As a security officer, you’ll find yourself in intense and potentially dangerous situations. It is vital to read the signs of escalation, which include loud rants, profanity, personal space invasion, direct threats, and boastfulness about past violence.
Other indications include tense body language and flared nostrils. Some people will also roll back their sleeves or fold their hands to form a fist in readiness for a fight. Such signs of escalation should prompt you to take action immediately.
Below is an overview of how to manage stressful situations and prevent escalation.
Understand Conflict De-Escalation
The best way to deal with a stressful individual is to stay calm, although this is easier said than done. Your primal instinct may be to stand your ground and engage aggressively to stop the incident. Unfortunately, the use of force will do more harm than good.
Security officers need to train and plan constantly. More importantly, you should stay alert to detect tension before things get out of hand. The earlier you take charge, the faster you’ll resolve a conflict. Here are three ways security officers can manage a stressful situation.
1. Listen With Empathy
Upset individuals often want everyone to know how they feel, and some people will yell and rant. As an officer, you should listen attentively and actively. There’s no need to do anything else, provided the person doesn’t pose a threat.
The individual’s rant will help you learn more about the situation. Your active listening may also help reduce tension once the person realizes you care about what they have to say. The objective in conflict de-escalation is to keep the peace and make sense of the altercation.
Empathy is another essential attribute of a security officer. You should put yourself in the person’s shoes and acknowledge their emotions to better understand how they feel.
2. Communicate With Clarity
Communication is vital in any conflict resolution situation. Officers should communicate with clarity and pay attention to all aspects of what they say, including their tone and body language. You should speak calmly and stand away from the angry person to show them you are not a threat.
Make sure you seek clarification to understand the situation better. If any interruptions occur, stay calm and try to restart from where you left off. You can also ask short, open questions to engage the person. Remember to stay calm and alert.
Conflict de-escalation is all about incidence resolution without brute force. You can show respect to the angry person through an apology to help calm them down and rethink the situation.
3. Offer a Suggestion
The final part of conflict de-escalation is to figure out the best way to diffuse the tension. Security officers should also ensure no one gets hurt in the process. You can offer to collaborate with the distressed person to eliminate their resistance to listening to your ideas.
In most cases, orders and demands won’t sit well with an emotional person. The best approach is to offer a suggestion and let them know you are open to listen to their requirements.
For instance, you can ask the person if they would like to speak to you or another officer instead. With such options, you can determine the aggressor’s intentions and find a befitting compromise.
Learn How to Manage Conflicts Today
Conflict de-escalation is a vital skill every security officer needs. It doesn’t come naturally, so you need to train and plan to take care of a tense encounter. You should also learn to stay calm in tense situations and empathize with the upset individual.
Trident Security provides security officers throughout the Southwest and has custom programs to help you become a better officer and excel in your career. Contact us today to find out more about Trident Security jobs and training programs.