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How can emotional intelligence help in Homeland Security?

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One thing that stands out to me is that people tend to panic in an emergency.  In terms of national security, the best thing to have is policies and procedures in place that people can automatically follow, so that in the heat of the moment when things get a crazy...

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One thing that stands out to me is that people tend to panic in an emergency.  In terms of national security, the best thing to have is policies and procedures in place that people can automatically follow, so that in the heat of the moment when things get a crazy emotions don’t get the best of people.

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Aside from the collective benefits that can be obtained from an environment in which emotional intelligence is of essence, this type of intelligence can also be put to great use in the process of differentiating dangerous from non dangerous situations. This is because emotional intelligence makes the individual more attuned to the traits of human dynamics. Observing and understanding these dynamics can help to understand, and predict,  behavioral patterns that may lead to conflict. As a result, diffusing a situation before it becomes a problem, a fight, or a point of contention, is one of the best things that emotional intelligence empowers us to do.

The Homeland Security Agency is one that deals with a number of daily stressors caused by people and social interaction. Just take a look at airport security. TSA works under the umbrella of Homeland Security. As an enforcer of Homeland Security's rules and regulations, the TSA has to put up with fighting passengers, possible terrorists, the chances of illegal transportation, falsified documents, and a plethora of other potential issues. Emotional intelligence is what makes the difference between a dialog and a blow-up. If the HS agent, wherever the situation takes place, is able to understand the difference between a dangerous person and a merely irate person, then the less chance there will be of a huge misunderstanding to happen. Therefore, emotional intelligence is an essential skill to be used for problem solving, for dissipating conflicts, and for avoiding possible confrontations.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TSA

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conflict_resolution

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homeland_security

 

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Emotional intelligence can be equated with "people skills."  People who are good with other people have emotional intelligence.  This attribute is important for homeland security.  There are at least two reasons for this.

First, homeland security agents have to be attuned to the emotions of those they are screening.  They have to be able to determine, for example, the emotional state of people they might be investigating so that they can tell if the people are likely to conduct an attack at a given time.

Second, agents must work well with one another.  The 9/11 attacks show us that our security is harmed when agents don't communicate.  If agents have poor emotional intelligence, they might not get along with one another and might not share information as well as they should.

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