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Negotiation Tactics used by Security Personnel


In tense situations where security personnel must act as both protectors and peacekeepers, the application of negotiation tactics becomes an art as much as a science. Drawing from experience and knowledge, one can forge a method of negotiation that respects the autonomy of the individual while upholding the order of the collective.

Individual actors are rational beings, driven by incentives and the information available to them. Thus, in the negotiation process, understanding and influencing these incentives are vital. Security personnel, equipped with this knowledge, can anticipate actions and steer negotiations towards a peaceful resolution by appealing to the self-interest of the other party in a language they understand.

There are also narratives and archetypes that govern human behaviour. Each negotiation is a dance of narratives, and the security negotiator must be adept at reading the underlying psychological scripts that play out in tense situations. By aligning the narrative of peace with the individual's internal story, the negotiator can guide the situation away from conflict.

The majority of people operate within the bounds of the law, but the potential for transgression looms. Security personnel are trained to recognize the signs of this potential and to negotiate accordingly, using their presence and words to deter a breach of peace.

In the practice of negotiation, the importance of situational awareness, non-verbal communication, and the ability to read environmental cues is also vital. Security personnel learn to project confidence and calmness, to use tone and body language to assert control without aggression, and to listen actively, ensuring that all parties feel heard.

The key to successful negotiation lies in the creation of options that allow for face-saving outcomes. By presenting alternatives that avoid zero-sum scenarios, security personnel can provide paths to resolution that respect the dignity of all involved. It is this provision of dignity that often defuses the potential for escalation.

Training in negotiation for security personnel also focuses on the understanding of values, honesty, and love—concepts that might seem at odds with the image of security enforcement. Yet, it is adherence to these very principles that can transform a confrontation into a dialogue. When security personnel negotiate from a place of honesty, respecting the values of the individuals involved, and with a love for the well-being of all, they tap into a powerful reservoir of trust and cooperation.

The idea of negotiation extends beyond the immediate situation to the very ethos of the security role. The objective is not merely to resolve the current tension but to foster an environment where the need for such negotiations is minimized. This is achieved through ongoing engagement with the community and building relationships that can act as a buffer against future conflicts.

The negotiation tactics employed by security personnel are a synthesis of economic rationality, psychological acumen, and practical wisdom. Training security personnel in these methods is not just about imparting skills; it's about shaping a mindset that views negotiation as an opportunity for connection and understanding rather than mere conflict resolution. By adopting this mindset, security personnel become not just enforcers of the peace but its ambassadors, leading by example in the creation of a society where law and order are maintained through respect and mutual understanding rather than force. This is the ideal that underpins the practice of negotiation in tense situations—an ideal that is as noble as it is pragmatic in the pursuit of a harmonious society. From the author.


The opinions and statements are those of Sam Wilks and do not necessarily represent whom Sam Consults or contracts to. Sam Wilks is a skilled and experienced Security Consultant with almost 3 decades of expertise in the fields of Real estate, Security, and the hospitality/gaming industry. His knowledge and practical experience have made him a valuable asset to many organizations looking to enhance their security measures and provide a safe and secure environment for their clients and staff.

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