Making Connections to Gain Compliance: Lessons from Law Enforcement Professionals

Making Connections to Gain Compliance: Lessons from Law Enforcement Professionals
Duration: 60 Minutes
Module 1Module 1
Recorded on: 2023-03-02
Unit 1Presentation Materials: Making Connections to Gain Compliance: Lessons from Law Enforcement Professionals
Unit 2Transcript: Making Connections to Gain Compliance: Lessons from Law Enforcement Professionals
Unit 3Workbook: Making Connections to Gain Compliance: Lessons from Law Enforcement Professionals
Unit 4Recording: Making Connections to Gain Compliance: Lessons from Law Enforcement Professionals

Getting community members to comply with established laws or specific conduct is one of the goals of first responders to keep order and safety within communities. Leaning into the authority to affect compliance, unfortunately, isn’t always effective. In such instances, we must tap another resource. This webinar explores how making connections can be a powerful way to persuade others and gain compliance.

Leading the discussion is the founder and CEO of SolutionPoint+, Joe Smarro. Joe’s experiences include being a decorated combat veteran from the US Marines and working at the San Antonio Police Department (SAPD), where he became one of the original members of its nationally-recognized Mental Health Unit.

Topics Joe discussed on this webinar include:

  • What is communication and what comprises effective communication in terms of the sender and receiver’s feelings after the interaction
  • A principle rooted in stoicism that reminds first responders to not be pulled into someone else’s crisis.
  • A self-assessment exercise in terms of how effective we are as communicators.
  • The reason behind our lack of effectiveness when it comes to communication, particularly when it comes to active listening.
  • Studies that reveal the adverse impacts of screen time and technology immersion on our attention span, empathy, and ability to communicate effectively.
  • Discerning listening from hearing and how distractions prevent us from listening and paying attention.
  • The neuroscience behind human behavior and its motivations, and dissecting the process of listening.
  • The factors surrounding the source and the information that determine our ability to actively listen and effectively communicate.
  • Strategies to implement to forge connections and communicate effectively as first responders.
    • Focusing on the person – understanding their behavior and emotions – instead of the problem.
    • Aiming to make connections with the individual before attempting any effort to correct and gain compliance.
    • Remembering the Mehrabian formula when communicating which emphasizes the importance of non-verbal cues and intent over the words spoken.
    • Applying the Golden rule that let others talk more and compels us to talk less, talk with purpose, and listen more during interactions.
    • Explaining the purpose and need for probing questions by adopting a trauma-informed approach.
    • Bringing to light barriers and differences and not taking the lack of social insights during conversations personally.
    • Operating on curiosity instead of judgment by pausing which de-escalates and slows down the pace of the interaction.
    • Using appropriate body language that facilitates rapport and trust during the interaction.
    • Mastering and utilizing the seven skills that allow us to become effective communicators and gain compliance.
    • Exchanging orders for invitations that capitalizes on humans’ need for autonomy to build trust.
    • Employing the CCRTC method which starts with curiosity to create connection, establish rapport and trust, and finally gain compliance.
  • The value in understanding that all human behavior is communication and if try to understand how the human brain works, the better off we’ll be as responders in gaining compliance.

Questions raised by the webinar participants are about:

  • The paradoxical shift between power and authority.
  • The importance of connections and taking a trauma-informed approach when interacting in calls for service.
  • Research and resources that support a non-shaming approach toward behavioral change.
  • The Ted Lasso reference.


Click here to view and register for other upcoming Law Enforcement webinars and recordings on the JCH Platform.


Resources and Handouts


Audience Comments

  • “Thank you! Already doing some (very few) of these, but committed to incorporating more. Suspect they will be very uncomfortable, and that just means I have to work that much harder at it.” — Andrea
  • “The information itself wasn’t new but the way it was shared was a great refresher. I walked away with a reminder to focus on concrete skills. Looking forward to getting the information promised by the presenter and reading his book.” — Mechele
  • “Great presenter with knowledge on the topic.” — Anna
  • “Hearing it from a combat vet and former big city cop makes all the difference in the world. THANK YOU for what you’re doing!” — Deena
  • “I loved all of it. It was a great refresher/provided info to back up the perspective I already have and use in my job.” — Elizabeth
  • “He was very personable and shared his experience and explained his topic well.” — Edward
  • “Excellent training and the 2% who didn’t learn, weren’t open to being more aware 🙂 Today rocked!” — Jeri
  • “So many golden nuggets! As a retired LE Supervisory Ranger for the NPS and now working as an NPS Victim Specialist, I so wish more LE rangers understood the concepts that Joe presented. Too many LE’s are focused on power and control and view this type of information as “soft skills”. These are essential skills that everyone in policing needs to understand and embrace. Thank you Justice Clearinghouse for all that you do!!” — Kathleen
  • “The mantras… ‘Person over Problem’ and ‘Connection over Correction.'” — Richard



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.




Additional Resources
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