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Recognising danger signs

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Recognizing Warning and Danger Signs in Conflict Resolution

1. Early Warning Signs

Identifying Conflict Escalation

Effective conflict resolution hinges on our ability to spot signs of impending escalation. These early indicators suggest increasing anger and the urge to assert oneself verbally. Recognizing these signs and employing the discussed conflict resolution models can help thwart the development of dangerous situations.

Early Warning Signs Include:

  • Direct, prolonged eye contact
  • Darkening of facial colour
  • Tilting the head back
  • Standing tall
  • Kicking the ground
  • Large, close movements
  • Accelerated breathing rate
  • Behavior starting and stopping abruptly

2. Danger Signs

Indications of Physical Threat

Danger signs denote the body's natural reactions when physical contact becomes a possibility. If you observe danger signs, it is advisable to withdraw from the situation and seek assistance from colleagues, security personnel, or the police.

Danger Signs Include:

  • Clenching and unclenching fists
  • Paling of facial colour
  • Lips tightening over teeth
  • Dropping the head to protect the throat
  • Eyebrows drooping to protect the eyes
  • Raising hands above the waist
  • Tensing of shoulders
  • Shifting stance from square to sideways
  • Staring at an intended target
  • Lowering the body for a forward launch

3. Impact Factors

Evaluating the Situation

Understanding impact factors is crucial for addressing conflicts. It involves assessing the potential risks in a given situation, much like conducting a mini-risk assessment. You need to evaluate both your own impact factors and those of the other person involved. For example, if the person you're dealing with is physically imposing and agitated, while you are of smaller build and have a wrist injury, it's vital to consider whether you are the best person to handle this situation.

Now, let's introduce a new element: imagine the same individual on crutches with plaster casts on their arm and leg. Do these changed impact factors alter your ability to handle the situation?

Each interaction with someone involves assessing signs and impact factors to determine the most effective approach to resolving the conflict.