“Say that cracker good with the Chelsea tractor?”
“What are you balmy, that’s bang out of order, bevvied up he was.”
Or … “No price too high.” –versus- “No, price too high.”
How we say things is as important as what we say. When you’re working in the field as a team you need to be able to speak with one another — those you’re there to protect as well as those you rely on. Slang, idioms, and even accents can be a barrier to effective communication. As you can see in the examples above – even a comma (pause) can change the meaning of a message.
Some people are very good at picking up accents, and are able to roll with the verbal imprecision of idioms and slang – but it still takes them longer to respond when the communication has to be mentally parsed. While colloquialisms may be fun in a social setting, they set an Executive Protection team up for failure.
Most of what an Executive Protection team does is planning and preparation. Part of that preparation involves learning a common language of the industry that facilitates the immediate execution of preplanned movement. Miscommunication because of a poor choice of words is unprofessional, and will make the team look like fooking morans. Your charge will tend to get uneasy if they have no idea what you’re talking about, and the team can’t get where they intend to go on-time and in a coordinated manner. An Executive Protection team with serial miscommunications will suffer in both appearance and effectiveness.
Executive Protection specialists train to move as a team, to drive, and to pre-screen locations, among other skills – but all of this knowledge and experience becomes useless if the team cannot communicate in an unambiguous tongue.
A team must establish clear rules on communication. If you are going to use abbreviated codes or acronyms – for example, if you suspect your channels are being monitored – make sure all team members understand the code. If this doesn’t work — revert to a language you all understand, such as French, Latin, or Klingon.
Better yet, purchase encrypted communications gear.
“The mates of the EP gaggle”
“Tara-a-bit – naDevvo’ peghoS”
This Executive Protection article was written or edited by Baron James Shortt, the
Executive Director of the IBA.