“My topic for this half hour is emotional control in dealing with people who are angry and perhaps even mentally ill. I’m going to use three stories that happened to me personally, that involved homeless individuals that came into my environment–one at a coffee shop, one at a training that I was doing, and one that came in to city hall where I was working with one of my clients.
“These individuals were under a lot of stress. Something was going on in their lives, there was clear mental illness in at least two of them, and also they were seeking something–and we were able to solve their problems with some solutions that were pretty easy. I want to talk and think about what we may do to negotiate carefully with people that are coming in who are demanding, who are outraged, who are anxious, who are upset, and who may have some mental health concerns coming into the library.
“So, it’s about emotional control for you. It’s about feeling comfortable having uncomfortable conversations. And it’s also about reading people and reading a situation and saying, ‘How can I be in this situation? How can I be a good negotiator with people who are sometimes not in full control their faculties, but be able to give them some options which could be useful and successful for them.’
“So let’s tell some stories here and see what you think about how you may be able to apply this at your own library and the situations that you may be dealing with…”
Since 2000, Dr. Steve Albrecht has trained thousands of library employees in 25+ states, live and online, in service, safety, and security. His programs are fast, entertaining, and provide tools that can be put to use immediately in the library workspace with all types of patrons. In 2015, the ALA published his book, Library Security: Better Communication, Safer Facilities. He is currently writing the sequel, The Safe Library: Keeping Staff and Patrons Secure in a Changing World.
Steve holds a doctoral degree in Business Administration (D.B.A.), an M.A. in Security Management, a B.A. in English, and a B.S. in Psychology. He is board-certified in HR, security management, employee coaching, and threat assessment.
He has written 24 books on business, security, and leadership topics. He lives with seven dogs, two cats, and three chickens.