In interacting with others, it’s important to realize that non-escalation and de-escalation won’t always work (When Words Alone Fail) and to prepare for that possibility. This can occur when either of these two criteria is met:

  • Persuasion Sequence has ended without compliance.
  • There is a clearly articulated safety concern that justifies taking action based on the totality of the circumstances known to you at the time.

If a Persuasion Sequence ends without compliance, you should take appropriate action, such as terminating the contact, making a note to file, or contacting your supervisor.

On the other hand, if the situation has deteriorated to cause a safety concern, you may need to take additional action – such as:

  • Leave the situation
  • Call supervisor, security or 911 for help
  • Ask for support from other employees
  • Monitor the situation until help arrives

What’s important here is that you have a plan for how to respond. For example, you should know your escape routes.

In the second video, the gatekeeper did exactly the right thing. When she felt threatened, she didn't hesitate to get up, "get out of Dodge," and call for security.

Never ignore behaviors that give you feelings of uneasiness. If you feel unsafe, don't hesitate to immediately leave.