EMT uses authenticity and response-ability to defuse a tense situation


Hi. I’m Gavin Wight; I’m a former EMT. I’ve done a lot of work as a First
Responder and doing event security. I want to share with you the value of
authenticity and responsibility.

In my experience when I’m authentic in my communications with a patient or
with somebody who’s at an event, I create a space where I can respond more
readily to what’s actually going on. I inspire the people I’m dealing with
to be authentic with me.

I want to give you one example. I was working event security at this big
festival. I was talking with this guy about whether he had a valid pass to
be at the event. I was saying, “If you don’t have a pass, we’re going to
walk out to this place where’s these people who can help you get a pass if
you’re supposed to have one, or help you find your way home if you don’t.”
He started walking faster and I started walking faster right beside him.
There was this moment where he threw his elbow out and he caught me right
here. I stepped back and I said, ‘Wow. You hit me with your elbow just now.
I’m feeling really hot and I can’t talk with you right now. I want you to
talk with my partner.”

My partner stepped right in and was able to diffuse the situation and move
with this guy out to the next place where he was going to work with the
people who could help him get the pass or not. I’m really glad that I have
these tools to be able to notice what’s going on in my body and say, “Hey.
This just happened, and it’s time for this to change. You’re going to talk
with this guy now and not me. I can’t talk with you anymore.” I was able to
respond really easily in that moment.

I want to say, another thing about that is that there have been other times
when I’ve had challenging interactions with people at events, and I haven’t
used these tools. Those moments have stuck with me in a way that keeps
recycling, where when I am present in the moment and able to just
communicate what’s true for me, it’s like the event evaporates. There’s no
lingering tension or ickiness; I have this happy memory of working really
well with my teammate. I want that for you.