Wednesday, October 23, 2013

3 Speaking Tips for Police Leaders to Communicate More Effectively with Citizens

Imagine  being able to enter any public forum where you have to give a presentation, respond to an incident, or persuade a Neighborhood Planning Unit (NPU) that your police department is proactively addressing their needs. As a police chief, command staff, or supervisor, your ability to influence and persuade citizens within your jurisdiction hinges on your ability to tap into their self-interest and deepest concerns. The following three (3) tips will put you on the road to becoming a more persuasive public speaker:

1. Understand and articulate the problem. By understanding the problem that plagues citizens, you can become more empathetic when you speak. What pain are citizens facing that you are empowered to solve?  Is there a short-term or long-term solution? Will you need buy-in from other sources to achieve a desired outcome? By becoming emotionally and psychologically clear about the core needs of citizens, you can easily persuade them through understanding their pain and speaking directly to it. 

2. Become a better storyteller. Police leaders who merely recite facts are the least persuasive. As you delve into the emotional pain of your citizens, tell a story that suggests that they are not alone. Individuals often believe that they are the only ones having a particular experience. By vividly describing a similar event that happened and its resolution, it brings comfort to citizens.  Citizens want solutions that are immediate or just around the corner. 

3. Develop a call to action that creates a partnership with citizens. There is an old saying that people support what they help create. Make sure you include citizens in the brainstorming process and ensure that there is some accountability and monitoring by them. Without a partnership, the relationship between a police department and citizens becomes one-sided.  In other words, citizens look for a police department to solely solve problems that citizens are in the best position to facilitate.  For example, recommend that citizens keep regular logs or videos as evidence to helping solve crimes, and then police personnel can facilitate the enforcement component, which police are responsible for doing.

Citizens can be your best allies or worst enemies. By understanding the emotional and psychological needs of any group, you are in a better position to influence behavior that not only cuts down on crime, but mobilizes political action by citizens that will be a benefit for gaining greater departmental resources.

To receive more information for developing persuasive public speaking skills for law enforcement leaders, visit:

Friday, October 18, 2013

How Police Leaders Can Use Personnel to Overcome Budget Cuts and Limited Resources

Edward Brown, M.S.

      Budget cuts and employee furloughs create havoc on employee morale and productivity within police departments.  When quality of life issues affect employee motivation, police leaders have to discover innovative ways to do more with less.  In other words, use strategies that don’t have budgetary restraints.  Research suggests that money becomes a predominant desire for employees when recognition, incentives, and other rewards are not in place.  Employees will generally accept less pay doing a job they enjoy rather than making more money doing a job they dislike.  Consequently, to offset financial restraints, police leaders should align personnel assignments with the personality and self-interest of employees.  This simply can be done by reviewing the personality profiles compiled by the police psychologist during hiring. 

Hogan (2000) identified four (4) types of people (Analyticals, Directors, Socializers, and  Amiable)

  • Analyticals tend to be driven by logic and mental acuity. They respond to stimuli that answer “why” and “how” questions. If you want to attract and persuade these types of individuals, it is important to appeal to their rationale and logicality with facts, figures, and proof. They are nonassertive and internally driven to work problems out within themselves as introverts. Within a police department, Analyticals would be suited in assignments where research, analysis and crime patterns are needed. They would need very little supervision and work performance could be measured easily.

  • Directors are logical also, but are more assertive and driven towards results and accomplishments at all costs. On the surface, they may appear to mimic some traits of Analyticals, but they are much more extroverted and goal or mission oriented. If you want to attract and persuade Directors, give them bottom line information and keep it short, hitting only the key points. They are externally drawn to see the outcome of specific actions.  Many police chiefs and supervisors fall under the Director’s banner. Directors would thrive on special assignments where there is autonomy and mission orientation.

  • Socializers are more emotionally and “Big Picture” thinkers. If you want to attract and persuade these individuals, talk passionately about the overarching mission of your department and tell them how they fit into it. As long as they see themselves as becoming heroes, they are interested in participating in the process, because they are assertive and are big on attention. Show enthusiasm and be light on details. Socializers are not like Analyticals requiring a great deal of facts and details. As public speakers, Socializers are effective in assignments where you need buy-in for police initiatives. Socializers would be great in neighborhood planning units (NPUs) where long-term goals of the community are discussed.

  • Finally, Amiables are emotional and introverted based on their need for relationships. If you want to attract and persuade Amiables, it is important to talk about the importance of collaborations and team building. These individuals would be great at police community and outreach programs. They enjoy the status quo and are less inclined to rock the boat as long as their emotional needs are met.   Amiables could be your best evangelists and cheerleaders within your department as long as there are no dramatic changes to what they have bought into operationally. Amiables embody community-oriented policing. Simply give them the creative freedom to connect deeply with the community and they will flourish. 

      Quite often, when police leaders are addressing personnel collectively, the four types of personalities will be in attendance.  Police leaders' best bet is to speak in ways that cross all sectors. Provide facts, figures, and proof to Analyticals.  Give specific information to Directors that relates to accomplishing a mission. Describe passionately the department’s objectives to Socializers in ways that he or she can shine. In addition, stress the importance of stability and camaraderie when addressing Amiables.  By understanding the importance of persuading individuals based on their personality make-up and self-interest, Police leaders can increase employee productivity despite the economic landscape from budget cuts.

Excerpt from The A-Team: How to Be a Top Police Department in Recruiting, Training & Retaining Employees, By Edward Brown, M.S.


Hogan, K. (2000). The psychology of persuasion: How to persuade others to your way of thinking. Gretna, LA: Pelican Publishing Company, Inc.

About the Author

Edward Brown, M.S., is a researcher and lead instructor for Core Edge Police Professional Development.  Ed is a former Atlanta police officer and has trained supervisors within the Atlanta Police Department as well as police officers throughout the state of Georgia and abroad.

He has advanced legal training from the University of Dayton School of Law and a master’s degree from Mercer University in Public Safety Leadership.

Ed is the author of nine books including: A Badge Without Blemish: Avoiding Police Corruption and The Secrets to Communicating Effectively with Police Officers.

Review Book: Top Cop

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

How Police Chiefs & Command Staffs Can Add Flair and Charisma to Their Public Speaking Skills

Edward Brown, M.S.

What distinguishes those individuals who are at the top of their profession versus those who, while successful, may not share a similar position? The answer is flair, charisma, and showmanship! Personalities that revolutionize an industry are those who are able to capture the imagination of their audiences. The late Pop superstar Michael Jackson, magician David Copperfield, and animal trainers Siegfried and Roy, are a few examples of individuals who have risen to the highest heights in their fields by being expert showmen. Each day in police roll calls throughout the U.S., police managers and supervisors have an opportunity to inspire and influence police officers just before these officers hit the streets.  This is the best time to reinforce employee engagement and retention among the troops.

Like most things in life, people who possess flair and charisma are not born but made. The most mundane speaker can learn how to capture an audience's attention by adding flair to his presentation. Here are a few tips for engaging and inspiring an audience:

1. Bring or Create Your Personality on Stage- Speakers are closely aligned with actors and actresses because they are often required to re-create reality on stage. Speakers who are natural extroverts bring their personalities to the stage easily. Extroverts engage the audience by penetrating their audience’s emotions as well as their logic. These speakers add color and verve to their presentations by the use of stories, analogies, drama, and humor. The presentation takes on a life of its own. Extroverts are often jokingly referred to as "hams".

Speakers who are natural introverts can create an extroverted personality on stage. The introvert must see himself in a bigger- than- life role by envisioning how he wishes the audience to respond.   The introvert may be very different on stage than in private.  Through imagery, pauses, calculated movements, articulation, the speaker becomes anything he desires.  By saturating one’s mind with images of an ideal outcome, the introvert becomes an exciting speaker on stage contrary to his slight and indistinct manner off stage.

2. Develop Your Own Sense of Style- The speaker who develops a unique and authentic style will have more effective presentations than imitators will. A speaker's haircut, clothing, brand of humor, and animated gestures, become his trademark. The challenge for a speaker in developing flair is to constantly enhance one's true self.  If you push yourself too far out of the sphere of authenticity, you become a cartoon of yourself. Also, it is important that one's flair should remain in the realm of proper social etiquette.  Any behavior deemed "outlandish" might have a negative impact on the audience.

3. Develop a Regimen that Enhances Flair- Athletes often take ballet and dance lessons to become more graceful and coordinated.  As a speaker, the most essential part of your presentation is your non-verbal communication. Ballet and dance enhances a more rhythmic flow of natural gestures. For those who can’t afford ballet and dance lessons, your living room and a good CD player will suffice.  Dancing to your favorite songs positively affects your body movements and gestures.  Furthermore, you may alter voice rate and variation by reciting alphabets or reading aloud from your favorite novel. A practiced ritual helps condition the mind to duplicate efforts when giving a presentation even with very little notice and preparation. The more you adhere to a regimen to enhance flair, the natural it will become when it’s time to give a presentation on-call.

4. Study Entertainers in Different Fields- Effective entertainers and speakers share certain traits. One trait is their ability to captivate the audience through emotions. Another trait is the ability to produce memorable performances and experiences for an audience.  You expand your imagination by viewing personalities in other fields. These diverse personalities have an uncanny way of maintaining audience interest for long stretches of time.

Putting flair and charisma into your presentation is a learned art. A boring speaking style does not have to be a way of life. If you want to give more dazzling presentations in roll calls, community meetings, or city council hearings, discover how to speak with flair.  With flair, you will talk your way into the hearts and minds of your listeners.

Discover how to speak with more flair and persuasion by visiting:

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Self-Assessment Through Critical Thinking is a Key to Productivity Within Police Departments

 Edward Brown, M.S.

What would inspire police personnel to dig deeper in providing better services to the public? Does policing cause employee burnout or is the employee doomed for failure from the start?   The sad fact is that many people are unproductive, because they have not developed the critical thinking skills to become more productive.  In part, it isn’t their fault.  My teachers up until college seldom asked me what I thought about anything. Kindergarten to Grade 12 education is fundamentally about remembering—facts, dates, and people.  It wasn’t until I went to college and later graduate school that I began improving my critical thinking skills. Fortunately, part of my graduate school experience included law school, where critical thinking is the core of the curriculum. So if I had to go to law school and later receive a master’s degree before I became an effective critical thinker, how could the average person become a better critical thinker without enjoying similar experiences? 

Whether you have a college or graduate degree or no degree at all, it is important to determine whether you truly have developed the critical thinking skills to be productive in the workplace, particularly within police departments.  It all starts with an adequate assessment of yourself.

Getting started

Although self-assessment, for some people in group settings, can be a good start in building a positive attitude and outlook in life, this might not be applicable to all people, especially to those who prefer to do things on their own. 

If you are one of these people, who would rather do things on his or her own, then now is the time to realize how a big self-assessment can contribute to your being more productive. Experts say that if one starts with the process of self-assessment now, it will be easier for him or her to be productive and accomplish greater things for themselves and for the people that they love in the future. 

Experts agree that for one to excel and be successful in life, the concept of productivity is very essential. This is because knowing how to be productive, even when you’re down, creates unforeseen opportunities unavailable during any other time.  Being productive also serves as an inspiration that keeps your spirit high no matter how challenging the times may be. This rang true when I served as a police officer with the Atlanta Police Department. At a certain point, most officers want a new challenge or change from the norm. Although policing is one of the most fascinating professions you can experience, after some time, activities can become routine. On many occasions, officers wanted more opportunities and felt these opportunities would somehow fall into their laps. Of course, that’s not how it works. Consequently, many police officers became less productive and did just enough to get by.  If critical thinking skills training was offered in the police academy or during In-service training, it could create a win-win  situation.  Police officers would know what to do to create opportunities within the police department that were self-fulfilling. And the police department would encourage innovative and ingenious ways for getting the job done.  

For those who want to start being more productive, it would be best to begin with a self-assessment by following these two tips:

- Discover and re-discover your purpose in life. Indeed, the most powerful thing that can help a person get started with self-assessment is discovering your cause or your purpose in life. Once you are able to do this, you can find a reason in your heart for becoming more productive. The reason may be for the betterment of yourself or for your family.  No matter what it is, it is important to anchor yourself to a motivation that promotes productivity. 

- Be thirsty and hungry for something. For people who are just starting out with the process of self-assessment, enjoy the process for the end result. This is because wanting to learn the concept of productivity alone would not fuel your drive to aim for greater things or heights.  If you really want to use self-assessment to excel and be productive, don’t be content with what you have right now nor merely go through the motions without an objective.

It is best to always be hungry for knowledge as fuel for learning. If you are consistently learning new things (inside and outside of policing), you will be able to acquire new skills and even boost your self-confidence in the end.  Although it may be unlikely or impractical to immediately enhance your critical thinking skills through formal education, if you can engage in some form of critical thinking training to improve your productivity, you are encouraged to do so. One of the greatest yearnings we have as human beings is to be seen as significant as well as leave a legacy that defines our life.  If we can understand and embrace our unmet need to create legacies, we will be moved to become more productive.

To gain the tools for becoming more productive through critical thinking, visit: