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Relationship Excellence: The Key to Keeping Everyone Safe

Establishing trusting relationships quickly with the people they serve is especially important for firefighters and EMTs. On the most basic level, an inability to connect could have negative consequences on both parties’ safety and health. Firefighters and EMTs must be able to both give and receive accurate and timely information.

Here are eight tips to help increase the likelihood of keeping all parties safe by establishing trusting relationships quickly with others.

  1. Connect with others on a human level by separating the person from the behavior. This enables you to think, decide and act more objectively, especially in difficult or disciplinary situations.
  2. Communicate your expectations and intentions clearly and specifically up front; clarify or correct others’ expectations when necessary.
  3. Ask people to tell you their stories, and share your stories with them to create connections quickly and enable you to convey your points more effectively.
  4. Most people will speak if you give them the time and space to do so. Make your statement or request, then stop talking and listen.
  5. Give and receive constructive feedback regularly.
  6. Make sure people perceive that it’s safe to bring you bad news, including negative information about yourself.
  7. Give people permission to use their talents.
  8. To increase the likelihood that people will be able to do what you ask them to do, increase the level of specificity in your request and give them all the information they need to be successful in completing the assignment or task.
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