AE May/June 2021 Vol 30 No 3 - 12

RUNNING THE PRACTICE // HUMAN RESOURCES

B.R.E.A.T.H.E.-7 STEPS
FOR DE-ESCALATING ANY
SITUATION
Patty Casebolt

E

motional regulation is an
integral part of any manager's
tool kit. Mastering this skill
will enhance patient satisfaction and job satisfaction, and
elevate company culture.
During the pandemic,
our office chose to implement
strict masking protocols. Although
some patients were appreciative of
the added protection, many were
highly resistant to following this
new protocol.
CASE IN POINT: PART 1
I witnessed one encounter, for
example, in which a patient loudly
contested our mask-wearing policy.
As I approached, my heart rate and
breathing rapidly increased, and I
felt anxious. I had slipped into a
defensive mode of fight or flight.
To be effective, I needed to regulate
my emotions.
This is the seven-step approach I
used to de-escalate the situation.
1. BREATHE
Taking several slow, deep breaths
has been shown to increase oxygen,
lower the stress hormone cortisol,
and ultimately help slow heart
rate and lower blood pressure. By

12

AE // May/June 21

bringing your attention to your
breath, you can help interrupt the
brain's fight-or-flight response.
When you regulate your physical
and emotional state, you have access
to your executive function-the
problem-solving part of your brain.
2. RELATE
Focusing on what is happening
for the other person and taking
on their perspective help build
empathy. This in turn is helpful in
building rapport. When people feel
understood, they are more likely to
shift away from " fight mode " and
toward problem solving.
3. ENGAGE
Becoming curious by asking openended questions allows you to
quickly assess and then address the
situation. It also helps the other
person sort out the true root of the
issue.
4. ACKNOWLEDGE
After gathering information,
acknowledge the emotional content
and reflect what you have heard.
This is instrumental in letting the
other party know you are present
and are actively listening.

5. TROUBLESHOOT
In this stage you are sorting out
what can be done immediately
versus what may need to be
postponed to address the situation
completely. It is often helpful to
write down a list of all the " issues "
that need to be addressed to resolve
the issue at hand.
6. HEAR/HEARD
Problem solving is a two-way street.
It is important that both parties are
on the same page. First, state what
you have heard and ask for confirmation that you heard correctly.
When a person feels truly heard,
they are more willing to hear you.
When you have confirmed that you
have correctly heard all the issues,
ask the other person what they have
heard from you. Correct anything
that was miscommunicated or
misheard.
7. EXPEDITE
Lastly, explore solutions and act
quickly. It is important to expedite
anything that can be addressed
right away and communicate your
plan. Acting as soon as possible
sends a strong message that you
care. If there are actions that must



AE May/June 2021 Vol 30 No 3

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of AE May/June 2021 Vol 30 No 3

AE May/June 2021 Vol 30 No 3 - Cover1
AE May/June 2021 Vol 30 No 3 - Cover2
AE May/June 2021 Vol 30 No 3 - 1
AE May/June 2021 Vol 30 No 3 - 2
AE May/June 2021 Vol 30 No 3 - 3
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AE May/June 2021 Vol 30 No 3 - Cover3
AE May/June 2021 Vol 30 No 3 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/ae-may-june-2021-vol-30-no-3
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/ae-march-april-2021-vol-30-no-2
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/ae-january-february-2021-vol-30-no-1
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/ae_nov_dec_20
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/ae_sept_aug_20
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/ae_july_aug_20
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/ae_may_jun_20
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/ae_mar_apr_20
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/ae_jan_feb_20
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/ae_nov_dec19
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/ae_septoct19
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/g107843_ae_julyaug19
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https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/g96528_ae_julyaugust18
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https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/ae_septoct16
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/ae_julaug16
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/asoa_mayjune2016
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/asoa_marapr2016
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/asoa_janfeb16
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/ae_novdec15
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/asoa_sepoct15
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/APTA/g52750_apta_25ada
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/asoa_julyaug2015
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/asoa_mayjune2015
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/asoa_marapr2015
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/asoa_janfeb15
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/asoa_novdec14
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/asoa_sepoct14_AE
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/asoa_julaug14
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/ASOA_MayJunAE
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/ASOA_MarAprAE
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/ASOA_JanFebAE
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/ASOA_no4eZine
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/asoa_fall_2013
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/asoa_no3_ezine
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/asoa/asoa_summer_2013
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/ehr_cust_survey_Apr2013
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