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Respect and Empathy in Leadership: The officer that bought a shoplifter clothes for a job interview

8th August 2017

A former Intelligarde security guard and current Toronto police officer purchased a shirt and tie for a shoplifter who needed clothing for a job interview.

Const. Niran Jeyanesan was called to a Walmart on Jane Street on Sunday night to address a theft. He was met at the location with an 18-year-old man who was caught stealing a dress shirt, tie, and socks.

What makes the difference between poor and strong leadership in positions of authority? Instead of dismissing and charging this man without a thought, Const. Jeyanesan listened to him. This police officer’s reaction was not only admirable, it taught an important lesson.

The Importance of Emotional Intelligence Training

Const. Niran Jeyanesan previously worked as a security guard at Intelligarde before living out his ultimate aspiration of serving as a police officer. At Intelligarde, guards are trained in Emotional Intelligence (EI), the ability to manage their own emotions and others’ when under pressure.

Being able to manage your emotions allows you to engage with others and connect in a more meaningful way. Emotional intelligence is important for people working in any field with others, but it’s especially important in positions of leadership or authority like a security guard or police officer.

The Value of Emotionally Intelligent Leaders

The emotional brain is used when people interact with each other. As a security guard or a police officer, there are high-pressure situations that require both technical and emotional skills. Emotional intelligence can help a person to:

  • Act appropriately under pressure
  • Increase awareness of themselves and others
  • Learn to suspend judgement and become curious
  • Enhance empathy and compassion
  • Prevent strong emotions from dictating behaviours

Treating One Another with Respect

Whether you’re a manager, a security guard, or a police officer, you have an important role in place to interact with others as an authority. In the case of Const. Niran Jeyanesan, his empathy and genuine concern for the 18-year-old man he encountered led to a selfless act of respect.

Const. Niran Jeyanesan stated, “This young person has been facing his own difficulties in life and he was looking to straighten out all that by providing for his family and trying to get a job. This individual didn’t have any resources. He wanted to go get that job. That was in his mind. I think he truly made a mistake.”

It’s clear from this quote and this officer’s actions that he assessed the situation, listened to the young man, made conclusions based on both reason and empathy, and took action that intended to better the young man’s situation and life.

The police force, the security industry, and every community could benefit from the presence of emotional intelligence, empathy, and respect. Workplaces should realize that they are training people, and these skills can make a real difference in the lives of others.

See the full story at CP24 >>

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