Recently, we talked about all the skills that make all EP agents so successful. However, we want to clear some things up and talk specifically about executive protection soft skills that are rarely mentioned.
Even though they’re downplayed in the industry, these skills are something no self-respecting agent should be without. So we thought that we should give them the shoutout that they deserve.
Without much further ado, let’s get into all the executive protection skills that could land you your dream job someday.
1. A Quick Wit
Possibly one of the most important executive protection soft skills that you’ll need to hone is a quick wit. More often than not, you’ll find yourself in situations or places that you’re not familiar with. You’ll also often be working with clients that you don’t know that well or at all for that matter. But when it comes to making any sort of security decisions, people will be turning to you.
So no matter where you are, who your client is, or what the details of the assignment are, you’ll need to act fast and make the right calls. At that moment, your quick wit is the only thing that can help you.
Now, obviously, being quick-witted isn’t something that you can train or prepare for, it just comes naturally. With that said, it is a trait that you can acquire with a lot of experience and time.
The best advice we can give you right now is if you’re in the heat of the moment, and you make a snap decision, commit to it. If it’s a high-pressure situation, you can’t second guess yourself, or you could seriously do a lot of harm.
You might be wondering why we put creativity so high up on the list. Well, often your job as an EP agent will require you to find creative or unorthodox solutions to problems. You need to think outside the box, and use every creative bone in your body to fix the issue.
You see, once you sign on to become an EP agent, you’ll see that no two assignments are alike. It doesn’t matter if you’re doing diplomatic security, working as a bodyguard for a celebrity, or are a protective security detail. All of these jobs and the specific assignments that they come with will require you to be creative.
For example, if you’re in an active shooter situation, and can’t evacuate, you need to come up with a solution. But if you’re leading a motorcade, for example, and you see hostile protestors that you need to avoid, you’ll need to figure out a different tactic.
Here’s the deal; we all have bad days, and sometimes lose our temper when we probably shouldn’t have. But when you’re on the job, you need to keep your cool no matter what. No matter what.
There is absolutely no scenario in which you can afford to throw a tantrum and blow your lid. Keeping your wit and cool is literally what your clients hired you to do.
However, being an EP agent is quite stressful at times because you might solely be in charge of someone’s safety. If a client doesn’t agree with you about something, you calmly need to explain what’s going on, and what the best course of action is. Be polite, but authoritative.
People with short tempers don’t make it in the industry, so always keep that in mind. It might be difficult to find the right balance at first, but as long as you’re working on yourself, you should be alright.
Poise and respectfulness go together hand-in-hand. Nevertheless, it’s one of the key executive protection soft skills that you need to master, so we thought that we should mention it.
As we said earlier, there will be a lot of moments in your EP career when you’ll find yourself in a high-pressure situation. At that moment, you need to remain calm, and figure a way out. Your clients will be looking at you to help them keep their cool, and you can’t ball up in a corner, waiting for the situation to pass.
Even if you’re not naturally a poised person, there is a way to learn the skill. A lot of EP agents turn to martial arts or meditation to help them balance out the stress of everyday life.
As an EP professional, you’ll need to be discreet at all times. It’s literally your job to blend into the crowd, and not stick out like a sore thumb. By blending in, you’ll have an awesome advantage over others in the crowd, potential attackers, or threats.
One way to keep your discretion is by sticking to the executive protection dress code. If you’re just getting into the business, it will help you figure out how to look the part, while still fitting in.
However, there is an exception to the rule, and that’s when you’re working as a security guard. In that instance, being noticed is key, and you’ll often be able to do that by wearing a uniform. But again, just because you’re not blending into the environment doesn’t mean that you should have blue hair and a bright orange suit.
6. Verbal & Written Communication
The two last executive protection soft skills that we wanted to mention are about how you communicate. On a daily basis, you’ll be talking to clients, colleagues, civilians, and everyone else in between. So solid communication is not a skill that you should take lightly because it’s what could make or break your career.
But what you need to know is that all good communication starts with listening. Before coming up with a response, make sure that you’ve heard the other person right. Always ask for clarification to avoid any sort of misunderstandings. If you want to know more, here are some other methods that’ll help you improve your communication skills.
When Liam Neeson was talking about having a very particular set of skills, we’re sure that he meant these six. And even though we can’t know for sure, one thing’s certain — sharpening these executive protection soft skills can take your career to new heights.
So before you start learning about firearms and martial arts, make sure that your soft skills are superb. Otherwise, all that other knowledge you have won’t mean much because you won’t be able to land a decent job.
If you feel like you’re already a pro at soft skills, but are always looking to learn more, sign up for our newsletter. You’ll find out about all the latest EP trends, where the industry’s going, and who’s leading it.