For the Contact Professional, it is vital that s/he gets and maintains rapport with others, all the while remaining physically safe.
How do you get a rapport with others, particularly those in crisis?
Two things constitute a fundamental baseline and are the very foundation of any non-escalatory and de-escalatory efforts. With these two things in place, non-escalation and de-escalation efforts will have the best outcome. Without these two things in place, you will be taken to an outcome that is far worse.
Firstly, everyone should know that you cannot get any rapport unless you’re treating others with dignity and showing them respect. That’s a baseline. Indeed, without this present, no other tactic, method, strategy, or technique of interpersonal communication, non-escalation or de-escalation will work. Period.
Don’t make the excuse (which your ego will whisper to you) that you can’t respect someone because of his/her actions. There is earned respect which we hold dear for our loved ones, our close friends, etc. Then there is professionally given/shown respect which should be (to maintain a calm atmosphere and personal safety) shown to all persons, regardless of what happens to be your personal feelings and regardless of circumstances.
Secondly, everyone should know that ego does not help matters and certainly does not facilitate getting rapport with anyone else. Dr. George Thompson, the creator of Verbal Judo, expertly said this decades ago: When ego goes up, power and control go down. He is referringf here to your ego, not the other person’s ego. When dealing with others in crisis, you’re there to help them and to save your ass, not your face (you can’t save your ass and your face at the same time).
Your ego will wish to inflate you so that you maintain your seeming superiority. Your ego is an asshole and does not have your physical safety in mind. Ego has gotten more people hurt than any other opponent. Don’t let it rule you. Put safety first, and use tactics which support safety, not ego.
So put to use whatever works for you to genuinely bridge over to others in crisis and get a rapport with them. But just acting on these two things (mentioned above), alone, however, will take you in the direction of establishing and maintaining a good rapport with others and putting safety where it needs to be, the top priority.
Remember: To keep yourself and others safe, treat others with dignity by showing them respect and keep your ego out from between you and them. Seek the professional outcome.