Communication with words and gestures can be one of the safest, simplest, and most readily available interventions that people working with a potentially violent individual have available to them. The risks are few and the gains are many. Through effective verbal communication, problem resolution can be accomplished with minimum risk of injury. Verbal techniques can be used as a tool in helping persons to calm down, to discuss concerns, to regain an inner sense of control and to explore alternatives. As physical pain and emotional stress may reduce a person’s ability to cope, effective verbal interventions can help the person deal with feelings of frustration and fear, and ultimately help restore a sense of balance and control.

The escalation or de-escalation of a crisis may depend on a security officer’s ability to verbally intervene.

As previously stated, the team leader is the ONLY person to communicate and verbally intervene with the disruptive person. The rest of the team works to be supportive to their leader and a resource for future help. This approach will provide the disruptive person with structure and help focus their attention, if more then one staff member is talking to the disruptive person, the chance is MUCH GREATER that the team will lose control of the situation. Verbal interventions should be based on the emotional/behavioral response to a crisis. The following are examples of a disruptive person’s emotional behavior and symptoms, and the appropriate verbal interventions.