Communication with law enforcement or security personnel is one aspect where most people find themselves at a loss as to what the right approach should be. For many, interaction with security officers or guards is a stressful proposition. But doesn’t have to be this way. By learning how to communicate, both members of the general public and the security community, together, can build a dynamic that is far more healthy and free of any kind of anxiety.
How members of the public should be communicating with law enforcement/security personnel
Following are certain things that members of the general public should keep in mind while communicating with security personnel:
- Shake off fear and trepidation
If ever you are in a scenario where you require the assistance of security personnel or you are being approached by a law enforcement officer who wants to inquire about something, the first thing you should keep in mind is to remain calm and composed. Many people start overthinking the situation and assuming the worst-case scenario, which leads to panic, but that is exactly what one should avoid.
- Communicate your concerns with clarity
Instead of getting restless or anxious when a security officer asks you a question, you should try to focus on the question and try to answer it as accurately and clearly as you can. The more clearly you can communicate your concerns or explain the situation, the faster the interaction will be complete.
- Do not disrespect the officer
This probably the most important thing that you should keep in mind. In order to keep your interaction positive with security personnel or law enforcement officers, you must always try and be respectful towards the officers. Being respectful implies that you should keep in mind that they do not wish to impose upon you, they are just doing their work. Of course, if an officer is overstepping his bounds and working outside the protocol, then you should raise an alarm. However, overall you should try to keep your interaction with security personnel as respectful as possible.
How security personnel should be communicating with members of the public
To establish a better relationship with the public, security personnel and law enforcement officers should also make some efforts to improve their approach regarding communication.
- Security personnel should present themselves as approachable and helpful, through their demeanor and their way of communication. It will make people feel comfortable to share their concern or distress with the officers.
- Security personnel should be open, willing, and able to communicate with people outside their social group. To better communicate with people from different social groups, security personnel should be able to adapt to different communication strategies. For instance, security personnel should alter their mannerisms while dealing with the elderly.
- Law enforcement officers and security personnel should treat all people the same, irrespective of their age, gender, race, etc. When people have the faith that they will be treated the same and everyone else, they will have more faith in the personnel and will easily cooperate in any scenario. Inconsistency or favoritism in the behavior security personnel erodes the trust of the public and breaks down good faith communication.