This excerpt from At the Heart of Leadership: How to Get Results with Emotional Intelligence introduces the Six Seconds EQ Model.

The Six Seconds Model of EQ-in-Action begins with three important pursuits. To put emotional intelligence in action, you work to become more aware (noticing what you do), more intentional (doing what you mean), and more purposeful (doing it for a reason). We call the three steps: “Know Yourself,” “Choose Yourself,” and “Give Yourself.”

  1. Know Yourself — awareness. Increasing self-awareness, recognizing patterns and feelings, lets you understand what “makes you tick” and is the first step to growth.
  2. Choose Yourself — intentionality. Building self-management and self-direction allows you to consciously direct your thoughts, feelings, and actions (vs reacting unconsciously).
  3. Give Yourself — purpose. Aligning your daily choices with your larger sense of purpose unlocks your full power and potential. It comes from using empathy and principled decision making to increase wisdom.

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The model is depicted in Figure 4.2; it is presented in a circle because the three steps are cyclical. Like a propeller driving a ship, the model should “spin,” it works when you Know, Choose, Give, Know, Choose, Give, Know… etc. As you spin this “EQ propeller” you will gain momentum and insight to move toward optimal decisions.

Figure 4.2: Six Seconds EQ Model The Six Seconds Model of Emotional Intelligence is based on three actions, or pursuits: :: Know Yourself – increase awareness. :: Choose Yourself – act intentionality. :: Give Yourself – align with purpose.

Figure 4.2: Six Seconds EQ Model
The Six Seconds Model of Emotional Intelligence is based on three actions, or pursuits:
:: Know Yourself – increase awareness.
:: Choose Yourself – act intentionality.
:: Give Yourself – align with purpose.

In a sense, Know Yourself gives you the “what.” Choose Yourself provides the “how.” Give Yourself delivers the “why.” Imagine you’re making a change in your company because after reading the business case in this book, you realize you’re sending the wrong emotional messages to employees and, in turn, that’s creating suboptimal responses from customers.

The competencies of Know Yourself will help you see WHAT needs to change. The Choose Yourself tools will supply the HOW so you can put the change in action. The Give Yourself components will remind you and your people WHY this change is important.

While “Give Yourself” may, at first, sound like a concept better suited to a church or temple, it is the key distinguishing feature that makes the Six Seconds Model transformational. When you connect your daily actions with your deepest sense of purpose, you will make the best possible decisions, develop self-mastery, and most effectively engage commitment from others.

So what does it take to know yourself, choose yourself, and give yourself? What specific skills are required for success? We have identified eight fundamental competencies that are part of our training and research. (shown in the book).

Each of the eight competencies in this model is essential for putting emotional intelligence into action. These are the competencies measured by the Six Seconds Emotional Intelligence Assessment (see the Appendix). Each competency has value to you as a leader — and as a person. Taken together they will help you influence others, build full commitment, make great decisions, and lead and live to your highest intentions.

Throughout the rest of the book I will refer to these eight competencies and expand upon why they matter and how you can apply them.


Excerpted from At the Heart of Leadership, by Joshua Freedman, Forward by Peter Salovey. (www.EQleadership.com)

For additional information on Six Seconds Model:

Six Seconds

Six Seconds supports people to create positive change - everywhere... all the time. Founded in 1997, the organization now has offices in 11+ countries and certified practitioners in over 100, and is the world's preeminent resource for putting emotional intelligence into action.