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Strategy: Interrupt the behavior

Protect someone from being hurt or offended and someone else from giving offense or harm.
Make it clear that such behavior is not acceptable in this community.

Intervention may be direct and obvious, such as stating directly to the offending person that the behavior is unacceptable, or may be via subterfuge, such as interrupting an argument to ask for directions.


  • Situation #2
    A fellow graduate student receives a public dressing down by a professor in a lab meeting.

    Response: Remove the student from the situation by inventing a very important phone call for the student.

    Response: Deflect attention to yourself but “accidentally” dropping your bookbag and all its contents, or a vase of flowers, or anything that will take a few minutes to clean up.
  • Situation #3
    In a small to medium-sized class you see another student repeatedly surfing the net on a laptop. It’s distracting. The instructor has not said anything.

    Response: Whisper to the student that you are bothered by the bright images on the screen and ask him/her to shut it down.
  • Situation #5
    One person in your office/lab group frequently makes critical or even mean remarks about others behind their backs.

    Response: Interrupt and say, “I’m sorry to interrupt, but I want to stop you before you say something you will regret.”
  • Situation #6
    You see a student who appears so drunk he or she can barely walk stumbling towards a car parked nearby, keys in hand.

    Response: Accost the student, take the keys from his/her hand, and then say something about this not being a good time to drive and getting the keys back from the Campus Police the next day. Then drop the keys off at the Campus Police station.

    Response: Accost the student, take the keys from his/her hand, and then offer to call the student a taxi. When the student gets in the taxi, return the keys.


Strategy List | Situation List

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