I’ve been profoundly inspired by the speakers as we prepare for The World EQ Summit. Reading through the agenda again today, woven between the business & education cases and practical implementation strategies, I see an essential thread: Emotional intelligence starts inside each of us.

So, here are five key questions I’m planning to ask for my own growth and development. How about you?

1. At the Education day at The World EQ Summit in Dubai, a theme is educating changemakers. We’re living in a world where we can’t predict what’s happening next week… how do we prepare children for this evolving future? How do we prepare ourselves? As Sue McNamara’s session description says: “Leaders will soon be leading people in jobs that don’t yet exist to solve problems we don’t even know are problems yet.”

I suspect that as we get deeper into “the fourth industrial revolution,” the world will become even MORE tumultuous. My own typical pattern is: When I feel overwhelmed, I withdraw. I’m looking forward to engaging with these amazing educators and thinking about myself as a learner, staying engaged despite (maybe even because of) the discomfort. For myself, I want to know:

How do I stay awake and learning so I adapt to accelerating change?

2. Both in the Education day and main summit, many of the session descriptions use the term, “wholehearted.” In fact, I’m doing a session on Wholehearted Parenting, the title of my most recent book. One of my biggest EQ challenges is that I find some emotions scary and complicated and messy… and so I avoid them. While I KNOW that’s not the emotionally intelligent solution, it’s more comfortable.

I’ve worked with Anabel Jensen now for over 25 years, and every time I’m in a discussion with her I find new perspectives. So I’m super-curious about her session on “Enhance Emotional Literacy with Ice Cream.” Some of my colleagues participated in this workshop last year, and are still talking about it. So I’m intrigued to “taste emotions” in a new way.  🙂 

Ayman Sawaf, one of our board members and long-time friend, will expand this topic, “Emotional alchemy. The inner technology of the future.” As Katherine Roff describes in her session, I want more tools to maintain perspective, and to shift my way of seeing myself today… and for tomorrow. So as I think about engaging emotions as a source of insight (and having even “tough” feelings as allies), I will be asking:

What will help me accept my own emotions and be more comfortable with discomfort?

3. I’m tired. It’s been a L-O-N-G year, and I’m tremendously proud of our accomplishments, but the world is making this EQ work really tough. People are suffering, and it’s hard work to keep supporting and engaging our community and clients and friends. And I have teenagers at home. And and and. It’s a lot.

There are many sessions at both Summits (Dubai and Mumbai) that I expect will help me reconnect to my fire within. Lara Williams is an “energizer” and while her session is about leadership, I’m going to be thinking about leading my own energy.

I’ve not met Dr Mariam Abdulla Ketait yet, but I’m keen to. She advises the UAE government on wellbeing, and health is her theme.

So I’m going to be asking them and myself: 

How am I choosing to save and spend my own energy? Am I investing wisely?

4. At Six Seconds, we use the idea, “Wisdom Lives Within” to remind us of a core part of our methodology: Ask deeper questions and fuel self-reflection. In the hurry-scurry of our lives (we’re back to point 3), I need to be better at taking a moment of insight.  For me, that means remembering to ask myself those deeper questions.

You may have read that this year, we developed the world’s first artificial intelligence for emotional intelligence development. Earlier this year, coaches shared how the EQ Neural Net supports their clients deeper insight. Maria Olsson, a seasoned coach, and our Regional Network Director in Europe, will share how she’s using this process to ask better questions.

At The World EQ Summit in Mumbai, Wendy Wu will be sharing her latest work in her mobile app, engaging young people in sustainable happiness. I know this includes asking quick, meaningful questions. So during the Summit, I will be looking for:

In the hurry-scurry of daily life, I forget to listen to myself. What questions will help me draw forth the wisdom inside?

5. One of the unusual characteristics of Six Seconds’ approach to emotional intelligence is our commitment to Pursue Noble Goals. This is part of EQ, as we see it, because clarity of purpose is a fulcrum to help us align ourselves… at work and in life: Am I being who I mean to be?

This alignment to purpose is a central theme of many sessions. Jim & Lynette Vaive, our Regional Network Directors for North America, will present a business case on this in Dubai, and, they’ll share a powerful new approach to blend spiritual & emotional intelligence in Mumbai. In both cases, I will be looking for ideas on building that alignment within myself.

Also in Mumbai, Solafa Batterjee, one of our Preferred Partners in Saudi Arabia, will be sharing how a shared purpose brings people together to dig deeper and go further. Given what we have planned for 2018 and the next 20 years… I need this clarity for myself. Perhaps this is my biggest question for my own development at the World EQ Summit:

What are small steps I can take to more fully align my life in service of my Noble Goal?

Whether you are joining The World EQ Summit in person, or will be sharing with us from afar via this site and our social media communities, I hope these five questions will be useful to you. I’ll report back on what I learned as I work on answers, and I hope you will as well.


The World EQ Summit: 
Dubai 18-20 November | Mumbai 23-24 November



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Joshua Freedman

Joshua is one of the world’s preeminent experts on developing emotional intelligence to create positive change. With warmth and authenticity, he translates leading-edge science into practical, applicable terms that improve the quality of relationships to unlock enduring success. Joshua leads the world’s largest network of emotional intelligence practitioners and researchers.
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