Conducting Safe Meetings
Occasionally you may have to meet with people who you anticipate may conduct themselves in a concerning way or react badly, possibly due to being given bad news. These guidelines assist you with preparing a meeting space ahead of time as a precautionary measure.
Consider where you meet
- If possible, book a meeting room that is in a public, well-travelled area.
- Schedule the meeting at a time when you know there are other people around. Avoid meeting on campus after regular business hours or on weekends.
- If possible, choose a room that has windows so that other people can see inside.
Consider the setup of the room
- Chairs should be arranged so that you will be the closest person to the door, so that you will be able to exit the room and seek assistance if needed.
- Remove extra chairs so that the person you are concerned about has only one seating option available to them.
- Remove any items that could potentially be used as weapons from the table surface and area. This would include staplers, paper weights, coat racks, etc.
Consider having other people assist you
- Having a second person present in the meeting can be helpful not only as a safety precaution, but it may also be useful to have a witness.
- Inform reception or other staff members who are close to the meeting room that you are meeting with a potentially difficult person, and request that they call Security and Emergency Services if they think assistance is required.
Designate a safe meeting space in your department
If you are a faculty or staff member who is frequently required to meet with people who may behave in a concerning way or react badly to news, ask your department to designate a safe meeting room.
Who to contact for installation inquiries
Equipment or infrastructure
Security devices, including cameras or duress alarms
Telephone or intercom devices
Take some workshops to enhance and practice your communications skills
Taking workshops together as a department can be fun and be a team-building experience.
We offer several safety related workshops, including a hour and a half scenario-based workshop and De-Escalating Potentially Violent Situations. For more information and to discuss your situation, please contact us.
Contact us to develop a situation-specific safety plan
We recognize that every situation is different and every individual seeking support requires a unique and personalized approach. If you are interested in developing a situation-specific safety plan, we can help. These sessions will prioritize your personal safety and provide you with scenario-based guidance, tools and resources so you can make informed decisions.