Go to Top

Effective Intervention

Effective Intervention:
Dispelling Agitated Situations

According to recent studies – Americans are becoming increasingly “agitated” and most employees are not equipped to deal with it. Psychologists claim fewer people have what is called “impulse control” (or what used to be called “manners”) meaning most of these situations only escalate. Supervisors, employees, customers, vendors (even senior leaders) are less and less “civil” – which means increased tension, conflict and anger in airports, schools, hospitals, stores and every workplace imaginable. A 2017 Research Study found that 75% of Americans believe that incivility has risen to “crisis” levels (and over half feel it will only get worse).

Virtually everyone surveyed said they experienced incivility on a daily basis – an average of 17 times a week. Organizations that want to be successful have no choice but to acknowledge this reality and offer their employees tools for addressing it effectively – that’s what Effective Intervention: Dispelling Agitated Situations is all about.

Course Overview

Assessing the Landscape

  • We begin by defining agitated behavior and where it comes from – “a physiological reaction that is highly volatile and triggered by almost anything real or imagined”.
  • The framework of an agitated situation – participants consider various experiences at work and elsewhere when people lose it and the different components of an escalating incident are examined.

Analyzing the Situation

  • Identifying the antecedents – all the prior “behind the scenes” influences (psychological and otherwise).
  • Knowing the triggers – those catalysts that might set people off (in society and at work).
  • Understanding the human response – both healthy and unhealthy from employees to customers.
  • Predicting the outcomes – where unresolved agitation leads and what resolution looks like.
  • Recognizing the full spectrum of behavior – knowing the signs from difficult to dangerous.

Factoring in Cultural Differences

  • Learning about culture and how it might create misunderstandings around behavior.
  • Learning how to de-escalate cultural, generational and even personality-driven tensions.

Dispelling Agitated Behavior

  • Managing yourself first – how to have a mature, level- headed response to agitation.
  • Building rapport and trust – how to gain relational capital with co-workers and customers.
  • Minimizing external influences – strategies for controlling outside factors.
  • Intervention and skill practice – customized scenarios and steps for de-escalating agitated situations.

Setting Boundaries and Dealing with Violence

  • Tips for spelling out boundaries – setting limits kindly and giving choices with consequences.
  • Addressing highly agitated behavior – how to protect yourself and get help,


  • Each participant is encouraged to take ownership for dispelling agitated situations with concrete steps.