Police Interview Newsletter - Emotional Intelligence-FYI™

EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE-FYI™
Volume 1, Issue 11
November, 2002


A SKILLS CHECK LIST

As quoted in last month's issue of Police Interview Newsletter, Daniel Goleman explains that “emotional intelligence is observed when a person demonstrates the competencies that constitute self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and social skills at appropriate times and ways in sufficient frequency to be effective in the situation” (Auerbach, Personal and Executive Coaching, p.194).

Police officers must possess solid people skills to do an effective job. They must be able to recognize and monitor their own feelings, as well as the emotions of others, while using this information to guide their thinking and action steps.

In an excellent guidebook, For Your Improvement (Lominger Limited, Inc., 1996), Lombardo and Eichinger list and describe 67 skill areas or “competencies” drawn from various studies of leadership and workplace functioning. Many of these competencies are (in my opinion) highly relevant for police officers, supervisors, and law enforcement administrators. I have listed 12 of these skill areas below.

Lombardo and Eichinger offer descriptions of “unskilled”, “skilled”, and “overused skill” behaviors for each of these competency areas.

The following text is quoted directly and excerpted from For Your Improvement™ - A Developmental and Coaching Guide. This information, however, is only a sampling of the more extensive descriptions of the 67 skills (or lack thereof) that Lombardo and Eichinger present in this 3rd edition of the book.

Please read through each of the 12 competency descriptions offered below to begin a self-assessment process. You may also want to ask trusted friends and family for behavioral feedback regarding your strengths and relative weaknesses. The following is quoted directly (though incompletely) from FYI™.


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DEALING WITH AMBIGUITY

Unskilled
• Not comfortable with change or uncertainty
• May like to do things the same way time after time

Skilled
• Can shift gears comfortably
• Isn't upset when things are up in the air
• Can comfortably handle risk and uncertainty
• Overused Skill
• May move to conclusions without enough data
• May undervalue orderly problem solving

APPROACHABILITY

Unskilled
• Not comfortable with first contacts
• May be shy, cool or a person of few words

Skilled
• Is easy to approach and talk to
• Can be warm, pleasant, and gracious
• Builds rapport well

Overused Skill
• May have too strong a desire to be liked
• May try to smooth over real issues and problems

CARING ABOUT DIRECT REPORTS

Unskilled
• May be very tense and impersonal with direct reports
• May be more work and task oriented then most

Skilled
• Is interested in the work and non-work lives of direct reports
• Asks about their plans, problems, and desires
• Monitors work load and appreciates extra effort

Overused Skill
• May have trouble being firm with direct reports
• May not challenge them to perform beyond their comfort zone

COMMAND SKILLS

Unskilled
• May avoid conflict and crises, be unwilling to take the heat, problems taking tough stand
• May not be cool under pressure

Skilled
• Encourages direct and tough debate but isn't afraid to end it and move on
• Is looked to for direction in a crisis
• Energized by tough challenges

Overused Skill
• May not be a team player
• May become controversial and be rejected by others

COMPASSION

Unskilled
• Uncomfortable with people in stress and pain
• May have less sympathy than most for the imperfections and problems of others

Skilled
• Genuinely cares about people
• Is available and ready to help
• Demonstrates real empathy with the joys and pains of others

Overused Skill
• May smooth over conflict in the interest of harmony
• May get so close to people that objectivity is affected and they are able to get away with too much

CONFLICT MANAGEMENT

Unskilled
• Gives in and says yes too soon
• May be excessively competitive and have to win every dispute

Skilled
• Steps up to conflicts, seeing them as opportunities
• Good at focused listening

Overused Skill
• May get in the middle of everyone else' problems
• May be seen as overly aggressive and assertive

TIMELY DECISION MAKING

Unskilled
• Slow to decide or to declare
• May be disorganized and always scrambling to meet decision deadlines

Skilled
• Makes decisions in a timely manner, sometimes with incomplete information and under tight deadlines and pressure
• Able to make a quick decision

Overused Skill
• May jump to conclusions and take action before reasonable consideration of the information
• Might have some trouble and freeze on issues and problems that are close calls

MANAGING DIVERSITY

Unskilled
• May be uncomfortable with those not like him/her
• May carry around negative and demeaning stereotypes he/she has trouble getting rid of

Skilled
• Manages all kinds and classes of people equitably
• Deal effectively with all races, nationalities, cultures, disabilities, ages, and both sexes
• Supports equal and fair treatment and opportunity for all

Overused Skill
• May make too many allowances for members of a particular class
• May compromise standards to achieve diversity

HUMOR

Unskilled
• Appears humorless
• May use sarcastic or politically offensive humor

Skilled
• Has a positive and constructive sense of humor
• Can laugh at him/herself and with others
• Is appropriately funny and can use humor to ease tension

Overused Skill
• May use humor to deflect real issues and problems
• May use humor to criticize others and veil an attack

INTERPERSONAL SAVVY

Unskilled
• Doesn't relate smoothly to a variety of people
• May not read others well

Skilled
• Relates well to all kinds of people, up, down, and sideways,
inside and outside the organization
• Builds constructive and effective relationships
• Can diffuse even high-tension situations comfortably

Overused Skill
• May spend too much time building networks and glad-handing
• May be able to get by with smooth interpersonal skills

SELF KNOWLEDGE

Unskilled
• Doesn't know him/herself well-strengths, weaknesses or limits
• Doesn't listen to or learn from feedback

Skilled
• Knows personal strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and limits
• Seeks feedback
• Is open to criticism

Overused Skill
• May spend too much time in self-insight activities
• May be too dependent upon waiting for feedback

WORK/LIFE BALANCE

Unskilled
• Overdoes one at the harmful expense of the other
• Carries troubles from one area of life into the other

Skilled
• Maintains a conscious balance between work and personal life so that one doesn't dominate the other
• Is not one-dimensional
• Gets what he/she wants from both

Overused Skill
• May not be willing to adjust one at the expense of the other
• May try to force his/her view of balance on others


Please note: The information offered in the previous five page outline of competencies and related skill areas is quoted/excerpted directly from the FYI™ Coaching Guide written by Michael M. Lombardo and Robert W. Eichinger. My outline represents an ncomplete listing of the 67 competencies, as well as an incomplete listing of the skillareas in each of the 12 competencies that I did review.

I strongly recommend that interested law enforcement applicants and police officers secure a copy of this extremely helpful text. Go to the publisher's web site for more information (http://www.lominger.com).

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