Agencies everywhere are facing severe budget cuts, which generate furloughs and layoffs, service reductions, community tension, and tremendous stress. When tensions run high and personnel feel pressure to handle tasks rapidly, conflicts and misunderstandings can arise with citizens as well as within the agency. Poor communication often exacerbates these problems, leading to heated complaints and mounting tensions that rob personnel of valuable time and energy, which translates into more lost time and money for the agency. This course is designed to help law enforcement supervisors address external complaints and internal conflicts effectively by introducing and demonstrating interpersonal conflict management techniques. We’ll focus on five strategies commonly used in negotiation and other conflict resolution processes, giving you the tools you need to convert angry accusations into constructive conversations. Leaders will learn how reacting to conflict appropriately and effectively will increase morale, build trust, and improve performance.

By the end of this course, participants will:

  • Know the specific costs of handling complaints in their agencies
  • Be able to break down the elements of a complaint into three structural components
  • Identify six common psychological triggers and traps that escalate conflict
  • Use five communication strategies during a complaint conversation
  • Share their learning with others in a brief roll-call lesson.

This course is ideal for shift supervisors and front desk personnel who handle citizen complaints. Others who might benefit include anyone who manages employees, internal affairs or professional responsibility officers, and human resources personnel, as well as line officers who want to improve their communication skills and reduce complaints.