Emotional Intelligence and Making Better Decisions

Emotional Intelligence and Making Better Decisions
Duration: 60 Minutes
Module 1Module 1
Recorded on: 2022-02-03
Unit 1Presentation Materials: Emotional Intelligence and Making Better Decisions
Unit 2Transcript: Emotional Intelligence and Making Better Decisions
Unit 3Workbook: Emotional Intelligence and Making Better Decisions
Unit 4Recording: Emotional Intelligence and Making Better Decisions

We can all agree that decision making can be made more effective if there is some degree of rationality and emotional intelligence employed. Thomas Dworak unpacks emotional intelligence, decision-making, and sense-making and demonstrates how an understanding of the intersection of these three can help achieve better outcomes for individuals and organizations.

Thomas Dworak retired as a Sergeant and the Field Training and Evaluation Program Coordinator and the Lead Defensive Tactics/Use of Force Instructor from a suburban Chicago police department. He is currently the founder and lead instructor of The Adaptive Way where he shares his expertise on topics like emotional intelligence, experiential learning, decision-making, critical thinking, and problem solving.

Specifics of Tom’s discussion include:

  • What is emotional intelligence and how proficiency in EI sets us up for success in our professional and personal lives.
  • The long history emotional intelligence can be traced back into and how it remains relevant in contemporary times.
  • Unpacking each pillar of emotional intelligence according to Daniel Goleman, the characteristics of individuals who possess these, and how to practice end enhance each of these in our lives.
  • Tips to build general emotional intelligence that is buttressed in concepts of acceptance, awareness, and discernment.
  • The theory of emotional contagion that illustrates how people can catch human emotions through behavioral mimicry within groups.
  • The caveman and the professor and what these two characters represent in the human thinking and decision-making process.
  • How our individual decision-making process is based on our worldview which is influenced by our experiences, how we were raised, and our level of emotional intelligence.
  • The OODA Loop
    • Why this decision making model is widely utilized in the criminal justice field.
    • The elements within the loop and how the model tend to be oversimplified.
    • The original OODA Loop Diagram as it was developed by Col. John Boyd which features multiple feedback loops that influences the quality of the outcome.
  • The Cynefin Framework
    • Why this model is also referred to as the can of worms model.
    • The origins and development of this sense-making tool.
    • The frames or the systems that comprise this model and its characteristics and features.
    • How sense-making transpires, how decisions are arrived upon, and which practices must be applied to come up with an effective solution in each frame.
    • Aspects of the criminal justice environment in decision making process that coincides with the components of this framework.
    • How applying the wrong decision making and solutions which does not match the reality of the situation can create disorder, confusion, or complacency.
  • The value in combining emotional intelligence, the OODA Loop, and the Cynefin Sensemaking Framework to manage complex problems better.

Questions raised by the webinar participants are about:

  • How empathy in decision making can result in reduced burnout or fatigue.
  • What exaptive practices are.
  • How emotional intelligence can be integrated into wellness training in the workplace.
  • The probability that generational trauma may influence emotional intelligence.


Resources from Webinar (Includes Paid Amazon Links)


Webinars with this Speaker


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Audience Comments

  • “This was my first attempt at understanding EI. It was basic and I was able to follow it — now I just want to learn more and see how it can be applied in my agency. Thanks!” — Michael
  • “I really enjoyed learning about the five pillars of EQ. It will be helpful going forward.” — Rochelle
  • “It reinforced the importance of emotional intelligence as well as the need to make the ongoing effort necessary to keep these skills at the highest level they can be.” — Robyn
  • “Discussion on self-regulation was conducted in a way that was helpful to me and outlines what I think the most important issue we are facing as an agency is and some solutions.” — Mike
  • “It reinforced prior knowledge.” — Linda
  • “This was a thought-provoking presentation.” — Lauchlin
  • “It helps me to understand and identify the emotional identity and how it is someone’s strength, or identify more specifically what needs to be built on for certain individuals, both staff and clients.” — Lou
  • “I liked that the instructor went over decision-making models.” — Donya
  • “Very helpful information to help decision making in various situations, tactical, etc. Thank you for discussing this topic.” — Roseann






This webinar was pre-approved for 1 CEU credit by the National Advocate Credentialing Program (NACP)® and the DoD Sexual Assault Advocate Certification Program (D-SAACP).  Founded in 1975, the National Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA) is the oldest national victim assistance organization of its type in the United States and is the recognized leader in victim advocacy, education and credentialing.  To learn more about NOVA, visit trynova.org.



This webinar has been pre-approved by the Maine Animal Welfare Program for 1 Continuing Education Unit for the State of Maine’s ACO annual training. You can find more information about Certification, required annual training or submitting materials for credit at Maine’s Animal Control Officer Resource Page.






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