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Thoughts on a safer world (Occupational Violence)

We recently covered the need for hospital staff to be aware of their environments in context to Occupational Violence in the workplace.

The tasks associated with this review enabled our team to consider a few basic and widely forgotten truths about workplace safety in the face of potentially violent situations.

1 – Wining on the ground of your choosing. Let’s face it… fights are unfair. Your attacker/s wants one, or both of following things: Something you know, or, something you have. Be it you life, your money, information, access etc.

Interestingly; Hospital Staff are often targeted for their access. The need to sneak out for a cigarette or to allow for extended visitor hours. In most cases this was all that was needed to de-conflict a potentially violent situation.

Winning on the ground of your choosing is all about shifting the battlefield so that no shots need to be fired and you can simply go on your business with happy clients and get the most out of your day.

2 – Shifting your focus. All violent situations actually boil down to a safety (WHS) issue. If you find yourself against the wall fighting, a series of events have led up to this point in time, yes you have generally failed if you find yourself in this position unwillingly. A strategy we teach is to often allow your attacker to believe they are in control whilst you figure out what their motivation and centre of gravity is. This strategy simply allows you time to put forth some basic skills we teach.

If you need to fight, have to fight, then it’s on… and you should fight to win, destroy and neutralise. These skills are very in-depth to be responsible for, but are extremely easy to discharge, which is often the element that get’s many into trouble.

So shifting your focus is all about, being aware of the situation before allowing emotion to take over. This art enables the user to reconfigure and reorientate to a ground of their choosing, to ramp-up, down, pivot left or pivot right.

3 – Understanding your threat. It’s very easy to dislike someone or something. Have you ever considered a time where you ‘met someone half way’? Did it work? Often a compromise, as we suggested above in Point One can be all thats required. Yes you may be in control, but to allow a threat or potential advisory time to have control of their own can be enough to defuse a potentially harmful situation. Of course your personal safety is always no. 1.

It’s often said in battlefield strategy that to disarm your threat you must love them, you must understand what their needs and wants are. From there you can move to disarm. In todays world we replace these key words with, empower, enable, help and support.

All in all, we want our students to take advantage of emotional intelligence. To act as best as they can be in their own lives and thus create a world of their own consciousness.

Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. And making our world a better place starts at home moves onto the street and then arrives at the workplace.

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