After the Webinar: Stop! Don’t Slime. Q&A with Tamara Glover

Webinar presenter Tamara Glover answered a number of your questions after her webinar, Stop! Don’t Slime. Lessons in Debriefing for Criminal Justice Professionals. Here are just a few of her responses.


Audience Question: Can you further explain the difference between sliming and venting? 

Tamara Glover: Yes, so the way that I would describe it is venting is really talking about you and your experience, like the thing that supercharged you. So, for example, if you are in the supermarket and or you’re going to the supermarket and someone cut you off in the parking lot, and you just so happen to be able to call your friend while you’re walking into the store, and you’re venting to them about this situation that happened in the parking lot. You’re kind of letting the air out. And you’re talking about you know how it was frustrating to you. How the actual activity or action itself was frustrating to you? This person cut me off in the parking lot I am now frustrated. With sliming. It’s really kind of providing more information about that client or customer’s experience, and how that affects you. And so, it is, “You know, I was talking to my client this morning. She was really talking to me about how she’s trying to stay sober, but she continues to have such a hard time. She came home, and her power was out. She had a leaky roof,” and so on and so forth. So, it’s really where you’re talking about, not your experience. But you’re kind of sharing some information about that client, and their experience as that connects to how it makes you feel. And so, it’s the details about that other person, or the details about that client that kind of bog things down, or kind of allow for the listener to start creating their own picture in their head. Right? Because we, as people, if we think about it as a movie, we create trailers, right? We create movies. And so, when we start giving more and more information, particularly as it relates to our peers who do work like us because they are in the space of role-taking more than likely they’re going to create this same. They’re going to follow along with what you’re saying about the client and create kind of a movie or a trailer that goes around, goes along with it. And that’s the heaviness that they then find themselves in because sometimes we can’t even turn that off. We think that we’re just listening. And then we’re like, oh, this is heavy. Now, we’re problem-solving and trying to support you through the next steps of how to support this client. So, it becomes kind of double duty supporting my coworker, but supporting my coworker as they support this client. And that kind of chain reaction is one of the hallmark components that makes sliming a bit different than just venting.


Audience Question: Can you suggest alternatives for non-sliming venting? 

Tamara Glover: Yes. So, I think we want to find safe spaces for that. So, recognizing that everyone’s space is a little bit different as well as everyone’s like a red tape with regards to budget or spacing. But we want to think about, can we have designated dates and times for that, whether that’s like group circles where we’re going to come together, and making it voluntary, so, it’s not something that everyone has to come to. But it’s a space, a safe space that’s designated to talk about those things that are lingering and to be able to kind of process through them. When it is a designated date and time, though right? We are then kind of relying on those same components of empowerment by giving people the choice to either attend that or not attend that. And we’re also creating the opportunity, for consent to take place. And so, I’m not going to unknowingly walk in on the break room Tuesdays at 2 PM. And here’s something that I don’t maybe want to hear at that moment, or I’m not really sure how to manage in that moment, because I know Tuesdays at 2 PM in the break room that is, when this open-ended processing tank, if you will, comes together and is a safe space for us to professionally be connected, feel connected, and get supported. And so, I think when we create a very clear date and time, or safe space or person, or what have you? And again, that’s going to take some support from management. I think that’s where we can kind of move away from the sliming component and move into a healthy processing space.


Audience Question: Could sliming also apply to sharing about a loved one as opposed to a client? 

Tamara Glover: Yes, yes, that’s a really good point. I definitely skewed this presentation to specifically talk about the professional aspects of it. But for sure, this can definitely happen very easily, very much so in the same way, with personal relationships and personal issues or challenges. And so, I would say that the same solutions kind of would apply when you’re, you know, potentially speaking to a loved one about a personal situation, making sure that we’re giving them the opportunity to kind of be on board, and acknowledging that them saying like, “How are things going?” May not necessarily be clear consent, right? And so, we want to give them the opportunity to tap out before we open that can of worms. But no, that’s a great question. I’m glad that the question allowed me to re-highlight that yes, very much so can take place with loved ones.


Audience Question: Is there an easy way to bring this to management?

Tamara Glover: Sure, I think that you can present this in management by hopefully saying like, “Hey, you remember that webinar you let me go to while we were kind of on the clock, right as part of my work day like, let me tell you about like this cool thing that was mentioned.” And allow it to kind of just start as a conversation. You know, sometimes we have to socialize an idea. So, think about your office, and allies, particularly if you feel like you are in a space or underneath a management team that may not be as receptive as you wish they would be, right? So, kind of socialize that idea. Reach out to me. I can probably send some information such as the article itself or get you in the direction of where to find it. So that that again can be concrete information. Recognizing that everyone learns differently, and listens differently. But I think the key to bringing it to management is just starting the conversation like, “Hey, we heard about this really cool thing and I hadn’t thought about it before, but now that it’s been brought up to me, I think it’s important that we talk about it as a group,” as opposed to, you know, minimize burnout, increase productivity. Things of that nature sometimes make management a bit more receptive because they’re going to want to make sure that their employees stay being their employees. So, I think that there are definitely some ways that we can brainstorm presenting it to the management team so that they can have an awareness and come up with some solutions.


Click Here to Watch a Recording of  Stop! Don’t Slime. Lessons in Debriefing for Criminal Justice Professionals.


Additional Resources
6 months ago
Organizational Stress and Officer Wellness
Organizational stressors are stressful conditions which the organization and/or its leaders have con […]
2 years ago
Critical Incident Stress Management for the ACO
Those working in public safety and emergency response are exposed to significantly more stress and t […]
7 years ago
Mass Casualty Response Resilience / Post Action Strategic Debriefing
Working in law enforcement, while incredibly rewarding, can at times also be equally stressful. A […]
9 years ago
Blending the After Action Review Critical Incident Stress Debriefing
  This webinar will compare specific steps to action improvement, with the mentally beneficial […]