It’s been established that individuals can get trauma from repeated exposure to details of distressing events. Dispatchers who are in the front lines receiving emergency calls for service from the community are highly susceptible to it. Specifics of people going through distress particularly graphic details of exploitation, abuse, and assault, among others are being recounted to them, one call after another. With this in mind, it is highly recommended for dispatchers to be given tools to be able to prevent and combat the stress they’re constantly subjected to.
This webinar’s resource speaker is one of Justice Clearinghouse’s regulars, Thomas Dworak. A retired sergeant of more than 30 years, he is currently the founder and lead instructor of The Adaptive Way. In his role, he develops and facilitates trainings sharing his knowledge of various topics including emotional intelligence, critical thinking, leadership, use of force, and defensive tactics, just to name a few.
In this session, he provides practical tips on how dispatchers can deal with the stress that comes with their job. Points he discussed include:
- What EQ is and what it allows us to do.
- The five pillars of emotional intelligence as it relates to us and the people around us.
- Understanding one’s emotion and the lens we view the world with through self-awareness.
- Recognizing your triggers and practicing restraint through self-regulation.
- Identifying one’s intrinsic motivation and going back to it when things aren’t going as planned.
- Practicing empathy when relating to others to understand their perspective.
- Developing social skills to better understand and serve the needs of others.
- How emotional intelligence allows us to regulate our emotions and handle stress better.
- The heightened risk of traumatic stress in dispatchers and the most common stressors identified in the public safety realm.
- The concept of sacrifice syndrome, how it occurs, manifests in daily life, and desensitizes us.
- Implementing our personal mindfulness strategy through a run-through and demonstration of different techniques that may be implemented separately or together.
The Q&A addressed audience concerns on:
- How addiction impacts emotional intelligence.
- What it means to draw strength from vulnerability.
- Managing anger and gaining perspective.
- Implementing mindfulness as part of organizational culture.
- Preventing the tendency to be passive-aggressive.
Handouts and Resources
- “Very knowledgeable speaker! An interesting and very important topic, especially for decision-makers doing the hiring! EQ is more important than IQ for our line of work!” — Roseann
- “Really liked breathing techniques.” 🙂 — Cari
- “I love the part that very specifically addresses EQ and how body language and things can make a difference.” –Jeanne
- “Thank you for creating content specific to dispatch! It is an often-overlooked field!” — Mickie