After the Webinar: Emotional Intelligence – Using Self Perception and Self Awareness in Criminal Justice. Q&A with the Presenters

Webinar presenters Cheryl Stewart and Mike Brown answered a number of your questions after their presentation, Emotional Intelligence: Using Self-Perception and Self Awareness in Criminal Justice.  Here are just a few of their responses.


Audience Question: Cheryl, people are seeing those awesome books that you’re showing there on the screen, but they can’t read them. Could you tell us the name of those books again? 

Cheryl Stewart: This is Daniel Goleman. He is a New York Times bestseller. This book (Emotional Intelligence) is it keeps getting re-released. And he’s one of the, one of his models is excepted by the encyclopedia of applied psychology. He’s done a great amount of ground-breaking research. Mike uses his model, Daniel Goleman, emotional intelligence and the groundbreaking book that redefines what it means to be smart. Excellent, read, if you can. Excellent read. You can check it out. Also, when I was receiving or studying for my certification in Fairfax, Virginia, with the group there. This is the book that they kind of get with our, our information and they suggested that way too. This one is something you can check out as well.

Host: Folks, I will take both of those book titles. I will also post those to the recording page for today’s webinar. And if you’re in that reading mode as well and you really end up liking Daniel Goleman, don’t miss Primal Leadership, a book he wrote later and it’s really neat because he literally walks you through case studies of different executives and how they walk into different situations. And their emotional intelligence changes the game on how they handle big conflict situations or union issues. So, that’s another one, that if you really like stories, that’s a good one to read as well. So I’ll put that on the recording page too.

Cheryl Stewart: I did not talk about this but it’s important that people understand now that we’ve talked about Primal Leadership. Emotional Intelligence does not determine intelligence, academical. It is not a factor in your IQ Intelligence. It is a factor in certain things, but it doesn’t determine your intelligence if as far as your academics are concerned. It does not determine what type of career path you should take. It doesn’t determine, you know, those things that people think are making such a great person in general. It is a factor in those things. There’s a difference it plays a role in it, but everyone says, “Oh, great Leaders have to have perfect grades”. There’s a combination in leadership of a combination of things that make a person a great leader. It’s not just one particular attribute. If you look at the research. So, but, just so you know, it doesn’t determine, like I said a career path. It’s just something you can look at or use to help you in the career path. It’s a tool that you can use. You know, a lot of people say, “Well, maybe we should use this. When we’re to make a decision about who we hire.” It should not be the determining factor as to how you hire people. It can be something that you use to evaluate or look at the person skills, but not an overall determined determination. Their EQ shouldn’t be the overall determination by which you base their hiring on.



Audience Question: Isn’t it true, though, with personality tests like this, it’s one thing to take the test. It’s a very different thing to apply it in the situation at hand? So you can take a test and know all the “right answers” but you don’t necessarily do the right thing when you’re in the middle of the situation. I mean, so, that’s a piece of it, too, right?

Cheryl Stewart: Of course, there’s a host of other factors that play into so many things that could be your wealth. You get a good job, it could be your connections. It could be your family links, just luck. It could be a lot of things. It’s not just the one thing that can say, bang, he was just super emotionally intelligent person. And that’s why he got this job. There are other things that probably, you know, played a role in that decision, in the success of that person, as well.



Audience Question: So, then, piggybacking off of what you just talked about, Cheryl. Because a number of people did text in and asking, should we be including EQ as part of our hiring process, and I think, to that point, maybe not necessarily taking the personality test, but is there a way to ask them questions in the interview, give me an example of a situation when, and kind of be able to probe for those high emotional intelligence characteristics that you’re looking for? Is that what you’re thinking? 

Cheryl Stewart: Sure. Yes. So, just like in interviews, and when you shake questions you develop behavior, questions in an interview panel to kind of see what types of specific behaviors, you know, you want to extract in the response from the person. So, you ask questions just to kind of garner that reaction. But EQ, you can also use it in the process of recruitment by asking certain questions and asking a person, you know, how did they were, or scenario-based questions can, can also kind of capture that as well.



Audience Question: Mike, we’re going to go back a step and talk about something that you were talking about earlier. You talked about trigger words. And some of the audience was asking, you know, and the way that they were contributing to the discussion, do you think it just has to be a word, or could it be also, like, a tone of voice? So, like one of our audience members chatted in, that it wasn’t so much a specific word, it was a tone or attitude that some of her colleagues would use. What do you, what’s your take on that? 

Mike Brown: Absolutely, I use words because it’s the most recognizable, and the most people need a response. Is there any, but triggers again as you see on the slide, facial expressions, body language, tone. For example, if you flip somebody the bird, that’s not actual word is a gesture. So, absolutely it doesn’t have to be a word at all. The key is knowing what those triggers are. So, you don’t get what’s called emotionally highjacked again, and we’ll talk about it on the next segment.



Audience Question: So how do we avoid being drawn in? How do you not end up falling prey when you’re dealing with somebody with, with low emotional intelligence and end up falling victim to bad behavior? 

Mike Brown: And again, that’s going to be Session Three, where we talk about coping mechanisms. But for the purposes of this course. Again, the key is self-awareness. Understanding the emotions that is connected with these things that trigger you. Again, know what your triggers are. So, for example, maybe an African American already knows the effect it has on me if I’m called the n-word so I can deal with it. But if I get caught off guard by a word that I wasn’t self-aware of, that’s when I get triggered and emotions take over my cognition.

Cheryl Stewart: Also, sometimes, it’s easy if you can find a way to remove yourself from the situation.

Mike Brown: Absolutely.

Cheryl Stewart: In conversation. Walk away. Please leave my office.

Mike Brown: I was going to say so, remember, when I talked about donuts being my trigger word. So, I came up with a coping mechanism and that is you will never ever see me and a donut. So, I eat it in private and not in public. So, if I encountered a motorist and he comes in me with that donut line I can look at him and say, “I don’t eat donuts, now what?” So instead of getting triggered, that leaves him to do what, sit there and get the citation.  And I just got another text message, Dr. Reginald fraction. So the good thing is he was watching until afterward. So, he didn’t stress me out.



Audience Question: Is a negative response to a racial slur, really an indication of low EI or not being aware? Shouldn’t it upset you to hear somebody talk to you that way? 

Mike Brown: I could argue, that’s good self-awareness or self-management. Which is how we manage those emotions and responding negatively, even though, according to what she said, that she should have a right to be upset. Yeah, you are, but it’s how you deal with that upset. Because remember, if you’re in a law enforcement profession, you’re responsible for your reactions, and that poor self-management is what takes you down our road to get you in trouble.

Host: So it’s yes, you can, you can have all your feelings and be upset with what the other person did.

Mike Brown: Absolutely.

Host: But now, how do I react to the situation at hand?

Mike Brown: Right.



Audience Question: How does trauma affect one’s EI? 

Cheryl Stewart: Trauma plays a significant role in your EI because our past experiences shape how we respond to certain situations. If you’ve been, you know, a victim of any type of abuse or trauma and then you’re involved in a situation where something like that you may sense or feel threatened. That can also most definitely impact how you are triggered, your reaction to this particular situation.

Mike Brown: Yeah, defense mechanism, in some of the classes that I teach, I give you an example of the emotional mind and traumatic experiences and the example that I give is you have a woman who, three guys in a row cheated on her. The fourth guy does the slightest little thing, and the emotional mind step sets in and it says, “No, I’m not going down this road again.” So, what does she do? You know, check his wallet, look at it his Facebook page, things like that. And what we think in that situation, is trauma is really the emotional mind protecting yourself from further traumatic experiences, because it’s based on past behavior.



Audience Question: Cheryl, could you share your interpretation of how Officer Goodman did? What did you think? What were the most important things that you took away from that video?

Cheryl Stewart: I actually thought it was decision-making because, when I first saw the video, I thought, what is he doing? When they first started to air it on the networks, I thought, what is he doing? Where is he going? And then, it wasn’t until people started to say, “Oh, he was, he knew what he was doing.” He was leading them down a path. Because, at first, I thought he picked up this stick. Also, I question, “Why didn’t he fire? Why didn’t he use his weapon?” or say, “Stand down, or hold on, or wait.” You know, I’m ordering you to stop. So, I thought it was decision-making.

Mike Brown: Without self-confidence, you couldn’t have made those good decisions.

Cheryl Stewart: That is correct. So, you know, it had to be that he had to be processing data, and I can’t speak for him honestly, but he had to be processing a lot of data. He knew the building structure. He knew which way they were coming in. I had, I also wonder, how much intel we have regarding where the other officers were located. Were they in another part, what other parts of the building had they secured for him to know, to get to just let me take them to this direction, because I’m sitting there thinking, why is he running away? And why are they following him? He never drew the weapon while he was leading, that’s just me. And maybe that’s, to me, watching too much television.

Mike Brown: Maybe the answer is, had he lack self-confidence under that situation. He could not have made those good decisions.

Cheryl Stewart: So, I hope that answers your question.

Host: That really goes to the point that you all have made, is that this is very subjective. You can look at a situation. Everybody has a different read on the situation, so I think it’s, I think that’s valid and decision making, I think it’s certainly a contributor there.



Audience Question: How much has mask-wearing over the last year affected or impacted the emotional intelligence quotient of our society? And that’s, I think that’s a fair question, because we take in the world, and we’re reading people’s faces. Mike, you’ve talked about facial expressions in other trainings. How does mask-wearing affect our ability to read a situation or read a person? 

Mike Brown: My personal opinion, I’ve argued there that, we need to teach law enforcement officers, the communication skills that now we have a mask on because you have miscommunication in regular day-to-day, but now with a mask on, who’s teaching officers how to communicate with a mask? Who’s teaching officers that this person isn’t disobeying your command? It could lead to deadly force, they just don’t understand, because you have your mask. How many people read lips that you don’t know about.

Cheryl Stewart: I agree. I’m in the store and you know, usually greet people. Or you smile when you’re encountering people in. I recently realized nobody knows that I’m smiling at them. So I have to make an extra special effort to nod my head because where we live at least, people don’t just randomly wave. If anything, it should force us that we may have to work a little bit harder in communicating with people.

Mike Brown: Was going out of her way to nod her head, because they don’t recognize the smile. I call that good social awareness, understanding emotional needs and concerns of other people. It was just part of EI.

Cheryl Stewart: It’s pushing us, I think, beyond our comfort zones I mean, we’re in a world we’re in a pandemic, anyway. But if you want to continue to behave in a courteous and unkind way. The way to go about it is you may have to work a little bit harder. And I’m not much of a hugger, or handshaker with people any way that I’m not familiar with. So, I I like that a little bit better because I’m not in your people hugging me in social circles, at church. Oh, gosh, do we have to hug? Doesn’t mean I don’t want to, but it doesn’t mean that I’m not in Christ and you know Christ-like manner that I’m not I’m not liking a person. It just simply means I value my space my personal space, and so it’s acceptable to nod and do that and even if I have to give a thumbs up or Social, I liked the emoji that people do this right? You know, they’ll send you a hand. Yeah, I like that you know sometimes touching, you don’t always have to touch.


Click Here to Watch a Recording of Emotional Intelligence: Using Self-Perception and Self Awareness in Criminal Justice



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