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What's the Buzz Around De-escalation?

Buzz words!! Love 'em or hate 'em, they become a normal part of our daily conversations. When the media, politicians, and community stakeholders constantly use the same language, we naturally develop expectations and connotations around that familiar terminology. But you know what doesn’t happen? Nobody develops a common definition or understanding of what the term means.


Let’s look at “De-Escalation.”

Using the prefix de-, the root word escalate, and the suffix -ion, we can broadly define de-escalation as an action causing the intensity or seriousness to decrease. To help wrap your head around that, let’s break it down.


De – used to denote motion or conveyance down from, away, or off (deflect; descend); reversal or undoing of the effects of an action (deflate); extraction or removal of a thing (decaffeinate)

Escalate – become or cause to become more intense or serious

Ion – to do


Where does that leave us?

De-escalation, by definition, is basically any action that prevents further escalation. While we want to try to use tactics and strategies to calm things down, the reality is that sometimes force is the appropriate method to stop a spiraling situation from getting worse.


Since crises tend to be fluid and rapidly evolving, we must trust that our professionals are making the best decision in that particular moment to keep everyone safe.


We would love to hear your feedback, comments, questions or concerns!

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