Face it, a major part of your job as a security officer is dealing with disgruntled people. Whether working in a retail environment, or company setting, you will be faced with someone that is very unhappy about something. Often you will be required to deal with the person. Here are a few steps or tips to help you deal with someone that is very unhappy:
1. Maintain a calm and controlled voice - You may tempted to yell at someone that is yelling at you, but it only escalates the behavior of the person. Keep your voice calm, and quiet throughout your conversation.
2. Show empathy - Empathy is not agreeing with the person about their problem, rather you acknowledge they are upset. Try making statements like: "I can see this problem is very upsetting for you."; "I see how difficult this problem is for you, let me see if I can find someone to assist us." Never say, "I understand how you feel." The person will feel that you are patronizing them or that you truly don't understand their specific concerns.
3. Paraphrase what they are telling you - Paraphrasing is a great way to ensure you fully understand their concern, while allowing them an opportunity to calm down while they listen to you. It is also a way to show that you care, by demonstrating that you have heard them. For example; "Let me make sure I understand you completely so we can work on identifying a solution. You are upset that another vehicle is parked in your assigned parking space and you are late for work. Is that correct?"
4. Show appreciation for bringing the problem to your attention - "Thank you for bringing this to our attention. Parking is difficult and unfortunately this occurs periodically. We are going to work on a solution for you."
5. Allow them to vent - One of the easiest ways to help someone calm down is to allow them to "get it all out". Take notes, use body language that shows you are listening such as nodding, make eye contact, and don't interrupt.
When dealing with disgruntled people, your goal is to calm them and begin helping them work on a solution. Sometimes the issues they are having are not within your control, but you can assist guiding them to the right people.
Member of the Guardstar Academy Staff. All Guardstar Academy staff are experienced law enforcement, security professionals and/or private investigators.