7 Step Police Confrontation Deescalation Strategy

Like you, I am becoming increasingly sickened by the continuation of police confrontations that escalate into violence and death on both sides.

For forty years I have specialized in getting through to people and deescalating confrontations and preventing potentially violent outcomes. Part of that work has included training FBI and police hostage negotiators.

What follows is a seven-step approach that I have used and trained others to use to calm agitated, threatening and cornered people down and engage in a deescalating conversation. It works because it talks and walks a perpetrator from his/her most primitive, “fight or flight or freeze,” reactive reptile brain up into his/her rational human brain that is able to listen, process and think.

It is not meant as a replacement to current methods but as a supplement.

7 Steps to Deescalating Police Confrontations

As previously mentioned, the above approach has the effect of walking an agitated cornered, perpetrator up through his/her “fight or flight or freeze” reptilian brain up through his/her emotions and finally up into his/her rational brain.

When someone is already agitated, their blood is flowing through their primitive reptilian brain and cannot access reason or even listen effectively. By engaging them using the above six steps which provides a way that helps them “punch/talk themselves out” using words instead of behavior, blood begins to flow to their upper reasoning brain and they are more able to engage in a conversation that can steer them away from a destructive “fight or flight” reaction that can end up deadly.

When that happens, it increases the chance of everyone leaving the confrontation alive.

Discover more approaches to having impact and getting through to people at: markgoulston.com and click on the link to receive a sample chapter from my international best selling book, “Just Listen.”



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Mark Goulston

Dr. Goulston is co-founder of Michelangelo Mindset, a speaker, MG100 Coach & the author of "Just Listen,” the top book on listening in the world.