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Are You Emotionally Intelligent?

I was challenged by this question at a session of the Summer American Correctional Association (ACA) Conference in Orlando. Joyce Conley, PhD of G4S Americas and Dana Clark, PhD of Organizational Talent Solutions presented the concept of emotional intelligence (EI) and the implications for leadership in corrections to a diverse group of correctional professionals. At first, EI does not sound like a good match for the correctional environment. Emotions are not often shared or encouraged in our setting. As a nurse, orientation to the correctional environment often included admonitions against being too ‘warm and fuzzy’. Tears and drama are out, too. We get enough drama from our detainees! However, I learned that those notions of EI are totally mistaken.

Emotional intelligence is actually the set of emotional and social skills that influence the way we perceive and express ourselves, develop and maintain social relationships, cope with challenge, and use emotional information in an effective and meaningful way. All these skills are important to effective leadership in any environment, but especially in the stressful correctional setting.

Turns out emotional intelligence leads to better decision-making and team cooperation. In fact, empathy, a key element of EI can move an adversarial relationship to a collaborative one. Collaboration is a major component to leadership effectiveness. As one participant mentioned – You can’t get to where you are going alone.

So, are you emotionally intelligent? Do you think this is an important concept for correctional nurses? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

Photo Credit © NinaMalyna – Fotolia.com

This post originally appeared in CorrectionalNurse.Net

Guest post by Dr. Lorry Schoenly nurse author and educator specializing in the field of correctional health care. She has written 6 continuing education courses especially for the Correctional Healthcare Campus.

Correctional Healthcare Processes
Safety in the Correctional Setting
The Correctional Healthcare Patient and Environment
Medication Administration in the Correctional Setting
Risk and Documentation in the Correctional Setting
Special Issues in Corrections

You may see all of the online continuing education offered at the Correctional Healthcare Campus by clicking View Entire Catalog.
Posted: 5/20/2015 8:30:08 AM
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