Verbal communication skills are arguably the most important skillset a law enforcement officer must have. So why do we often de-prioritize this critical training in favor of more dynamic training? In this episode we'll discuss the importance of verbal communication and de-escalation skills with Chad Emmons and John DiGiantomasso with Thin Blue Online. Thin Blue Online is a web-based software training solution to help officers increase their skills with regularity. Verbal communication and de-escalation training doesn't have to be time consuming or expensive.

Key Takeaways:

  • Verbal Communication is the Most Valuable Asset In Our Toolbelt – We may not use our firearm, get into a physical altercation, or engage in a pursuit on a daily basis, but we do require the use of verbal communication every day, all the time. We don't place near enough emphasis on training this valuable skill in comparison to the amount of time we spend training on more dynamic (and sexy) skills.
  • If the Only Tool You Have is a Hammer, Every Problem Looks Like a Nail – In the midst of a dynamic situation, law enforcement officers will revert to their training. If we are placing more emphasis on training skills related to use of force, then that is what we can expect our officers to automatically revert to. There is certainly a time and place for a force-based response, but it is certainly not the best solution for every encounter.
  • Verbal Communication and De-escalation Training Doesn't Have to be Expensive or Time Consuming – There are some great in-person training courses out there for growing our verbal communication skills, but it is unrealistic for many agencies to send every officer to a week-long training program. The Thin Blue Online training platform isn't intended to be a replacement for in-person training, but is intended to be a supplement to it and to train the “muscle memory” of verbal communication skills in much the same way we train more dynamic skills; through repetition.

Chapter Markers:

  • 00:03:33 Why verbal communication skills are so important
  • 00:08:13 A case study of verbal de-escalation success
  • 00:10:57 The connection between communication skills and corrections experience
  • 00:12:33 Listening is the first step
  • 00:15:15 Why verbal communication training gets de-prioritized
  • 00:19:30 Officers revert to their training
  • 00:21:53 Verbal communication training doesn't have to be expensive and time consuming
  • 00:24:34 Leveraging technology to advance training
  • 00:28:16 EVERY officer should receive verbal communication training
  • 00:30:17 If the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail
  • 00:32:50 Improving the way we serve our community
  • 00:34:54 The user experience in the Thin Blue Online software
  • 00:42:06 How scoring and evaluation are conducted
  • 00:44:55 The frequency of training in the software
  • 00:47:22 Chad and John's background and the origins of Thin Blue Online
  • 00:55:27 How to connect with Chad, John and Thin Blue Online

Connect with Chad and John:

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