Drama in the Radio Room

If you think all the conflicts in emergency communications centers come from citizens and officers, you're wrong.

  • When both you and the other person are calm arrange, then have a private talk about the problem.
  • Explain your position in a non-accusatory fashion and use active listening skills when the other person talks.
  • Be respectful and avoid dramatics such as eye rolling or heavy sighing.
  • Immediately stop discussing the situation with other co-workers.
  • If the talk fails to diffuse the situation, consider utilizing a supervisor as a mediator.
  • Request help and suggestions, so you can focus on a positive solution.

Working through a problem with a co-worker in a mature manner can be the difference between looking forward to going to work and feeling like you have to put protective armor on your emotions prior to walking through the door. Emergency communication work is stressful enough without internal conflicts. The citizens calling have enough drama to satisfy anyone. Creating more with those who should be a source of support makes the work environment unpleasant for everyone. Although "personality conflicts" can be avoided in the beginning by taking responsibility for each of our behaviors, sometimes something is said or done causing a co-worker to be offended. Often, the offender doesn't even realize what happened. Being conscious of how we treat co-workers can prevent issues, but if something does occur, using some of these tools can keep it from getting blown out of proportion. Several years and many internal conflicts later, I now understand why my supervisor felt it was important I wasn't holding anything against Jane for her and my husband's disagreement. I no longer think the situation was humorous and absurd. I am grateful they cared enough about the integrity of the workplace to address it before it was too late.

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