Exploring the Overextended at Texas Police Departments


Marcel Brunel, Lumina Learning practitioner, Brunel Group



Lumina Learning tools are the chosen methodology used by the Brunel Group in Texas, USA. The company is working with the police chiefs and their officers to help better predict and prevent Overextended/stressed behaviours out in the field.



Business Need

Police Departments are looking to enhance the credentials of officers in the field and to raise law enforcement standards, knowledge, and cooperation domestically. Now that the police officers are being videotaped via dash cam, body cam, and personal phone cameras, it is more important than ever before that they avoid being hijacked by their emotions.


The World Economic Forum has emotional intelligence as #6 on the top 10 skills needed in the market place by 2020. Cumulative PTSD can show up in officers after many years of being in situations where opinions vary, emotions run strong, and the stakes are high.


Texas Police Departments needed a tool to help them identify the Qualities that officers were strong or weak at, and develop officers’ ability to tune up or tune down certain Qualities depending on the situation. They also wanted to better predict and prevent Overextended behaviours in the field.


“Let’s enable all officers to be better armed to disarm their Overextended behaviours.”



Lumina Learning Solution



We each have 24 Qualities that make up our persona. The Police Departments in Texas focus on four that, when Overextended, could cause the officers to not be doing their best work out in the field:


  1. Officers think they are Taking Charge of a situation, but under stress their behaviour comes across to others as Controlling.
  2. Officers think they are being Logical in a stressful situation, but they can come across as Argumentative.
  3. Officers think they are comfortable with conflict in a stressful situation, yet they come across as Seeking Conflict.
  4. Officers think they can be strong-willed in a stressful situation, but they come across as using excessive force.


With these insights, the officers gain a greater awareness of:


  • what they are able to do at their Underlying/at home/most natural persona
  • what they will do in their Everyday persona/at work/conscious behaviour
  • what they overdo in their Overextended persona/when they are stressed that can come into effect unconsciously thereby gaining a deeper “beyond the obvious” self-awareness


Although hypervigilance keeps police officers alive on the street, they return home to a state that is the opposite of hypervigilance. Lumina Spark helps officers identify what they are like in all three of their personas – at home, at work, and when they are Overextended and stressed. This allows the officer and their Police Department leaders to see blind spots which could subsequently be causing some blind behaviours in the field.


With the ability to identify, observe, and coach around these Overextended behaviours, the Police Department leadership team can use the Lumina Spark framework for a range of work conversations with the officers.


Lumina Spark also helps officers better understand how they make decisions, problem solve, and build relationships. In a very quick and easy way Lumina Spark provides the officers with the science as to how they do all three by linking their IQ and their EQ together.




Lumina Spark helps officers develop a range of emotionally intelligent styles that can be applied to a variety of changing circumstances.


Being soft on the people, hard on the problem takes more than good will; it takes a real skill. What allows you to be soft on the people are traits like empathy, collaboration, and adaptability. As Lumina Spark measures these Qualities, officers are now aware of their emotional intelligence bright spots and blind spots, and specific traits which they can “tune up” or “tune down” based on the situation.


There is an economic cost to Overextended/stressed behaviours in the field (Controlling, Argumentative, Seeking Conflict, excessive force). Lumina Learning tools are helping officers better predict those behaviours so they can better prevent those behaviours. If every officer can measure their own Overextended behaviours, they can help other officers do the same.



Author: Marcel Brunel, marcelbrunel@luminalearning.com


See our global network

Lumina Learning is a global network of skilled experts and practitioners operating in more than 40 countries all over the world.
Find your nearest expert

Find your nearest expert

Lumina Learning is a global network of skilled experts and practitioners operating in more than 40 countries all over the world.