Point-Of-Impact Non-Escalation, De-Escalation and Crisis Intervention Tactics for Our Nation's Guardians
Four-Day Instructor Certification
This four-day course certifies participants as Verbal Defense & Influence™ (VDI) Instructors so, upon successful completion, they can teach VDI within their organization. VDI is a point-of-impact conflict management training program.
Practitioners of VDI have the knowledge and skills to reduce the frequency of conflict (non-escalation) in their interactions with others and, when a situation escalates, respond in an effective manner to de-escalate the conflict — instead of reacting impulsively.
The principles of VDI, which have been taught worldwide for more than 30 years, are grounded in academic research and real-world application. The structured framework, in which these principles have been synthesized, makes the course material easy to learn, remember and apply — and simple to teach.
Verbal Defense & Influence is a program of Vistelar, a global consulting and training organization focused on addressing the entire spectrum of human conflict at the point of impact. Vistelar’s vision is to make the world safer by teaching everyone HOW to treat each other with dignity by showing them respect.
Verbal Defense & Influence’s field-proven, HOW-TO methodology has been shown to provide the following benefits:
- Reduced interpersonal conflict
- Increased self-confidence and persuasion skills
- Enhanced physical safety
- Improved work, family and social relationships
- Reduced complaints, liability and injuries
- Improved performance, morale and workplace safety
- Better team cooperation and collaboration
- Lower workplace stress levels
- Reduced threat of litigation
- Less use-of-force incidents
- Improved post-incident reporting
- Better matching of report with video record
- Less escalation of conflict to emotional/physical violence
- Improved ability to engage in difficult conversations
- Increased competence in addressing verbal abuse and bullying
- Enhanced psychological well-being
A key goal of Verbal Defense & Influence is to keep front-line staff personally, organizationally, legally and emotionally safer during and following conflict.
Who Should Attend
The VDI program was originally designed for law enforcement professionals and is taught by professional trainers with extensive law enforcement backgrounds (see biographies below of Gary Klugiewicz and Dave Young, the instructors for this course).
However, individuals from other professions who face point-of-impact conflict (e.g., corrections, private security, healthcare, education, customer service, military, public transit, utilities) are also encouraged to attend.
As stated in the Final Report of the President's Task Force on 21st Century Policing:
“law enforcement culture should embrace a Guardian (AKA "ethical protector”) — rather than a warrior — Mindset to build trust and legitimacy both within agencies and with the public.”
Teaching the HOW of developing such a mindset is an important goal of this course. However, this mindset is essential for every profession that deals with conflict at the point of impact — not just police.
Another key recommendation of the 21st Century Policing Report is the adoption of Procedural Justice (where the perceived fairness of the process — how people are treated — is as important as perceived fairness of the outcome) and Community Engagement (where trust-building, non-enforcement activities are supported).
Teaching the HOW of such adoption is another important goal of this course and, like the Guardian Mindset, all professions facing conflict should know these Hows.
Therefore, both law enforcement and non-law enforcement professionals will gain great benefit from this course. In addition, when both are present, class discussions and training exercises are far more valuable because different perspectives are shared — an outcome made possible by the use of Vistelar’s proprietary Emotionally Safe Performance-Driven Instruction™ (see description below).
What You’ll Learn
Verbal Defense & Influence is a comprehensive, structured methodology for how to effectively:
- Manage conflict and crisis at the point of impact
- Implement Procedural Justice / Community Engagement
- Develop a Guardian Mindset
Students learn how to perform Vistelar's ten elements of effective communication under pressure: 1) Be Alert & Decisive / Respond, Don’t React; 2) Five Maxims; 3) Showtime Mindset; 4) Universal Greeting; 5) Beyond Active Listening; 6) Redirections; 7) Persuasion Sequence; 8) When Words Alone Fail; 9) Bystander Mobilization; 10) Review/Report.
In addition, Social Contract, Crisis Intervention, Responsive Proxemics and Personal Safety strategies are also covered (see below for detailed learning objectives).
Non-escalation tactics are emphasized to prevent conflict (starting the “negative dance”). Then, if the situation escalates, a structured methodology of de-escalation and crisis intervention is taught to minimize the risk of emotional/physical violence and reduce use-of-force incidents.
Another key goal of this course is to teach “how to look good on camera no matter how the situation ends up." All actions of a Guardian (whatever the profession) are now being video recorded and, as a result, have the potential of being shown on YouTube to millions of viewers, picked up by the media and broadcasted to millions more, or used in disciplinary procedures/court proceedings.
Therefore, it’s now critical that contact professionals know how to ensure their actions (non-verbal, verbal, physical) aren’t misrepresented when viewed on camera and that their incident report matches the video record.
Course participants will learn HOW TO ensure their performance, incident report and testimony aligns with their training, as well as with the video that will inevitably be available for viewing — by the public, a supervisor or a judge/jury.
Verbal Defense & Influence training is an essential addition to any organization’s risk-management efforts.
Like all Vistelar's courses, Verbal Defense & Influence is taught from the perspective of the entire spectrum of human conflict (Vistelar's "5 Cs" :Contact, Conflict, Crisis, Combat and Closure) and is easily integrated into existing training and policies/procedures of an organization.
As stated above, this course is taught using Vistelar's proprietary Emotionally Safe Performance-Driven Instruction™ that improves retention of the course material and, more importantly, ensures students can actually perform the learned skills in the midst of stress ("fire drills versus fire talks"). This unique approach to training emphasizes student interaction, scenario-based skill practice (using a proprietary video recording/review technology), memorable stories ("peace stories") and analysis of real-life events captured on video.
Each participant receives access to an online pre-work program, a student workbook, an instructor binder and, following class, access to an online instructor-resource website. Participants leave the course fully-prepared to teach Verbal Defense & Influence within their organizations.
About the Instructors
Students at this class are in for a treat. Gary Klugiewicz is one of the original founders of Vistelar and is a Director at the company. He has an extensive background in law enforcement, corrections and private security work and has been a professional trainer for over 25 years.
To learn more about Gary, please review Vistelar’s Origins of Verbal Defense & Influence and Origins of Vistelar’s Tactical Training write-ups.
To register for this class, you have three options:
Pay Online Using A Credit Card: Click on Order Now at the top of this page, fill out the registration form with your credit card information and and click on Pay Now at the bottom of the page.
Pay By Check: Click on Show Other Payment Options at the top of this page, fill out the registration form and click on Pay By Check at the bottom of the page.
Request An Invoice: Click on Show Other Payment Options at the top of this page, fill out the registration form and click on Send An Invoice at the bottom of the page.
The normal price of this course is $1,497.00.
If you are paying by check or against an invoice, payment is due within 10 days of your registration. Please mail payments to:
Attn: Accounts Receivable
1845 N Farwell Ave., Suite 210
Milwaukee, WI 53202
If after registering, you determine that you are not able to attend, please notify us by email as soon as possible.
Cancellations prior to five days before the first day of this course will receive a refund of the amount paid minus a $150 administrative fee.
Cancellations within five days of the course will receive a refund of the amount paid minus a $250 administrative fee.
If you do not cancel and do not attend the course, no refund will be made.
Vistelar reserves the right to cancel this course if there is insufficient registrations and, if that occurs, a full refund of the amount paid will be made.
Please allow two weeks to process any refund.
Students successfully completing the course will be able to:
21st Century Policing
- List the six pillars outlined in President's Task Force report
- Describe how to develop a Guardian Mindset
- Describe how to implement Procedural Justice
- Describe how to implement Community Engagement
- Explain the concept of leadership based on respect
Verbal Defense & Influence Foundations
- Explain the importance of establishing a social contract and describe how to develop a social contract
- Explain the Emotionally Safe Performance-Driven Instruction approach to training
- List the components of the Communicating Under Pressure card
- Share personal peace stories
- Explain why conflict is inevitable and often has a positive impact
- Describe the three universal triggers to conflict having a negative outcome
- Explain the need for being effective at conflict management
- Describe how VDI fits into the entire spectrum of human conflict
- Explain how to establish a classroom social contract
Be Alert & Decisive / Respond, Don't React
- Explain the importance of having a pre-planned, practiced response
- Identify your personal triggers to the negative impact of conflict
- List and describe the conditions-of-awareness levels
- Identify three of the nonverbal cues for managing conflict
- Perform an emotion guard to a personal trigger
Responsive Proxemics and Personal Safety
- Explain the purpose of proxemics
- Describe the main elements of personal safety awareness
- Describe the 10-5-2 rule
- Perform four proxemics tactics
- Perform several physical escapes
- Explain the distinction between dignity and respect
- List the Five Maxims for how to treat people with dignity by showing them respect
- State the Platinum Rule
- Explain how to use the Five Maxims for managing conflict
- Perform a Five Maxim explanation
- Perform the Showtime Mindset
- Explain the importance of nonverbal communication
- Describe how posture affects self-confidence
- Describe the four levels of verbal intensity
- List several peace and anti-peace phrases
- Describe the best way to make an initial contact
- List the four parts of a complete Universal Greeting
- Explain the universality of the Universal Greeting
- Explain how the Universal Greeting establishes a supportive atmosphere
- Perform a Universal Greeting in a common scenario in your job
Beyond Active Listening
- Explain the inadequacy of just active listening
- Explain why empathy is so critical to effective communication
- List the three components of Beyond Active Listening
- Explain why people often won’t share their real concerns or issues
- Perform an interaction using Beyond Active Listening
- Describe the three types of people with special needs
- Explain why understanding the various types of mental illnesses is of less importance when dealing with someone in crisis at the point of impact
- List the four steps of effective crisis intervention
- List the four strategies for effective crisis intervention
- List the main types of Redirections
- Explain why Redirections can help stop verbal abuse and bullying
- Describe when to use a Redirection to enhance Beyond Active Listening
- Perform a Redirection appropriate for a common scenario in your job
- Perform a Redirection during a Persuasion Sequence
- List the five steps of the Persuasion Sequence
- Explain how to use this tactic when someone refuses your verbal direction
- Explain the association of the Five Maxims and the Persuasion Sequence
- Apply the Greed Principle to identify positive and negative options in a situation
- Create a Persuasion Sequence script for a common scenario in your job and perform it using this script
When Words Alone Fail
- Describe when it’s necessary to stop talking and take action
- Identify the two indicators that words alone have failed
- Explain the conditions when someone else’s words create a safety threat
- Describe a When Words Alone Fail scenario for your discipline
- State the criteria for an intervention to be justifiable
- State the two reasons why bystanders typically do not intervene
- Describe when professionals have a duty to intervene
- List the three methods for ethical intervention
- Demonstrate a tap-out procedure
- Develop ethical intervention options for yourself
Review / Report
- Explain the Closure Principle
- Explain the purpose of debriefing
- Describe the elements of an effective incident report
- Explain how ensure your incident report matches the video record
- Perform an effective debrief using VDI language to actions and decision-making process
- Teach Verbal Defense & Influence in various class formats using the Communicating Under Pressure chart
- Facilitate scenario-based skill practice sessions
- Lead a discussion to analyze video scenarios
- Lead a debrief session using VDI language
- Develop an action plan for implementing VDI within your organization
Emotionally Safe Performance-Driven Instruction
- Describe the main elements of this form of instruction
- Explain the distinction between education and training
- Explain the importance of student interaction to the learning process
- Explain the importance of developing peace stories
- Lead at least two Performance-Driven instruction activities
When & Where
Vistelar is a global consulting and training intitute focused on addressing the entire spectrum of human conflict - from interpersonal discord, verbal abuse and bullying - to crisis communications, assault and physical violence.