How Security Guards Manage Stressful Situations

When you hire a security team to protect your business, you are trusting that they have the skills and experience required to protect your employees, customers and property. The reason you have security personnel in the first place is because you are concerned about the potential for a threat that could put people and the reputation of your business at risk.

Security situations can come in a variety of forms and at any time. Being prepared by hiring security personnel and assessing your security needs with a professional security guard company is the first step in keeping you safe. Security guards are trained specifically to handle the ambiguity that comes with the job. Every business is different and faces unique security challenges. But one thing is consistent across all jobs, and that is the importance of knowing how to professionally handle stressful situations.

Security guards will encounter dangerous, unpredictable and stressful situations throughout their careers. Their training must include the development of skills that prepare them to identify signs of a threat, suspicious behaviors and body language that could indicate an impending security situation.

As a business owner who is considering hiring security guards or is already employing a team, it is helpful to understand how security guards can protect you and your business. In this article, we will share some of the ways in which experienced, highly trained security guards can manage these stressful situations and act to prevent them from becoming tragedies.

3 Ways Guards Manage Security Situations

Very often, a security guard will be presented with an individual who is clearly agitated and unpredictable. Security guards are trained to identify signs of a potentially dangerous individual or behavior that indicates an individual may wish to act out, commit a crime or hurt another person. Some indications that a person may be agitated to a level that could become a threat include:

  • Loud yelling
  • Verbal threats 
  • The use of profanity
  • Talking about violence
  • Invading the space of other people
  • Body language, including flared nostrils, red face and balled fists

Even with the best training, it is not always possible to identify these behaviors early enough to prevent a scene.

When confronted with an aggressive person, the key is to remain calm and understand that you are now being engaged. Instead of reacting in such a way as to incite further agitation, anger or aggression, the security officer is trained to de-escalate the situation. Meeting violence with violence, or anger with anger, is rarely successful in defusing a potentially dangerous situation. Well-trained security guards will take steps to disengage the person and de-escalate the situation by listening, communicating and offering solutions.


It is not uncommon for a person on a loud rant to be doing so because they feel unheard. They want others to know what they think and feel ,and they want to verbalize an injustice that they feel has been perpetrated against them. Rather than ignoring what they're saying, it is critical that you listen intently to what they are trying to communicate. 

By demonstrating active listening, using your body language and asking questions, you can demonstrate to the individual that you have a genuine interest in what they are saying and that you want to listen so you can help them come to a resolution. Often times, the act of listening to another person can relieve some of the stress they are feeling and help them de-escalate themselves. 

Active listening also results in demonstrating empathy. By listening to what the individual is saying, and asking meaningful questions, you can put yourself in their shoes and better understand the next steps and solutions.


Communication is a vital component of any successful relationship. Even though the angry individual may be unknown to you, security officers and anyone else dealing with an aggressive or agitated individual have entered into a kind of relationship with them. It is important to communicate with intention. Your communication should be clear, calm and use positive body language so the individual does not feel threatened in any way.

As touched upon earlier, active listening also includes questioning, so that you can verify that you are understanding what the person is saying. Keep in mind that your ultimate goal is to resolve the situation without any injuries or violence. By communicating in a clear, calm and confident way, you can help the other person relieve their stress and give them an opportunity to bring down their emotions to a manageable level.

Offer Solutions

By listening actively and communicating clearly, you can begin to de-escalate the situation. The final step is to figure out how to end the confrontation so that the individual does not feel threatened and action can take place. Instead of demanding that the individual do anything, it is best to offer potential solutions that could minimize risk not only to the individual but to others. By involving the individual in coming up with solutions, they feel more respected and less threatened and therefore, more likely to be open to your suggestions.

The role of a security officer requires them to have a variety of skills to handle the many security situations they will encounter. If you are hiring security personnel to protect your business, it is valuable to understand the de-escalation methods that they will use during a security situation on your property.

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