In Step 1 of the five steps of de-escalation, we learned to identify what’s in it for you. (try our cpi certificate or our crisis intervention training) Step 2 is to demonstrate you’re not a threat, followed by step 3, where you find an “in,” and in step 4 we learned to meet a need.

That brings us to step 5, where you identify an area where you can find a compromise. Somewhere or something the two of you can work out together to come up with a successful resolution. Of utmost importance is providing that individual with options that work for them but that also works for you. I like to say, “Give to get.”

I’m going to give somebody something if they’re asking me for it, because they’re in crisis, and they’re yelling at me to “Get out my face,” or “You need to leave me alone,” or whatever they think they want in the heat of the moment. I might give them one of those things they think they want, but I’m not going to give it to them without getting something that I need in return. As I like to say, “Give to get.” As an example, “Okay, sir, I understand you’re upset, I’m going to back up and get out of your face, but you’re going to promise me that you’re also going to lower your voice, and you’re going to take a few deep breaths. Can we agree to that at least?” “

Basically, I tell them what I am willing to do for them, and I explain what I expect from them in return. It’s really all about compromise. Both sides are encouraged to come up with a solution. In the given scenario of the drunk driver, you might say, “I understand you’re upset. I know you don’t want to run through these tests, but how else do you think we can resolve this? How can I get the information I need to let you be on your way?”

They may say back, “I don’t know. I know I don’t want to take your breath test. You just need to let me go; just let me walk, man. We got my car up out of the ditch; just let me drive it home.”

In this situation, we know that I can’t just let this guy go, so I’m going to figure out some sort of compromise and say something like, “Well, how about this? I appreciate where you’re coming from. I hear you. You just want to be on your way. Here’s the thing, my boss is going to be real mad, and they’re not going to want to pay this tow bill. Now, I have to check to be sure that this accident was not your fault before I let you go. But if I don’t do the tests, how will I know? Somebody’s going to try to make me pay the tow bill. So, here’s the thing. I don’t want to hold you up any longer, and you don’t want to be stuck here with no car. Let’s make sure you’re good to drive. You run through these tests for me, show me you’re good to go, and you’ll be on your way. Just give me a few minutes, let’s see how you do. What do you think?”

In the end, will it work? Maybe. Maybe not. But I’m still going to try, I’m going try to provide options. So, the five steps boil down to: What’s in it for me, demonstrate I’m not a threat, find an “in,” meet a need, and provide options.