Professional Face

As a security officer, you will come into contact with people from all walks of life daily. You will represent yourself to the public, your company, and your client. Whenever you open your mouth, you will speak for your boss, the company manager, and everyone else in the organization. If someone in your company treats people poorly, they lower your credibility and the credibility of everyone else in your company- and he makes your job more difficult. Any confrontation is not about you; 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 influence- he may be under the influence of alcohol, drugs, a misunderstanding, or anger. Therefore, you must listen to him carefully- what and how he says it. When interacting with someone under an adverse influence, you may have to think for that person. He may not be able to reason for himself at present. Your appeal must be in terms and language that he will understand.

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 complicated; you can simplify it using the following elements.

  1. Know what you are talking about. Think about what you want and need to communicate.
  2. Put your thoughts into words that reflect your meaning.
  3. When you know what you want to say and have chosen the proper words, you are ready to send or transmit your message. Remember that communication is accomplished primarily through nonverbal signals (facial expressions, body language, etc.) and tone of voice. The words of the message have the most minor influence. 

A person’s 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 older adult may not work for an affluent, young corporate executive. The language you use when talking to a socialite would differ from what you might use for a gang member. You may be transmitting the same message, but your words may have different meanings for people from different backgrounds.

Recognize that some phrases 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 modulating your voice slower.

“Because I said so” won’t work on a stranger any better than it works on your teenager at home.

Saving Face

During conflict, it is essential always to allow the other person a way to “save face. “The easiest way to do This is to phrase the action as a choice rather than issuing a command. Also, give a reason for your request. 

Example:

  • 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 ashtray.”

Empathize

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 act the way they are. Ask if you can restate what they said so that you are hearing them correctly. It 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 allows you to change the pace and tone of the dialogue.