The Six Seconds Model of EQ

The Six Seconds model turns emotional intelligence theory into practice for your personal and professional life.

Emotional intelligence is the capacity to blend thinking and feeling to make optimal decisions — which is key to having a successful relationship with yourself and others. To provide a practical and simple way to learn and practice emotional intelligence, Six Seconds developed a three-part model in 1997 as a process – an action plan for using emotional intelligence in daily life.

This model of EQ-in-Action begins with three important pursuits: to become more aware (noticing what you do), more intentional (doing what you mean), and more purposeful (doing it for a reason).


Know Yourself

Clearly seeing what you feel and do.
Emotions are data, and these competencies allow you to accurately collect that information.


Choose Yourself

Doing what you mean to do.
Instead of reacting “on autopilot,” these competencies allow you to proactively respond.


Give Yourself

Doing it for a reason.
These competencies help you put your vision and mission into action so you lead on purpose and with full integrity.


Know Yourself gives you the “what” – when you Know Yourself, you know your strengths and challenges, you know what you are doing, what you want, and what to change.

Choose Yourself provides the “how” – it shows you how to take action, how to influence yourself and others, how to “operationalize” these concepts.

Give Yourself delivers the “why” – when you Give Yourself you are clear and full of energy so you stay focused why to respond a certain way, why to move in a new direction, and why others should come on board.

 You’ll notice we present the model in a CIRCLE – it’s not a list, it’s a process!  The process works when you spin it, like a propeller moving a ship.  As you move through these three pursuits you gain positive momentum!

Plus, here’s an intro to the model by Joshua Freedman, our CEO

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Eight Competencies of Emotional Intelligence

“Under” the three pursuits live eight specific, learnable, measurable competencies.  They’re measured through the Six Seconds Emotional Intelligence Assessment – or SEI.  Here are the eight competencies – with definitions below:


Pursuit Competency Definition Learn More

Know Yourself


Enhance Emotional Literacy Accurately identifying and interpreting both simple and compound feelings. Emotional Literacy in Detail
Recognize Patterns Acknowledging frequently recurring reactions and behaviors. Recognize Patterns in Detail

Choose Yourself


Apply Consequential Thinking Evaluating the costs and benefits of your choices Apply Consequential Thinking in Detail
Navigate Emotions Assessing, harnessing, and transforming emotions as a strategic resource. Navigate Emotions in Detail
Engage Intrinsic Motivation Gaining energy from personal values & commitments vs. being driven by external forces. Engage Intrinsic Motivation in Detail
Exercise Optimism Taking a proactive perspective of hope and possibility. Exercise Optimism in Detail

Give Yourself


Increase Empathy Recognizing, connecting with, and appropriately responding to emotions. Increase Empathy in Detail
Pursue Noble Goals Connecting your daily choices with your overarching sense of purpose. Pursue Noble Goals in Detail

At the core, emotional intelligence is something to BE.  By being more emotionally intelligent, smarter with feelings, you will more accurately recognize emotions in yourself and others.  This data will help you make decisions and craft effective solutions to the “life puzzles” you face each day.  It’s also important to put it in action – hence the verbs.  The three pursuits – and the eight competencies – are actions.

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