SWAT Teams and Emotional Intelligence

My son, Jayce Gutzler has had an influential and significant career in law enforcement over his twelve years in the field. He’s served on patrol, as a field training officer, and as an undercover narcotics detective. One of his big goals was to train and become a member of the SWAT team. 

I clearly remember the rigorous interview and the physical and tactical-based pre-qualifications. Upon passing and demonstrating the skills necessary, the final hurdle was interview-based questions from fellow SWAT members. These were around communication, collaboration, and chemistry fits for the team. 

You can be strong, smart, and tactful but if your team doesn’t trust you or get along with you… you’re out!

Jayce served in distinction for over five years and not only gained the respect and credibility of his team, but rose as a recognized leader. He knew it wasn’t about “me” but that is was about “we.” If you want to self-promote, you will not last as a respected professional in this field. Leaders complement and enhance their team. Period. They get along with others and never allow ego to erode or highjack their influence and reputation.

How about you…

  • How well do you get along with others? (Think about it.)
  • How does your team perceive your motives and pursuits?
  • Are you about me or we?
  • Are you aware of how your emotions impact others?
  • Do you work to be emotionally sound and stable?

I’d like to offer up a quick checklist to remind you to increase your emotional intelligence for influential leadership:
1. Slow down and be aware of your body language. Nearly 60% of our communication is not our words but our tone of voice and facial expression. Remember to smile and be positively expressive.
2. Be self-aware of your moods and what you are transferring to others. Your moods are contagious!
3. Remember, your reputation is established by how you handle stressful moments and challenging relationships. Don’t be short-sighted, always lead with respect and emotional control.
4. Get along. Be the type of leader others are happy to see. Don’t be moody or grumpy, strive to be likeable and treat your team with an uncommon grace and appreciation.
5. Turn up your empathy. You don’t need to fix people, but you do need to show empathy and understanding.

It goes without saying, I’m very proud of Jayce. His career calling of excellence and protecting/serving others reminds me daily how precious life is. Life truly is so short so be your best and get along with your team.

Emotional intelligence skill sets can be the differentiating factor in your career pursuits. 

This week, I challenge you with one primary goal… Make every encounter more about the other person than about yourself. Take interest, take time, and don’t withhold appreciation. This is about “we” not me.

Here’s to growing your EW for success!

As a master storyteller, Steve has unparalleled ability to communicate dynamic business and leadership truths through stories, anecdotes and humor. Harness the power of the “number one” predictor of professional success, impact, leadership, high performance and sustainable relationships in business and life. Steve’s highest rated keynote presentation.

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“The purpose of Leadership Quest is to help professionals develop their personal leadership, vision and emotional intelligence. Everyday I strive to help leaders and teams achieve their desired goals in sales productivity, leadership, time maximization, and life-balance. ”

About the Author

Steve Gutzler is the President of Leadership Quest, a Seattle-based leadership development company. Steve is a dynamic, highly-sought-after speaker who has delivered more than 2,500 presentations to a list of clients including Microsoft, Starbucks, the Seattle Seahawks, Pandora Radio, Boeing, Cisco, Starwood Corporation, the Ritz Carlton group, and the U.S. Social Security Administration. He recently was voted #1 by the readership of Huffington Post as the Most Inspirational Leader on Social Media.

A published author on leadership and emotional intelligence, Steve resides near Seattle with his wife Julie where they enjoy time with their three adult children and six grandchildren.