Encounters with students that leave you feeling frightened or threatened should be taken very seriously. Any time you feel personally threatened, stop the interaction and leave.
- Never deal with a potentially dangerous person alone.
- Make plans to have additional persons in the meeting or in the area to assist if necessary.
- Contact UNI Police if the situation warrants, preferably in advance of the meeting.
Response to Threats:
Although it is a common myth that violent perpetrators just snap, in fact, almost all violent perpetrators will give some indication of violent intentions long before they act.
- All threats must be taken seriously.
- People tend to reward those who threaten by backing down or retaliating, either way the perpetrator is reinforced with attention.
- Threats which are ignored provide the perpetrator with the feeling they are not being taken seriously.
Hints to De-escalate Conflict:
- Take a deep breath and relax
- Look the other person in the eye
- Both either sit or stand when communicating
- Speak slowly and softly
- Keep your arms and legs uncrossed
- Remember to look for win-win results
- Paraphrase what the other person has said
- Give "I" messages
- Watch your language; try not to use words that tend to escalate conflict, such as never, always, unless, can't, won't or don't
- Use words that tend to de-escalate, such as maybe, perhaps, what if or seems like.
- Ask questions to encourage them to look at solutions
- Ask open-ended questions