“The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause.” ~ Mark Twain

Apply Consequential Thinking Definition: Evaluating the costs and benefits of your choices.

Importance: By pausing, evaluating and responding, rather than reacting on autopilot, we can make better decisions and live more meaningful lives.

Example: You are having a political discussion with a coworker, which is becoming increasingly heated. Instead of reacting with some sort of personal insult, you can choose to take a step back, a deep breath, think about the situation and where it fits in to your long term goals – and then carry on.

Applying Consequential Thinking helps you make optimal decisions. It empowers you to take ownership of your life and its direction. Instead of reacting and then later feeling regret, you can respond thoughtfully in any situation. Even a moment of planning can help you take the right actions rationally and emotionally.

How to Apply Consequential Thinking

Pause: The first step is to pause. For how long? Just six seconds makes a huge difference. Emotions are chemicals called neurohormones. It takes the body about six seconds for these molecules of emotion to get absorbed back in your body after they are produced. So give yourself six seconds and go from there!

Evaluate: This pause also offers an opportunity to evaluate the situation at hand. It may help to ask yourself questions about your short term and long term goals. What do I want to get accomplished? Is my current course of action helping me to accomplish those goals?

Respond: Now that you have paused and evaluated the situation, you are ready to respond mindfully.


Emotional Intelligence Articles about Applying Consequential Thinking

What Makes for A Good, Long Life? One Clear Answer from Research Study (10/29/2018) by Maria Jackson - "It's useful to know it's a choice worth making." The results from an 80-year-long research study clearly identify what we should focus on for a long and fulfilled life.
Your Limiting Belief Demystified (by Your Sandpaper Person) (10/22/2018) by Maria Jackson - It's prickly, but it's worth it. Learn more about your own limiting belief + tools for working through it, all thanks to the person who most annoys you. Take this moment to learn compassion- for yourself and for them.
Illuminate: Create Your _______ Game Plan! (7/29/2018) by Maria Jackson - Where could you use a little more action, discipline, and inspiration? What _____ Game Plan could give you the boost you need to thrive? Make it here!
How to Practice Emotional Intelligence: Tips for Choice (updated for 2018) (3/28/2018) by Michael Miller - Want to know how to practice emotional intelligence? Here are 10 expert tips from our worldwide network to choose yourself more effectively.
Four Steps to A More Intentional Life (3/6/2018) by Maria Jackson - A life coach shares her approach to practicing a life full of vision, meaning, and treasure hunts.
An (Emotionally Intelligent) Love Story for this Valentine’s Day (2/14/2018) by Maria Jackson - This Valentine's Day, I am two-weeks post-surgery. No fancy dinners or moonlit walks on the beach for me. But don't worry, I am still being extravagantly loved in the most emotionally intelligent way.
Perfectly Imperfect: A Perfectionist’s Story of Practicing Emotional Intelligence (1/30/2018) by Maria Jackson - Can a perfectionist learn to be self-compassionate? A perfectionist's true story.
Parents Building Trust Through Emotional Intelligence (9/1/2017) by Rachel Goodman - How can parents raise trusting and trustworthy kids? Start with emotional intelligence, says Joan Sarin of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley.
Apply Consequential Thinking in the Six Seconds EQ Model (3/25/2017) by Michael Miller - Sometimes we leap before we look... and make decisions we regret. How do we avoid this trap? It's an EQ skill called "Apply Consequential Thinking" and here's the essence.
How EQ Helped Me Run 100K (10/8/2015) by Six Seconds - When we are faced with challenges, how can we use emotional intelligence to vault over barriers we thought were unbreakable? My name is Lara Williams and I am 44 years old, married and a mother of two girls. I love the outdoors. But, I have never really said to anyone, including myself, that I am a runner. I remember the day when I got asked to run 100 kilometers with 3 other girl friends. “100k!” I said with sheer disbelief ...

Click here for more Apply Consequential Thinking articles on our site

Recommended Tools

Think, Feel, Act Cards: One of the simplest and most powerful tools we’ve created, this hands-on tool increases awareness about choices.  The cards help people understand the differences between thoughts, feelings, and action by providing examples — and there are blank cards.  With a dry-erase marker, the blank cards can be turned into any other thought, feeling, or action.

Mixed Emotions: A tool that helps you make decisions, solve problems, resolve conflicts, and more.

Experiential Activities for Enhancing Emotional Intelligence: Experience the fun of adventure-based games with training in emotional awareness, behavioral control and relationship skills. This guide contains over 150 activities that can be adapted to virtually any group in any setting.


Michael Miller

Writer at Six Seconds
Michael Miller is a writer and contributor for Six Seconds who lives in Santa Cruz, California. He is passionate about living a balanced, healthy lifestyle and helping others to do the same. You can reach him at [email protected]

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This