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Guma Hustisia

Emotional Intelligence—A Pacific Judicial Council Pilot Project, in Collaboration with NMI Judiciary and Public School System

In late 2021, the Pacific Judicial Council launched a pilot program, titled “Focus on Emotional Quotient,” which the NMI Judiciary has joined. Emotional Quotient, or EQ, is the ability to understand, recognize, interpret, manage, process, and regulate emotions. Awareness of EQ involves understanding both one’s own emotions and the emotions of others. Those with high EQ’s know how to respond to those emotions in order to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathize with others, overcome challenges, and resolve conflict.

The EQ program aims to address the rising number of cases of violence in the community, such as domestic, family, child violence/abuse, and restraining orders. Far too often, the judicial system only sees the tail end of the problem after violence has occurred. In these situations, the courts can only act to mitigate future violence; there is little possibility of addressing the underlying causes. EQ awareness provides an avenue by which family violence can be reduced before it even occurs.

Partnership with the Public School System has facilitated EQ initiatives. The pilot program has two components, curriculum and community outreach.

In January 2022, PSS initiated an EQ program, which incorporates certain aspects of EQ learning into the curriculum for several elementary, junior high school, and high school classes. Hopwood Middle School, S. Reyes Elementary School, and Sinapalo Elementary School are all participants in this program. In March, judges and court staff held a forum with PSS participants, who explained the initial positive results of the pilot program.

CNMI Judiciary staff participated in a two-part professional development series led by Dr. Carmen Ulloa-Kasperbauer, Ph. D. Held in February 2018, the series encouraged participants to develop EQ by learning how to understand, use, and manage emotions in positive ways.  

As part of the community outreach component, the Judiciary included an EQ series in its Professional Development program to bring awareness to court staff. EQ chairmen, Drug Court Manager Edward Diaz and Specialty Courts Coordinator Bryan Bocago have also appeared at a radio talk show to discuss the importance and benefits of EQ.

Emotional Quotient Professional Development Series: On February 18 2022, the CNMI Judiciary staff participated in the Emotional Quotient Professional Development Series. This was the first of a two-part session lead by Carmen Ulloa-Kasperbauer, PH.D. Emotional Quotient is the ability to understand, use, and manage your own emotions in positive ways to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathize with others, overcome challenges and defuse conflict.

Conducted an on-air interview on the Wakin’ Bacon Morning Show with DJ Dizzy and Mr. Vinni Orsini (PSS) at the Power 99 radio station on March 29, 2022. The main talking points include the Pacific Judicial Council, introducing the concept of Emotional Quotient and how it can benefit individuals, families, work, and the community, as well as the PSS EQ pilot project, and the Judiciary’s proposed outreach efforts. From left to right: Power 99 on-air personalities Bradah JR (sitting), Dizzy, and Chubs, with the Specialty Courts Coordinator. 

Five basic areas/components of EQ

Your feelings are the result of your thoughts and the messages you give yourself

Benefits of EQ/Increasing your EQ

  1. Helps build stronger/improve relationships;

  2. Success in school/work; achieve career/personal goals;

  3. Improves communication and collaboration;

  4. Reduces the odds of getting stressed out or worried about situations;

  5. Helps your behavior by increasing self-control; and

  6. Can effectively prevent or treat depression, phobias (fears), obsessive-compulsive disorder, PTSD, addictions (alcohol, tobacco).

  1. Self-Awareness – Knowing your emotions; the ability to know one’s emotions, strengths, weaknesses, drives, values and goals and recognize their impact on others while using gut feelings to guide decisions.

  2. Self-Control – Managing your emotions; involves controlling or redirecting one’s disruptive emotions and impulses and adapting to changing circumstances.

  3. Empathy – Recognizing emotions in others; considering other people’s feelings especially when making decisions.

  4. Social Intelligence – Managing your relationships (to get along) with others; and

  5. Motivation – Motivating or encouraging yourself to meet your goals by becoming a better person; being aware of what motivates them.

  1. You can’t believe everything you think, because your thoughts can and do lie;

  2. Our thoughts and feelings, if distorted, create a distorted lens through which we view ourselves and the world;

  3. We often don’t know that a thought is unreasonable until we understand our twisted thoughts.

People with a high EQ:

  1. Understand the links between their emotions and their behavior;

  2. Remain cool, calm, and composed during stressful situations;

  3. Able to influence others to a common goal; and

  4. Handle difficult people with the appropriate words and a peace-making approach;

People with low EQ

  1. Often feel misunderstood;

  2. Get upset easily;

  3. Become overwhelmed by emotions; and

  4. Have problems being assertive.

People with a high EQ vs. low EQ

  • Habitual errors in thinking (unhelpful thoughts) that cause people to view reality in inaccurate, usually negative ways; thoughts contain elements of more than one cognitive distortion.

  1. Disqualifying the Positive;

  2. Labeling and Mislabeling;

  3. Magnification and Minimization;

  4. Mental Filter;

  5. Mind Reading;

  6. Fortune Teller Error;

  7. Emotional Reasoning;

  8. All or Nothing Thinking; and

  9. All or Nothing Thinking; and

  10. Overgeneralization.

Cognitive Distortions

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