If you’re considering a career in security, there’s a good chance you will have to contend with conflict at some point on the job. If you encounter a person who is very upset and perhaps aggressive, for example, then having the right conflict management skills can help prevent that encounter from developing into a more serious situation.
Being able to resolve conflicts peacefully and successfully can help you thrive in a security position, and since conflict management is so important in these types of professions, we’ve listed three tips to help you resolve conflicts once you begin your career. Read on for more.
1. Determine the Level of Risk and Find Ways to De-Escalate the Situation
As a security officer, your main goal is to keep a conflict or argument from escalating into violence. To this end, you first need to determine the level of risk a conflict poses. For example, two people arguing over a parking spot usually doesn’t pose a serious risk to public safety, and you can usually mediate the argument peacefully on your own.
However, a group of intoxicated individuals who are deliberately damaging property or threatening violence present a much greater risk. In such cases, you may need the assistance of at least one other security guard or even from police. If an individual is brandishing a weapon or the situation has already devolved into physical violence, then don’t put yourself into harm’s way unnecessarily. Instead, call law enforcement immediately.
2. Use Your Law Enforcement Foundations Training to Stay Calm and Level-headed
When emotions are running high, it can be difficult to remain calm. However, if you respond to a person who is shouting or behaving aggressively with more shouting, then you are fueling their anger and escalating the situation. By yelling or overreacting, you create resistance and a feeling of a tug of war can develop between yourself and the aggressor.
As a security professional, you need to remember to detach yourself emotionally from the situation. Keep in mind that whatever the individual is saying doesn’t have anything to do with you personally. Instead, maintain a calm and composed demeanour. As part of your law enforcement foundations training you’ll learn about mental health and psychology, which can give you insight into staying composed during stressful situations.
3. De-Escalate a Conflict by Depriving the Aggressors of an Audience
If a crowd has gathered around to watch an argument, then this audience may be making the situation worse. An aggressor may feel egged on by the audience or feel as though they need to behave even more aggressively to prove to everyone that they are “right”. If this happens, you should try to de-escalate the situation by offering to escort the aggressors to another area to resolve the situation.
If there is an audience, people involved in a conflict may become more aggressive in order to “win”
Moving the aggressors to another area accomplishes two things: first, it protects the public from any potential violence. Protecting the public is an important topic that is covered in more detail in your law enforcement foundations program. Secondly, without an audience, people are less likely to feel as though they have to perform aggressively in order to get attention. Once the aggressors have been escorted to a less public area, it is usually much easier to get them to behave rationally and to eventually remove them from the property.
Want to take your career to the next level?
Contact Discovery Community College to learn more about our law enforcement foundations school.