“If police leaders do not have a high degree of Emotional Intelligence it is very questionable if they can function today at the level their officers and community members expect. The good news is that they can improve.”
Psychologist Daniel Golman has written much about “Emotional Intelligence” or E.I.
Emotional Intelligence is different than our I.Q. because it is malleable and can be improved — while in most cases our I.Q. cannot.
Goldman identifies four areas in our emotional life that help us to become a more fully-functioning human person:
- Relationship skills.
Go on line and take an assessment quiz (see below) and find out how you are doing in each of those four areas. You might be surprised.
If we are to grow into being an un-biased police officer and/or leader we need to be aware of our feelings, able to effectively manage and control them, have empathy toward others, understand they may be feeling, and be committed to improving our relationships skills.
Fair, effective, respectful and bias-free policing begins when we say we are going to be such a police officer and then actually go out into the field and do it. You’d be surprised the power of making such a daily statement has on your co-workers and on your own behavior.
Create your future each day by telling yourself you will be a fair, effective, respectful and bias-free police officer!
If police leaders do not have a high degree of Emotional Intelligence it is very questionable if they can function today at the level their officers and community members expect. The good news is that they can improve.
A short, free test can be found HERE as well as a paid and more extensive test for $9.95. I think it is worth your investment. I found it to be very helpful (because we are not just talking about improving our work life, but other parts of our life as a spouse, parent, or close friend!)
Practice your self-awareness by reviewing your E.I. results and then develop a plan to keep your strong areas strong and to work on those areas which are not so strong. It’s called professional development!
I completely agree. I have experienced positive changes both professionally and personally after stumbling onto the concept and then immersing myself in the subject. We also have seen positive results by using questions to gauge EI in police applicant interviews and I am a proponent of measuring EI for promotions as well. We introduced the topic in our police academy and in-service training as well. The research also helps explain what is happening when someone is stuck in their lambic system and behaving irrationally. Goleman and others argue that our personalities and IQ are set early in life, but we all have the power to improve EI. I have personally experienced that and I have witnessed it time and time again in others. They also argue EI is a significant predictor of future success and I could not agree more. Great topic!
Thanks for your comments, Lance, you are right on. Smart guys and gals are nice to have around us but as we have come to know there’s something else that really matters and it’s their ability to be self-aware, self-regulated, empathic, and can work effectively in a team (relationship skills). Assessing this component in our personalities is vitally important for not only for hiring but also for promotion. If that had been the case in the past, we would have few despotic police leaders and realize that more than a written test (IQ) is needed to select good cops and effective leaders!
Perception is powerful, our perception of ourselves, and of the nature of our work, and our perceptions of others. Around the early 80s when “law and order” were a political slogan, police began to be referred to as ‘law enforcement’ rather than as ‘officers of the peace’. The perceptions attached to something as simple as a change in wording affects not only a police officer’s perception of his/her role, but the public’s perception of the police. If it could be so quickly and completely changed 30-40 years ago, can it be changed back again? What would help that happen?
Fierce commitment and persistence!
Fierce persistence in doing the right things the right way!