After the Webinar: Cultural Intelligence for Justice Professionals. Q&A with Denise Beagley

Webinar presenter Denise Beagley answered a number of your questions after her presentation, Cultural Intelligence for Justice Professionals. Here are just a few of her responses.


Audience Question: We had a couple questions from folks asking about both the book that you mentioned as well as the app that you talked about. So what was the name of the author as well as the book title?

Denise Beagley: Oh, yeah, I mean with all run back to that slide. It’s Dr. David Livermore. And then the app is called Sleep Cycle., it’s an orange icon. You could do the trial for seven days for free or you can purchase for a year. When you purchase I think the difference is they will record your snoring. The one book was the professors Christopher Earley and Soon Ang, and that book is called Cultural Intelligence that came out in 2003. And then Dr. David Livermore, it’s called the Cultural Intelligence Difference in that book was written in 2011.



Audience Question: What’s the difference between cultural intelligence and cultural competence?

Denise Beagley: That was that was the kind of the thing is I think it’s you’ve got the knowledge with cultural intelligence in how do I interface with people? How do I take that knowledge and connect with people? Cultural competency, It’s like I’m still learning those things. I really do feel that cultural intelligence is a higher level and that cultural competency is I’m just digging in. I’m just starting to know things. And again called intelligence does not mean you need to know everything about it. It’s how do you use your other skills to connect with that person. So maybe I know something and it might be a bit of a stereotype, but how do I turn it around and ask an open question to that person to connect with them on a different level?



Audience Question: When you talk about culture and I know when we when most of us talk about culture were thinking in terms of where the person’s from, they’re from Italy, they’re from Spain, they’re from wherever. But can culture also be like departmental- or company- or even industry-specific?

Denise Beagley: Absolutely. You can have different precincts, you can have different fire stations, you could have different offices. And they all have a culture of course and it’s made up of all the people that are interfacing with each other. So definitely you can have that. So this is just a part of it. I also teach this profile like personality tests, I’m a behavioralist, and there are so many different elements when it comes to this. And I think what intrigued me about this particular topic as I see it interlaced on so many different levels when you have connections with people. And then I tie in motivational interviewing to it as well. Like how do you talk to people then once you’ve connected to the system because that really makes a big difference. I see it in my crisis work with verbal the escalation. I can come into a pretty hot situation and it’s like I’m just calming nature for folks. And even when even afterwards or stepping in to help somebody with their kind of looking like they’re struggling a little bit. It’s just a different shift of attitude. I’m sure if there are officers out there. You have a cover officer in the vein, you know, sometimes people just want to talk to the other person and it’s not about having that ego of it that’s taken that step back and then maybe you think of and can formulate something to connect to that person too. But yes, there are definitely different cultures within an organization, within an office, within a precinct, station. Absolutely.



Audience Question: What are some practical steps in creating a safe space in an environment that has not historically been safe.

Denise Beagley: That’s a great question. So it’s that welcoming environment. It’s that connection. I have another video that addresses like LQBTQ where you know, just even having a sticker a rainbow sticker some sort of connection. Or paperwork that is more inclusive of individuals of different gender or gender identity. So there are lots of different ways that we can do that we can also maybe you pick up on those nonverbal cues. “I don’t know what your experience has been before but I want this to be a good experience for you. How can I be helpful?” You’re trying to differentiate you can kind of read it. So what things you can do. So there are different steps and maybe that’s something I can also put together as a takeaway of things that we can do that I just do in my crisis work of trying to help ease that I think a stressful situation for a person.



Audience Question: How would you suggest addressing a poor work culture when it comes to implicit racial bias?

Denise Beagley: Yeah. Well, I think training. I mean I think having people they have to have some insight into their own world. Like a lot of times people don’t realize maybe they’re doing something. So sometimes a video is a good way you could watch a video, that DNA video is, first of all, I had to watch it like three or four times. So I didn’t tear up when I when I taught about it, but even having that as like maybe you watch it and then have a discussion because then people start to see wow, you know, there were some statements made in that video that are pretty strong. Like I’m Icelandic and I’m the best and everybody else sucks. And then kind of teasing that out and this guy realizes he’s not just Icelandic he has other cultures and other nationalities within his DNA makeup. Getting people to somehow see there’s some differences there and there’s some similarities and connect on those levels. So, you know, how do we get people to start to provoke some of that within themselves to really look at themselves and how others are seeing them. If you’ve ever asked an interview question, what are your strengths and weaknesses? a lot of times you were like, I have a hard time saying no. Like nobody wants to hear that right? Or I work too much if you know, I’ve noticed some things about myself and I’ve made changes but just like my outward expression. I wasn’t approachable I made sure that now I am approachable. So those are things that we go learn about ourselves. So hopefully that answers a little bit but that’s like a whole different training too.



Audience Question: I really like the concept of getting down on their level. With that said, as a probation officer. I feel like my agency wouldn’t back me if I were to get assaulted as we are trained to expect the unexpected, using tactics such as interview stance and such to being prepared for a punch or kick. How do you balance this?

Denise Beagley: Yeah, absolutely. And of course, tactically I’m never going to put you in a situation and say oh, yeah do this. You’ve got to like read that environment and you as that professional know. But there are times you could still be at that person’s level, but maybe be further from that person, you know. You are going to be at a safe distance from this person, but you could still be at that level. I was surrounded by I think there were literally ten people in the room. They were all males, but I came in, I saw her position. I wasn’t like sitting on her lap. I had about of maybe four foot of space between us but I felt safe and where I was. And I had to kind of my right foot propped underneath so I could pop up if I need you too. And so I think you know being aware of your surroundings, safety, all of that but I felt like that was appropriate and literally within seconds connected with her. And later heard from the crew that she just wasn’t talking to them and that’s something I teach when I teach firefighters. Even you know, they’re putting out blood pressure cuff on somebody, explain what you’re doing. I know this is your job but some people have tactile response, some people have been through extensive trauma, physical trauma. So saying, “We’re worried about your blood pressure. We want to you’re going to put this on your arm. It’s going to constrict”, just explaining has eased the anxiety for patients on scene. And the same thing I think about when I teach police officers about handcuffing. If you can, if it is okay in your policy, you know, sometimes you can cuff to the front, sometimes you can cuff to the back or just explain that you have to cuff, that you’re sorry, but this is policy. That helps setting that agenda will also help that person and minimize trauma impact. That’s another class, I teach about trauma-informed care and response. We can be informed, but how do we respond when it comes to trauma? Again, we go down all these different roads. I love it. You guys are amazing.



Audience Question: What’s the relationship between cultural intelligence and implicit bias?

Denise Beagley: Oh, that’s a good one. I think people have that implicit bias, they have this prejudgment. And am I going to act on something? Is it really fact or is it something that’s heard? And so I think that’s the piece where your cultural intelligence comes into play. So I might know something or have information but where was that source of that information? And that’s where that cultural intelligence piece is going to come in for you and then you can use that Intel right you might have heard something. I’m Irish and Catholic, and you could probably think, she’s probably drunk right now, right? She’s an Irish Catholic girl. So you’re going to ask me. Hey you, you know, have you consumed any alcohol today? Maybe if we’re I’m showing signs of intoxication and if I said, “No, why would you say that?” Well, maybe I’m having a medical issue, you know, so how you asked that question or interface with me. You could have some knowledge on something but then how do you ask a question? Like, “Tell me what you’ve been consuming today?” That’s going to be different rather than, “Are you drunk today?” Because that’s going to come across as you know, I’m going to be offended. “Oh, you’re assuming that because I’m Irish that I’m drunk?” So, it’s about how you ask that question in a way that isn’t going to come out that person, you know harsh way.



Audience Question: We are tracking the disproportionate minority rates for police arrest of juveniles. The numbers are continuing to show that police are arresting minorities at an alarming rate. She is Court personnel, and she usually becomes involved on the back end of the arrest. Her question is how can I impact what happens at the front door?

Denise Beagley: When I do my live class we talk about cultural competency, culture intelligence starts at the front door right as soon as that person’s coming in. How do we connect with them? What are they seeing? Our court system, I’ve been in many court buildings and you know administrative offices and it’s been, although gray is very in now, but it’s been pretty great pretty institutionalized look. So how do we change that environment too? What types of things are we putting out there? I went to a clinic one time and there were so many rules on paper that were typed up. Like, don’t do this. Don’t do that. Don’t do this. Don’t do that. And it was overwhelming how unwelcoming it was. So I think about, how do we put people at ease? How do we connect with people? You know, and even saying, “I’m not here to judge you and what happened, I’m here to kind of understand your story. What’s your side of it?” And I think there’s a bigger training that needs to happen if arrests are occurring at an alarming rate. We have to look at why, what’s going on, what’s the training? You know, I think about use of force, and not to pick on police because I have tons of friends there and police and I’ve been teaching police for years, but you get more instruction on how to shoot your gun than you do how to how to work with individuals that have autism as a diagnosis or mental health considerations, so we need to balance that out and part of that is why and what’s my emotional intelligence? What’s pushing the buttons for me? There’s a there’s a whole lot going on here, and I wish you could have experienced the video and I apologize, but hopefully it becomes clearer. Once you see the videos and have that experience that will be more helpful and maybe answer some questions.



Click Here to Watch a Recording of Cultural Intelligence for Justice Professionals.


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