The ultimate value of life depends upon awareness and the power of contemplation. ~ AristotleRecognizingPatternsShell

Recognizing Patterns is one of the core competencies of “Know Yourself” in the Six Seconds Model.

Definition: Acknowledging frequently recurring reactions and behaviors.

Importance: Sometimes people assess new situations and respond carefully and thoughtfully, but frequently they run on autopilot, reacting unconsciously based on habit. In part it’s
because the human brain is wired to form and follow neural pathways. Left unconscious, these patterns can inhibit optimal performance because they are a generalized response rather than one carefully tailored to the current situation.

Recognizing Patterns helps you track and monitor your reactions – which is an essential step to managing them. Recognizing your own patterns will also help you see others’ – which will be invaluable in coaching others so they get off of autopilot as well.

Recommended Tools

Think, Feel, Act Cards – This hands-on tool increases awareness about choices, and is ideal for coaching, small group instruction, or personal development.

EQ Coach Cards – Capture the wisdom of leading EQ experts with these compelling questions for professional and personal transformation.

EQ Action Log – More than a journal, this 3-month Action Log incorporates monthly tips and powerful models to hold you accountable and further your learning in emotional intelligence.

EQ from the Inside Out – Where many books ‘tell’ about emotional intelligence, finally, here is a book that shows you how.

E.Q. Librium – EQ can be increased and author Yvette Bethel will show you how to improve your emotional intelligence and achieve your career goals through mastering E.Q. Librium

Getting to E.Q. Librium – Based on E.Q. Librium, Unleash the Power of Your Emotional Intelligence: A Proven Path to Career Success, this book is a step-by-step guide for achieving E.Q. Librium.

Sneetch Marbles – Sneetch Marbles, Inc. is a dynamic training module to improve team performance and emotional intelligence

EQ for Families: Accountability Workshop – Help parents teach their children to make more conscious, conscientious, and effective decisions.



Why Do People React & What’s the Neuroscience of How To Create Inner Peace Instead? with Joshua Freedman

How do I begin to recognize my own patterns? with Joshua Freedman

How can you reflect on your own patterns of reaction? with Marsha Ridout

Related articles on our site

Six Suprisingly Simple Ways to Change the World

Too Much!

A Curious Solution

Awareness = Intelligence? 

Sibling Rivalry: Jealousy and Love  – About the meaning of jealousy.

The EI-nnovation: Setting the Stage for Breakthrough Performance – To create innovation, we need an organizational context that allows breaking patterns.

Many more!

Other Resources

Six Seconds Hijacking by Joshua Freedman

Jonah Lehrer, “How Habits Hold Us” about psychology of habits and change.

The Connectome: Breaking Ideas in Neuroscience 

Patterns of Your Thoughts with neuroscientist Moran Cerf

Christopher deCharms: A look inside the brain in real time

 “Mindfulness” by Ellen J.Langer.  About the relationship between our mind state and our actions, and what we choose to pay attention to. 

Project Implicit has a series of tests you can take to identify some of your own stereotypes.  Participating also adds data to the project.

In the movie Erin Brockowich, Erin’s pattern is so predictable that her employer decides to have some fun at her expense. Watch the clip, observe both the verbal and nonverbal communication.


Jenny Wiley

Jenny is the Six Seconds Operations Manager.

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