With news this week that the police will start handling complaints differently, allowing officers to experience reflective processes rather than punitive measures, how could this be mirrored in the Civil Enforcement world?
Well, it all starts with honesty.
Everyone makes mistakes. We’re all only human.
From being young children, the majority of people would say they took a lot more from trying to mend a situation with actions and words than from being punished harshly.
Of course, there’s a time and a place for both…
As representatives of the Civil Enforcement industry, Enforcement Agents have a lot to live up to, both in terms of how they treat debtors and members of the public, and in terms of how they carry out their instructions.
The nature of these assignments, given that they have the potential to be inflammatory or controversial, means that complaints do happen from time to time, they are an inevitable part of the job.
Rather than jumping to conclusions though, or looking to fight fire with counter arguments, what difference would it make if these complaints were treated as opportunities for reflection?
It all comes down to how they are received, interpreted and acted upon.
It is human nature to feel pressure on the end of a complaint, and any industry professional will confirm that refuting a complaint with contrasting evidence or a counter argument seems to be the most natural thing to want to do, but stopping to reflect could be a better option.
Many complaints have little grounds for investigation, and are easily countered, but this could be a lost opportunity to learn and in a profession like this, every opportunity to learn must be seized with both hands.
Some complaints may be well founded, but instead of penalties, suspensions and other punishments, reflective hearings could provide a less formal alternative.
Of course, this won’t be to everyone’s liking, as penalties and procedures are there for a reason.
Some members of the industry, and certainly some members of the public may see this as an easy way out for individuals accused of wrongdoing, but any type of change in any type of industry takes time to settle in.
It’s a tough one. There are good arguments for and good arguments against.
What is surely true though, is that any type of practice that encourages reflection and creates opportunities for learning, can only be a good thing in the long run.
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