The following article was written specifically for law enforcement professionals, but professionals in any field can better prevent crises and benefit from verbal de-escalation training in their workplace by using the five keys to empathic listening, as well as the five ways to remain in control of any situation.
“Failing to consider second- and third-order consequences is the cause of a lot of painfully bad decisions, and it is especially deadly when the first inferior option confirms your own biases. Never seize on the first available option, no matter how good it seems, before you’ve asked questions and explored.”
Although the term itself is fairly recent, the concept has roots in military history. It is recognizable in Sun Tzu's The Art of War, for example.The term can also be traced to World War I, where it was recognized as a crucial skill for crews in military aircraft.
Time, distance, available cover, and mindset all can dramatically change what our best response to an ambushing opponent may be, but rest assured, doing a 2 step dance in front of a muzzle isn’t turning you into Neo from the Matrix.