By Chad Ross, Manager, Industry Relations & Total Store Collaboration, FMI


De-escalation is defined by Merriam-Webster as an intransitive verb “to decrease in extent, volume, or scope.” 

De-escalation is all about assisting and improving a challenging situation. What that might be depends on the circumstances and the people involved. Your intervention might be something you do, something you say or choosing to do nothing at all

When placed in a situation, uncertainty can lead to fear, and fear can lead to tension. Although online grocery shopping has increased, there are still many shoppers who prefer to shop in-store and are faced with new requirements put in place in response to the COVID-19 pandemic—requirements that might create uncertain situations—including physical distancing, mask or face covering requirements, one-way aisles, new queuing protocol, etc. 

How do grocery store employees communicate with these shoppers, particularly when they are agitated? What should employees do when they observe shoppers calling one another out for failure to comply with requirements? How should the grocery associate ask the shopper to comply? 

Join FMI as we partner with ROOT Inc. to discuss de-escalation in our upcoming webinar De-Escalate: Tools for Conflict Management in the Grocery Store.

FMI Crisis Management Guide: De-Escalation