After the Webinar: Emotional Intelligence – How EQ Can Make a Difference in Your Criminal Justice Career. Q&A with the Speakers

Webinar presenters Cheryl Stewart and Mike Brown answered a number of your questions after their presentation, Emotional Intelligence: How EQ Can Make a Difference in Your Criminal Justice Career.  Here are just a few of their responses.


Audience Question: Is there a way for us to screen for EQ in the hiring process, and is this something we should be doing with all of our criminal justice professions? 

Cheryl Stewart: It is recommended. You can use it as a process in the process of recruitment, but not the sole determining factor as to why you make the selection of the individual. Does that make sense? So, this could be one of a number of tools that you use in the recruitment or hiring process. So, for example, it’s my understanding that law enforcement, they do polygraph, you know. So, maybe, this is one area or one tool that you look at. When you are looking to bring in new employees or doing the candidate, or I’m not even sure which phases, how your process works, but, during that particular applicant candidate process, this can be used during that. But not the sole determining factor. You shouldn’t say, Well, she scored low on emotional, and you know, under self-perception. So, we don’t really think she’d be a good fit for the organization because keep in mind, emotional intelligence evolves and it grows with the individual, you can control it, and it takes a lot of, it can be coaching, self-reflection, it can be a lot of work. But you can choose as an individual, and if my manager, for example, knows, I’m struggling in a particular area, then, perhaps part of my development plan, within my job responsibilities will focus on: I want you to take a look at how you manage stress. And I need you to focus on stress management and flexibility. Because it seems to me that perhaps during these, particularly when you have a crisis or a moment of breakdown, and you cannot seem to be clear in your role when you’re faced with particular conflicts. So, maybe that can be one component of the development and training, and coaching that I receive as an individual. So, the question is, if you identify gaps in emotional intelligence and if you notice that a person isn’t balanced or they are either too high or too low. Are you willing to do the work as an individual to get there? And managers and supervisors, it may require some support from you.



Audience Question: Mike, have you seen any law enforcement organizations incorporate EQ formally either into the hiring process or into the personnel development process? 

Mike Brown: Yeah, actually, I’ve seen several agencies where they teach emotional intelligence to their managers is as part of their annual CEUs. So, yes, I have seen it. It is growing exponentially within the law enforcement profession because it was used so much in the private sector. And I think as a law enforcement professional, which just now starting to get it, where the private sector does a lot of things really well, and we’re starting to pick up on so many strengths and EI is one of those areas that we’re doing it.



Audience Question: So, if I’m understanding it correctly, it’s not just enough to test or do the survey for emotional intelligence, it’s the work that comes afterward. We shouldn’t just be testing, we should be okay, “Here are the areas that you, John, or you, Tim, need to work on”, and actually proactively work with people and grow them. 

Cheryl Stewart: That is correct. An action plan, a development plan, once you identify those areas that weren’t addressed, you have to be willing to do the work. And this really does make you vulnerable. It does, it makes you vulnerable. I have to admit, I started out in the newsroom, and I remember the common practice was people weren’t very kind. You can yell, you scream. You could have a blowup. And then I transitioned my career into a government setting and then I realize you can’t do that here. And I had really matured. I mean, I’m making myself very vulnerable in front of hundreds of people, but I realized. Wow, there is no screaming in the office, and there is no yelling like that in the newsroom when a story doesn’t make the deadline. You express yourself differently, and even now today, I don’t think those types of behaviors are allowed anymore. I think the workplace has changed drastically and laws have changed because some behaviors can be kind of described as bullying or workplace violence. So, you have to be careful.

This is really about doing the work, doing that if you’re wanting to change and really become that balanced individual and really wanting to do more for yourself, and this actually, impacts those around you. Be willing and committed to do the work and so, you know, it should be a part of a larger plan, not just, you know, where you go on a retreat, and you take this and be like, “Wow, this is my score.”



Audience Question: How does EI help with morale for an agency? 

Mike Brown: So, remember what we talked about earlier about those leadership traits and how it sets the agency culture. Yeah, right here. So, a good leader, if they have those good social awareness skills, understanding emotional needs and concerns of other people, meaning those that they supervise, in good relationship management, that will move them into the soft skills category that we talked about, and put them into this leadership quality that sets the tone for the agency in a positive manner.

Cheryl Stewart: Now, this was exactly what I wanted without what I was going to say, and so you are correct in that. This gives you an opportunity to have that conversation when you start to kind of wanting to look at things in a cyclical manner as far as what the work-life balance involves. It can start with leaders. It should start at the top, actually. But when you start to focus on each person, individually, on your teams, or within your organization, or if you develop a strategy, that can start to embrace a culture where these particular components are really embraced, in about your values. Maybe you have an organization that has values, and maybe these are the things that you kind of are starting to incorporate in that. In your values. It can change the way that people view coming into the office, working in general. Because I’m just not a product that is someone that’s here to just do a particular task. It slowly evolves into where I feel valued, and I feel that I am an individual contributor to the team. Because I have you, as a leader, who you develop, the connection with me, in a sense that you are starting to really focus on those particular qualities within me as a person and yourself, that makes sense to you.

Mike Brown: And Chris, I know we have a lot of questions, just a real, quick, real-world example. So, you, all, my law enforcement partners on here. You know how the supervisor shows up and he’s having a bad day. Let me give an example of a different way of looking at it. So, you hit the snooze button too many times you’re late for work on the way and you hit the brakes, pour your coffee on you. Now, you can say, I’m having a bad day, which, to me would be on a poor leadership side. Or you could say, I’m having a good day where a couple of bad things happen and that will dictate how you treat your staff for the rest of the day.

Cheryl Stewart: Also, keep in mind, this is where coaching can come into play in starting to change the culture of the organization or change the morale. This is where coaching starts to become something. A tool that you can use to kind of help foster change and drive that change, that you’re wanting to see. People, individuals, you know, resist change in the beginning. But I think when they reflect upon what really is the big picture, and if they’re given a big picture, a plan, a strategic plan, or a road map to what you’re trying to accomplish. I think if they see the big picture and they see this as one component to get them there. I think that your buy-in at the top – this has to come from the top, though. It’s my opinion, the buy-in is much higher acceptance rate for that.



Audience Question: Mike, you mentioned something earlier. What types of things did you find out, what the emotional and emotional needs and concerns of your manager were? You talked about how Cheryl used to be your boss? Yeah. And you took it upon yourself to know how to address things. What did you do? Give us that coaching on how to manage up? 

Mike Brown: Absolutely. So, I’m going to challenge you all, all of the watchers and listeners here. And here’s the question I want to ask you. Who, or what is your favorite subject in the world? Your favorite subject is you. So, the way you apply that is, for example, I talked to share earlier this morning. The first thing that I asked her was, how were her two girls doing? Right? What did I do? I talked about her favorite subject. So, by doing that, I was able to control her emotions by talking about her favorite subject. So, just little things like that. Another example? So, when you go to McDonald’s, what does every McDonald’s employee have on a name tag? So, all day, low wage workers, they get treated like crap. Will you walk up, and you say, “Hey, Cheryl, how are you doing?” What did you just do? Just something that little is recognizing her as a person.

Cheryl Stewart: And so, you know, that’s important and also, managing up is very common in the multi-generational workplace that we have. So, Mike is older than I am. And I have, you know, throughout the organization, we’ve noticed, you know, in my current workplace, that we have subordinates who’ve been doing the job for 40 years, and leadership that may have been doing the job to make a 10 or 20. It is one of those things that you can use on your own, where you’re seated now. You can begin to kind of look at these things in the different composites and begin to kind of employ them, where are you currently sit, and start to actualize them in your interpersonal skills as well, when you’re interacting with other individuals.

Mike Brown: And, by the way, I’m only six months older than Cheryl.



Audience Question: Does EQ also have anything to do with implementing or adapting and growing coping skills? Are these related? 

Mike Brown: Yeah, absolutely. Remember, we talked about changing circumstances. So, adaptability absolutely!

Cheryl Stewart: Your flexibility and adaptability, I’m hoping that’s what he’s referring to. But being able to adapt and to go within change. This is all a part of it. You know, there have been people on my team that just could not work on something for months, and it didn’t work out. And they just couldn’t accept that maybe we had to move in a new direction. It was hard for them; it was very hard. And so that required on my part, a great amount of consistent talking to that individual and coaching that individual to kind of change their mind and to get them to kind of to see the light at the end of the tunnel that maybe this way this approach is why, even though we put in a lot of hours in time, it’s not going to work. We have to regroup and re-assess and redeploy because this is not the way it’s going to go. So, I think EI does play a role in that.

Mike Brown: Yeah, and it speaks directly to your self-awareness level. So, as a law enforcement professional, adaptability is the key. And self-awareness, is knowing when I’m putting that uniform on, and I go to work, I need the ability to adapt to changing circumstances. And I have to be aware, there are certain things that may happen, in a good self-awareness that helped me exercise good self-management.

Cheryl Stewart: And one way to really correct if you’re, too. If you’re on the high end of adaptability or flexibility, one way to kind of address that, is you may want to start to look at your self-actualization, your empathy, and your problem-solving skills. Those three components may kind of help you in that area.



Audience Question: Have you seen EQ introduced and used throughout the juvenile justice field? 

Cheryl Stewart: I cannot answer that. But one of the things that I do recall having like lots of discussions within the academic environment, with professors and researchers, is that why is this being used in school? With children because, if we deployed this type of tool in schools, we would be able to understand how the children relate to one another and how they kind of manage themselves. Just where they, where they rank and fit. It also helps teachers understand how to better teach them. Instead of grouping us all into one type of learning style, in one learning type. If we kind of teachers had a better way of understanding, okay, I see that she is more of a how and this one is more of a what in their learning type and she is really introverted and she lacks self-awareness, but she’s very much aggressive. I think it would help with how we manage the students as opposed to trying to teach every child, the same emotional skills at the same time. If that makes sense and I’m a big proponent of it. I think it would be a great way to help children grow and develop, you know, emotionally, but I don’t really know if it’s being used in that system. And if you want, I can provide you with information on who you can contact if you’re looking for something like this on a larger scale, or if you need additional information.

Mike Brown: I’m sure what they can do. The subscribers, if you, you go to YouTube and look up the marshmallow challenge. So, basically what it is, is a group of adolescents, and they were given an option to eat one marshmallow or wait till the instructor came back and they have two and they tie this to emotional intelligence under what we call instant gratification. They study these keys into adulthood and found the ones with that self-awareness and self-management have the ability to control impulsive feelings and behaviors fare better in life.



Audience Question: As you talked about EQ, you mentioned several times that EQ is developable, you can improve this. Marisol was asking, would it be a good practice to use the tool as part of evaluations just as a tool since people can change based on trainings that are held throughout the year? Does it mean that we should also then take the test throughout our career because at different points in time in our career we’re going to be different? 

Cheryl Stewart: That’s correct. So, there is a 360 component to this particular model. There is a 360 component that has been created by the company that I was certified through. And so, what they do it, they do a 360, where you ask your peers, you ask your supervisor, and you ask your subordinates, what their perception of you in a 360 model. But the questions are emotionally intelligent based questions, based on this particular model, so it can be used in development. Yes, okay. So, you’re saying during the evaluation, because, yes, you can. You can use some, you can do so component of it. And, again, you do change, people evolve and grow. And so, maybe you can take it at the beginning of a particular time period, and work on certain skills, demonstrate by participating in certain activities, and maybe if you can demonstrate that you’ve progressed and grown in that area, then maybe you can take it again. And you have the opportunity to kind of see what were you changed and how that, you know, that there’s a gap that remains? Or if you’ve improved at all.

Mike Brown: Yeah. And as a manager, or a supervisor, I think, is a good corrective action tool. Especially where you can take those components of EI and explain to the subordinate where they fall and direct them as to how they can improve.

JCH: And I’m assuming that just as you can grow and improve and some of these areas, you can also deteriorate if you let those skills go or lapse.

Cheryl Stewart: Correct.



Audience Question: How they can learn more about EQ? Obviously, we have five other webinars coming up throughout the next six months here on this topic, but Mike, Cheryl, do you recommend any books, podcasts, videos on YouTube, or any particular authors or thought leaders that they should be seeking out and learning more about? 

Cheryl Stewart:  Sure. Mike mentioned Daniel Goleman. He is a New York Times bestseller, I started out learning about EQ through him. And his book is like all for 20 years old and it was re-released and still did well.

Check him out. And the organization that I am using, and that this presentation was based on, is, and you can Google them, OKA Emotional Intelligence. They are located in Fairfax, Virginia, and they do a lot of research, and they specialize in, you know, leadership and organization, and team development. That’s one avenue, but again, there are lots of research out there. You want to look at, some of the other models.

Mike Brown: It just depends on whose writing style you like.

Host: That’s a good point too.

Cheryl Stewart: I don’t mean to ramble, but lookup doctor Reuven Bar-on. Look him up and you can get a great amount of reading from him. He’s been around for a number of years, as well.


Click Here to Watch a Recording of Emotional Intelligence: How EQ Can Make a Difference in Your Criminal Justice Career.  



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