My name is Joe Saunders. I’m the host of the Managing Violence Podcast and the Victorian state manager for Risk 2 Solution Group. I’m also behavioural science nerd. I am fascinated by the the subject of communication and de-escalation training, particularly as it applies to aggression management and workplace violence prevention. My journey to this profession wasn’t through the typical academic or law enforcement route, and I believe that gives me a unique view on an age old problem.
As a young man and avid martial artist, I found myself taking work as a nightclub bouncer to pay my way through university. What I soon found was that while my physical martial arts came in handy more often than I’d like to admit, it was my ability to communicate under pressure and find common ground with aggressive people that was my most important skill. In fact, I began to see my ability to talk to anyone as my most important martial art.
One particular incident, in which I ended up spending some very tense hours at a police station, proved to be the catalyst for my advanced study of conflict communication. Over the ensuing 15 years as I moved out of the club world and into a variety of risk management, security management and first responder roles, I began to unpack this skillset and formalise my learnings. I dove into further studies of psychology, neuroscience, negotiation, communication, criminology and behavioural science. The result was a formalised and systematised approach to verbal de-escalation of aggressive and troubling behaviour that is infinitely scalable and replicable for organisations of any size in any industry.
In an age where workplace violence and aggression is so common, I firmly believe anyone who interacts with the public should have this training and I’ll do everything in my power to make it accessible to all. Don’t rely on being able to “wing it” when the time comes. Become a black belt in communication. I am available for speaking, coaching and consulting opportunities through the Risk 2 Solution Victoria office or via this website here.