (apart from you) is the origin or cause of the bad behavior…a good number of the kids we see have experienced (or are in the midst of) hard knocks…so, it’s really important to live up to and be the adult in those hard situations–and not take things personally

it is not easy to do, situations like this are stressful, tense and hit you hard–and sometimes you fail in how you respond–your natural response is to lash out and strike back at the person who is hurting you…and in that space, you fail (i have failed enough times to know what i’m talking about here)…but, taking the high road–this should be your goal (how you want to handle things)…it’s what professionals do (most of the time)…

i sincerely believe that how i handled things in this situation rippled out, like waves when a stone is cast into a small, still pond…

she came at me hard, she was aggressive and disrespectful…but, because of those three simple phrases–i was able to stay above it, to speak to her with respect–to not take it personally and lose control…she felt that…and that’s why we were able to move on and continue life together in the classroom–that’s why we were able to maintain the relationship…at the same time, the other students felt those ripples…they saw how she treated me and they saw how i treated her…they felt it too…and afterwards, i felt that same wave wash over me in return–and, i held that good feeling, that good regard they had for me…until the end of the year and beyond…

it’s true that i used more than those phrases to maintain control…i combined them with choices (she had control too, or some sense of it)–giving options to kids you work with is key in navigating conflict; also, through these exchanges, i was reminding her of expectations that i had explained to the class at the beginning of the year and at other times in our journey together…she knew the score, she knew what could happen…it was no surprise…

while choices and expectations are important in this kind of work as well…i cannot overstate the power of these three deflectors…they are gems…they are fine tools of this trade…

i hope they serve you well, too…

recommended readings: back in control by gregory bodenhmer, 1984 (it’s where i got the three phrases from (during a training at the idaho youth ranch)–this book has a lot of really good information in regards to working with difficult young people!); verbal judo: the gentle art of persuasion by george j. thompson, ph.d, 2004 (a book i’ve mentioned before and one that is required reading for anyone in any setting who wants to learn how to talk to people, persuade others, and navigate difficult interactions!); a wizard of earthsea by ursula k. le guin, 1969 (the first book in a fiction/sci-fi/fantasy epic series…in the tradition of the lord of the rings–a parable about what happens when you speak something into the world–profound!)

tradecraft…your voice (part IV)

most of the time, i worked with individuals like dom (see last post), who cared a lot about kids and did the job the right way–with integrity and fairness…when they spoke to kids they did so in a way that conveyed…

basic human dignity and respect

i learned a lot from people who used their voices like that…who spoke from that perspective or point of origin…and i tried to adopt that approach in my own work…

however, there were times when i saw the opposite kind of style, the dark side of the voice…here’s a real-life scenario that exemplifies the dark side

one day, i arrived on shift at cooper village (the juvenile group home i mentioned in the previous post) and there was tension in the air–you could just feel it…then i heard it…a female staff member, speaking to one of the juvenile males in our care…her tone and volume were heightened…i hadn’t been there but a minute, so i didn’t know what had transpired prior to my arrival, but i knew her and i knew how she talked to kids (typically)–there was always a sharpness to her voice, a tone that set the kids and other staff on edge…and it always made a shift with her a little more challenging (most of the women i’ve worked with were very skilled at using their voices to communicate with young people–i always felt that they had an innate advantage over “us guys”, she was the exception to the rule)…

so, i by-passed the commons area and made my way to the office to set my gear down and sign-in for the shift…thinking…great, she’s “teeing up” the kids for our shift…gonna be a fun night…

i dropped off my gear and spoke to another coworker in the office, sounds like things are getting heated? …he rolled his eyes and nodded to the commons area and said, are you surprised?  we had seen it happen before…i took a deep breath and walked back out to the commons area, the female staff member was cleaning up something from snack time, but still jawing with the juvenile– who was sitting on a couch across the room from her (the juvenile’s tone was getting sharp as well)…she whispered something to me like, he didn’t complete his chores and is now out in the commons–he needs to get it done

why don’t you let me give it a try (talking to him), i said quietly, so only she could hear me…

she shrugged and then got on him again to do what she wanted (her tone was edgy and her impatience was showing–her face was red and showed irritation and anger)…i was already done with her…so, i started speaking to him to support her in getting him to do what she wanted him to, but at the same time trying to get him to do it without ‘setting him off’…

my philosophy (and the philosophy of the other people i worked with) was…we can get physical, go ‘hands on’, go ‘all the way’ if we have to…but, it’s not our goal, if we can get things accomplished–confront, redirect, and lead the kids through their daily routines without the use of force–then that’s what we’d prefer to do…

unfortunately, i was late to the party…and by this time, i was just another voice on his case…so, he chirped something at me like, she’s been on me since she got here – his blood was up and rising higher by the minute…

his comment emboldened her and the course she was on…and she went at him pretty hard, telling him what he should’ve done this morning, what he still hadn’t done…it was a mini-tirade…i was thinking, what did i walk into?! i glanced behind me, and saw my other coworker propped up against the wall, we exchanged a knowing look…

this is gonna get ugly

and then it did…the juvenile had had enough…and he launched out of his sitting position, towards the female staffer…i got in his way–and instantly–my partner was at my side and we grabbed his arms and yelled “clear the floor”–the directive commanding the other juveniles to quickly find their rooms (they scattered like mice and the female staffer backed away near the office)–truth be told, the kid went absolutely ballistic–flailing, yelling and swearing…we couldn’t control him in the standing position (he was a big kid…more than six feet tall and about 170 pounds)…trying to control someone standing up is difficult, if not impossible (it’s no surprise that the FBI reports that “more than 70% of use of force scenarios end up on the ground–in a grappling or ground fighting event”)…so, we tried to get him on the ground, but he was twisting and turning and full of juice–so, we called for her to call for backup…while they were en route, he ‘slipped our grip’ several times, but we managed to control him, momentarily, against a wall–though he was still bucking against our “holds” and railing against her…

moments before backup arrived, we got him down to the ground, but it wasn’t pretty…he was continuing to thrash and scream and fight…when the others arrived, we each grabbed a limb and held him tight to the floor in the standard restraint position…my partner spoke to him in a calm voice…eventually (about 20 minutes later), we were able to talk him down and get him under control…not too long after that, we got him to agree to walk down to the “time-out room” where we could continue to process with him…at this point, i looked up and around–i didn’t see the female staffer anywhere…i thought, where is she now–set him off and let the rest of us clean up your mess?!

all the parties involved had to document the incident…

the next day, his social worker came down to address the incident and review the consequences that the female staffer had outlined for his punishment…when she came on the unit and into the office, i was quick to follow–i asked for a moment of her time and closed the door to the office…after a couple of minutes of casual conversation about the incident…i finally said…

yeah, the juvenile bears some responsibility for what ‘went down’, no doubt–he could’ve handled things a lot better, responded differently…but, she could’ve too…i reviewed the earlier logs, talked to other staff members and was there when “it went down”–she “set him off” and his consequences should be tempered on that count…

she agreed…

the point of this story is that you can use your voice negatively–and escalate, insult, disrespect, and anger kids just as easily as you can use your voice in the opposite fashion–positively and professionally…there is always that potential in any human encounter…

have i been sharp, short, impatient, or used negative and disrespectful speech towards juveniles? absolutely…i’m human and i’ve made mistakes–but, i don’t live there

we all have bad moments and bad days…and it definitely happens in this line of work–on occasion–but, those moments and those days don’t define you…hopefully…however, if it happens to you more often than not…or you intentionally ‘go there’, to extremes (like the woman in the above scenario)…this is not the line of work you should be pursuing… because…

we’re looking for a few good voices…

tradecraft…your voice (part III)

when you witness someone use their voice like i mentioned in the last post, you feel like you’re seeing something extraordinary…something that borders on the supernatural…

here’s a story from the trenches that illustrates what i mean…

years ago, i worked at cooper village–a juvenile group home in omaha, nebraska (i love omaha, by the way, it’s one of the easiest towns to feel at home in–show up twice at the same bar in omaha and you’re a regular–can’t beat that!  of all of the bars i visited in omaha, my favorite (hands down)…was the homy inn (classic)–two visits were just not enough when it came to this place, cheers!:)

anyways…at this juvenile group home, we worked with a variety of kids who had low-level criminal offenses on their records, other delinquency, alcohol and drug problems, and family issues…it was a minimum secure group home…

one day, a kid comes running down the living quarters hallway–he is shouting and swearing just outside our staff office…trailing behind him, is his staff (our living unit was connected to their housing section and today the door between the residences was open, which was common)…so, upon hearing this, my partner and i come out of our office and approach the youth, thinking ok, we’re gonna have to take this kid down… restraints/ ‘takedowns’ are a part of juvenile justice-fun!:) …but before we get that far, we get a knowing look from his staff (dom)–his eyes say, wait…all the while this kid is pacing back and forth–swearing and muttering that he’s gonna hurt someone…

at that point, dom takes up a position nearby and begins talking to the kid (close enough to jump in on a takedown, if needed, but not too close–like us, he was giving the kid some room to move…the habits of nonverbal interaction)…immediately the kid dials in to dom’s voice and what he’s saying (though the kid is still pacing)…dom continues to talk to him in a calm, reassuring voice…

dom: i know about the phone call you just got, i understand why you’re upset, i would be upset, too…

the kid paces and swears some more…

(dom sticks with it)

dom: i know you’re upset, but right now you’re ‘still good’…you haven’t let it get the best of you, you haven’t let it ‘get out of hand’…it’s what you do next that matters the most–you know that we’ve got an event scheduled for tomorrow and right now, you’re on the list for an off site trip to the library–that hasn’t changed, yet…i know you want to go on that trip, i know you want to get off-site for a few hours, so let me help you get there

the kid is now moving side to side, facing dom–the kid is still agitated…still looks like he could escalate and ‘take it to the next level’ at any moment…bounce off the walls (or us) and what not, a la parkour

(but, dom is persistent and continues)

dom: i want you to listen to me, i want you to follow my instructions, ok?  i am going to help you, i want you to lay down on the ground, i want you to lay down on your stomach…

i’m thinking, yeah right–let’s just grab this kid…come on?!

…a couple more minutes go by and the kid is still upright, moving side to side (and still upset)…so, dom repeats his directives…then, the unbelievable happens–the kid complies!!!  he crouches down on his knees, puts his arms out in front of him, touches the ground, and eases himself down (on his stomach)…

dom: that’s good, that’s right…now, slide your arms out a bit, that’s it–now, turn your palms up…good…

the kid continues to comply (and is now laying on the ground in the typical restraint position)…

dom: relax, just breathe…that’s good

dom crouches down next to the kid and continues to talk to him, continues to calm him down…fifteen minutes later, the juvenile is calm and back in control…dom helps him up and they walk back to his housing unit together…

later, i found dom, shook his hand and told him, “damn, dude…i’ve never seen anything like that–awesome–nice work!”–it was the coolest takedown i’d ever seen…honestly, i was still in shock and thinking, what just happened?!…he had taken a kid down without raising a hand-he had taken a kid down with just his voice…

skills and tactics like this have been referred to as verbal judo and such a designation is appropriate…

critics might say…”well, dom had a rapport and a relationship with the kid and that’s why he did what he was told”…i wouldn’t disagree with their emphasis on “the two R’s”–they are definitely an important part of the de-escalation process–but, how do rapport and relationships happen?  through communication, social interaction, and repeated verbal exchange…rapport is established and relationships are built…”the two R’s” are part of the communication continuum, if you will…and when combined with the words, tone, and volume of someone who knows how to talk to others, how to use their voice effectively …sometimes…amazing things can happen!

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