Defusing Skills Training

Since 2007, Dfuse has supported members of the public, businesses and voluntary organisations to manage conflict and counter anti-social behaviour through teaching the skills of hostage negotiators, specialist communicators and self defence expert trainers. Our experts have equipped thousands of people with vital defusing techniques using real life examples and scenarios. Evaluations show that 94% would recommend the training to others. After just one day of training 83% said they feel confident using the skills and techniques they have learnt.


Training made for you

Dfuse training is based on the Dfuse Defusing Approach, but courses are tailored to suit the needs of your people and prepare them the situations they are likely to face. Programmes can be between two hours and two days  and will include realistic scenarios which focus on the skills and techniques that your people need the most. We will work with you to develop your course, and then one of our experts will come to your venue to deliver the training. We also offer online training, direct support and coaching, so you can choose anything from a short workshop to a fully wrapped training and development programme.

Our training can include:

  • Understanding conflict, how it escalates and what happens when it does.
  • Having difficult conversations, delivering bad news or talking to emotional people.
  • Dealing with aggression and frustration – particularly useful for people who manage complaints face-to-face or on the phone.
  • Responding safely and appropriately to challenging and antisocial behaviour, including making interventions between others.
  • Staying safe in the face of aggression and violence, including verbal communication and – if you need it – self defence techniques.
  • Negotiating and influencing, advanced communication techniques for Directors, Managers and for when conversations really matter.

Have a look at how our training programmes could help you and your people

CommunityDefusing neighbourhood conflict and antisocial behaviour

Most of us don’t want to stand by when someone else is in difficulty or when we see others vandalising, bullying or being threatening. We have a natural urge to try to cool arguments or prevent fighting, but on today’s streets such actions feel very risky. Antisocial behaviour in the community or ongoing disputes between neighbours can make going home miserable. Feeling unable to do anything about it can lead to further feelings of powerlessness. Furthermore, tolerating those who behave antisocially sends a message that their behaviours are acceptable. Dfuse provides a way to respond that is somewhere in-between doing nothing and taking an action that will put ourselves in danger.

Dfuse experts, with their street-level experience of dealing with community conflict, can help you, or the community you work with, to assess the risks of a situation and safely defuse conflict without escalating the situation into confrontation. They can also show how to safely calm situations that have already got out of hand. Effective defusing can prevent a situation from requiring police intervention or action from Local Authorities or landlords – ensuring their resources can be allocated elsewhere to tackle more serious issues. Defusing is not about duplicating police efforts or creating ‘have-a-go’ heroes but there is a role for the public to play in responding to antisocial behaviour.

The Dfuse team will tailor courses to help participants to respond effectively to the antisocial or challenging behaviours affecting their community.

Training like this is ideal for:

  • Regular complainants about antisocial behaviour
  • Whole communities where antisocial behaviour or neighbourhood conflict is causing problems
  • People with roles in the community such as Street Pastors, Community Wardens, Community Volunteers
  • PCSOs to boost their skills after initial training


“The training has changed how I would approach a situation being a little less confrontational and more willing to listen, which would hopefully have a calming effect on the other parties.” – Resident, Thames Valley

WorkforceDefusing conflict and managing difficult situations

Frontline volunteers and staff do amazing work with some of the most vulnerable members of society, but all too often they face aggression or find themselves managing very complex situations.  Helping resolve an angry resident’s issue, discussing options with the parents of a disabled child, distributing water to people who have been flooded out of their homes, explaining why services have been reduced, or calming someone experiencing a mental health problem. All of these situations have the potential to escalate and threaten safety or undermine the purpose of the work.

Often people who take on these roles have some innate defusing skills. Dfuse experts can show why the things they already do work. They will also provide new and powerful techniques and approaches which participants can add to their ‘toolbox’. Dfuse can help your people to stay safe and defuse difficult situations so that they can get on with delivering their service outcomes.

The Dfuse team will tailor courses to help participants to manage the situations they might face, or those which they have previously struggled to manage.

Training like this is ideal for:

  • Community Workers, Youth Workers and Housing Officers
  • Frontline volunteers and staff of charities and third sector organisations
  • Council or Local Authority staff, especially those who work directly with the public or lone workers
  • Hospital staff, GP surgeries or pharmacy staff


I feel it has put defusing into a more logical sequence and allowed me to understand the process of communication better” – Service Manager, British Red Cross

TeacherDefusing conflict with young people, parents and colleagues

Upcoming Defusing In Schools, open courses:


Teachers face conflict on a daily basis. Classroom behaviour is an old problem, but as the pressures on schools increase, conflict can arise between colleagues. Difficult conversations with parents about the performance and behaviour of their children can lead to emotional responses, which if not well managed could escalate. Historically, many teachers managed misbehaviour using fear and threats. For modern teachers that approach is an anathema. But with violence against teachers increasing, and disruptive behaviours affecting results, behaviour management is a key aspect of continued professional development.

Dfuse has worked with organisations, including Teaching Leaders, to apply the skills of its experts to the situations teachers face. Dfuse experts can help to challenge disruptive behaviour in the classroom and defuse aggressive situations in the playground. In the staff room these skills can be applied to influencing colleagues to adopt new approaches or managing disagreements between colleagues. Dfuse can also help teachers to manage community conflicts which have arrived at the school gate – returning pupils, parking arguments, low level crime and antisocial behaviour or aggressive intruders seeking access to school premises.

The Dfuse team will tailor courses to help participants to manage the situations they might face or those which they have previously struggled to manage.

Training like this is ideal for:

  • Newly Qualified Teachers and those in Initial Teacher Training
  • Teachers and classroom assistants who want to develop new approaches to behaviour management
  • Those responsible for pastoral care
  • School staff and volunteers running after school clubs and other activities likely to have contact with wider community and parents


Excellent practical techniques that can be used in my work straight away” – Teacher, North West

BusinessDefusing workplace conflict and advanced communication

Whatever the workplace, conflict is inevitable, and if not well managed, can escalate to become a disruptive and destructive force. Some escalated conflicts are visible through aggressive behaviours – shouting, bullying and embarrassing people in front of others. Other behaviours are more insidious. Deliberately side-lining people, delaying responses or ignoring them altogether and working to rule can all reduce effectiveness, undermine strategy and damage client relationships. Ultimately, when conflict breeds and escalates, it can cost you and your organisation time and money and damage your reputation.

Defusing skills can also help with difficult conversations – firing someone, making redundancies or winning support for changes in strategy or business processes. Also, the advanced communication, influencing and negotiation techniques – practiced by Dfuse’s expert Hostage Negotiators – can provide the edge in sales meetings or when pitching for new business.

Dfuse experts can help staff, managers and senior managers to understand the impact of conflict on relationships, workplaces and business outcomes and to recognise the conflict trouble spots within their own organisation. Dfuse can show how to manage conflict within interpersonal relationships and adopt approaches to avoid these escalating. The process of resolving conflict, or developing new approaches for negotiating with clients, increases the communication flow within organisations and builds trust – which in turn can improve an organisation’s workflow and efficiency.

The Dfuse team will tailor courses to help participants manage the conflicts they face or to develop advanced communication, negotiation and influencing skills.

Training like this is ideal for:

  • Directors and Senior Management
  • Heads of Department
  • Clients relationship managers and sales teams
  • Key staff with cross organisational roles – facilities, HR, reception


“The training was transformative. It showed how critical active listening and building rapport and trust is for liaising and negotiating with others. It forced me to question how I interact – what I do well, and where there is room for improvement – not just externally but internally within my team. The day was fast-paced, highly informative, and most importantly was made relevant to my own organisation, situation and personality.” – Chief Executive, Musical Futures


“I don’t think anyone gets to go through life without coming up against anti-social behaviour. Impoliteness to aggression to violence, it’s hard to know what to do and how to stop it. Like most people, I don’t want to wade in and make a bad situation worse but I want to be able to help people and would hope someone would help me if it was needed.

“I contacted Dfuse after I stopped a group of teens with sticks attacking a jogger in the park by getting in the way while the jogger got away. I was lucky they chose not to fight and ran away. I don’t want to be a ‘have a go hero’. I just want to live in a decent world and know how to defuse trouble so no one gets hurt. I didn’t know how to do this until I met Dfuse. After one day with them on their training course, I knew how to make myself and others safe and how to handle trouble in the right way. Now I’m better at dealing with conflict everywhere: in my work, at home and on the street.”

       – Paul Springer, aged 65 from London who attended a Dfuse training course. 


To discuss your training call Dfuse on 020 3633 4540 or e-mail us at