Conflicts resolution

IGS’s Blog – Tips, News and more for managers and security guards

So you’ve passed your Security Guard Training, you now have your permit and started your first job. Like any career however, your training never really stops.

Can you answer these questions?

  1. Do you know how to Identify and react to behavior that indicates an escalation towards conflict?
  2. Do you know how surprising easy it is to avoid conflicts?
  3. Do you know the effect of body language in a conflict situation?
  4. Do you know the appropriate response and measures to avoid, calm or defuse a conflict situation?
  5. Do you understand the purpose of physical intervention in conflict resolution?
  6. Do you know what to do with people who regain self-control after acting out?

Principals for effectively resolving conflict situations

  • Stay calm and breathe in.
  • It is very important that you keep your professional discipline, keep calm and do not take it personally.
  • Keeping communications simple will help you both in avoiding or resolving conflict situations.
  • Watch your body language. When in a conflict situation keep relaxed, stand or sit tall. Keep your hands open and a neutral facial expression.
  • Physical intervention should be seen as one in a range of strategies and actions to defuse a conflict situation.
  • Keep up with the latest conflict resolution skills.
  • When you are faced with two or more subjects who are in a heated argument, think of your personal security and that of the surroundings patrons.


Top tips for effectively resolving conflicts*

  • Conflicts can be avoided by applying the following technics (tested and proven)
  1. Identify and introduce yourself as a security guard.
  2. A simple question such as “How can I help you” accompanied by a smile, can work wonders.
  3. Maintaining eye contact without staring and inviting the individual to sit down. Losing eye contact may resemble fear or rejection.
  4. Point out to the suspect their emotional states by stating for example, “You are angry.” He then becomes aware of his state of mind and its effects. This will return his attention on himself and challenge his behavior.
  •  These are some of the basic skills required for effective conflict resolution:
  1. Empathy and Psychology;
  2. Communication and verbal skills;
  3. Listening;
  4. Persuasion;
  5. Body language;
  6. Vigilance;
  7. Self and emotional control;
  8. Technical intervention and escort skills;
  9. Have self-confidence in your abilities.
  • Use communications, not force. Physical intervention should be considered when other approaches have failed. This should be used with people, who are uncooperative, have aggressive or dangerous behavior. You should always keep in mind the “necessary reasonable force” as well as the laws that allow it. The physical intervention techniques should be applied using a force proportional to that of the individual in order to immobilize or restrict him in order to take control of the situation safely.
  • In a conflict situation you need to respond by being directive. This means being firm and in control. It also means setting reasonable limits and letting the person know what will happen if they don’t behave within those limits. Keep your voice clear and calm and your expression neutral. Speak about the positive before the negative.
  • Know your limits, be aware of what “pushes your buttons” and practice ways to stay calm in times of conflict (e.g. count in your head or breathe deeply). Do not take agressions or conflicts personally.
  • When a person acts out physically and violently, they generally already have lost control. They may need to be maintained and restrained for their own safety and that of others. Whenever possible never intervened alone if someone becomes violent, call for back-up or the police, before you commit
  • During a physical confrontation remember that if the individual calms down and lowers his level of strength, resistance or attack you must do the same. You should always use the most minimally necessary force to take control of the situation or of the suspect.
  • When people regain self-control after acting out, they will feel a decrease in tension. Their breathing will slow down and they will become calmer. They may even say they are sorry for their behavior. It is important to treat them with respect and to give them time to quiet down. Remind them that you are concerned with everyone’s safety including theirs, and try to end on a positive note.
  • Know your limits, express them! Especially before you commit to a contract. In a situation to know when you have reached the limit of your ease, of what you can do and step back or get out, could be seen as a quality. Refer to your supervisor for specific directions.
  • Be careful when you are working with people showing signs of consumption of alcohol, drugs or signs of emotional or mental distress, take extra precautions.

The time you spend training is just the beginning. Remember that your security guard training is only as good as how you apply it!For most security guard jobs you will be by yourself, the responsibility should something go wrong is completely yours. You need to be as prepared as best you.

Your security guard training is only the first step along your career path. Feel free to expand your knowledge. New techniques, new procedures etc. are developed every day. Stay informed for novelties. Tell yourself that your education is never finished.

Take the time; for example, to simply study your emergency procedures or revise the General Orders (GO), come back and read this blog, this will help keep your professional level at its highest.

Remember that your security guard training is only as good as how you apply it!

Most security guard jobs are performed solo and you’re on your own, if something were to go wrong, the responsibility is entirely yours.

You must be prepared as you can be.

*Follows the best practices of national police departments and the IGS Academy training manuals.

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