August 24, 2020 at 9:13 pm #4345Participant
These comments are related to the PDRM Zoom mtg Mod 2 (#1), 19th August 2020. The time differences make it really difficult for meet to physically attend. 3:00 AM is a tough one for me. However, I do enjoy the taped meetings. Thanks, Chris for maintaining that, for those of us that cannot always attend. I have a couple of comments below.
Within the Zoom meeting there was a good discussion on relationships. Mentioned were the needs of having to deal with the various stakeholders (call them clients, in some cases) and the demands that can be made by them to share resources. Also mentioned was the need to be mindful of the level and quality of communication within members of your own team.
These are both valid areas of interest when it comes to developing and sustaining positive working relationships. In fact I would suggest good communication and relationship building in the context of delivering a humanitarian service are cornerstones to the success of the operations.
For example, when I was working as a volunteer with the Canadian Red Cross during an interface wildfire event, I recall one individual (paid) Red Cross supervisor who directed our operations that had what I can only call something of an ‘autocratic’ personality. This person had a penchant for hosting long training sessions and meetings, often at the wrong time. We were working 12-14 hour shifts and did not need a long-winded team meeting at the end of the shift, when all we really needed was a shower, a meal and maybe a beer! The supervisor should have addressed all these issues at shift start, first thing on any morning, keeping the comments short and sweet and to the point.
A well-motivated volunteer is worth his/her weight in gold on many of these types of emergency responses and when you have someone working for the parent organization walking in and playing the role, well … you can lose the goodwill of a volunteer in a heartbeat. So, relationship building on your team is critical, but it requires good listening from all team members at all levels, and better communication skills from those that want to direct the team in meeting their objectives.
Anyway, just a couple of thoughts on that.
I also found that the resource material that Chris posted on the GTAV article to be really great. It happened that three of the resources were alphabetically convenient (Geer, Gordon & Hobfall) but very good material for dealing with the ongoing and post-event aspects of emotional impacts from disasters. This has always been an interest of mine. For example, the Geer film “Then the Winds Changed” was a very powerful experience. Truly evocative. One was able to share some highly emotional moments that key participants chose to share with us, the viewers.
Cheers, Roger .
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