Workplace Violence Prevention

Personal Conduct to Minimize Workplace Violence

The following suggestions are designed to assist in your daily interactions with de-escalating potentially violent situations. If a person's behavior escalates beyond a reasonable level or they become physical - Disengage and immediately call 911.


  • Project calmness
  • Listen - Encourage dialogue
  • Project a relaxed and attentive posture
  • Acknowledge feelings to indicate you know they are upset
  • Establish ground rules if unreasonable behavior persists
  • Calmly describe the consequences of violent behavior
  • Use delaying tactics to give the person time to calm down.
  • Point out choices and reassure everything will be OK
  • Break big problems into small choices
  • Accept criticism and ask clarifying questions
  • Ask for recommendations and repeat back what is said

Do Not:

  • Accept demands from the actor
  • Physically contact the other person
  • Make sudden or threatening movements
  • Challenge, belittle, threaten or dare the individual
  • Criticize or act impatient
  • Attempt to bargain
  • Try to make the situation seem less serious than it is
  • Make false statements or promises you cannot keep
  • Use complicated words or technical definitions
  • Take sides or agree with distortions
  • Get blocked from the exit