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Workplace Violence How to Manage Anger and Violence in the Workplace


Workplace Violence: How to Manage Anger and Violence in the Workplace

Course Overview

Violence of any sort has many roots. Sometimes there are warning signs of workplace violence, but this is not always the case. It is up to us to learn whatever we can to prevent, identify, and mitigate any threats, and this comprehensive workshop includes everything a workplace leader needs to get started.

You will spend the first part of the day getting to know participants and discussing what will take place during the workshop. Students will also have an opportunity to identify their personal learning objectives

Course Objectives

This three-day course will help you teach participants how to:

  • Describe what workplace violence is
  • Identify some warning signs of violence
  • Apply the cycle of anger
  • Understand Albert Bandura’s behavior wheel and how it applies to anger
  • Develop a seven-step process for managing your anger and others’ anger
  • Apply better communication and problem solving skills, which will reduce frustration and anger
  • Develop some other ways of managing anger, including coping thoughts and relaxation techniques
  • Use the nine components of an organizational approach to managing anger, including risk assessment processes
  • Respond if a violent incident occurs in the workplace, on both an individual and organizational level

Target Audience

All individuals and organizations wanting to manage violence in their workplace.


There are no prerequisites for this course

Course Outline

What is Workplace Violence?

To start the workshop, we will examine what workplace violence is, the cycle of violence, and some warning signs.

Understanding the Behavior Wheel

During this session, we will look at Albert Bandura’s behavior wheel. We will also explore how it applies to violence and anger.

The Anger Management Process

Dr. Lynn McClure, an anger management specialist, has identified a seven-step process to manage anger (yours or someone else’s). We will examine this process in detail through a lecture and through role play presentations.

Communicating Better

Communicating effectively can often help prevent people from getting angry. We will explore some key communication skills, including a four-step assertive message, listening skills, questioning skills, and three keys to unlock the best in people.

Basic Problem Solving Tools

Being an effective problem solver is another way a person can help prevent anger. We will spend most of the afternoon of Day One looking at a three-phase problem solving model and a problem solving toolkit. Participants will then apply these skills to a case study and to a personal problem.

Other Ways of Managing Anger

During this session, participants will discover some ways to manage their own anger, including coping thoughts, strategies to unwind, and relaxation techniques.

A Systems Approach

The second day of the workshop will focus on how an organization can plan to prevent workplace violence, using Norman Keith’s nine stage plan as a framework.

Developing a Policy and Program

A properly implemented violence policy and program is crucial to preventing workplace violence. We will look at both the policy and the program in detail.

Risk Assessment

A risk assessment will help the organization identify possible security and safety concerns. We will look at a five-step plan that any organization can use to assess these risks. Participants will apply this plan to a case study.

Hiring Practices

During this session, we will discuss some things that you can do at the hiring stage to help prevent workplace violence.

Workplace Design

The physical environment of the workplace can contribute to, or help prevent, workplace violence. We will explore some of these considerations through a case study.

Workplace Practices and Procedures

We will look at how training, Human Resources policies, staff management, and security measures can help make your workplace a safer place. Participants will then complete a case study to apply these ideas.

Security Systems and Personnel

During this session, we will look at some things that a security system can be made up of, including security staff, access restrictions, surveillance cameras, and intercoms. Then, participants will design a security plan for the Acme Widgets Company.

Training Programs

Training staff in some of the skills that we have learned, such as problem solving or communication, can also help prevent violence. We will learn about an eight-step plan that can help participants identify, plan, and implement training programs.

Developing Emergency Response Plans

It is crucial that employees know what to do in case of an incident. We will discuss some incidents to be prepared for and we will discuss what an ERP should cover.

Program Review

Constant review and re-evaluation are necessary to ensure your violence prevention program works. We will look at some components of this review and when it should be performed.

Developing a Threat Response Process

For the third day of the workshop, we will work on developing a plan to respond to a violent threat or incident. We will use a 14-stage plan developed by Drs. James Turner, Michael Gelles, and Chris Hatcher, as our framework. Participants will take on the role of the threat assessment team and will work on a single case study throughout the day.

The Immediate Response

To begin the day, we will look at what to do when you are part of a violent incident.

Consulting with the Experts

Depending on the situation, you may find that you need outside help. This session will discuss who should be brought in, when they should be contacted, and how they should be contacted.

Gathering Additional Information

Once the basic facts have been gathered and outside experts have been consulted, the threat assessment team should determine what other information is necessary. This session will provide some things that should be considered.

Re-Evaluating Information

During this session, we will look at two key processes that will help the threat assessment team determine their next steps.

Communicating Incidents and Threats

The next step in the threat response process is to establish a communication plan. We will give participants a template and some tips on communicating effectively.

Interviewing Employees

Stages seven and eight in the threat response process involve talking to the violent person. We will look at how to plan and interview the person, and then participants will have a chance to role play an interview.

Risk Level Analysis

At this stage, the threat assessment team will have gathered enough information to determine the severity of the threat or incident. We will look at a five-stage continuum that can help the team decide how to respond to the threat based on the severity level.

Reviewing the Options

Once the team has identified the severity level, a long term plan can be put into place. During this session, we will look at some options that can be used.

Analyzing the Impact

Now that the threat has been dealt with, it is time to debrief the affected people. We will look at some people that will likely need follow-up and forms that follow-up can take.

Incident Response Checklist

During this session, we will look at a checklist developed by Dr. Robert Turner that the threat assessment team can use throughout the threat response process.

Process Application

To wrap up the day, we will review the case study presented at the beginning of the day and how it moved through the various steps of the threat response process.

Workshop Wrap-Up

At the end of the course, students will have an opportunity to ask questions and fill out an action plan.

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