I'm guilty of occasionally letting my tongue slip and saying something I shouldn't. Sometimes those slip ups involve the use of colorful language, and I'll admit that I often reflect on how it impacts my perceived professionalism. Maybe it affects my credibility when I do that. Perhaps I lose my audience when they hear a flippant "bad" word come from my mouth. Regardless, I need to constantly practice using the right (professional) language to make sure I put my best foot forward.
Similarly, I have noticed how using certain words that are second nature to security-minded professionals can rub non-security personnel the wrong way and hinder efforts to introduce new safety tools into the fold. It's as if "security speak" is a four letter word!
For example, have you ever tried to talk about use of force or threat assessments with administrators who don't have security, military, or law enforcement experience? I can almost guarantee the only words they heard were, "FORCE" and "THREAT" without knowing the proper context or meaning behind what you were trying to communicate. Chances are, the administrator overreacted to hearing these "bad" words and completely shut down even though you were trying to make a solid case for upgrading your security equipment. From what I have seen and heard, using typical security verbiage with administrators is a sure-fire way to figuratively shoot yourself in the foot when you are trying to take steps to better protect your officers and the facility under your care.
If you want to be more effective in selling new tools to your administration, consider these three hot tips to avoid the perception of using "bad" language when talking about security matters with administrators.