This week has been really difficult in work. As deputy manager I have had to deal with a lot of conflict. As I have mentioned previously I work in a residential care home for young people. Apart from the young people being difficult, we had a few members of staff make some pretty bad decisions which had to be confronted by myself.
I won't go in to any details of the actual conflict but something I observed I found interesting. When conflict arises or people feel in danger it has always been said that our physiological response is either 'fight' or 'flight'. I saw this in action this week, something else I've seen in action is 'playing dead'. One staff member was very good at this. She didn't argue, she didn't run away, she sat in the room and tried to be ignored. Like when you were a kid and you knew it was time for bed you'd try to make yourself invisible in the room so you could stay up later.
It made for some interesting psychology watching people react to the situation. Next time you're in a difficult situation don't just think you can fight or run, you can also play dead. Especially if it's a wild animal that is faster and stronger than you!