Everyone has emotions – everyone feels.
How you control your emotions, especially in this line of work, really depends on yourself.
The Security industry can be a highly emotional battlefield at times. And by this, I don’t mean that by the end of the day you want to go home and cry. We’re not talking about that emotion.
Every day, security is put in situations where they’re dealing with individuals they don’t know, have never met, and most likely will never run into again. Ideally these situations are verbal, non confrontational, free of emotions, and generally not an issue. However opportunities arise quite frequently where you can be dealing with someone who isn’t of sound mind. Who is intoxicated. Has an illness. Is suffering in some way. Everyone is fighting their own battle after all, and its not our job necessarily to step in.
That being said, some times we get pulled in. Confrontations arise and all of a sudden, you find yourself in a situation that is rapidly evolving, deteriorating and potentially spiralling out of control. This is where emotions start to run high. While you have the best of intentions in defusing the situation as calmly as possible, sometimes all it takes is a word or a small action to throw you into code Purple – blocking all rational thoughts and reactions, causing a reaction from you that is anything but calm.
Its a trigger. The individual has unbeknownst to them verbally hit a soft spot – or maybe they’ve taken a step too close or made a sudden movement that caught you off guard. Now the fight is on. You react physically – hitting out and striking the individual. Reacting whole heartedly with emotion. Blinders on and caution to the wind, this situation that is in dire need of defusing has now escalated to a peak level.
As hard as it can be, in this industry, setting emotions aside is integral to a job well done.
When these situations arise, you need to constantly evaluate the situation. Is your life in danger? Are others lives in dangers? Could someone get seriously hurt? What are the repercussions of my actions?
Reacting on every small trigger is going to make for one, a very long and stressful shift. It also throws legal challenges at yourself, and the company you’re representing. Should the individual decide to take action and press charges – you could be facing charges of assault. This also falls on your Security organization as well. So now not only do you have to remind yourself of the consequences of your actions, but think about the legal requirements and the future of your career and your organizations present and future security contracts.
Your emotional reaction – or potential outburst – can have some serious long term negatives effects for all involved.
While this individual may have technically been the first to ‘strike’, or instigate, you’ve been hired to provide a service.
In providing security to a company, organization, event, or person – you are to keep them or the venue or event secure.
For venues and events, this can very well imply the people that are there as well. Which also includes this potential would be assailant.
So while they’re determined to set you off and start something, this is where emotions have to be checked at the door. Verbally deescalating the situation is where you want to focus your efforts. For some individuals – anything (and I mean ANYTHING) physical can imply assault. While you could have all the best intentions, remember you’re handling a volatile person that is currently wired slightly different then the average innocent passerby, so the situation needs to be handled accordingly.
Remain calm. Check your heart and your feelings at the door – just for a moment. You’re the security here – you weren’t hired to protect your feelings so they need to be unfortunately set aside. Constantly evaluate your threat level and react accordingly. Trying to verbally deescalate the situation and removing the potential threat from the scene are your priority. Never be afraid to call for back up if you need it either – there are strengths in numbers after all and if you are working with a team, that is what they are there for.
Being aware of your emotions is still important. Feeling is important. But reacting and representing yourself as professionally as possible is paramount.
So before you make the first move, ask yourself – are you fighting for a fight? Or fighting for your life?
Guest Blogger Rayna Davies
Rayna Davies is a graduate and practitioner of Business Management. She has developed an expertise in blogging, covering subjects like travel, world events and security. Having grown up with a father who has developed an expertise in Physical Security and Executive Protection in the RCMP and two major corporations, she has personally observed and experienced many security details. These experiences have included personally meeting HM Queen Elizabeth, Prime Minister Jean Chretien and many celebrities. She presently assists Sentinel Security in Executive Protection workshops and guest blogging and also assists Gloprosec Preventative Services in Intelligence gathering and Business Administration. Her passions include World travel, having visited every continent.