Sunday, January 27, 2008

Are Ya Feeling Lucky Punk, Well Are Ya?

These immortal words were uttered in the “Dirty Harry” movie played by a gun-wielding Clint Eastwood whose gun may or may not have been out of ammunition. Eastwood also uttered the words “Make my day” in a similar situation. Such is the work of cinematic policemen administering quick and final justice to what David Brooks of the New York Times called “The mad, bad and dangerous to know.”

Truth be told, some police spend their entire careers without firing their guns outside of the firing range. Most like it that way. Police work is difficult, and oftentimes dangerous. They go where there are problems and they often see the seamier side of life. It is a challenging career and I am happy to say that the Workplace Attitudes Test has been utilized to help screen people for this profession.

The Test assesses nine work-related attitudes and I’d like to discuss a few of them here. These include judgmental versus accepting, vindictive versus forgiving, adversarial versus accommodating, and egocentric versus people oriented.

In most professions one does not want a person who is judgmental, vindictive, adversarial and egocentric. But when looking at work-related attitudes it is important to understand your own work environment, and some organizations may prefer a certain combination of attitudes. For example, law enforcement may want high judgmental which is defined as a strong sense of right and wrong yet it should be coupled with moderate or low egocentric. We want police to enforce rules and regulations. That is their job. We also want police who have people skills, a sense of forgiveness, and the ability for accommodation.

This is expecting a lot, but thousands of law enforcement people do just that every day.
For more information see

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