Effective leadership will always be surrounded by effective guidelines and principles that will guide the action of our subordinates. Close attention must be paid to the way we handle situations as well as how we configure our principles to the people who work with us. The Security Professional must believe that they can confide in the supervisor and trust that the supervisor will back them up in their decisions. This is especially true in security because of the fluid nature of every day interactions. This brings me to my next point which is the integrity or honesty of a supervisor. Which will bleed over into the trust factor with the Security Professionals that are being managed. It is paramount to the chemistry of a good Security unit, that the leadership is well balanced in his relationships. If the employees witness the supervisor being dishonest with reporting materials or funds, they may feel as though it is okay for them. Also, Security Professionals can tend to get hung up on the story instead of the solution that must be applied to the narrative given. A good supervisor will keep his team focused on the right factors. Self-Respect is the last principal. Supervisors must have a level of self-confidence because of the position that they are put in. Supervisors control the culture of their sector and the level of work and attention to detail that they give on a day to day basis is often what they will receive back in return. It doesn’t look good to an Security Professional if the supervisor has no self-esteem but wishes to set goals. Supervisor make the machine run and must carry themselves to a higher standard than those they manage.
No matter what realm of security one is operating in, he/she is usually the first engagement that someone has. Also he/she is always visible to provide assistance or respond to an incident. Because of this fact every Security Professional should have a variety of items with them to make their life and the lives of others more efficient. With that being said you need to have different options for different scenarios. If you are working at a Champagne lounge or a Tavern you should NOT be using a Maglite. Your flash light should be sleek and indiscreet with multiple settings for different occasions. For example you should have a high setting above 100 lumens for the purpose of EMERGENCY signaling only. Your flashlight should also come with a low setting about 15 lumens for the purpose of helping a woman find her lipstick. That pen you dropped. Under no circumstance should you have a signaling light out to help someone find a contact lens. You will experience what is called Flooding. Flooding occurs when your light is over powered and is being used in close quarters, the light being flashed on a particular object is reflected back in the users face. It will probably blind you and the guest for several moments. In the reverse, if you are working a construction site or an office building late at night then by all means please get a flash light that is 200 lumens plus and a decent size. If you are surprised or attacked by someone waiting in the darkness, the flashlight can be used to disorient the attacker or be used as a blunt force instrument against multiple attackers. This is the most common tool used by a Security Professional, however there are other things.
Documentation: Every Security Professional should constantly be in the possession of a notepad and pen. Any attorney that deals with the field of Security will tell you that just the simple notes taken during an altercation or incident will help him protect the Security Professionals against false claims. In addition this tool provides Emergency response with valuable information when they arrive on the scene. These notes can help you recall a sketchy character, the license plate number of a hit and runner, or even the amount of times that you have patrolled an area. If something does happen you can refer back to your notes to stop yourself from searching through endless video footage.
Radio: Communication is the cornerstone of Security. A Radio must always be in its proper place and checked for function before you start a shift. The worst situation a Security Professional can find himself in, is to be in a physical altercation with a Radio that is not secured to him or it doesn’t work. Most of the time dialing 911 is not possible. The average human can cover 21 feet in 2.5 seconds. How long does it take to dial 911? Let’s look at the steps. You’ve identified there is a problem or God forbid you are being attacked. Now find the pocket your phone is in under stress. Now take the lock off your phone. Now dial 911. Yeaaaaaa………. Probably not the best option. An alternative is just to hold down the speak button on your radio, say call 911 or report you location.
*Tip: If you use an earpiece when you work security, always position your radio inside your waist band with the belt clip facing outward. This is a more secure location. It protects the cord of the earpiece from being tampered with also stopping you from dropping it during physical activity. When working at higher risk locations, you must always be aware because people will pull the cord out of your radio so you cannot call for back up.
Miscellaneous: Here are a couple items that are overlooked but can improve the guest relations aspect.
- Lighter: Many people smoke and they will love you forever if you have a lighter when they have forgotten theirs. It will make it easier to speak with them later if need be.
- Latex Gloves: You never know what manner of injury you may come across or substance. Be prepared.
- Detailed Knowledge of the Area: If you work in the hospitality industry this is paramount. People are more likely to return to the location of the nice Security Professional that gave them directions.
- Small Utility Knife: You will find that women will ask you for a knife or scissors quite often to remove tags, cut things tangled in their hair, and fix broken sandals.
- 5 Hour Energy: Stay alert.
Why do people call the Police, Security, or E.M.T’S. It’s because they are looking for someone to keep control or rectify a chaotic situation. As a Security Professional it is your job to conduct yourself with a service oriented level of consciousness in a situation. When everyone is seeing the problem. You need to focus on the solution. A Security Professional is a Tactician. You must see and evaluate all the variables of the situation in order to proceed and make the best decision for the client and guest.
I know what you may be thinking. It is easy for someone to say remain calm during what seems to be the end of the world. However consider the work of Bruce Siddle. Bruce Siddle found that as the heart rate increases, you performance decreases. As we know very well knowledge is power, so as we will take a look at the physiological response of the human body to stress. We can mitigate the results of these affects. Possibly saving the day and Lead in the face adversary. Bruce Siddle along with some other researchers founded the inverted u law. As I stated before, as the heart rate increases performance decreases. Let’s say that the average human beings resting heart rate is 70 beats per minute. As we speak of the following stages you will notice that the spikes in heart rate will have a devastating effect on the human ability to perform.
The first medium to affect the human psyche is called Stress Anxiety or Combat Stress. It is the body’s anticipation of the actual event or stressor. In this stage the body gets a small chemical dump induced by the Sympathetic Nervous System. Your heart rate jumps from 70 to 115 beats per minute in an instance. This is not to be confused with the heart beat raise of someone exercising. This effect is completely different, this heart rate jump happens in a matter of moments. You will instantly become short of breath and feel like a bull. Now the jump from 70 to 115 creates a loss of fine motor skills. Fine motor skills are responsible for the muscles that surround the eyes. Making things like “tunnel vision” kick in. However “tunnel vision” is not always a bad thing. It helps the body focus in on the threat. Fine motor skills also control small muscles such as hands and finger dexterity. (This is why you always drop your keys when Jason Vorhees is chasing you.) The next jump is from 115 to 160 rendering your complex motor skills nonexistent. Complex motor skills are responsible for multi-tasking such as chewing gum and walking or cognitive thinking. Fight or flight has completely kicked in and you’re as strong as an Ox, but as dumb as a pile of rocks. Cases of mothers lifting cars off of children are in direct correlation of the chemical dump associated with the sympathetic nervous system. This is not a stage a true Security Professional wants to visit. There are other stages past this called hypervigilance once the heart rate has gone in access of 200 beats per minute. But we would like to focus on keeping the Security Professional calm. Once you feel the increase in heart rate occur you need to begin what is called tactical breathing. Take an inhaling breath that last 2 seconds. Hold it for 2 seconds, then exhale for 2 seconds. This will help regulate your breathing and keep your cognitive skills intact, long enough for you to make an educated response to the stressor. Remember the saying that slow is smooth and smooth is fast. It is quite true.
Have you ever heard the saying, you can catch more Flies with Honey than vinegar? Of Course. Is it better to win every battle set forth or do you save more time and effort by avoiding that fight completely? Words have power and it is every Security and Hospitality Professional’s Job to be a master of words. Some of the most powerful changes and moments of human history were sparked by the spoken words of an individual. So shouldn’t we be able to persuade and comfort human beings simply by using or not using the right phrase at the right time? People respond differently to certain words, so if you have an individual that was displeased by a certain action take note of the level of displeasure the individual is displaying accompanied by the situation that has upset them and tailor your words to perfection to the individual.
Let’s say you are working at a champagne lounge and a man stumbles up to the front door clearly overserved muttering obscenities. Do you tell him to go kick rocks, possibly inciting a rage and getting into a screaming match in front of the door? I assure you this will lose your establishment business and ultimately will result in a bad yelp review. No one wins. Or shall we tell him that we must hold the door, because we just had our main co2 tank go down and we cannot distribute beverages, so we are not receiving guests at this time. The individual will have no reason to engage you in any further conversation.
Another overlooked aspect of Security is the art of No. No one wants to be told what they cannot do. Jack Brehm referred to this phenomenon as Reactance (the consequences that occurs when a person’s freedoms are threatened). However people do Enjoy Options. A Security Professional must distract one from their original request by giving them a secondary means of satisfaction such as “I’m sorry sir the drinks must stay inside, however if you like I will place it at the host stand and watch it or I will deliver it back to your table.” It gives someone an option, instead of demanding compliance, making your job easier and the guest feels as though they are receiving a service. Security is a service, so if a Bouncer believes that he should be intimidating, he is only fooling himself. Accommodation, Vigilance and Communication is the name of the game. Let us look at the statement made at establishments and venues worldwide,” Do you know who I am?” The statement in itself is partially narcissistic. However what do I lose by saying,” I apologize sir, I have been given a directive and I must follow it, is there any other way I can assist you?” Give a service in return for compliance.