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How to deal with Conflict or Violence in the workplace

Communication has such an important part to play in reducing the risk of conflict that, if we get it wrong, we are likely to increase the possibility of conflict. Just think of those arguments that you have in your home life. Disagreements with partners, friends or families are usually about comparatively unimportant issues, but they take on a greater significance when we have not communicated effectively. Very often, the next day you are left wondering what that particular row was about. Similar issues apply in your working life, the key difference being that we usually do not know the other party as well as our friends and family and hence can be less certain about their motivations, actions and re-actions.

positive communication

Avoiding Confrontation

As a member of a security team, it is important that you understand the principles of conflict management. This does not in any way alter the guiding principle that you should always seek to avoid being involved in situations involving conflict and confrontation. Your safety is paramount and you are strongly advised to back away and to gather as much detail as possible rather than involve yourself in potentially harmful or life threatening situations. The authorities, including the SIA, and all involved in the security industry agree that a proactive approach to managing conflict situations is preferred

Communication Skills

The general rules in dealing with all communications with those with whom we come into contact, and especially when dealing with a situation that has the potential to dissolve into conflict are:-

  • To remain positive;
  • To remain emotionally detached and professional in your dealings with people;
  • To ensure that all communication remains constructive. It is better to say something that helps and encourages resolution, as opposed to being dismissive and inflaming any situation;
  • To ensure that what we are communicating is clear and easily understood;
  • To ensure that we are always and without exception polite, and conduct our duties in a fair and respectful manner (whatever the provocation).

In summary, all of our communications must be (and must be seen to be) clear, professional, polite and fair. The benefits of being positive is that your approach helps you to retain control and it gives the person you are dealing with more confidence in your ability to seek a win-win outcome.

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