Tag Archives: hostility

Collaborating on Parking’s Big Challenges

By Cindy Campbell

There have been several recent Forum posts regarding the increasing hostilities our frontline personnel have been encountering with members of the public. While not unique to parking and transportation organizations, this troubling trend is affecting our organizations in a variety of ways.

We hear concerns regarding employee safety and well-being (both physically and emotionally), the need for increased training or tools to address aggressive behaviors, as well as challenges with employee recruitment and retention. In recent conversations, there are consistently more questions than definitive answers: What specific trainings address these challenges? Should we deploy body cameras? What tactics are working for other peer organizations–and what hasn’t worked? While there is no one-size-fits-all answer to any of the questions being asked, we collectively have ideas and experience to share.

One of the things I always appreciate about the professionals in our industry is their consistent willingness to share experiences, observations, and potential solutions. These conversations afford us the opportunity to learn from the experience of others–both positive and negative. To that end, I’d like to suggest we keep this conversation going. Have something you need to address? Ask. Willing to share an approach that has been successful for your team? Sign into the Forum and share (there’s a password-free sign-in option if you don’t remember yours). You don’t have to have all of the answers and you certainly won’t be judged for asking your colleagues for input.

In the meantime, I’ll just be over here listening–and learning.

Cindy Campbell is IPMI’s senior training and development specialist. She is available for customized in-person or virtual training; click here for details.

Preparing for Bad Behavior

By Cindy Campbell

Hostility. Aggression. Belligerence. Incivility. Rudeness.

All these words describe bad human behavior. Again this week, an over-the-top outburst was caught on video and went viral. Maybe you’ve seen it: A female would-be airline passenger went ballistic at the gate, reportedly because her flight was delayed.

It’s disheartening to think these scenarios don’t surprise us anymore. We have grown to expect bad behavior and at some level, tolerate it. Having said that, there is a significant difference between expecting bad behavior and being trained and prepared to encounter and effectively deal with it. We see emotional, anger-filled outbursts and disrespectful behavior everywhere. As our agencies’ representatives, frontline staff must be well prepared to handle these encounters.

It’s important to recognize that within our industry, customers are frequently hostile, even aggressive, and often have difficulty hearing and understanding our intended message. You have likely experienced scenarios where citizens see themselves as victims rather than customers. The skillset to capably provide helpful service within a public service agency requires the ability to quickly sort information and apply an appropriate response. Frontline staff typically perform their duties independently and therefore must be resourceful and aware that their words affect how they are perceived. The goal must be to quickly decipher what we hear while keeping our emotions under control so we are prepared to calmly and effectively address the situation.

What steps will you take to promote this concept within your agency in 2019?

Cindy Campbell is IPMI’s senior training and development specialist. She is available for onsite trainings; visit parking-mobility.org.