What can a teacher learn from an FBI agent? The answer is, “a lot.” “The Like Switch” is a book written by Jack Schafer. He worked for the FBI in a number of roles. One of his jobs was to interrogate suspects. Naturally, his job wasn’t an easy one since suspects had the right to remain silent. He also recruited spies. I’m certain you can understand that convincing someone to turn on their own country requires a particular set of skills. The author begins the book with the aha moment that encouraged him to share what you learned in the FBI. He realized that these skills could be used in the civilian world to make friends and thrive socially.
Because leadership is about influence, this is a book I highly recommend teachers read as it equips the reader with tools to read body language and be a likable person to a variety of people. In the book the author talks about Breaking the Anger Cycle. When people get angry they can be very difficult to deal with if you don’t have the tools. And as we all know, students are prone to get angry every now and then. As the leader in the classroom you are expected to acquire tools to de-escalate students and keep them in the classroom. This is not always easy but it is better to have tools to experiment with. Breaking the Anger Cycle these 3 steps:
- Empathetic Statement – Let students know that you understand the root of the problem and why it bothers them.
- Venting – Once empathy has been established, students feel free to vent. This can be a verbal process. It can also be physical with things like a crash pad, stress ball, fidget cube or a punching bag.
- Presumptive Statement – The presumptive statement borrows from the Love and Logic philosophy. Students are then given options to choose from based on the situation. Giving options sends the message to the student that they have some control over the situation. However, you are OK if they choose either option.
Try this out with your students. I am curious to hear about your experience Breaking the Anger Cycle with these tools.
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