One consistent question I have addressed in corporate, and personal safety seminars is, “How to Choose Between Profits & Your Safety?” Therefore, I often ask one to consider what we will discuss here and ask themselves the one question further below.
SAFE Violence Prevention & Self Defence has worked with thousands of people in the corporate environment. Two, in particular, are healthcare workers and realtors. Inevitably the topic of the client who might make one feel uncomfortable vs the money to be made comes up. Do you have to choose between them?
Let’s first look at the real estate profession. You have a client you have been assisting in purchasing a home. You have followed all the safety protocols we recommend, but one day the client insists on you picking them up so they can take a final view of the home and finalize the purchase details. Your gut feeling or intuition tells you something is just not right, so you tell them you will meet them there or can they give you an extra day because you want to bring someone with you, but you don’t want the client to know you are hesitant.
Then they abruptly say, “Come pick me up in the next hour, or I will find a new agent.” When I asked most real estate agents or realtors what they might do if they had a similar request, but felt hesitant. In my experience, at least half have told me, even with the uneasy feeling, if they had to go on their own, they still would, and the primary reason is the substantial profit to be made. So, I ask, “You are telling me the profit is more important than being safe?” Most will hem and haw and ultimately agree so.
One simple question I ask people to consider if they have children is, “If you have a son or daughter and they were in the same situation, what would you suggest or recommend?” Then, without fail, you see the facial expressions change with an instant understanding that one should never compromise safety for profits.
If the client is insistent in such a way, combined with your intuition, be very wary. Suggest safer alternatives; your suspicions should be confirmed if they shoot them all down.
The secret weapon question I have used countless times is to say, “Why would you take the risk you would never want your child to take?”
In the healthcare profession, I have had many “mobile nurses” tell me a client, often new, has made them uncomfortable or that the client’s environment offers some safety challenges. Of course, their administration has always told them not to put themselves in a dangerous position, but they do not want to be seen as a “paranoid employee.”
Or perhaps recently, they had a similar situation, so they are hesitant just a short time later to express how they feel unsafe again. They do not want to be seen as that employee who is always complaining and avoiding their work.
I always say, “I would rather risk losing a client or my job than putting myself in a potentially dangerous situation.”
Any employer should listen, evaluate and never pressure their employees to do a job when they have legitimate safety concerns.
Chris Roberts, FOUNDER SAFE Violence Prevention & Self Defence