Applying Emotional Intelligence to De-Escalation

Building Public Trust

Applying Emotional Intelligence to De-Escalation

Growing evidence suggests emotional intelligence (EQ) is a factor in predicting work performance that involves regular interpersonal contact with people—the cornerstone of the law enforcement profession. Emotions are central in every relationship aspect our lives, including family, friendships, and the workplace. Managed proactively and effectively, emotions can guide and direct our thinking to include actions that are realistic and appropriate—even saving our lives. Unmanaged, emotions can “hijack” reasoning and logic, contributing to responses we may subsequently regret. Unmanaged, they may also derail efforts to successfully de-escalate and defuse potential life-threatening interactions with disenfranchised citizens.

To more effectively protect and serve the public, law enforcement officers have an obligation to learn to appropriately monitor their own and other’s emotions and use this knowledge to guide their thinking, actions, and decision making. This course is about law enforcement officers understanding what tools are at their disposal to combat the current social contempt toward policing, applying emotional intelligence concepts in concert with de-escalation skills for conflict management. This course will explore the benefits realized when using the Bar-On model of emotional intelligence, and the EQ-i 2.0 assessment tool, to enhance and support a service culture and provide de-escalation techniques so as to reduce public criticism and judgement of law enforcement.

  • Students will be presented a “big picture” overview of Emotional Intelligence.
  • Students will be able to evaluate and justify the mission critical importance of emotional intelligence in a profession full of emotions/feeling such as law enforcement.
  • Students will take the EQi-2.0 to understand the subscales they believe to be their strongest and weakest.
  • Students will be able to distinguish factors that play a critical role in the application of de-escalation techniques in crisis and conflict situations.
  • Students will be able to explain the significance of the amygdala—the body’s “anxiety switch” using individual examples observed over their own work experience.
  • Students will be able to identify the emotional intelligence components that contribute to the data gathering phase necessary for effective de-escalation.
  • Students will recognize how to perform an emotional intelligence audit, asking strategic questions to better conduct de-escalation techniques.