Overview of thinking skills for security guards
The capacity to evaluate a more comprehensive picture and draw conclusions is referred to as critical thinking. These traits are necessary if you want to examine security threats at work and make decisions based on logic rather than feelings. You can come up with timely decisiveness by using critical thinking. For instance, you usually make better decisions if you can swiftly assess behaviors and establish a potential security threat. You can choose patrol routes and locations and implement the best emergency response strategy using your critical thinking abilities.
Every day, security professionals responding to changing risks make choices based on lack of knowledge, incomplete information, and limited resources, as the case may be. It is, therefore, not surprising that Security Officers need effective decision-making, communication, and critical thinking as essentials for success in their professions.
Critical thinking: What is it?
Analyzing matters on the ground to thoroughly and cautiously address a topic the problem is the act of critical thinking. Having an eagle eye for events around your workplace, posing deliberate queries, and considering potential answers are all steps in the critical thinking process. For instance, if a security officer would have to settle a dispute between a staff member and a customer, utilizing critical thinking to determine the nature of the conflict and take the appropriate course of action.
Why are thinking skills essential for a security officer?
A security officer must have a sense of sound judgment and top-notch problem-solving skills, hence the need for critical thinking abilities to operate professionally and prevent matters from escalating. Imbibing thinking skills can immensely help the security officer with every problem that has to do with the organization's security. Employers of labor value and seek out officers that have high critical thinking abilities because of this.
Essential Critical thinking skills for security professionals
These are five critical thinking abilities that you can develop to assess challenging security issues, prepare for the unexpected, and avert costly errors.
· Question your underlying assumptions
Use a systematic attempt to enumerate and question the core assumptions or mental model that guide how you interpret the data or your reasoning. Highlight your working assumptions and then evaluate each one to see if it is:
1 - Sound (meaning that's how resources will be committed).
2 - Needs qualifications (meaning it might be true in most cases but not all).
3 - Lacks evidence (talking about your significant uncertainties).
As you get more knowledge or the situation changes, you modify the list and decide if your main uncertainties should be turned into collection demands or research subjects.
· Look for inconsistent data
The core of the scientific method (critical thinking) is to look for conflicting evidence and understand that you do not need to be a scientist conducting a controlled study to use it. Suppose you think the problem you have at hand looks puzzling. In that case, you can compare each side of the story to determine which information is disconfirming and how substantial it is in challenging conventional wisdom. Your brain will innately try to fit different pieces of data into a narrative or lead to assumptions as it concerns your workplace security. Critical thinking can save you a lot of time when sorting through complex possible options and numerous pieces of data. Suppose you have some information at odds with one of the hypotheses, such as a strong alibi. In that case, you can quickly rule that possibility out and turn your focus to additional information.
· Observation skill
Critical thinking begins with the ability to observe. A new issue can be promptly sensed and recognized by a security officer. Those adept at observing can also discern the potential causes of problems. Based on their prior experiences, they might even be able to anticipate when a problem might arise before it does. You can improve your observational skills by slowing down how quickly you receive information and paying more attention to your environment. To carefully consider what you're hearing or seeing, you may use mindfulness skills, journaling, or active listening inside and outside the workplace. Then, consider whether you see any patterns in behavior, transactions, or data that you and your team could find helpful to address and prevent security threats.
Analytical abilities become crucial once an issue has been discovered. Knowing which facts, data, or information are essential in analyzing and evaluating a situation is a prerequisite that every security guard must have. Analyzing frequently entails compiling unbiased research, checking the accuracy of the information with pertinent inquiries, and impartially evaluating the accounts of the parties involved. By accepting new challenges, you can develop your analytical abilities. To challenge yourself to think creatively and critically, you may, for instance, read a book about a subject you don't understand or enroll in an online math course. By doing this, you can develop the ability to understand new information and come to informed conclusions.
Drawing speculation from the information you gather entails the skill of inference, which may call for technical or security-specific training or expertise. Making an inference denotes establishing conclusions based on scant knowledge. For instance, with the information, a security officer may have to wrap his head around the real cause of the issue between the staff and the customer. Focus on making reasonable assumptions rather than jumping to conclusions to develop your inference skills. This calls for taking time to search for and consider as many hints as possible thoroughly. Things such as complaints or reports could aid in evaluating a situation.
· Take into account alternate theories
Our brains are incredible machines that can "make sense" of situations based on limited information. Failing to take into account missing information and possible alternatives can send us down the wrong path, from which our inherent biases will prevent us from turning back. As a result of our deeply ingrained attitudes, we only see one possible outcome. Alternative explanations are simple to come up with by:
-Stating your primary hypothesis (or informed guess) and coming up with alternatives that cover the entire spectrum of possibilities, from the most improbable to the most likely,
-Using a framing framework similar to the journalist's "Who," "What," "How," "When," "Where," and "Why," break down your central hypothesis into its constituent parts, examine each critical aspect, and suggest potential combinations for consideration.
-Demonstrating the reverse of your lead hypothesis as a null hypothesis: something Must be or is not (i.e., guilty or not guilty). The NOT hypothesis is a catch-all for data that initially appear abnormal but eventually become more diagnostic.
· Pay attention to detail
Security professionals are taught to pay attention to many elements of their work. In unusual locations where open access is either regular or seldom, staff checking for public activities may detect trash, smoking butts, and empty bottles. Security is looking for a customer behaving unusually. Behaviors include being irrational, anxious, sweating profusely, persistently observing staff or authority figures instead of going about their job, or continually visiting the same spot. Additionally, they are searching for modifications to the property, such as opened or relocated gates, unsecured windows or doors, new cars, and unattended luggage or deliveries.
· Detecting prejudices
The most intelligent people struggle with this skill since biases can go undetected. So, security officers must be strong critical thinkers. They must make an effort to assess information objectively. They consider themselves a judge who wants to evaluate the arguments made by each side of an argument while also considering any biases the party may have. Learning how to put aside personal biases that may skew your judgment is as important—and arguably more challenging. Detecting prejudice is crucial to understanding how to view things from many perspectives.
· Choosing relevance
Finding the most crucial information for your attention when faced with a difficult situation is one of the hardest critical components of thinking critically. In many cases, you'll be given information that can appear significant. It might just be a small piece of knowledge, but it might be substantial. Setting a clear direction for what you're attempting to understand will help you improve your ability to judge relevance. Are you expected to come up with a solution? Should you be looking for trends? When you choose your ultimate objective, you can utilize that information to help you decide what is essential. Finding pertinent material might be challenging even when there is a precise aim. Making a concrete list of data items and ranking them according to importance is one way to combat this. When you break it down this way, you'll probably come up with a list with some vital information at the top and some at the bottom that you can probably ignore. From there, you can concentrate on the issues in the center of your list that are less distinct for additional analysis.
Independent research skills are essential when comparing viewpoints on a subject. The facts and data used to support an argument may be out of context or derived from dubious sources because statements are supposed to persuade. The best defense against this is verifiable proof; track down the information's source and assess it. Having a keen eye for unverified statements can be helpful. Does the individual making the argument provide their source for the data? If you ask or look for it yourself and there isn't a straightforward response, that should be a warning sign. It's crucial to understand that not all findings are reliable, so take the time to research the differences.
· Understand the context
Here's another critical thinking skill a security officer should possess, possibly the most important. It involves learning to pause and consider the overall situation. Putting yourself in the position of your customers, coworkers, and clients will help you learn how to "think beyond your pay" sooner. What do they require of me, you should consider. "How can I frame the problem to help?" Moreover, "Do I need to frame their inquiries in a wider context?" Simple framing approaches can help you, and your colleagues get and stay in sync, make coordinating as simple as possible, and prevent the need to reframe initiatives after they are well underway.
· Determine major drivers
Understanding the factors at work in a security scenario can help you foresee the future and lessen the likelihood that you will be entirely caught off guard. The range of potential outcomes can be captured by altering the weights of these significant drivers to produce plausible alternative scenarios. Observable and collectible, genuine, dependable, steady, and unique indicators can monitor which plan is taking shape. Uniqueness should be a goal, despite being challenging to achieve.
· Benefits of critical thinking in security
You can cope with the complete spectrum of security issues with these critical thinking skills, from insider and cyber threats to safeguarding sensitive installations. If you structure projects, avoid analytical pitfalls, encourage creative solutions, and present persuasive justifications for countermeasure enhancements, you may work more effectively, make better decisions, and be more prepared for the worst.
Conclusively, you can understand and respond to events using all the facts and information available if you can think critically as a security professional. Critical thinking at work typically entails digesting and arranging facts, statistics, and other information to define an issue and create workable answers.
Think about the above-mentioned critical thinking abilities, and start working on them.