by Jeffrey M. Miller SPS, DTI
When it comes to my interactions with any manager, c-suite executive, or high-end business owner with regards to the subjects of security and workplace violence, I find that they can be divided into 3 general categories. Each of these 3 types of prospective client is either:
1) A CONVINCED Manager
2) A CONCERNED Manager, or…
3) A COMPLACENT Manager or Business Owner
Now before you jump ahead based on the conventional definitions of these words, let me show you what I mean; and how each manager, executive, or business owner has positioned him or herself regarding the problem of violence in their workplace, and the need for any kind of change, training, upgrade, or addition. And, while this system can be applied regardless of the issue or problem to be solved, in this case I’ll be discussing these manager types from the perspective of security, protocols, and related training to prevent or mitigate damage that inevitably results from incidents of violence in the workplace.
To do that, let’s take a quick minute to look at each manager type, and how each views the problem of workplace violence, it’s potential to occur, and the need for action.
The “Convinced” Manager (or Business Owner)
The convinced manager, c-suite executive, or business owner is aware of the magnitude of the problem and knows that something needs to be done to make their workplaces and company more safe and secure – more “Attack-Proof.” These managers and leaders may not know where to look, who to trust with the business, or know exactly what they need; but they know they need to insure the safety of themselves, their team, and the company as a whole. They are often actively researching the problem, and every new incident presented to them in the news only convinces them further of the need to get this handled.
Unfortunately, only 10% of companies have this type of manager in a position to authorize the changes that save money, company assets, and lives.
The “Concerned” Manager
This manager knows about the severity of the problem but, more often than not, merely hopes that it doesn’t happen in their workplace. While most are open to learning more about the problem and taking corrective action, more often than not they operate from the narrow vision of only considering their current employees as potential assailants. And, since everyone in their workplace “gets along,” the problem of workplace violence isn’t a priority. Unfortunately, this manager, along with the “convinced” manager type that we’ll be discussing in a minute, misses or is unaware of the other 4 attacker types as threats to his or her workplace (former employees, guests/customers, domestic violence partners/perpetrators, and terrorists).
Fortunately or unfortunately, as the case may be, about 80% of managers fall into this category. The problem being that, until they choose to take action, both their company’s reputation and bottom line, as well as the safety of their team members (not to mention their own should they be the target of the aggression) is at risk!
The “Complacent” Manager
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the word ‘complacent’ as someone; “marked by self-satisfaction especially when accompanied by unawareness of actual dangers or deficiencies.” And it is this smug, “I am perfect, right, and not-in-danger” mentality that convinces this manager that all is well, simply because he or she believes it to be. Even in the face of overwhelming evidence and facts, managers in this category believe that they are somehow bullet-proof or that, merely by virtue of their position and status, no one would “dare” to attack them or their company.
By ignoring the first critical phase in strategic self-defense, “General Awareness” – part of which is the understanding that “danger exists in the world and can touch me or someone I’m responsible for – these self-satisfied “Teflon Dons” operate in denial and put their people and departments in danger of attack, their company at-risk for financial loss, and their own reputation and standing at risk should the “unthinkable and impossible” actually occur.
Unfortunately, this manager also becomes “complicit” in the level, scope, and degree of the damage and loss when an something happens.
The reality is that I can do NOTHING for the complacent manager except to nod, smile, and wish them well when they meet me with their invincibility beliefs and story. After all, those managers will never read anything like this anyway. Therefore, my focus is and always will be on educating the concerned managers and helping those who join the ranks of the convinced leaders who make this danger a priority. After all, that’s why I do what I do!
If you know you need to put something in place before something happens to put you, your team, and your company at-risk for serious loss (or worse), let’s talk. You can reach me via my office at: 570-884-1119, or through email at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Stop putting off until (fill in the blank with the current reason). Because, as one of my own teachers used to constantly remind me:
“Somewhere in the world, someone is planning, training, and/or preparing to beat, break, or kill you. And, if you are not trained and prepared and you meet him… you will lose!”
RESOURCES FOR THE SERIOUS-MINDED MANAGER:
(Chap. 3 by Jeffrey M. Miller)
(Kindle version by Jeffrey M. Miller SPS, DTI)