Case Study: Learn how to Improve Conflict Management Skills to Prevent and Diffuse Violence

Conflict management is the process of limiting the negative aspects of conflict while increasing the positive aspects of conflict.


Today we provided a virtual conflict management training session to a company that is based in the North of the UK. This company is passionate about supporting its staff and we deliver this training on a regular basis.


The company provide rented premises for individuals who struggle to find accommodation.  When problems are identified, staff regularly have to carry out lone visits to these tenants, i.e. non-payment of rent. The staff often face individuals who are drunk or on drugs, which can lead to anti-social behaviour. As staff often face the risk of physical abuse in their day-to-day work,
today’s training session was all about the prevention and diffusion of violence.


In the course we include different techniques you can use to maintain a calm environment:


‘You and I’ messages

You and I messages are one of the easiest ways to defuse a potential conflict (not accusatory or escalatory language). For instance, if you say “I felt let down,” rather than “You broke your promise,” you will convey the same information, but in a way that is less likely to provoke a defensive or hostile reaction.

When talking to the aggravated individual, your voice should remain calm and slow, while maintaining an assertive tone and eye contact. This will affirm your position and will encourage the other party to do likewise.

Verbal and Non-Verbal Signs

Violence and aggression seldom come out of the blue. When working with others, it is vital that you are able to identify some giveaway signals that might suggest the mood has changed. To predict when a person may become violent, make sure you are aware of the following signs:

● A sudden change in body language or tone of voice

● Disruptive behaviours – for example, yelling, repeated interrupting or refusal to follow instructions

● Pacing, fidgeting or over emphasised gesturing

● Clenched fists or tightening of the jaw

Also consider that a person’s behaviour and reactions to a situation may be due to a mental or physical illness, physical disability, reduced mental capacity or neurological difference (e.g. autism)

Listening Skills

Active listening is a technique of careful listening and observation of non-verbal cues. It is a skill that can be acquired and developed with practice.

Active listening should be used throughout an encounter. Being open to what an individual is saying helps to build rapport, which could help reduce tension.


During the training session, we looked at many behaviours that are related to aggression and violence. The consequences of this kind of behaviour are wide-ranging. They can result in physical harm to employees and customers and harm a business and its reputation. It can also affect job performance and the well-being and health of employees.

Improve your conflict management skills

Here at Unlock Staff Potential, we can help you just like we help our clients. Whether you prefer online or face-to-face sessions, we will teach you to build a climate where respect, courtesy and consideration are the norms.