Emotional Intelligence Coaching For Law Enforcement Officers.

Research on the incorporation of Emotional Intelligence into the training of police officers at the present time is limited. However, it is clear that the popular notion that police officers are somehow immune to the extreme stresses associated with the day-to-day experience of policing is unrealistic.

During training in the various police academies, physical and emotional resiliency along with toughness reserved for “the force” is grilled into new recruits. Empathy, emotional self-awareness, compassion, assertiveness, social awareness, flexibility, impulse control or other Emotional Intelligence competencies are rarely considered.

According to a Geoffrey Seville writing in The Police Chief Magazine in a article entitled, Emotional Intelligence Policing: “Most police training and education efforts have downplayed if not ignored the role of emotions. Often, academy educators leave it to field trainers to help new officers through emotionally charged and stressful situations. Departments occasionally provide stress management programs or use untrained mentors to help officers manage their emotions. But few of these approaches consider emotional intelligence.”

Successful surgeons, fire fighters, customer service staff and law enforcement professionals score in the high range for self-awareness, self-control, social awareness, empathy, stress tolerance and impulse control. Individuals with higher levels of emotional intelligence are better able to recognize and manage their behavior, have more positive interpersonal interactions, and engage in fewer problem behaviors including aggressive or violent acts.

It appears that officers who are able to increase their EI have a distinct advantage, both personally and professionally, in a number of important areas, including self-control, decision making, and interpersonal skills.

Anderson & Anderson, APC has provided coaching for uniformed officers from 6 different law enforcement agencies in Southern California.

Here are the Pre and Post Assessment results for one officer who completed our six- month Emotional Intelligence Program for Impulse Control. The assessment used is the internationally recognized EQ-i-2.0 Emotional Intelligence Assessment. These results are similar to those of other officers who have been seen in our program. It is clear that the experience of one client does not represent a sample of anything. However, it may offer a hint of the value of including emotional intelligence skill enhancement in the training of law enforcement personnel as well as coaching for impulse control.

Total EI 83 out of 130

Self-Perception Composite 81

Self-Regard 59

Self-Actualization 91

Emotional Self-Awareness 111

Self-Expression Composite 79

Emotional Expression 82

Assertiveness 77

Independence 90

Interpersonal Composite 100

Interpersonal Relationships 108

Empathy 102

Social Responsibility 87

Decision Making Composite 92

Problem Solving 102

Reality Testing 100

Impulse Control 80

Stress Management Composite 74

Flexibility 72

Stress Tolerance 99

Optimism 64

70 Low Range 90 Mid Range 110 High Range 130

A careful review of the Pre Assessment results reveals that seven out of the client’s fifteen scores are in the Low Range, 70-90, five fall in the Mid-Range and only one in the High-Range. These are the type of scores that place professionals and leaders at risk for career derailment.

Lets take a look at the Post Assessment Results for this same officer after six months of Emotional Intelligence Coaching for Impulse Control.

Total EI 99 out of 130

Self-Perception Composite 103

Self-Regard 92

Self-Actualization 102

Emotional Self-Awareness 116

Self-Expression Composite 103

Emotional Expression 102

Assertiveness 103

Independence 104

Interpersonal Composite 104

Interpersonal Relationships 106

Empathy 104

Social Responsibility 99

Decision Making Composite 91

Problem Solving 96

Reality Testing 98

Impulse Control 107

Stress Management Composite 95

Flexibility 91

Stress Tolerance 98

Optimism 97

70 Low Range 90 Mid Range 110 High Range 130

The post assessment results indicate that none of the clients’ scores are in the low range. Sixteen scores are in the Mid-Range and one score is in the High Range. It may be worth noting that his optimism score increased from a low of 64 to 97. Emotional Intelligence Coaching is a promising intervention for enhancing impulse control in law enforcement professionals.

Anderson & Anderson, APC is the largest provider of Executive Coaching for “disruptive physicians’ in the nation and a major provider of Emotional Intelligence Coaching for Impulse Control.www.andersonservices.com.

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