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Analysis

5 De-escalation Tips For COVID-19 Stressors

By John Commins  
   April 01, 2020

With hospitals pushed to the breaking point, here are some suggestions to defuse the inevitable stressors that come with the pandemic.

As the nation's healthcare delivery system comes closer to capacity, tempers are bound to flare among patients, clinicians, administrators and other stakeholders.

With that in mind, the Crisis Prevention Institute has provided five verbal de-escalation tips.

1. Behavior is Communication. Most communication occurs beyond the words we use. Look for signs of anxiety in body language, tone and cadence. Understand that crisis behavior reflects a need and consider what it is the other person might want.

2. Avoid the Power Struggle. No one can meet every need at every moment. Challenging or exercising authority over a person can escalate negative behaviors. Considering options you can offer allows flexibility to address both parties’ needs and desired outcomes.

3. Use Limit Setting. Behavior can’t be forced but setting limits can help us influence behaviors. Framing acceptable behaviors or outcomes can encourage the other person to choose the most productive option.

4. Practice Rational Detachment. Don’t take behaviors personally. Stay calm. Find a positive way to release the negative energy you absorbed during the conflict. Keep in mind, you can only control your own attitude and actions.

5. Therapeutic Rapport. Learn from the conflict and help the other person learn from the experience. Focus on identifying and preventing the pattern of behavior in the future. Finally, put time and effort into repairing the relationship.

John Commins is a content specialist and online news editor for HealthLeaders, a Simplify Compliance brand.


KEY TAKEAWAYS

Understand that crisis behavior reflects a need and consider what it is the other person might want.

Challenging or exercising authority over a person can escalate negative behaviors.

Find a positive way to release the negative energy you absorbed during the conflict.


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