Our emotions need to be as educated as our intellect. It’s important to know how to feel, respond, recognize and regulate emotion. This is not a law enforcement skill, but a basic people skill that helps us be successful at life.
Emotional Intelligence (E.I.) is the ability to recognize one’s own feelings, and other’s emotions; to discriminate between different feelings and label them appropriately, and to use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior. Although a person’s default personality does not determine whether or not they have a high level of E.I. their ability to recognize and regulate their default personality type contributes greatly to their E.I. and ability to be an effective team member.
E.I. is especially a key competency for being effective as a law enforcement professional.
There are 4 domains to Emotional Intelligence:
1. Perceiving Emotions – the ability to identifying your own emotions and processing emotional information in (faces, voices, pictures, demeanor)
2. Using Emotions – the ability to harness emotions to facilitate various cognitive activities. (Problem Solving)
3. Understanding Emotions – the ability to comprehend and recognize emotional language and appreciate the diversity in various emotions. (empathy, patience)
4. Managing Emotions – the ability to regulate emotions in both ourselves and others. (self-control, knowing emotional triggers and harnessing them)
These 4 Domains of Emotional Intelligence (EI) funnel down to Self and Social:
Each day in your personal and professional lives, you will need to interpret the emotions of others and use the perceived information appropriately. This may be showing empathy to a distraught individual on duty, or showing self-control with your children when they do something wrong. Each area requires an appropriate response from you. An appropriate response is respectful, mindful and reasonable based on the perceived emotions of the other party. It is also one that maintains tact and bearing.
Maintaining proper emotional control may be difficult to see or “place your finger on it”; but it should be in context with what is socially understood and accepted as a professional attitude and collective demeanor. This control needs to be both verbal and non-verbal. Your body language or facial expressions have a dramatic impact on how you are perceived. Even though it may not be your intent to come across as arrogant, unsympathetic or rude, someone could perceive that is the case based on body language displayed.
So I.Q. is not the big ticket for being effective in communication, however E.Q. is and it’s a learned and practiced skill.