The Qualities of a Great Security Officer

The Qualities of a Great Security Officer

Written by Eyal Ben-Shir

Mantis Security

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“Excellence is doing ordinary things extraordinarily well” – John W. Gardner

Service delivery and trust are cornerstones in the security industry. If you offer guarding or any security related offering, it is imperative to hire or cultivate great people in the process to achieve successful outcomes. This blog post will look at key qualities of great security officers and how it relates to quality service delivery. Without considering the role of great people, it may prove to be detrimental overall. We need to clarify what distinguishes the great security officers.

Humility and the Willingness to Learn

“Faster. Stronger. Smarter. More humble. Less ego” – Jocko Willink

Security officers are placed in different environments characterised by various threats and risky situations. It is important for a security officer to be receptive to innovative ideas, ways of operating and welcome constructive criticism from supervisors. This allows one to develop his/her skills and fosters an attitude of humility. Humility allows a security officer to accept their own strengths and limitations. Humility promotes the openness to different perspectives, and this is crucial when security personnel deal with clients and the public.

The willingness to learn ensures that anyone in the security industry can keep up with emerging trends, recent technology and changing processes. Each person learns in diverse ways, and it is vital to establish the learning styles of any security officer so that training is beneficial for all. Learning can take place anywhere and at any time if one has a humble and open attitude. In the security industry, we all need to constantly educate ourselves and seek to improve daily. Without the willingness to learn, complacency can creep in and erode into service delivery. The consequences of this include stagnation, breakdown of trust, incidents and not learning healthily from mistakes. Clients demand great service and trust however without the foundational qualities of humility and learning, we cannot expect to achieve these shared goals. Great security officers look to impart knowledge to others whilst retaining that student’s mindset of learning from everyone. They tend to have healthy self-awareness and can take any criticism as an opportunity to sharpen and hone their skillsets.


“Power really is a test of character. In the hands of a person of integrity, it is of tremendous benefit; in the hands of a tyrant, it causes terrible destruction” – John Maxwell

Integrity is a constant pillar in the security industry. Clients pay hard earned money and expect their property, people, and information to be secured. Clients have expectations and the way to meet these important expectations is through a relationship of integrity. The core of integrity is about doing the correct thing even when it is unrecognised by others or convenient for you. Integrity has been suggested to be the antidote to self-interest and arrogance. A great security officer must have integrity entrenched in their values. This allows the client to have peace of mind and feel they can trust the officer at their home, business, or site. Without integrity, nefarious and tragic incidents could take place which may derail the relationship between the client and the security service provider.

Accurate information leads to better decision making but if a security officer forges or covers up any piece of information, this may result in a crime being committed. This can damage the security officer’s and the security provider’s reputation. Before employing any security officer, the necessary vetting and background checks should be conducted before hiring. Integrity is present in thoughts, actions and attitude and a great security officer embodies integrity in everything he/she does.

Observation Skills

“The price of peace is eternal vigilance” – George C. Marshall

Excellent observation skills allow security officers to notice threats, risks, and anomalies in the environment in which they work. Great security officers can detect, deter, and delay any irregularities and act accordingly. This also relates to quick reactions and a great security officer needs to gauge the situation as effectively as possible. He/she needs to pinpoint anything out of place and time. Being able to think on his/her feet and responding with composure are the hallmarks of a great security officer.

Being calm and situationally aware relates to superior observation skills. Certain situations may prove dangerous however situational awareness could mitigate further risks. Situational awareness is being aware of what is happening around you and identifying threats vigilantly. The ideal security officer can circumvent any obstacle and ensure he/she fulfils the greater mission of securing the client’s peace of mind and overall safety.


“To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others” – Tony Robbins

The above qualities are all crucial however adept communication skills allow a security officer to express and verbalize effectively with all people. All clients have different requests and perceptions that a security officer needs to work with. Great security officers listen attentively, acknowledge what is being said and produce creative solutions to solve all complicated problems and issues on site. This translates in dealing with the public properly and ensuring superior access control. Highly trained and great security officers can also read nonverbal cues and observe body language. This may be the difference to thwarting a potential threat proactively or letting a crime be committed before it is too late.

Comprehension and understanding falls under this attribute of communication as security protocols may change and a security officer needs to be informed of these changes. A great security officer can converse with various levels of management, colleagues and this tends to be extremely useful in emergency situations. Excellent communication leads to strong teamwork, and this can further enhance the trust and service level delivery between the client and security provider.


“The spirit, the will to win, and the will to excel are the things that endure. These qualities are so much more important than the events that occur” – Vince Lombardi

Drive is the mechanism which propels all the actions and decisions of the great security officer. Drive refers to the energy, passion, and enthusiasm of a person. The great security officer needs to possess genuine passion and drive to immerse him/herself in the security industry. A security officers needs to value human life and driven to help others. Without drive, the effectiveness of a security officer is diminished. This drive applies to anyone in the security industry as we will all face obstacles and problems which will need our intervention and ingenuity. The great security officer will prepare for the worst scenarios and are proficient at deescalating threatening situations.

To conclude, each attribute mentioned previously are like the tools needed for our handy toolboxes. Each tool is vital in delivering excellent service and making clients feel safe, secure, and heard. If you are interested in upgrading your security solutions or having one of our knowledgeable staff discuss a guarding solution with you, look no further than the leading contract guarding specialists in South Africa, Mantis Security. We can conduct a free risk assessment on your property, business, or establishment. Our related services also include employee vetting, background checks, domestic awareness training and state of the art screening.

Contact us on 0114871000, email or visit our newly updated webpage on We are also on social media applications such as Facebook and Instagram.

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