VIDEO: Jim Satterfield Discusses How to Identify and Handle Behaviors of Concern

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If you had the opportunity to stop even one incident of self-harm or harm to others, would you? The answer to keeping our employees and others safe lies in prevention. It is the job of every responsible leader to try and prevent acts of violence.

Firestorm co-founder and CEO, Jim Satterfield, recently sat down with Church Mutual Insurance Company to discuss how organizations can identify and handle behaviors of concern.

How to Identify Behaviors of Concern


The key to identifying behaviors of concern is change. An employee who is typically level-headed, on time to work and sociable with others, but begins arriving late to work, having difficulties focusing and performance is declining – is exhibiting changes in behavior.

How to Handle Suspicious Behavior

How do you handle a person who is demonstrating suspicious behavior?

If an organization has identified a behavior of concern, they’re already on the right track. If the employee exhibiting the behavior(s) is attending a large group meeting, consider placing a trusted colleague next to the employee.

When addressing the employee, consider:

  • Bringing a colleague into the conversation – it’s better to have more than one company representative in the discussion.
  • Sit instead of stand – threats are reduced when individuals are sitting.
  • Speak in an open room as opposed to a private space.
  • Utilize phrases like:
    • You seem to be having a rough time
    • Something doesn’t seem quite right; can we talk about it?

Coordinating a conversation with the employee displaying the behaviors of concern provides you the opportunity to understand and address the changes before they escalate. Upon scheduling a discussion, always establish a follow-up action:

What are you going to do after you’ve had a chance to intervene and speak with the employee?

  • Ensure you know how to communicate with the employee after they’ve exited the property.
  • Keep others involved and aware.
  • Escort the employee exhibiting behaviors of concern from the property. Watch the employee leave and do not allow them to remain on the property unattended. Do not leave the employee alone with another person; handle the situation in a group response.

Learn more about identifying behaviors of concern and our Behavioral Risk Threat Assessment program. If you’d like to have a conversation with a member of senior leadership about handling crisis and risk in your organization, or contact us.

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