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Trainer’s Tip: An Exercise in Controlling Emotions


This exercise, from Nick Hindley, is aimed at helping staff learn how to deal with potentially emotional situations.

Predict the sort of issues you are going to face that may generate an emotional feeling for your colleague or the service user. Being surprised by an event is one of the hardest parts of this process so sitting everyone down and recounting the sort of issues they have faced helps prepare others who can model the encounter with solutions.

Get the individual to identify the ideal objective or outcome of the encounter for them. If they do not know where they are heading it will be more difficult to stay in control in every sense.

Build real rapport with the person showing signs of distress, anger or dissatisfaction. As the staff member knows where they want to take the encounter they can perversely stay focused and really listen and respond to the other party. This usually means the staff member maintains control and avoids the sort of conversation where the aggrieved party ends up stating that they have not listening to them and are a bureaucratic automaton, which in most cases is the impression given if someone is not really listened to.


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