Avoid inciting, use words that are inviting.
We are discussing Tip 6 of the Ten Tips for Redirecting Conflict in my book Leading Chaos; An Essential Guide to Conflict Management.
In the book, I titled this Tip 6: Be Mindful of Words that Incite. There are a lot of words and phrases that come to mind, but to say “Calm Down” has to be the most inciting phrase of all.
The funny thing is that when we say this phrase we do so because we want to help. Unfortunately, our best intentions get railroaded and we not only incite the person further, but shut down our initial invitation to move through the crisis.
The person in crisis hears “Calm Down”
And they think: Calm What?
The Invitation was meant to help the person, perhaps slow down their speech, stop moving around, and to work with you. But instead of clearly saying, “I want to hear, please speak clearly.” We shorten our invitation to converse by saying “Calm Down”
Here are some other phrases to avoid:
Think instead, What is it about her person that is not calm and tell them directly. Not only will it help them, but it will help you and your invitation to open communication.
Go ahead and download The Invitation and let’s enjoy a bit of you and me time as we both polish our crisis intervention skills and continue to work towards keep ourself safe and the scene at hand safe too.