Event Security: Believe in your character traits but never stop improving
“Hard work spotlights the character of people; some turn up their sleeves,
Some turn up their noses, and some don’t turn up at all.”
Character traits tend to reveal positive aspects of a security professional’s values or belief system. There are well over 50 traits that could be mentioned but I put together my top ten traits that an event security professional should have or develop. They are something that hiring managers should also consider. In fact, character is defined as the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual. As was mentioned, you may already possess these traits, if not consider developing these traits for event security.
When discussing judgment, I’m really talking about good decision making. A poor decision or no decision can open you and the venue up for liability. Usually, no decision is a decision of its own kind. What makes a good judgment call? It’s really a combination of your own personal quality combined with personal and relevant knowledge, as well as experience to form opinions and make decisions. In the book “Judgment: How Winning Leaders Make Great Calls” the authors Noel Tichy and Warren Bennis state: With good judgment, little else matters. Without it nothing else matters.
Many event security jobs are part-time at best apart from management. Because of this I’ve seen many staff personnel not show up for their post. In venue security you have a responsibility to your colleagues, the guests, and the venue itself. Each position is of vital importance to the safety of the guests and the venue. After all the definition of dependability is being trustworthy and reliable.
Emotional Intelligence is a trait you will hear of in many cultures of many organizations. This trait is extremely important in event security. It will keep you employed for the long haul. It simply is identifying, understanding, and managing your own emotions. Ask yourself what makes you tick? What makes you angry, irritated, or frustrated? How does someone push your buttons? In event security it will happen. A guest, colleague, supervisor, or others will at one time, or another push your buttons.
I value stamina as a trait both mentally and physically. It is your ability to sustain prolonged physical or mental effort. The job of a venue security professional can involve long hours, lack of food or hydration, inclement weather, and more. You might be at the entry dealing with admissions and long lines. You may be standing by a stage, a sporting area, or covering a corridor that no one seems to use or appears all but forgotten. Some days will be shorter than others and some will seem to last forever.
Event security can be fun. Sometimes you are at the same post for longer periods of time until you learn the post. Some like the same post and some like to experience different posts. Be interested in the learning experience. You should always have an eagerness to learn new things and new assignments. That’s what gets you better at the job.
When we speak of courtesy, for the purposes of this context, we’ll be referring to the interaction with the patrons of your venue. Clearly this is the showing of politeness in one’s attitude and behavior towards others. When you are courteous towards others, they will have a good impression of you and the venue in which you are working.
Self-Discipline is the ability to control your impulses, emotions, reactions, and behaviors. With good self-discipline you can forego a short-term gratification for long-term satisfaction. On those days when you want to quit, self-discipline allows you to overcome those thoughts and discomfort. In a day where we have access to the world via the cellular telephone, we may find the desire to check our social media or send a text. It takes self-discipline to put your phone aside and concentrate on your assigned task. Too many times we witness venue security with their eyes on their phone and not focusing on the job.
Focus is the point of your concentration. When you are standing for long periods at a time it’s easy to lose focus. You can start to daydream. When you start to lose focus, inevitably that’s when you will get called on the radio, a fight breaks out, or you just missed a cue for an event. According to the Mayo Clinic being mindful means you can maintain a moment-to-moment awareness of what you are doing.
We mentioned courtesy earlier in this blog. For this context I am referring to your colleagues, or your team. Respect has a couple different definitions but in event type security I think the definitions can be rolled up in one. Just like guests of the venue your colleagues are going to come from different walks of life. Different belief systems. Different religions. Colleagues refers to everyone you are working with in the venue. This includes food services or other vendors, guest services, your own security team, custodians, maintenance, etc.
There is no better trait in venue security than teamwork. A team can accomplish a great many things. What is teamwork? Teamwork is working together to accomplish a task in the most effective and efficient way. The author John Murphy says, “Behind every genius is a team.” Learning from each other’s skills and abilities can help create solutions to problems. It makes the team better. The diversity of the team forces the team to be open-minded to various ideas.
My experience really came from the executive protection side of the security industry in which we escorted corporate executives to events. Usually small speaking engagements. I had managed executive protection operations and even managed security operations for trade shows, music festivals, and corporate symposiums. I considered myself a planner, doing risk assessments and surveys at various sites, hospitals, hotels, restaurants, airports, etc. But the most complex of sites were the large venues, football stadiums, basketball arenas, baseball fields, and large concert halls. To understand these locations, I also wanted to understand the security working these large events. To do so I had to immerse myself in event security from the ground up.
As always: Stay Safe and Stay Vigilant!