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Blue Brick Road Offers Path to Better Communication

Verbal conflict is regrettably inevitable, and some of us may even face difficult conversations on a regular basis. The University of Texas Police at Houston offers Verbal Defense and Influence (VDI) classes that provide attendees with approaches to verbal conflict that can fend off heated exchanges or avert them altogether.

VDI, a program that focuses on averting verbal altercations, illustrates techniques through the use of a Blue Brick Road and a Red Brick Road.

The Blue Brick Road contains Context, using approach considerations with the goal to prepare for the interaction; Contact, using interaction considerations with the goal of non-escalation, to prevent conflict; and Closure, using follow-through considerations with the goal of having the best possible outcome.

In contrast, the Red Brick Road contains Conflict, when questioning, anger or abuse arises; Crisis, when at risk-behaviors enter the situation, secondary goal is recovery; and Combat, when resistance or aggression becomes physical.

Together, these elements form the Six C’s framework. Not all interactions move towards Conflict, Crisis, or Combat and most interactions occur on the “blue brick road” without any conflict.

UT Police invites MD Anderson and UTHealth employees and workforce members to register for the next four-hour VDI class, which is divided between two days on Sep. 15 and 16, to learn more about implementing these skills. Registration is limited to 20 participants and is first come, first serve.

UT Police also offers an Introduction to VDI. All upcoming class details and registration information are listed on our website’s Campus Safety page.

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