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Month: February, 2015

WPV Warning Signs & examples – Part 2

• Work Issues
Is this person having issues with work, of any kind? When I say work issues, I’m talking about specific work duties. Are they having issues remembering what to do or how to do it? Are they shuffling or stumbling through their shift, more so than normal? All of these things and others may indicate that something is wrong. Is it worth mentioning to the boss or someone in a responsible charge position? More than likely, yes.

• Consistent Bullying and Teasing
Bullies get the brunt of the blame in a WPV incident between co-workers. And it is true that somewhere along the line, bullying or teasing, even if it’s good natured, will come into the picture as a trigger point. And usually, bullies their way through life and work, and when they are denied they get angry and possibly go off and could hurt someone.
However, it’s not just the bullies themselves that may perpetrate an incident. If an employee is picked on, teased incessantly, and otherwise abused at work they may turn the tables on their tormentors. One cliché’ that I like (okay love to use is, is a rat trapped in a corner. A wild animal feels trapped and the only way out is too fight their way out. A lot of these incidents are caused by such a reaction in your co-workers.
The one being bullied and teased can always turn the tables on their tormentors – no matter how many there are – a firearm is the great equalizer. However, I have also seen, studied, heard about, and otherwise heard reports about the bullies turning the tables on their victims as well.
And sometimes the revenge doesn’t involve a firearm or any other physical weapon. In 1988 at the Wire Rope Corporation of America in St. Joseph, MO. A teasing victim had had enough. He urinated in the coffee pot of the break room where his tormentors drank their morning brew. They set up a camcorder and taped him urinating into the pot before it was brewed. This was during the time of hysteria over AIDS, HIV, & etc.

Serious mental/Depression stress
This is also a big one to watch out for. And in today’s economy, it’s easier to spot than it was 20 years ago. Whether we are becoming ‘wimpified’ or we don’t have a good support system, we are showing our stress outwardly more and more.
At one time, if we had stress, anywhere in our lives, we kept it quiet. It stayed in the home where the wife, kids, & dog were abused at every opportunity. Rarely, did it spill over into our work lives or at the mall.
It wasn’t unusual for someone not to show stress to anyone, until they were either over it or too depressed and low so you couldn’t avoid noticing it. Now, it’s unusual not to notice if someone is fine!
Money, health, family issues, vehicle problems, foreclosures, and employment worries, all of these things and tons more help us to keep having stress in our lives and some people don’t know how to handle it. And the only way they handle it is to lash out at someone or anyone close to them at home, work, coffee shop, or where ever, like a trapped animal.

Continual Excuses
Just as with teenagers and SV, this is another red flag in the search for WPV. This one however, goes both ways. It happens from both employees as well as supervisory/managerial staff. And in either event, it’s not a good thing.
It really doesn’t matter whether the excuse is I forgot or they’re off duty. If excuses are becoming common, then it is raising a problem that needs to be addressed.
An example of supervisory excuses is that a friend of mine was at work and waiting for her relief to show up and she had another friend of mine carpooling with her. The 2nd friend went outside to wait until the other was off duty. While the friend was sitting outside, the supervisor came by and told the 1st friend that ‘Didn’t anyone tell you that your relief isn’t here and is running an hour late?’ It was said in a condescending manner to her.
After a few minutes the supervisor walks out and see’s the 2nd friend sitting there. She tells the employee that she’s sorry about it and continues walking to her car. The 2nd employee and the supervisor live 2 blocks from each other and thought they were friends. The supervisor never offered a ride to the employee, even though she was riding alone. This is unforgiveable to me.
The supervisor may have been off duty however, the duty to her employee remained, especially if they lived so close. Just because you’re off duty, doesn’t mean you can ignore the employee or supervisor, and there was no prohibition on employees and supervisors riding together at their employment site. The supervisors excuse? I forgot and didn’t think about it.
These kinds of excuses that will start employee’s beginning to be disgruntled and think about disparate treatment from their supervisors. Definitely a red flag to watch for if it happens on a continual basis.

Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on workplace violence prevention and other security issues. With numerous interviews, a twice weekly blog, articles, and 2 books he has proven himself in the security field for more than 31 years, and 23 studying workplace violence issues.
He utilizes his years of field knowledge to give real life examples of incidents pulled from both his own experiences and the news headlines. Contact him at 480-251-5197 or through his Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/oneistoomany. Here you will see and read about other items related to security as well as WPV

This Attitude is the Most Dangerous for WPV

Some people will, and laugh, at me for saying what I’m about to write about in this post. But it is true that I parrot it every time there is a workplace violence (WPV) incident. And nobody really wants to listen. That is until I start naming the things that make this the most dangerous attitude.
The worst part of it is that owners, managers, shareholders, and everyone else involved don’t want to know about it. That is until an incident occurs. Then all hell breaks loose and the accusations start to fly. Then they’ll wring their hands and wail and moan that they didn’t see it coming and there was nothing they could have done – oh woe is me woe is me whatever shall we do!
So what is this attitude that makes me so upset at the media and those who deny the fact that it happen in their business? It is three little letters or words if you will. CHH or Can’t Happen Here!
By saying this, or even denying the fact of WPV, It takes away all the problems and simply says that if you treat your employees so much better than other companies, that it Can’t Happen Here. Telling yourself that an incident can’t happen to you, your employees, and your business is like saying that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (or the team you like the best) won’t lose. It will happen, whether you want it to or not.
Sticking your head in the sand like an ostrich, is not a good idea in the instance of WPV and the world we live in today, you can get bit in the butt! And what usually happens when you get bit in the butt because you weren’t being cautious enough?
If you didn’t pay attention to the cash flow in your company or facility, how long would you be in business or have a job? And while this isn’t the cold war of the late 40’s to the late 80’s, there is no more trying to hide from it. Because the longer you ignore the problem, the more likely you’re gonna get bit.
Just like with a heart attack or stroke, you have to try and mitigate the risks of actually having one. But you can’t do that if you are sticking your head in the sand and ignoring the potential problems. Not to mention the warning signs of a potentially violent employee, significant other, or customer.
Too many companies believe that if they treat their employees with respect, perqs, and the like they wouldn’t do anything violent in the office or factory. And while this may be true, you have to think about what happens away from work and the stress levels they are under from innumerable sources.
And just remember, WPV isn’t just murder. Whether it’s deadly or not, who knows? Will it cause injury, who knows? Will it cost you or an employee money? More than likely. And those costs could be in the recruiting process, extra security measures, lawsuits, lost wages, medical bills, and innumerable other expenses that’ll come up as you get into further trying to recover from the incident.

The one thing that you absolutely have to do is complete a vulnerability assessment of your employees and business. It can be kept quiet if you already have union issues or the employees distrust you – which is a definite warning sign in and of itself.
And the last thing for me to leave you with for now is the other line I trumpet to all who will listen: Any time, anywhere, for any reason, to anyone.

Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on workplace violence prevention and other security issues. With numerous interviews, a twice weekly blog, articles, and 2 books he has proven himself in the security field for more than 31 years, and 23 studying workplace violence issues.
He utilizes his years of field knowledge to give real life examples of incidents pulled from both his own experiences and the news headlines. Contact him at 480-251-5197 or through his Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/oneistoomany. Here you will see and read about other items related to security as well as WPV.

WPV Warning Signs & examples – Part 1

As I have noted more than a few times, and railed against here in this blog, there are always warning signs for one who will ‘Go Postal’ in a workplace violence (WPV) incident. And just as often you’ll hear me talk and dismiss the talking heads who say there was no warning.
But you have to be wary with WPV. The warning signs will always be there, no matter what, but they will be more subtle in most cases. Some of these perpetrators will be so over the top in their warning signs, you’ll think a movie was being made, and therefore likely to dismiss them.
The Signs
Many employees are adept at hiding their feelings and such. They are not teenagers and generally don’t have that teenage angst that makes SV easier to sound an alarm about.
• Threats
Veiled, public, private, verbal, written or whatever. These are one of the first things you’ll hear.
What’s considered a veiled threat? A man walked up to you throws his arm around you and pulls you close and with a smile says ‘you son of a b****, I’m gonna kick you’re a**!’. Is that a threat? Could be. It depends on how it’s said, who’s saying it, and how it’s said.
There is a huge difference in a veiled threat if you know the person or if they’re mad at you. I’ve had friends come up to me, after the WPV threats exploded in the 80’s – and did that to me. Was I scared or intimidated? No, because I knew the man and knew he was being friendly.
Do I know of incidents where someone has said breathy statements and veiled threats and no one took it seriously. A few hours, or days, later a firearm was brought into the building and tragedy was struck.
As for verbal and written threats, look at the context of them. If only a few people hear or read the threats, the better the chance of something happening. If someone writes graffiti on a wall warning of something, it’s not likely to occur. Is this always the most accurate measuring stick? No, of course not. However, all threats need to be taken seriously and investigated by management or the police. And as a co-worker, if you hear someone threatening another, then report it to your supervisor or manager. Even if that person is your best friend, which admittedly is hard to do.

• Attendance problems
When you have a co-worker who is having issues with their attendance, then you may have a troubled employee. Now, just because someone is missing a lot of time, does this mean that they are going to bring a firearm to work and start shooting people? Of course not!
There are many reasons why someone is having these types of problems. Some of these may be their own fault i.e. getting drunk, high, or something similar. On the other hand it could be perfectly legitimate why they’re missing work or coming in late.
Going to court, their health is causing it, car problems or any number of other reasons. And on the other hand, it goes far beyond those issues.
Arriving late for work, leaving early, and then just not showing up at all. This goes for their breaks as well. Do they leave the building or area for them?
Lastly, are they pulling a NC/NS on everyone? A no call no show. If they aren’t calling in and not showing up, this may indicate a problem. Many people have been found dead or in trouble because of not showing up for work.

Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on workplace violence prevention and other security issues. With numerous interviews, a twice weekly blog, articles, and 2 books he has proven himself in the security field for more than 31 years, and 23 studying workplace violence issues.
He utilizes his years of field knowledge to give real life examples of incidents pulled from both his own experiences and the news headlines. Contact him at 480-251-5197 or through his Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/oneistoomany. Here you will see and read about other items related to security as well as WPV.

The difference between a security guard and Security Officer

In my opinion there is a difference in the terms. And being totally honest I don’t really give a big fat rat’s ass about what licensing authorities say about it. Most will say that if you’re armed you’re an officer. If not then you’re a guard, which to me is an insult.
Does someone who’s armed deserve more professional recognition and credit than someone who is unarmed? No they don’t. I’ve seen armed guards that didn’t even deserve the title of watchman. And I’ve seen unarmed officers who deserve to be recognized throughout the entire industry for their courage and bravery.
I never explain, very often, why I’m against the idea of using the term guard instead of officer. That answer is fairly simple. I hate the word guard. I believe that it down plays the importance and significance of all 3 million security people in the United States. Why?
The term guard was popular in the 50’s thru now. Just as the word ‘watchman was popular from the 1850’s until the mid-30’s. And back in the 19th and early 20th century (until the 30’s) security guards could also be known as strike busters, carrying fence posts, rifles, and all kinds of implements to bloody those who were foolish enough to be on strike.
Back then, the people entrusted to secure the facility didn’t do a whole lot. They sat in their shack and smoked, drank coffee, and sometimes slept ignoring their duties or even worse, they were thugs in uniform with a pistol. In today’s modern world, security officers do so much more than just sit.
We are charged with so much more than just the front gate and watching for smoke from a fire! We have to monitor fire alarms, burglary alarms, cameras, make extensive patrols through hazardous areas, provide customer service, be alert and observant, and depending on where we work entrusted to, literally, hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of assets for the company/client. They need a professional officer who can act and think above a ‘guard’.
Let me ask you this question or two. In a magazine, decades ago, there was an advertisement that showed a dark and dank alley way i.e. New York City slums, and it said “You wouldn’t go in there for a million dollars. Cops do it for a lot less”.
Now how many people will walk through a dark warehouse filled with chemicals that could literally kill them if it spilled or was inhaled? Officers do it as part of their job and don’t think twice about it. They also, like cops, do a lot of other things that can be dangerous and don’t think about it and why? Because it’s their job and it has to be done.
If you can’t tell, I’m fairly well in the corner of the millions of security officers that are out there every day. And most will work Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, and their birthdays because they are scheduled for it or the company needs them. I’ve worked these days on post as an officer and as a manager.
I’ve always been accused of backing the officer rather than management and its gotten me disciplined and fired a time or two. And that’s perfectly okay. I’d much rather be accused of backing up my officers no matter what, unless they are wrong then…, instead of being a ‘company man’.

Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on workplace violence prevention and other security issues. With numerous interviews, blogs, articles, and 2 books he has proven himself in the security arena for more than 31 years, and 23 studying workplace violence issues.
His latest book ‘one is too Many: Recognizing & Preventing Workplace violence is available for numerous e-book formats. It helps all organizations to reduce their risk and limit their liability of an incident. And it does this by breaking the rules in several ways, as well as following conventional wisdom in others.
He utilizes his years of field knowledge to give real life examples of incidents pulled from both his own experiences and the news headlines. Contact him at 480-251-5197 or Visit his Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/oneistoomany, Here you will see and read about other items related to WPV/SV as well as incidents you may not have heard or thought about.

The Tapestry of a Career

As you know I’ve been in the security field for 31 years. 20 of them were spent in the security ‘guard’ industry. And of course 23 in all the many facets of workplace violence (WPV). But this isn’t an overview of my career.
Sometime in the early 90’s, I watched an episode of ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’. The episode was titled Tapestry. It dealt with Captain Picard supposedly dying and being granted a 2nd chance to re-live his life and career.
As Patrick Stewart, the actor who played Picard, stated at the end “I wasn’t happy with what I done in my youth. But when I pulled on a loose thread in the tapestry of my life, it all began to unravel”. Hmmm
Secondly, my favorite business book, as many of you know, was entitled ‘If it ain’t Broke, Break it!’ So what do these 2 things have in common you’re asking?
I hear constantly people saying that if they had a second chance at re-living their life. They’d do all over again, and this time do it right! They would turn right and not left. They would not get married or just live with the person. Or they wouldn’t have bought that car/gun/whatever.
But the truth is that if you could go back and change history, your history, then one event would inevitably change your entire life by events unfolding in a cascade of unexpected events. And unlike fiction of Star Trek, if you did it would be forever.
So, live your life the way it’s unfolded so far. “You’ll never get anywhere by playing it safe”, even in today’s modern corporate world. Yes, even this world where you can be fired for one, literally, small mistake. That’s why the book.
Since seeing that episode and reading that book in the late 90’s, I’ve never played it safe. I’ve always tried to find different ways of doing things. And while some of those were wrong, most were innovative enough to become standard practice at the accounts I managed or companies I worked for.
One of the biggest buzzwords in the corporate world now is ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking, and has been for a few years just like quality service. I’ve been doing that for 25 years. And, again, it’s gotten me into trouble. But most of the time when I ignored the rules and made my own, within legal and ethical boundaries, it worked out. I’ve received commendations for breaking the rules. And I’ve been fired also.
My point is that line in Star Trek “You’ll never get anywhere by playing it safe”. And far too many security officers, supervisors, managers, and directors spend their time playing it safe.
In order to make this world a safer place you need to take risks. Think of the weird and simplistic solutions that will leave people thinking you’re standing in the farthest corner of the parking lot where the lights don’t shine!
Don’t be afraid to rock the boat. State your mind and be steadfast in your resolve in your abilities and wisdom that your solution is right. And if that means you have to break rules, and then break them – “rules are made to be broken!” And never be afraid to evaluate your solution and thought process and say you were wrong!
This is the way we will protect our company’s and clients. If you think your solution is stupid and crazy so what! It may be the one that actually works and stop crime from occurring! So try it. Now go out there and break some rules and live like there is no tomorrow!

Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on workplace violence prevention and other security issues. With numerous interviews, blogs, articles, and 2 books he has proven himself in the security arena for more than 31 years, and 23 studying workplace violence issues.
His latest book ‘one is too Many: Recognizing & Preventing Workplace violence is available for numerous e-book formats. It helps all organizations to reduce their risk and limit their liability of an incident. And it does this by breaking the rules in several ways, as well as following conventional wisdom in others.
He utilizes his years of field knowledge to give real life examples of incidents pulled from both his own experiences and the news headlines. Contact him at 480-251-5197 or Visit his Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/oneistoomany, Here you will see and read about other items related to WPV/SV as well as incidents you may not have heard or thought about.

Red Alert Red Alert! No one just Snaps!

Usually when I hear about an incident of workplace violence (WPV), there is always a talking head in the media, law enforcement, psychologists, and others who are glad to tell you, ‘They just snapped with no warning’. And then discuss how we can prevent these things and all in physical security.

Well let me tell you something about all of those people, even the ones I admire. THEY ARE WRONG! And granted they say those because they make excellent sound bites. But do we need good sound bites or the truth in this issue of importance to American business?

There are ALWAYS warning signs! And it doesn’t really matter whether it’s with their fists, pipe wrench, pencils or staplers, or knives and firearms! There will always be warning signs they are about to hurt someone. And whether they work for you or not, someone will notice the signs, and generally they will ignore them.

Do you remember the incident in Minneapolis on September 27, 2012? an incident occurred that debunks the ‘just snapped’ theory. Andrew Engeldinger Was in a termination meeting with his supervisors and the owner of Accent Signage Systems and opened fire in the meeting – which had been called at a time when he was not at work. He then calmly walked past numerous female employees on his way to the loading dock. When he got to the dock, he opened fire killing 3 more, including the UPS driver, and wounded 4. He then shot and killed himself.

There are numerous instances throughout the media, both local and national of WPV where the shooter either ignored or didn’t shoot people who were right in front of them. In several cases the shooter looked them straight in the eye and then walked by. In the case of ConEd of Southern California in December 2011, the shooter looked in the cubicles to ensure his intended victims were actually there before shooting. Sounds like both these guys just snapped, with no warning or pre-planning.

The Key
The key to all of this is whether or not we act upon these signs. My favorite saying that gets derided so often from others not in the WPV field is this; we can either choose to act upon the warning signs or ignore them. No, I’m not crazy or living in a world of fantasy.

We can choose to act upon the warning signs or ignore them. Which way we decide to act could determine whether or not someone will get hurt and die. And in reporting the warning signs there are several things that stand in the way of reporting them to a supervisor or manager.

Excuses
The first one is ‘I don’t want to get involved’. This can be quite dangerous if it prevails in the workplace. And while it may be admirable that you don’t want to put your nose into someone else’s business, in this case it may not be a bad idea. And it is unfortunate but the culture of the business might also be encouraging this attitude as well.

So what are some of those excuses that people give for not reporting the warning signs to their supervisor, manager, human resources, or an anonymous tip line? They are many and varied and many times they can be comical. Here is a partial list of the ones I’ve heard in my 23 years in the field. And more importantly, how many of these ring true with a problem employee that you know?

• He was just going through a tough time
• He’ll come out of it
• He’s not that kind
• He would never do something like that.
• He’s not capable of doing that.
• He’s got problems, who doesn’t?
• I don’t want to get him in trouble.
• I don’t want to get involved.
• It’s not my problem
• Why should I care what happens to him?
• I hate this place, why should I warn them?
• This company needs a wake-up call anyway.
• They won’t listen to me.

Connecting the Dots
I stated above that no one just snaps. There are always the warning signs. Unfortunately, it’s as much the companies fault as well as employees fault that these signs are ignored. The reason for this is that, in addition, to the excuses above, no one can or is willing to ‘connect the dots’.

Connecting the dots is a simple exercise, especially when you know what to look for. And it’s up to the company to inform their employees what they need to look for and connecting those dots.

And it’s not just that simple either. Supervisors, managers, human resources, security, C-suite, & literally everyone needs to know not to brush off what an employee brings to them.

Some employees will cry wolf too many times and therefore not be credible when reporting such things. But even if they aren’t credible in all cases, it may be the one case that they are and an incident occurs. After that it’s all about cleaning up – the blood, brain material, broken machinery, lives, and the publicity. And of course after that is litigation and potential bankruptcy.

Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on workplace violence prevention and other security issues. With numerous interviews, a twice weekly blog, articles, and 2 books he has proven himself in the security field for more than 31 years, and 23 studying workplace violence issues.
He utilizes his years of field knowledge to give real life examples of incidents pulled from both his own experiences and the news headlines. Contact him at 480-251-5197 or through his Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/oneistoomany. Here you will see and read about other items related to security as well as WPV.

If it Ain’t Broke, then Break it!

In the late 90’s I came across a book entitled “If it ain’t broke then Break it!” It became my favorite business book that I ever read. It was by Robert Krenzel, I believe. And I’ve had several people ask me what was so wonderful about it. So, since I make so many references to it I figured I’d tell you about it.
The book comes from the same mindset that I had for over a decade before, but never found a book to tell me I was right. I had so many people tell me to go with the flow and don’t rock the boat.
Too many times, far too many, going with the flow and not rocking the boat is the best way not to get noticed and not get things done. I have lived my career by rocking the boat and going against conventional wisdom.
When the world said do it this way, I had to think Isn’t there a better simpler way?” And usually there was.
Take one step at a time became If you want big things to change, or happen, you have to make big changes and steps. Or stick to what you’re good at turned into Stretch yourself into something else. And of course it depends on your circumstances and the world you live in.
Slavery was accepted 150 years ago. So was riding a horse everywhere. Times change and so do our values and our approaches to life. And this also means business.
Whatever the conventional wisdom is, do you embrace them or do you see the contrarian point of view? And if you do look at the contrary point of view, do you embrace it and strive to change the CW?
Security companies and consultants operate under all kinds of rules, theories, fears, and desires. Their psychological frame of mind influences decisions of what to set bill rates, what clients to pursue, and what to do, according to conventional wisdom. What if they are wrong? Seldom will you find a GM or owner admit they made a mistake.
What worked yesterday may not work tomorrow. Why work on assumptions. We need to be more out of the box in our thinking, no matter how outrageous it may be. And this book basically states that same fact. And if it happens to piss someone off, then so be it.
This approach has worked well for me. Yes, I’ve been fired for following the conventional of what management thought I should have done. On the other hand I’ve also been awarded and complimented on the same way of thinking and doing things.
So, this book was a good restoration of my thinking process for me when I found it. Unfortunately, I can no longer find it to read over again. But the concepts still cling to my brain. At that time I’m glad that I found a book that put my actions into words.
My advice is to think outside the box. Don’t worry about what others may think, even if it doesn’t seem to make sense at the time, and rejected, keep it percolating in the back of your mind. And this applies to supposedly good business practice and guidelines.
Some of the best ideas in the 20th & 21st centuries comes from out of the box thinking. If Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, & Bill Gates hadn’t thought outside the preconceived notions that button holed people, where would we be?
The 21st century has already seen a plethora of great ideas that wouldn’t have come about without people climbing outside their close minded peers and doing things their way.
And I’m sure that many within the boardrooms were dead set against many of those changes. This also brings to mind the seen in movie “The Hunt for Red October” in which Alec Baldwin interrupted a briefing on Captain Ramius and Red October. He got his point across didn’t he and it worked out. And the ‘guess’ he made on the USS Dallas worked too.
If I find a place to purchase this book, I’ll let you know. Or if I find my copy of the book, I’ll try to have it recorded and send it to anyone who wants it.

Robert D. Sollars is a 31 year veteran of the security field and has made his mark by following the principles in the above named book. He bucks conventional wisdom at practically every turn and has good results more than 90% of the time. You can contact him at http://www.facebook.com/oneistoomany. Or call him at 480-251-5197

Hiring a Consultant

At one time or another practically every business, no matter the industry will need to hire a consultant. Obviously, we’ll concern ourselves with hiring a security consultant, potentially one of the hardest consultants to hire for.
Why you ask? Because most people in the c-suite or small business owners have not the slightest idea of good security and what is needed to achieve the outcome they desire. Therefore these tips are probably more important than for other consultants.
Remember, consultants are the supposed experts and it should be noted that they need to explain in normal everyday terms, without industry jargon and such, what the problems are. And over above that how they reached their conclusions and how you can achieve the desired results as inexpensively as possible without compromising the quality of your service or product.
And if at any time you feel that your questions haven’t been answered sufficiently…then ask again. And keep asking them questions until you get the answers you need and to your satisfaction. Not necessarily what you want to hear but what you need to hear in clear concise terms. And chances are if they can’t explain it clearly then they ain’t worth a hill of beans!

1. They need to be able to listen well
If they don’t listen well then something may be missed and, possibly later, overlooked or not completed. And that won’t do your check book or the problem any good, no matter what it is. It could possibly make it worse.
A good consultant will be attentive and take notes throughout your meeting. The amount of notes in immaterial, it’s the quality of those notes. And if they stop and ask questions to allow you elaborate, then the entire better.

2. There should always be an open line of communication
Both you and the consultant need to be able to communicate anytime it is needed, for any reason. Issues, problems, hiccups in supply, whatever. You both need to be able to trust one another well enough to be able to contact each other for literally any business related reason.
Part of that is the idea that nothing about the project is off limits and is in the open. You don’t want to feel that they aren’t telling you something. And vice versa. Neither of you can complete the project without telling the full story.
3. They include you in the design
They may be the experts in their field, but you are the expert in your business or facility. Therefore they need to consult with you for information on the business or facility. No matter how many times they’ve reworked with a heavy manufacturing factory, they’ve never worked with one like yours – unless they’ve worked for you in the past. But even then the problem isn’t the same!
4. Including you in the purchasing options
This is one area you don’t want to abdicate to the consultant. You need to be included in any discussion of the purchasing decisions that deal specifically with the project they are concerned with. Without this, the price may go through the roof!
5. Communication between the 2 of you
You need to be in the loop of everything they are doing. They also need to cooperate with you, the company, and other employees. Unless you have given them the latitude to ‘piss-off’ anyone to get the job done. That is the approach I would suggest.
One of my favorite business quotes is a simple phrase and can, at times, really piss people off because you’re so blunt. ‘Whatever it takes to get the job done…right!
6. They MUST have an unbiased opinion
The best consultants will come into your business and not have an opinion about what the issue is before any discussion ever takes place! If they are biased then there findings will also be biased and therefore unreliable.
This would include products, services, and anything else that may hinder the objective unbiased opinion you’re looking for in a good consultant. And when it comes to the final report…
If there is not at least one or two points within the final report that you don’t agree with, then the consultant was worthless. That is because the consultant is being paid for their best objective opinion and findings. They should disagree with your mindset. This doesn’t mean that you can’t disagree, but at least listen to what they say about it.
Last point to remember is that you’re shopping for an expert to help you solve or discover a problem or issue within your company. And in this case the security of your asset’s and employees, lives and property.

Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on workplace violence prevention and other security issues. With numerous interviews, blogs, articles, and 2 books he has proven himself in the security arena for more than 31 years, and 23 studying workplace violence issues.
His latest book ‘one is too Many: Recognizing & Preventing Workplace violence is available for numerous e-book formats. It helps all organizations to reduce their risk and limit their liability of an incident. And it does this by breaking the rules in several ways, as well as following conventional wisdom in others.
He utilizes his years of field knowledge to give real life examples of incidents pulled from both his own experiences and the news headlines. Contact him at 480-251-5197 or Visit his Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/oneistoomany, Here you will see and read about other items related to WPV/SV as well as incidents you may not have heard or thought about.