Effective Communication in the Midst of Stress



Social workers face particularly difficult challenges that can interfere with their ability to effectively communicate. Cases that involve deeply personal issues such as custody of children, substance abuse, or severe health problems can cause clients to become hostile and defensive.

As a result, there’s a high risk of conflict.

Routine interactions with clients can cause tempers to flare, and this hazard escalates when social workers:

  •  Supervise visitation with children
  • Remove children from a home
  • Work with drug/alcohol dependent clients
  • Instructing clients’ families during treatment
  • Deal with complaints of malpractice
  • Working with clients who have a history of aggression

These are just a few of the many situations where social workers face conflict and potential violence which, if not handled well, can increase the risk of personal injury and reduce the effectiveness of treatment programs.

Your employees must be able to interact with clients in a non-escalatory manner, effectively manage situations that get out of hand, and justify their actions – all with the goal of protecting their safety and improving the lives of their clients.

That’s why we developed Verbal Defense & Influence training programs.

Verbal Defense & Influence has been street-tested by police for 28 years to verbally prevent and de-escalate hostile interactions.

We can help you develop procedures to standardize conflict response, ensure its defensibility, and prepare your employees to be true protectors of society.


Our trainer gave our employee attendees many real-life skills and techniques with which they can defuse a situation or identify one as something they need to exit from.   Our trainer called days in advance to discuss the group, the facility, the AV Equipment.  He came to our facility to set up the day before the training and arrived long before the training started on our training day.  As a coordinator, that kind of professionalism matters a great deal to me.

–          Kevin Fowler, Farmington, MN



Confidence in Conflict Book