Soft Skills – Verbal Communication

MeetingAnother important soft skill is communication. Be it verbal, written or even body language. When it comes to being an effective security officer communication is key. When we talk about the use of force of a security officer. Second, to officer presence, communication or verbal commands play a huge part.

People react to what they see first and if they see a security guard on his phone leaning against a wall, they are less likely to take any notice of them when they bark an instruction. If they see a security officer paying attention, making eye contact, and being engaged the person is more likely to listen to what the security officer has to say.

We need to communicate in a manner that is easy to understand and in a clear manner suited to the people or person you are communicating with. Sometimes we need to give verbal commands to people say during an emergency. These commands may be forceful and direct to the point because of the time-critical nature of the situation.

Other times the verbal communication will be more open and in the case of giving directions on where the toilets are in a shopping centre or venue. The security officer needs to be able to actively listen to the person requesting directions, so they are clear on what the person is after. So, therefore, making it a very two-way communication process.

We must use language suited to the environment we are working in. Some workplaces may use jargon or acronyms for locations such as military bases or government sites. We also need to consider the persons own understanding of the language being used. Remember a lot of people do not speak the same language as you.

Use of tone will also impact greatly on how the message is received. If you seem disinterested of dismissive your message will often be lost. If the volume you use is too low the person you are communicating with will have trouble hearing you let along understand you. If you are too loud it may come across as aggressive.

The speed in delivery will impact communication as again it will be difficult for the person you are talking to understand or follow your instructions or questions. Speak at a pace suited to the person, environment, and situation.

If needed allow for questions to be asked concerning the commands or direction being given. However, in some situations, there may not be time for questions to go back and forwards due to the nature of the situation and you may need to give strong direct commands.

A couple of key points to remember.

  • Speak clearly
  • Avoid jargon or acronyms
  • Use language suited to the environment and or situation
  • Actively listen to the other person so you fully understand what they are communicating
  • Remember body language
  • Tone and volume
  • Speed of delivery
  • Allow questions if time permits

OPSI encourages and focuses on clear and great communication with our team and clients. We learn every day the importance of good communication and the need the point of the message is received both ways.