EQ has been found to be correlated to success. The better we are in managing our emotions, the better will we be able to handle whatever it is that life throws at us. Everyone wants to improve and experience success – whichever way we define it to be. With this in mind, working on emotional intelligence becomes imperative.
Thomas Dworak joins this Justice Clearinghouse course to share strategies to enhance EQ. Thom is a retired sergeant with extensive experience in field training specifically on Lead Defensive Tactics and Use of Force. He is currently with the Virtus Group where he serves as the Senior Instructor on various topics including leadership, decision making, and critical thinking.
Specifics Thom discussed on the course include:
- An overview of emotional intelligence, its five pillars, and quotes that highlight the importance of EQ.
- The various ways that emotional intelligence is important.
- Connecting on an emotional level is primal human function.
- Assisting us to make good decisions.
- Allowing us to avoid the vicious cycle that is the sacrifice syndrome.
- Understanding ourselves in order to understand others.
- Various techniques to develop our emotional intelligence.
- The art of mindfulness that is the perfect example and application of self-awareness, self-regulation and social awareness.
- Meditation as one way of keeping still and focusing on the present and on our breathing.
- After-action reports in both the professional and personal facets of life that allow us to reflect on how we responded to critical events.
- Practicing optimism.
- Increasing self-awareness in the face of challenges by coming up with ways to understand, learn, cope, and move on.
- Conducting a PFAT scan that checks on what your physical body is telling and feeling, how you appear to others and the focus of your thinking.
- Utilizing the pause button to give our body and mind time to process emotions and stimuli before deciding on a course of action.
- Exercising tactical breathing to overcome stress.
- Journaling as a means to keep track of our goals, intentions, and progress.
- Practicing gratitude and extending it to others.
- Using daily affirmations and following it up with supporting behaviors.
- Sunrise questions and sunset reflections that help to identify and improve areas we want to work on.
- Physical exercise that burns off the negative effects of stress and calms the mind.
- Performing mood checks to recognize how it impacts productivity.
- Using technology and other tools that help with mindfulness.
- Disconnecting from the world to filter if not completely remove unnecessary stimuli.
- Introspective thinking that allows us to examine our perceptions, beliefs, and identity.
- Employing a trusted feedback buddy who can give honest feedback and hold us accountable to commitments.
- Forward thinking by envisioning the best life you want to live.
- The audience had questions concerning:
- Teaching emotional intelligence to criminal offenders.
- Balancing open disclosure, privacy, and security in the law enforcement field.
- Habit stacking into an existing routine.
- Online tests to evaluate emotional intelligence.
- Studies that look into law enforcement officers’ EQ in the time of deadly use of force.
- “Great information regarding self-talk, 4-count breathing, and how we communicate with others, and checking one’s self regarding mood, emotion, intention, how negative mood in contagious. Great information that I feel will be helpful from on-the-job burnt-out.” –Leslie
- “I like that there were practical applications to improve EQ.” –Kristie
- “I will be having all my staff complete the ‘Life I want to live’ for our next 1:1.” –Renee
- “Several different ways were presented for dealing with the amygdala hijacking issue. I like the suggested apps. Great guidance on how to give feedback.” –Catherine