Face to Face
As a security officer you are going to come into contact with people from all walks of life on a daily basis. You will not only be representing yourself to the public but you will be representing your company and client. Every time you open your mouth you will be speaking for your boss, the company manager, and everyone else in the organization. If someone in your company treats people poorly, he lowers your credibility and the credibility of everyone else in your company- and he makes your job more difficult. Any confrontation is not about you personally; therefore, leave your personal face at home. personally; therefore, leave your personal face at home.
Listen Before you Speak
When dealing with the public you must also be able to read the person you are dealing with. That person may be under some kind of influence- he may be under the influence of alcohol, drugs, a misunderstanding, or anger. Therefore, you are going to have to listen to him carefully- what he says and how he says it. When interacting with someone who may be under an adverse influence you may have to think for that person. He may not be able to think rationally for himself at the present time. Your appeal will have to be in terms and language that he will understand.
In order to communicate effectively with someone, you must put what you say in the most proper, fitting, and assertive words possible. This process does not have to be difficult; you can simplify it by using the following elements.
a. Know what you are talking about. Think about what you want and need to communicate.
b. Put your thoughts into words that reflect your meaning.
c. When you know what you want to say and have chosen the proper words you are ready to send, or transmit your message. One thing to remember: communication is accomplished primarily through nonverbal signals (facial expressions, body language, etc.) and tone of voice. The words of the message have the least influence.
A persons’ history or background will determine how that person hears the message that you send. Each person has different experiences to relate to in a given situation. What might work for an elderly person may not work for an affluent, young corporate executive. The language you use when talking to a socialite would be totally different from what you might use for a gang member. You may be transmitting the same message, but your words may have an entirely different meaning for people with widely differing backgrounds.
Recognize that there are some phrases that don’t work in a conflict. For instance, telling someone to “calm down” is a wasted effort. Instead you can get someone to calm down by assuring them that you will help them solve their problem and by modulating your own voice slower and lower. “Because I said so” won’t work on a stranger any better than it works on your teenager at home.
1. Saving Face
During times of conflict is important to try to always allow the other person a way to “save face.” The easiest way to do this is rather than issuing a command, phrase the action as a choice. Also give a reason for your request if possible. Ex Instead of demanding “Put that cigarette out!” Say, ”I am sorry sir, but Texas law prohibits smoking in public buildings. However, outside those doors and about 50 yards to the right is a picnic table with an ash tray.”
Listen carefully to what the person is saying. Empathize with them (this does not necessarily mean that you agree with them). Try to understand how and why they are acting the way that they are. Ask if you can restate what they said so that you are hearing them correctly. This gives you several advantages. One, they can clarify what you heard. Two, while not agreeing with them you’re simply restating what they said, it shows empathy, and it allows you to change the pace and tone of the dialogue.