Webinar Notes: Hiring for Emotional Intelligence

Overview (03:37)

  • “Thinc Diphruntly”

    • How to change your mind
  • Can you test for emotional competence?

    • Not the same way as you would test IQ
    • EQ focuses on our ability to:

      • Be self-aware
      • Regulate our emotions
      • Develop empathy
    • People with high IQs tend to be self-motivators and better decision makers

      • Recognizing emotions help maximize this
  • Adaptive FTO

    • Designed to enhance current FTO process
    • Addresses critical issues necessary to develop employees/staff/officers
    • Focuses on skills trainees are going to use everyday

      • Emotional intelligence
      • Critical thinking
      • Decision making
    • Teaches FTOs awareness with trigger points leading to overreaction
    • Creates more empathetic officers
    • Provides toolbox of techniques and developmental framework to training


Hiring for Emotional Intelligence (07:53)

  • Scope

    • Applicant Pool
    • 5 pillars of EQ
    • EQ Competencies for Patrol Officers
    • Updating the Behavioral Interview
  • Remember: It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. – Charles Darwin

    • Growth-oriented individuals
  • Factors to consider when recruiting

    • Workplace diversity
    • Discern the opportunities that come with a limited pool of applicants
    • Better retention
    • Organizational fit
  • Watch out for

    • The “wannabe cop”
    • Law enforcement as a calling

      • Legacy type
      • Generations of law enforcement
    • Education

      • Degree vs non-degree
      • Only 8% of law enforcement require college degree
  • Top 10 skills

    • 2015

      • Complex problem solving
      • Coordination with others
      • People management
      • Critical thinking
      • Negotiation
      • Quality Control
      • Service orientation
      • Judgment and decision making
      • Active listening
      • Creativity
    • 2020

      • Complex problem solving
      • Critical thinking
      • Creativity
      • People management
      • Coordination with others
      • Emotional intelligence
      • Judgment and decision making
      • Service orientation
      • Negotiation
      • Cognitive flexibility


IQ vs EQ (13:48)

  • IQ

    • Measured in:

      • Math
      • Logic
      • Verbal skills
    • Can be increased but takes a tremendous amount of effort
    • Not the best way to determine success
    • Average between 100 to 110
  • EQ

    • How to interact or relate to others
    • Characteristics

      • Makes better decisions
      • Highly motivated
      • Resilient
  • Pillars of Emotional Intelligence

    • Self-Awareness

      • Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom – Aristotle
    • Self-Regulation
    • Motivation
    • Empathy
    • Social Skills
  • EQ Core Competencies for Police Officers

    • Effective Confrontation
    • Emotional Self‐Control
    • Impulse Control
    • Interpersonally Skillful
    • Listening Generously
    • Reading Nonverbal Behavior
    • Accurate Self‐Assessment
    • Situational Awareness
    • Stress Hardy
    • Understanding Others
  • Remember:

    • If your emotional abilities aren’t in hand, if you don’t have self-awareness, if you are not able to manage your distressing emotions, if you can’t have empathy and have effective relationships, then no matter how smart you are, you are not going to get very far. – Daniel Goleman
    • The profession of law enforcement requires a relentless striving for a personal anima (inner way) which sees others as people and is rooted in integrity, buttressed by courage, and expressed by unconditional respect for all. – Charles Huth


Components of EQ for Law Enforcement (20:58)

  • Self-Awareness

    • Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom – Aristotle
    • Core competencies:

      • Accurate Self‐Assessment
      • Situational Awareness
    • Identifying your trigger points

      • What pushes your buttons
  • Self-Regulation

    • Core competencies:

      • Effective Confrontation
      • Impulse Control
      • Emotional Self‐Control
      • Accurate Self‐Assessment
      • Situational Awareness
      • Stress Hardy
    • Your pause button
  • Motivation

    • Core competencies:

      • Impulse Control
      • Accurate Self‐Assessment
      • Situational Awareness
      • Stress Hardy
    • Growth Mindset vs Fixed Mindset

      • Growth Mindset

        • “The Force”
        • Because you are eager to learn you are happy to have a go and…

          • Embrace challenges
          • Keep going even when its hard
          • See effort as the journey to success
          • Learn from criticism
          • Are inspired by the success of others
      • Fixed Mindset

        • “The Dark Side”
        • Because you are afraid of looking silly and getting things wrong, you…

          • Avoid challenges
          • Give up easily when it’s hard
          • See effort as a waste of your time
          • Ignore useful feedback
          • Feel threatened by other people’s success
  • Empathy

    • Core competencies:

      • Effective Confrontation
      • Listening Generously
      • Reading Nonverbal Behavior
      • Accurate Self‐Assessment
      • Situational Awareness
      • Understanding Others
    • Remember: Empathy is a choice, and it’s a vulnerable choice. In order to connect with you, I must connect with something in myself that knows the feeling. – Brene Brown
    • Being vulnerable makes you a better person
  • Communication/Social Skills

    • Finding common ground with others
    • The ability to be persuasive
    • Core competencies:

      • Effective Confrontation
      • Interpersonally Skillful
      • Listening Generously
      • Reading Nonverbal Behavior
      • Accurate Self‐Assessment
      • Situational Awareness
      • Understanding Others
    • Characteristics

      • Active Listening

        • Listening to respond vs Listening to understand
      • Positive Communication

        • Filters in place
      • Positive Body Language 

        • Do you have inappropriate body language or affects?
        • Nervous ticks (smiling at the wrong time)


Identifying the high EQ candidates (34:27)

  • Traditional Questions

    • What do you know about the agency or department?
    • Why do you want a career in law enforcement?
    • Have you applied to any other law enforcement agencies?
    • What are your goals?
    • What traits do you need to improve upon?
    • What are your greatest strengths, assets, and qualities?
    • What is your biggest weakness?
    • We have a diverse population in our community, what experience do you have working with those different than you?
  • EQ Questions

    • Conflict management

      • Tell me about a workplace/ team-based conflict you were involved in with your peers. How did you manage that conflict, and were you able to resolve it?
      • Describe the most challenging supervisor/coach you've worked or played for. What was the most difficult thing about that relationship from your perspective, and how did you manage it?
      • Describe a time when you made a big mistake at work/sports. How did you handle the situation?
    • Weakness, low points, behavior

      • What is one of your weaknesses? How do you overcome that weakness?
      • What are one or two things that make you angry or frustrated at work? What do you do when you get angry or frustrated at work?
      • Tell me about a time when you received feedback on your performance and you disagreed with the feedback. How did you handle the situation?
      • Tell me about a day when everything went wrong. How did you handle it?
    • Empathy questions

      • Tell me about a time when you did or said something that had a positive impact on a coworker/teammate, or customer.
      • Have you ever noticed that someone at work was having a bad day? How did you know? What did you do?
      • Describe a time when a team member came to you with a problem. How did you respond?
      • Tell me about a time when understanding someone else’s perspective helped you accomplish a task or resolve an issue.
    • Role models, pride, achievements

      • Tell me about someone you admire and why you do?
      • What’s one thing you’re proud of and why?
      • What bothers you most about other people?
      • What’s something that you can teach me?
  • For the interviewers

    • Evaluate individual’s capacity

      • What type of language do they use?
      • How they interact with you during the interview?
      • What’s their body language?
    • EQ Questions allows to look beyond the resume.
    • With the decreased applicant pool

      • There is a need to be more discerning with who to hire
      • It costs twice the annual salary to onboard a new hire
      • Use every tool to make sure they are culture fit
    • Use of personality / Psych tests

      • Type of tests

        • DISC
        • Myers-Briggs
        • MMPA
      • Assessments shouldn’t be done solely based on a pen and paper test, but through interviews too.
      • Read the assessments, don’t just look for the yes or no mark.
      • Assessments identify questionable behavior or tendencies.
    • Hiring for EQ is an investment

      • It can be done by just doing adjustments to the process.
      • Reaps the benefit of better/best hires that

        • Are good IQ-EQ combination
        • Are stress hardy
        • Critical thinkers
        • Good decision makers
        • Resilient
    • The cornerstone of respectful policing



Quick poll

  • What do YOU believe is a better predictor of success? (06:43)

    • High IQ            6%
    • High EQ           94%
  • How much influence do you believe EQ should have in the hiring process? (32:49)

    • <10%                3%
    • <25%                11%
    • <50%                39%
    • <75%                47%



Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman | Goodreads


For questions and clarifications, contact:


Instructor/Content Developer

The Virtus Group






In your experience, what kind of organizational change needs to occur to implement EQ-oriented hiring? And what kind of support do you need from decision makers to be able to do that? (50:22)

The core competencies establish 'this is what we do, and this is who we do it'. It's getting them to understand that we need people who can communicate well, and who can really interact others on an emotional level. Unlike the private sector where there's a profit-loss stake. In law enforcement, positive interaction with the public is the profit, and negative ones are the losses. Hiring people with high emotional intelligence is a way to work towards the profit.


Could you provide more insight about the use of personality assessment tools such as Myers-Briggs or DISC? What kind of impact does it have? How would you recommend using those a part of the overall hiring process? (52:46) 

DISC and Myers-Briggs look at the personality makeup. Are they dominant-aggressive? Are they influential or a people person? How do they fit into the organization? As organizations evolve, the preferred type changes as well. What's more important than the tests is a personal interview where a psychologist can dive into the results of the assessment. Tests can be manipulated, interviews cannot.


Are there other ways to gauge emotional intelligence other than interviewing? (55:25)

You can test for it – it will show strengths and weaknesses. You can do scenario-based testing which provides better assessment when you put people in different roles and see their reaction. The downside is the cost involved. The interview is still the most cost-effective way to do it.


How do you help experienced cops deal with the generational gap of younger applicants, millennials, etc., on a panel interview? (56:44)

It is about having an understanding what the millennials are, their motivations, perceptions, etc. which affect decision-making and problem-solving. Employing the help of a consulting firm, like the Virtus Group, or even working with people doing the psychological assessments to help coach those conducting the interviews with what to look out for in the answers.


Are there particular approaches or methodologies that you can recommend to specifically recruit citizens of high emotional intelligence? (59:04)

Usually, the best sources are your own employees because they know who does or doesn't. Who works under pressure, who is calm, etc. They can recommend/refer their friends.


Myers-Briggs was developed during the WW2, does it really address EQ kind of questions? Are there other assessment tools/tests that do measure EQ effectively? (1:01:48)

Yes, there are. But they're owned by private companies. My former organization measured both EQ and IQ, with 227 questions, much like the MMPA. I suggest start looking for firms that would work with you to help you find these people. Keeping stagnant with the recruitment process – you will only get what you always got.

Additional Resources
11 months ago
Hiring for Emotional Intelligence
Law enforcement is a prestigious career path, but recently, the younger generation isn't as k […]
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