According to the dictionary reliability is the ability of a person or system to perform and maintain its functions in routine circumstances, as well as hostile or unexpected circumstances. Individuals who work in human service fields understand all too well that unexpected circumstances are often a daily routine. Our reactions to situations will determine the effect of those unplanned situations; the key is a well-honed R.A.D.A.R .

The first step in R.A.D.A.R is recognizing when the situation is out of whack; something is just a little off and not quite right. Knowing baseline data and having a clear understanding of the players will aid in accurately determining “normal”.

Another key factor to cultivating a better R.A.D.A.R is to not only have a complete picture of the individual through exploration of various assessments, and gathering of history, but to build a rapport before an incident occurs. Time after time, the person meant to diffuse a situation increases the anxiety, because he or she does not have a relationship or true picture of the individual’s needs.

Next utilize the gathered information to decide how to proceed. Teams should also take note of the old adage of “the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray” and make sure to have a “plan b”; then implement the plan.

Finally, after any incident, review the results with all the participants. Teams should explore what went well and what can be done better next time. Remembering that each one made the best choice with the available information for them at the time; therefore, the meeting needs to be about refining and improving not placing blame.

The bottom line is to refine our R.A.D.A.R to be more reliable, to increase our early intervention skills. The earlier you can intervene, the better chance you have of preventing interactions from becoming incidents, or incidents from becoming crisis.

Randel Goad – Mandt Faculty