Thursday, January 26, 2017

Training to help manage Conflict Aggression & Violence.

Reflection from Pip Wilson::
I reflect here - I try daily.
Years before I had my own website / Blog
I reflected on paper.
Every late night.

I have 50 years of reflections.
I never have time to dig backwards.
Maybe when the pace slows?

But this one below
I recall 
It was powerful.
I will walk you through it.

I was facilitating a training course about::
Managing Aggression & Violence.
Those present were Staff members from Hostels in London.
Mainly men.
Predominantly night staff.
11 of them + me.

After I had introduced myself
I mixed them up into triads
and asked them to share
an occasion in their lives
when they faced violence - 
& a difficult situation.

I always use triads
as it is easier for everyone
but especially those not used to 
meeting/training - opening up in a group.

After a given time
I asked them all in turn
to share with the whole group.

to start with reality.
Getting everyone to connect to their feelings.

Here is the feedback::
. A big man tried to enter the Hostel without permission and the staff member lost control and offered to fight him outside.
. I was dragged out of the building with my friend. 
. A gun was rested on my shoulder and my friend was shot dead.
. At the benefits office I stood between the officer and the Hostel resident who was out of control and threateningly abusing staff.
. On the corridor of the Hostel hammers were being used to attack others. Staff hid in the toilets to escape extreme violence.
. I went to visit my Uncle and we sipped tea together. A gang entered and shot dead my Uncle as he sat beside me.
. My friend was intimidated living in the Hostel so he left.  Some time after, he was attacked at his front door and stabbed to death.
. The Hostel Night Manager was abused and intimidated by friends of a resident. Police were called to avoid serious violence.
. The eviction noticed was served on the resident, he abused me and made threats of violence. I walked away to defuse conflict.
. The non-resident had his foot in the front door to stop staff from locking out potential violence and then the abused Staff member wanted to fight.
. A remark from another staff member resulted in the Hostel resident 'losing it' and pulling a knife.

You can imagine the atmosphere in the room now!
A stillness
a REALITY check.

Then I started the training day.
Not talking at them
but short in-puts
short movie clips
Experiential exercises
Blob Tree Materials
ALL with triad sharing
and feedback to the larger group & me.

Self awareness was big.
Being aware of ‘own feelings’
in times of conflict.
Automatically breathing deep and slow 
which I have lived with for years.
Awareness of how the other person is feeling.
Acknowledging that to the aggressor 
Being calm
Deciding what to do not
reacting emotionally.
Fight or Flight stuff.
Love is the key.

A massive part of this area of work
is being self-aware.
Knowing that we can’t manage their feelings
BUT we can learn to manage our own.

Its about not being a REACTOR
but being an ACT-er.
Deciding how to ACT.
Knowing that feelings travel to the brain
quicker than thinking does.
Seeing the behaviour
but also seeing beyond that ...
Love is the key.

It was dynamic
no easy answers
no instant miracles
but much about US - interior 
our own behaviour
understanding the offender.

Experiences are remembered more than words.
We all had an experience that day.
We will never forget it.
Especially when facing conflict.