Work Place Violence: How to Respond

5 Tips for Managing Anger or Violence

When violence breaks out in the workplace, you are faced with three options: run, hide or take action. If you do find yourself in a close encounter with someone intent on inflicting harm, you or those you work with will need to decide on the best course of action based on the individual or circumstance. Evacuating or concealing your location are recommended first steps, but sometimes that is not an option. “Take action” includes many scenarios, but if having to talk to a person bent on violence is the situation you’ve found yourself in, this advice may be helpful: 

1. Remain calm

The calmer you are, the better you will be able to think about how to properly handle the situation. 

2. Do not raise your voice

Speak in a normal, even tone.

3. Listen

Maybe the attacker just wants to be heard. Let them vent and do not interrupt or argue with him or her.

4. Think before you speak

Certain comments could confuse the attacker or imply that your opinions are more important than theirs.

5. If a weapon is involved

Follow the attacker’s orders. Unless you are confident that your life is in immediate danger, you should not try to disarm an attacker.