Rational detachment and effective communication are tools Extension professionals can use to increase their effectiveness at handling agitated individuals in conflict situations, such as those that can occur during certain 4-H events. If you need to enhance your ability to defuse conflicts, understanding these skills is an important step. You can learn to handle conflicts effectively and professionally without becoming angry or responding improperly. Rationally detaching from altercations can help you gain credibility and, thus, make your points more profoundly. Also, by using a three-pronged approach to communication—incorporating appropriate body language, tone of voice, and empathic words—you can gain control of potentially explosive situations rather than try to control those involved.

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