Emotional Intelligence and Expert Testimony

This week, I want to touch a bit on emotional intelligence. EI has many elements. In short terms, it’s the ability to perceive emotions in yourself and sense the emotional needs in others. I’ve been studying this interpersonal skill and certainly am not an emotional master, but I have learned to control any “miffed” emotions that are connected to stressful situations.

Miffed?  Blue?  Jittery?  Soft?  Antsy?  Optimistic?  All the Above?!?!

For example, when I’ve been on the witness stand in court (serving as a vocational expert), I have experienced verbal assaults on my work, my credentials, or even my vocation, by the opposing attorney. Because I know myself well and have thee highest regard for what I do for a living, I am able to calmly turn mean and rude statements into mush. Mush you say?

Who wants some mush?

Seriously though, emotions can turn into enemies if they get in your way during certain times in your life. Think of emotions as waves. A storm has rushed in, the winds are fierce, and the lake is churning up white caps. THESE ARE THE EMOTIONS – the things that get us disturbed, all riled up and self-absorbed.  We liked the calm…

Waves get in your way!

Now think, the storm will blow over and the lake will calm. During the slowdown of the storm, the waves are just big, and in fact can be quite beautiful. THESE ARE YOUR THOUGHTS – and now you connect with the outside world….and to other people easily.

Calm em down!

Now think of a peaceful lake.  You become aware of your own feelings and realize, hey ~ this is what makes me special, my stuff really is helpful and I am good at stilling the waves. You calm yourself down right when the lake’s current does too. Now there is no distinction between yourself and the environment. You become a part of it. Everything clicks. The world is safe….and you are alive!

“I know that I know that I know”

Understanding the effects of wind, waves and currents is not an easy subject to master. Waves (humans who may be intent on verbal attacks) behave differently under a large variety of different conditions.

So to be familiar with all, or at least most of rough water conditions, a professional seaman (or how about an expert witness such as myself?!), uses knowledge and skills to confidently control the ship through to the calm following the storm.  That’s what it takes to be a good expert witness.

In next week’s blog, I’m continuing on with another element of emotional intelligence ~ EI ~ stay in the ship!

___________________

My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people find a place in the workforce