Why De-Escalation Training Is So Important Right Now
A few weeks ago, the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council worked with the Crisis and Trauma Research Institute to provide a free training session with Ruth Yeo-Peterman called De-escalating Conflicts and Potentially Violent Situations. The training lasted for an hour over Zoom where Ruth talked about what conflicts and violent situations could arise and how to handle those situations in a safe way for both you and the other people in the area.
The training felt very timely considering there are many venues that have the extra challenge of dealing with unhappy customers due to COVID-19 safety procedures and policies. Many of Ruth’s examples focused on these new COVID-19 situations and a number of organizations attending the session talked about challenging situations they have already faced surrounding that specific issue. While listening to Ruth speak, I couldn’t help but think back to my first live event I worked for UniSound at the Three Rivers Arts Festival where we had a situation involving some hateful language from a bystander directed at one of our young performers. While I think that we handled the situation about as well as we could have, I wished I had taken this training earlier to make me feel more confident in the moment about how to defuse the tension in the best way possible.
I believe the training was very beneficial for all the organizations present. Especially in these times, it is so important to make sure everyone at your organization, especially the public-facing staff, is prepared to handle difficult situations that may arise and get through them safely. If you missed the Zoom session you can still watch a free virtual version of the training here.
Have you attended a training session recently that was helpful for your organization that you want to share? Let us know in the comments below!