In the heat of a conflicted argument, you can easily lose your cool and react on the same level as the perceived threat. Especially as a security officer, you might feel a duty to come down hard on anybody disturbing the peace of your client’s building, campus, hospital, office building, or community you are committed to protecting. Sometimes, though, the solution is not to keep tensions high and resort to drastic measures. Many times, you can bring a dangerous situation down to reasonable levels using a couple of de-escalation techniques. Read on for a few ways security officers de-escalate intense situations while on the job!
1st Step: Where Are They Coming From?
However irrational a person’s actions might seem, everyone acts in a way that seems rational to them. The misperception of their actions might be due to past trauma, mental health issues, or an excited state of mind. You can’t know just how their brain might be functioning until you hear from them. So, the first step in conflict de-escalation is to find out the perpetrator’s goal and try to figure out why they’re acting the way they are. Give them a chance to make themselves understood, and show them that you are acknowledging their issue and sympathize with them. You could help them meet their goal without causing any more issues.
2nd Step: Apologies
If just listening and sympathizing does not solve their issue, an apology could go a long way towards solving the situation. Just remember that everything this person does is rational to them, and they consider any grievance they hold to be real and totally justified. Usually, these grievances have a factual basis, and an apology isn’t difficult to offer, even one as easy as an apology for their current emotional state. When you apologize on behalf of the company or community you represent as a security officer, you offer peace and a chance at redemption to someone who has passed their breaking point. It can go a long way.
3rd Step: Connect Consequences and Choices
If your source of conflict is just to ignore your apology or challenge authority, you have the right to enforce the laws and rules they’re in danger of trespassing. Remind this person that their actions have consequences, and you’ll have to carry out the right means if they decide to do something outside the laws and rules. Even here, however, a security officer has to have a calm presence and remind people that, contrary to what their mind might tell them, their choices stretch beyond the current moment. If you can find a way to accommodate their current desire, then discuss it with them, but remind them that their choices will ultimately affect the situation’s outcome.
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