So, you want to become an EPA. You are doing your research, getting educated on what you need to get started. You look for executive protection training online, and a plethora of courses and schools come up in your search. Shooting, hand-to-hand combat, all taught by (tacti)cool-looking guys, who apparently even go grocery shopping in ghillie suits.
This is not the way to become an EPA.
While the duty of an EPA is to ensure the safety of their client in situations such as physical attacks and other threatening scenarios, these duties are just a small part of what an executive protection operative is accountable for. You are confused now – if EP is not about car chases, guns and earpieces, then what is it all about? If these are the wrong courses, what are the right ones?
The truth is that you can go your whole career without discharging your weapon once – or even carrying it most of the time, and most people in the industry would see that as a success. What you will do most of the time is read and adjust to people according to their verbal and non-verbal cues, help your principal lead his life without any obstructions or disruptions, you know, normal everyday stuff. And of course, you need to get the job first.
What do you think, will a tacticool one-day experience help you pass that job interview? Of course not. But working on your soft skills might – and you can get that actual executive protection training online now.
The Traits of a Good EPA
Developing a quick wit is perhaps one of the most crucial soft skills you’ll need as an executive protection agent. You’ll frequently find yourself in unfamiliar situations or environments, working with clients you don’t know well or at all. Despite these challenges, people will turn to you for security decisions, and you must act quickly and make the right calls.
Your ability to think on your feet will be critical in these moments. While being quick-witted isn’t a skill you can train for, it can be honed through experience and time. If you make a snap decision in a high-pressure situation, commit to it without second-guessing yourself. Creativity is also essential since no two assignments are the same, and you’ll need to find innovative solutions to problems.
You’ll need to be respectful and maintain your poise in all circumstances, keeping your cool even in stressful situations. Finally, discretion and strong communication skills, both written and verbal, are essential for success as an executive protection agent.
Getting EP Training Online in Soft Skills
Good soft skills are related to those traits much more than hard skills. No amount of gun training will increase or improve your emotional intelligence, problem-solving, and communication.
Soft skills determine how we work with others and on our own. Although this may seem less tangible than hard skills, soft skills are more essential. Personality and other tests can predict competence in soft skills to a very large extent, and you can bet that employers will rely on those to reach their decision on whether or not to hire you.
While some people may have a natural inclination towards good soft skills, anyone can develop them with a little effort. You just need to find the right training. Luckily, today this type of training can be done online.
Soft Skills that Every Agent Needs
Six out of ten skills on LinkedIn’s Top Skills for 2023 are soft skills:
- analytical skills,
- research, and
- customer service.
You have able to communicate effectively, build relationships of trust and respect, and manage the clients’ expectations. Strong interpersonal skills are crucial for establishing and maintaining effective working relationships with principals and ensuring their safety and security.
Another important soft skill in executive protection is adaptability. This field is unpredictable, and executive protection professionals must be able to quickly adjust to changes in circumstances, such as changes in travel plans, last-minute schedule changes, or unexpected security threats.
Threats can come in many forms, and EPAs must be able to identify potential risks, assess the situation, and develop effective solutions to minimize the risk of harm to their clients. This requires creative thinking skills much more than a mastery of jiu jitsu.
In conclusion, if you are interested in becoming an Executive Protection Agent, it is crucial to recognize the significance of soft skills in this industry. While firearms and hand-to-hand combat skills are important, they only make up a small (hopefully non-existent) portion of the job.
Soft skills such as adaptability, communication, problem-solving, creativity, and quick thinking are crucial for your success as an EPA. Fortunately, executive protection training online in these soft skills is now readily available and accessible. With the right training and dedication, anyone can develop these skills and become a successful agent.
So, remember that soft skills are just as essential as hard skills, and investing in executive protection training online for these skills is a necessary step towards a fulfilling and prosperous career in this industry.