Conflict can occur when two people do not agree, and it may escalate into something unpleasant. Disagreements can lead to frustration; which can rapidly escalate into anger. If not handled quickly, it can lead to aggression, or in a worst-case scenario, violence.

Col John Boyd, A US fighter pilot who became a Pentagon consultant, developed  the "OODA Loop” which he came up with based on his experience in the Korean War. OODA stands for “Observe, Orientation, Decision and Action”. A security professional needs to first and foremost Observe all aspects of the situation and take into account the totality of the situation. Secondly, Orientate the information that has been processed about the conflict and compare it with your training, experience, and knowledge. Thirdly, Decide on the best course of action based on your previous steps, and implement that action. No matter what that action may be, which can vary widely, there will be a reaction. Lastly, put the Action into effect.

When you are dealing with conflict in your line of work it is important to remember that you are always in charge of how you react. Your attitude must remain positive at all times while ensuring that you are giving the conflict your full attention. Every time you communicate, either verbally or non-verbally through body language, your attitude is apparent and it is important to present a professional, courteous attitude at all times. Remember, your goal is keep things safe, and gain compliance from whom you are dealing with.

As a security professional, it should go without saying that there may come a time when this formula needs to be implemented at a moment's notice. Security guards who are primarily employed in entertainment venues are potentially dealing with people who may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol and therefore may have to make rapid decisions in volatile situations. This combination of circumstances, while heightened and stressful, do not warrant an overly aggressive approach. This is not limited to security professionals working in entertainment or large venues, as any guard may come across people who have previous arrests for criminal activity, and may have heightened, aggressive reactions arising from a fear of arrest and possible incarceration. It is everyone's interested, particularly yourself and your employers, to remain calm, be confident in your abilities and training, and to treat everyone you encounter on the job with respect. This will ensure you are properly doing your duties, your employer is responsible, and people can enjoy a safe environment.