The Entire Spectrum of Conflict

Treating People with Dignity by Showing them Respect

Values-Driven and Evidence-Based Methodology

Emotionally Safe Performance Driven Training

Conflict Management Training

An exceptional Values-Based Conflict Management and Conflict Resolution training programme for all workplaces and all sectors.

Conflict Management Values and Behaviours:

  • Treating people with dignity by showing them respect
  • Gaining Voluntary Collaboration, Cooperation or Compliance
  • Creating an atmosphere of Non-Escalation by tackling Gateway Behaviours
  • Initiating Contact Consistently and then applying Empathy and Persuasion

We teach your staff how to “Treat People with Dignity by Showing them Respect” and how to “Generate Voluntary Collaboration, Cooperation or Compliance” when they deal with your clients and service users.  Here are the learning objectives for Verbal Defense and Influence’s core Non-Escalation and De-Escalation conflict management curriculum.

By the end of a full VDI Conflict Management training program your staff will have the knowledge to interact with anyone — in person, by phone or in writing — and to manage conflict professionally by:

  • Not cause or unnecessarily escalate conflict
  • Confidently deal with verbal abuse
  • Engage in difficult conversations
  • Effectively de-escalate conflict
  • Persuade others to cooperate
  • Stay safe in crisis situations
  • Know what to do when word-based tactics fail
  • End an interaction in a better place than where it started
  • Look good on camera no matter where an interaction ends up

Conflict Training for Your Team, Your Context

This conflict management training course is suitable for front-line staff who are in regular contact with members of the public and service users who may become frustrated, upset or aggressive.  This training focusses on verbal and non-verbal conflict communications used to manage and de-escalate aggression and distress effectively.

When: Half-Day AM or PM or Full-Day or 2-Day sessions on a date scheduled for your convenience

Who:  up to 20 staff are led by Gerard O’Dea, “Verbal Defense and Influence” European Adviser

What Roles? Any public-facing role or contact-professional within your organisation who has responsibility for interacting with, influence, persuading or de-escalating another person will benefit from training to help them to create a safe and secure environment in your workplace.

Where:  At a venue of your choice, or at your service/business training centre

How:  Our trainers deliver this course using a mix of lecture/presentation, Q&A, physical practice and scenario rehearsal using an “Emotionally Safe, Performance-driven Training Environment”

Why Choose this Course?

 Matched to your Conflict and Communication Skills needs

 Led by Professional Conflict Communication Skills Trainers

 Values Dignity and Respect as part of a Behaviour Support approach

 Safeguards Client rights in conflict situations

 Offers Staff Practical Options using Templates for Conflict Communications

 Compliant with Government Regulations on Positive Behaviour Support

 Value for Your Conflict Management Investment

This “Verbal Defense and Influence” model of conflict management has been successfully applied in a wide variety of settings and is relevant across the spectrum of communications and conflict scenarios:

  • Customer Service Officers Education and School Behaviour Support
  • Care of Older People in Care Homes
  • Community Outreach  / Housing / Homelessness teams
  • Care of Children with Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties
  • Home Care and Dementia Care support workers
  • Community Safety Warden Teams
  • Psychiatric and Emergency Dept. teams
  • Lone Workers
  • Any ‘Contact Professional’ who regularly encounters upset clients

The Learning Outcomes meet the requirements of the NHS Conflict Resolution Training (CRT) and Promoting Safe and Therapeutic Services (PSTS) programmes.

The experts at Vistelar have been studying how to effectively manage conflict for over 30 years and, during that time, they have developed a framework that provides a means to analyze interactions and determine which conflict management tactic should be used in which phase of an interaction.

Here is a graphic representation of this framework:

The blue boxes in this graphic describe the three elements of all interactions:

  • Context: Approach considerations prior to an interaction, such as assessment of risk and physical positioning, decision on whether to proceed and personal mindset.
  • Contact: Interaction considerations, such as words used, tone of voice, facial expressions, eye contact, hand position, body language and posture.
  • Closure: Follow-through considerations, such as ensuring the situation is stabilized, summarizing decisions, and reviewing the interaction.The primary goals of these elements are non-escalation (conflict prevention), achieving the best possible outcome and establishing a positive foundation for any future interactions.The red boxes in the graphic describe what can happen when interactions escalate:
  • Conflict: When questioning, anger or verbal abuse enters into an interaction.
  • Crisis: When the person with whom you are interacting is displaying at-risk behaviors.
  • Combat: When resistance or aggression results in physical engagement initiated by either party.Note: while uncomfortable to some, the term “Combat” is used as a means to emphasize that physical engagement is a possibility in all jobs and must not be glossed over in conflict management training.The primary goals of these elements are de-escalation, everyone’s safety, and shifting the situation to a positive outcome.In other words, once an interaction escalates to any of the red box elements, the objective is to return things to a place where the blue box elements are driving the interaction.Note that all interactions have a Context, Contact and Closure element but only some interactions escalate to Conflict, Crisis and/or Combat.

Students successfully completing this conflict management program will be able to:

Foundations of Conflict Management

  • Explain the need for being effective at conflict management
  • Describe how this training fits into the entire spectrum of human conflict
  • Explain the core principle of conflict management
  • List the five approaches for showing people respect
  • Explain how dignity, respect, empathy, and social contracts interact relative to the effective management of conflict
  • Explain why you should not Speak Reactively in interacting with others Point-Of-Impact Conflict Management Framework

Systemized Structure of Tactics Overview

  • Describe the Point-of-Impact Conflict Management Framework (6C’s)
  • List the components of the Non-Escalation De-Escalation card
  • Explain the Emotionally Safe Performance-Driven Instruction approach to training

Conflict Triggers

  • Describe the two forms of Conflict Triggers that can cause a routine interaction to escalate to conflict
  • Describe the methods to address these Conflict Triggers and maintain your Emotional Equilibrium
  • Explain how to not set of the Conflict Triggers of others


  • Treat With Dignity By Showing Respect
  • Explain the distinction between dignity and respect
  • Explain the 5 approaches to showing people respect
  • Explain how to use these five approaches to effectively manage conflict

Be Alert & Responsive; Respond, Don’t React

  • Explain the importance of having a pre-planned, practiced response
  • Explain gateway behaviors and the five threat indicators
  • List and describe the conditions-of-awareness levels

Showtime Mindset

  • Explain the importance of maintaining your Emotional Equilibrium in conflict situations
  • Describe how non-verbals (facial expressions, eye contact, hand position, body language, posture and physical position) affect self-confidence
  • Explain the importance of elements of communication (words, tone of voice, non- verbals) to be in alignment

Proxemics 10-5-2 

  • Explain the role of proxemics in affecting the comfort level of the people with whom you interact and your personal safety
  • Describe the principles of effective proxemics and the 10-5-2 rule for managing distance
  • Describe the proxemics tactics every individual should know

Universal Greeting

  • Describe the best way to make an initial contact and list the four steps of this contact method
  • Explain the universality of the Universal Greeting, how it establishes a supportive atmosphere and why it is the ultimate in showing respect
  • Describe the four levels of verbal intensity

Beyond Active Listening

  • Explain the inadequacy of just listening actively
  • List the six elements of the Beyond Active Listening tactic
  • Explain why people often don’t say what they mean



  • Describe the conflict situations where you could use the Redirections tactic
  • List the two types of Redirections and how to use this tactic when someone is questioning you, expressing frustration or anger, verbally abuses you or is on a rambling tangent from what you are trying to accomplish
  • Explain why you need lots of Redirections scripts that you are comfortable and confident in using

Persuasion Sequence

  • Describe the conflict situations where you could use the Persuasion Sequence tactic
  • List the three steps of the Persuasion Sequence and how to use this tactic when someone is questioning, resisting or refusing a request
  • Explain the importance of giving both positive and negative options

Crisis Interventions

  • Describe the conflict situations where you could use the Crisis Interventions tactic and the three classifications of issues that can contribute to the frequency and severity of a crisis
  • Explain why understanding the various types of mental illness is of less importance when dealing with someone in crisis at the point of impact
  • List the five steps to take when approaching someone in crisis and the four strategies to promote Recovery of someone in crisis

Ending An Interaction

Take Appropriate Action

  • Describe the two situations when you should stop Non-Escalation and De-Escalation tactics and Take Appropriate Action
  • Describe a situation in your work or personal life when it would be required to Take Appropriate Action
  • State the criteria for an intervention to be justifiable

Ethical Intervention

  • List the two reasons why bystanders typically do not intervene • Explain why professionals have a duty to intervene
  • List the three stages of Ethical Intervention


  • Describe the two goals of the Closure tactic
  • Explain the purpose of debriefing
  • Describe the elements of an effective incident report and how to ensure your incident report matches the video record


  • Describe how this training can be used in both your professional and personal lives
  • Describe some of your takeaways from this training and your forward-action plans
  • Complete and turn in the feedback form

Performance Learning Objectives
All Verbal Defense and Influence live training programs use a “fire drill vs. fire talk” approach to ensure students develop the knowledge, skills and abilities to manage real situations in the real world. Class time emphasizes student interaction, scenario-based skill practice, analysis of real-life events captured on video, and memorable real-life stories (“peace stories”) that illustrate the positive outcomes resulting from use of Vistelar’s methodologies. 
Therefore – to the extent time is available in class – we always try to incorporate Performance Learning Objectives and we video/audio record student’s performances for review and critiqu


Conflict Management introduction video:

Conflict Management in Hospital Settings for Nurses, Clinicians, Carers and Security Staff:

Conflict Management for Community-Facing Teams working with the Public:

Conflict Management Trainer Training:

I have learned to empathise more with what the client may be feeling, therefore how a situation or incident can be defused or resolved.  Very fun, informative Conflict Management training day.
Children's Social Worker

North London

Talk to us about your training needs now
Really interesting, helped me realise how I can sometimes give off the wrong signals and unknowingly escalate the situation.  Some useful Conflict Management tips, raised my awareness of personal safety.
Senior Care Worker


An excellent Conflict Management training day, useful and practical, and very well delivered by the speaker. Thanks for an enjoyable experience.
Community Lone Worker


Talk to us about your training needs now
We focus on the “tactics” of a conflict management encounter: the meshing of the non-verbal, verbal and physical techniques – the continuum of options that exist in any interaction – to deliver the best outcome.

In other words, we emphasise the application of techniques across the spectrum of conflict — the “Six Cs of Communications” (see list below) — using a level of intrusiveness appropriate for each technique being applied.

1. Context: the approach considerations and initial assessment of the interaction focussing on being prepared for success

2. Contact: how to make an initial contact that doesn’t escalate a situation and is focused on treating others with dignity by showing them respect

3. Conflict: how to stay safe and prevent disagreements from progressing to emotional or physical violence

4. Crisis: how to stay safe and de-escalate a situation when the subject is apparently under the influence of personal stress, drugs & alcohol, or mental health issues.

5. Combat: how to apply the appropriate personal protection and physical control tactics to stabilise a situation when words alone fail.

6. Closure: how to normalise a situation after an incident, which includes reassuring the subject, providing medical treatment and debriefing the incident.

This “tactics” approach to training includes “skill-station” drills – where numerous techniques are applied together in real-world scenarios – which allows the delivery of training in short modules.

  • 2018 FEEDBACK SURVEY: The training course from Dynamis fulfilled or exceeded expectations 98.1% 98.1%
  • Our Dynamis instructor had a very good or excellent level of knowledge and competence 97.4% 97.4%
  • The theory and knowledge components helped me professionally 99.6% 99.6%
  • The techniques and tactics were appropriate to real scenarios in our work 97.3% 97.3%
  • Our Dynamis trainer observed good Health and Safety practices 99.4% 99.4%
  • The Dynamis training course was of the right duration to gain the skills and knowledge I needed 89.9% 89.9%
The core philosophy of “VDI” is to treat people with dignity by showing them respectand this programs trains on exactly how to do this — even when under pressures created by volatile and potentially dangerous situations.

Using our proprietary Emotionally Safe Performance-Driven Instruction methodology, instructors learn how to train their staff using Fire Drills (scenario-based) rather than Fire Talks (lecture-based). It is not enough to “know how” to do the right thing, must “practice” doing the right thing under pressure. You must develop the same psycho-motor abilities for your verbal skills as you’ve developed for your other professional skills

At Dynamis, our Vistelar communication methodology is based on a number of key tenets and maxims which guides our training practice and forms the bedrock of how we advise staff to manage interactions with their customers, clients, patients and service users.



“The desire for officers to receive better training in dealing with members of the public with mental health issues was repeatedly mentioned”
Police Use of Force

2016 Report, IPCC

All of our training programs are led by expert and experienced instructors using Vistelar’s conflict management curriculum and who use our proprietary Emotionally-Safe Performance Driven Instruction.™ This unique approach improves retention of the course material and, more importantly, ensures students can actually perform the learned skills in the midst of stress (fire drills versus fire talks). Our training emphasizes student interaction, scenario-based skill practice (using a proprietary video recording/review technology), memorable stories (“peace stories”) and analysis of real-life events captured on video.
Links to NHS Conflict Resolution Syllabus
Describe the common causes of conflict.
Identify the different stages of conflict.
Learn from their own experience of conflict situations to develop strategies to reduce the opportunity for conflict in the future.
Describe two forms of communication.
Indicate the level of emphasis that can be placed on verbal and non-verbal communication during a conflict situation.
Underline the impact that cultural differences may have in relation to communication.
Identify the causes of communication breakdown and the importance of creating the right conditions for communication to succeed.
Utilise three communication models that will assist them in dealing with different levels of conflict.
Recognise the behavioural pattern of individuals during conflict.
Recognise the warning and danger signals displayed by individuals during a conflict situation including the signs that may indicate the possibility of physical attack.
Identify the procedural and environmental factors affecting conflict situations and recognise their importance in decision making.
Underline the importance of keeping a safe distance in conflict situations.
Summarise the methods and actions appropriate for particular conflict situations and that no two situations are same.
Explain the use of ‘reasonable force’ as described in law and its limitations and requirements.
Identify the range of support, both short and long-term, available to those affected by a violent incident.
Underline the need to provide support to those directly affected and the wider organisational benefits of this.
Links to National Occupational Standards
PMWRV 3 The Prevention and Management of work-related violence

Protect yourself and others from the risk of violence at work

You must be able to: Conduct a dynamic risk assessment

  1. P1 step back from the situation and assess the level of threat presented by:
    1. P1.1  the person(s) (including yourself) involved,
    2. P1.2  objects which could be used as a weapon, and
    3. P1.3  the physical or virtual environment in which the incident takes place
  2. P2 consider the options available and respond with the safest and most effective action,
  3. P3 continue to monitor the situation and be prepared to re-assess the threat and consider alternative options if the level of threat changes

Help to defuse a potentially violent situation

  1. P4  maintain a calm, reassuring and professional attitude towards those presenting unacceptable and/or challenging behaviour
  2. P5  maintain a safe distance and avoid contact if possible
  3. P6  be aware of exits
  4. P7  communicate with those presenting unacceptable and/or challenging behaviour in a way that:
    1. P7.1  shows respect for them, their property and their rights
    2. P7.2  is free from discrimination and oppressive behaviour
  5. P8  keep the situation under review and act to reduce the risks to the safety of all those affected by the incident
  6. P9  take action to calm the situation which will:
    1. P9.1  attempt to ensure the situation does not deteriorate or worsen
    2. P9.2  follow your organisation’s policy and procedures and your legal responsibilities, including the rules of the social media site in which the incident occurred
    3. P9.3 minimise the risk of injury to you and other people
  7. P10  where you are unable to calm the situation down, request assistance promptly as required by organisational procedures
  8. P11  end contact with those presenting challenging and/or unacceptable behaviour and leave the situation if the threat to your own safety and that of other people cannot be effectively managed
  9. P12 explain clearly to the people involved as appropriate:
    1. P12.1  what you will do
    2. P12.2  what they should do and
    3. P12.3  the likely consequences if the present situation continues
  10. Review your own and others involvement in the incident
  11. P13 review the sequence of events leading up to the incident
  12. P14 discuss with relevant people whether organisational procedures helped or hindered the incident
  13. P15 complete records in accordance with organisational requirements about:
    1. P15.1  yours and others actions at the time of the incident
    2. P15.2  the circumstances and severity of the incident
    3. P15.3  the measures taken to protect yourself and other people
    4. P15.4  action taken to try to calm the situation down
  14. P16 assess the organisation’s and your own risk assessment relevant to your activities and establish their adequacy for dealing with similar incidents
  15. P17 make recommendations to the relevant people for reducing the risk of further similar incidents
  16. P18 identify areas where you and others would benefit from training P19 contribute to good practice by sharing relevant non confidential information with other people in similar job roles which could help reduce incidents of violence P20 make use of available support and advice to help prevent any incident-related health problems, where appropriate

Knowledge and understanding You need to know and understand:

  1. K1 your own and others legal duties for ensuring well-being, safety and health in the workplace as explained by relevant legislation for health and safety at work
  2. K2 your own and others job role, responsibilities and limitations K3 your own and others capabilities and limitations in terms of protecting yourselves in potentially violent situations
  3. K4 the process of dynamic risk assessment of a potentially violent situation
  4. K5 when it is appropriate and possible to maintain a safe distance, and avoid physical contact
  5. K6 the importance of showing respect for people, their property and rights and how to do so
  6. K7 how to avoid behaviours or language that are discriminatory or oppressive
  7. K8 how to interpret body language and the importance of acknowledging other people’s personal space
  8. K9 the importance of remaining alert to triggers of violent behaviour
  9. K10 the importance of planning how you and others will leave a situation including identifying where the nearest exit routes are if at risk of physical violence, or logging off if at risk of violence in a virtual environment
  10. K11 the main signs that a situation could escalate to violent behaviour and how to recognise these
  11. K12 when to leave the scene of the incident, seek help and safe techniques for leaving the situation
  12. K13 the types of action and behaviour you can take to calm situations
  13. K14 your organisation’s procedures for dealing with violent behaviour
  14. K15 the importance of having the opportunity to talk to someone about the incident afterwards
  15. K16 the reports that have to be made and the records that have to be kept
  16. about a potential or actual incident of violence
  17. K17 methods of effective communication

"Listen with all your senses"

"Generate Voluntary Collaboration"

"Empathy eases tension"

"Non-Escalation before De-Escalation"

"Manage Gateway Behaviours as a Priority"

"Offer Options, Not Threats"