Emotional Intelligence Training with Six Seconds: Transformative Tools for a More Purpose Driven Life

by | Nov 7, 2017

My life changed 3 months ago. I have begun recognizing mental patterns that I have followed unknowingly for years. I have a personal statement of purpose that I refer back to when I when making all types of decisions. I feel confident in recognizing my emotions and responding how I want to respond. And these are just a few of the gifts I got from the EQ Practitioner course. Think of neuroscience lectures by your favorite, most engaging college professor combined with a spiritual retreat. It’s a unique experience – five full days of dynamic instruction, activities, reflection and experiential learning. It really is a world class emotional intelligence training, and was, for me, life changing.

Do you feel like you are ready for a learning experience like that?


“An experience to be cherished and shared with the world. A wakeup call into why we do what we do.”

Conrad John

L&D Lead Specialist, FedEx

“One of the most transformational experiences of my life. It taught me how to choose my best self!”

Maria Jackson

Camp Joy Gardens

“You will be personally and professionally transformed. Six Seconds’ phenomenal trainers are the real thing.”

Kathleen Ruby, PhD.

Director of Wellness, WSU


It’s now been months since I finished the course, and I still feel better than I have in years. So what makes this course so transformative? Here are my top 3 takeaways from a unique experience of learning, self-discovery and growth.

1. Brain science is for everybody – and really, really helpful.  Even though we found time for Advanced Trigonometry and the French-Indian war, I don’t remember studying about emotions in school. Crazy, right? I mean, we feel emotions literally all the time. They focus and motivate us throughout every day of our lives, but somehow, learning about them seems to have slipped through the cracks in education. And the result for most of us is feeling confused, overwhelmed, and unhappy more often than necessary. The good news is that it’s never too late to learn about emotions – that’s why Six Seconds offers this world class emotional intelligence training!

And I sure learned a lot about the neuroscience of emotions – what they are, how they work, and how we can work with them to be our best selves. We’ll take a deeper look at how to work with them below, but one of the most amazing parts of this course was simply learning about emotions. It turns out that demystifying the science behind it all helped me feel more in control and more confident. It’s not rocket science, but it is science – and it sure helps to have expert teachers. Here are a few facts that stuck with me:


3 Facts on the Neuroscience of Emotions

1. Did you know that emotions, even challenging ones like anger and sadness, serve a purpose?
Emotions help to focus and motivate us based on our perceptions of the world around us. This is the biological purpose that they serve. They are data about what we think is going on and how we should respond to it. Emotions are data. That sentence alone changed my relationship with my own emotions, from “It’s complicated” to “In a relationship.” Well, it’s still complicated, but at least I know why I feel them.

For a full look at the basic emotions and what purpose they serve, check out my article on Plutchik’s Wheel of Emotions.

2. Did you know that when you name difficult emotions, they become less powerful? 
Physiologically, we become less reactive to emotions and our distress is less intense when you name them. For more on this, check out this article, Getting Unstuck: The Power of Naming Emotions.

3. Did you know it takes about six seconds for emotions to be absorbed into the body? 
Emotions are neurohormones – chains of amino acids that flow through the brain and body carrying messages. A burst of these chemicals, from the time they are produced to being broken down and absorbed, lasts about six seconds. That’s how our organization, which helps people learn and use emotional intelligence, got its name. It also happens to be about how long it takes to take a slow, deep breath in – and out.

Why Six Seconds? About Our Intriguing Name


2. Have the right tools for the job. Learning about emotions is the first step, but the next step is learning how to work with emotions to make positive changes in your life. And to do that, you need to have the right tools. This is, without a doubt, the most transformative gift that I got from this course. I use these tools every single day – and they help me be more aware, make more deliberate decisions, and live more in line with my values.

The Six Seconds Model of EQ begins with 3 primary pursuits: to become more aware, more intentional, and more purposeful. It’s KCG, Know, Choose, Give. These 3 simple questions help me go through this process whenever I need to throughout my day.

Know Yourself    This is when I check in with myself and ask, What am I feeling? 

Choose Yourself    This is when I pause, take a deep breath, and ask, What choices do I have?

Give Yourself   This is when I think about what’s really important to me, and ask, What do I really want? 

For a deeper look at these questions, I recommend reading this article, Get Started with Emotional Intelligence.

Josh led us through an exercise where we used T, F, A cards, which stands for Think, Feel, Act, to think about a situation, or a recurring situation, that we would like to change. So check out this example.

Story  I have a friend who is often stressed, and I had gotten into this pattern where I would half-heartedly listen to them, but deep down, feel bitter about how negative they were.

Activity  We all got a deck of these T, F, A cards, and were instructed to get out 1 or 2 cards for Think, Act and Feel that describe how we normally respond in that situation. For Think: I chose “This always happens,” and “I have no power, what I say or do won’t matter anyway.”  For Feel: I chose the card Rejecting, Critical, Judgmental. For Act: “Complain, blame, or gossip to someone else,” and “Give up on the other person.” And this was the pattern that I was repeatedly acting out. Even choosing the cards and reading them helped me realize that this pattern was not serving me well – or my friend – and that it was time for a change. Then he asked us to choose new cards, based on how we would like to respond the next time. So what changed?

Change For Think: I chose “I wonder what the other person is thinking and feeling?” and “What does this person really need?” Notice how my original, negative statements have been replaced with questions. For Feel: I chose the card Caring, Loving and Compassionate – and asking those questions really did open me up to this. For Act: “Get more information,” and on one of the blank cards in the deck I wrote, “Give her a hug,” because I had a feeling deep down, that they really wanted to feel loved and supported. It was amazing to see how once I changed my initial thought about the situation, changes in my feelings and actions naturally followed.

Now I have gone through this process enough that I can catch myself, even in new situations, having a Thought, Feeling or Action that I immediately want to change.

Get a set of the cards today from the EQ Store – and try it out for yourself.

The Change Map, shown at left, is an amazing tool for taking stock of where you are – and considering what it might take to transform your feelings about that situation.

Story  I am in the grocery store, and a toddler is having a complete and total meltdown. My initial reaction is to think. “Ugh, of course. And is that mom going to do anything?”

Activity  I think of this change map, and where I am at. “I am frustrated, and judging this woman with a screaming kid.” As you can see, I am on the inside of the circle. Then I think of how I can change that, and that’s all about those red lines on the change map. They represent emotional intelligence, the ability to recognize how you are feeling and respond appropriately. So what does an appropriate response look like in this situation?

Change  A good first step is always naming to yourself specifically how you are feeling and why. “I am frustrated because I am tired and I want to shop in peace.” Just saying that made my frustration feel less intense, less all-encompassing. And how about moving from judgment to curiosity? One tool we learned for that is to switch from making statements to asking questions. I switched from thinking, “She is a terrible mother. Do something!” to “I wonder what is going on for her? She’s probably exhausted, maybe even overwhelmed. She probably wants to shop in peace, too.” The questions opened me up to empathy immediately. I went over and asked her if she wanted help to finish her shopping, and it meant the world to her. And I felt better, too. Doesn’t the world need more of that?
3. There is a huge network of change makers. There are people all over the world who are actively working to live more intentional, purposeful lives with emotional intelligence. They see what’s happening in the world and say, “We need more empathy, or connection, or more tools to deal with rising stress. I am going to try to do something about it.” And because we live in the 21st century with amazing technology at our fingertips, we can help each other with this process whether we are living in New York, Dublin, or Budapest. The training I took was in Atherton, California, near San Jose, but the people I have been in touch with since then – asking questions, sharing tips about how to deal with particular situations, or sharing success stories about sharing EQ – live in literally every part of the globe. In a world of seemingly endless bad news, it’s more essential than ever to get involved in communities of people who are actively working to make a positive difference in their schools, their organizations, and their communities – starting with themselves.
Check out these ways that you can be a part of the EQ community. It’s a group of amazing people, from all over the world, working for a more mindful, purposeful world.

Join us at an EQ Cafe

Connect with your community and share tips on practicing EQ

Come to an EQ Course

Want to develop real expertise on emotions? Come to a certification course!

Get Involved Digitally

Articles, webinars, and more based on the latest research on emotions and EQ.

Josh, the lead instructor, started the course by asking us a simple question: What does it mean to practice EQ?

What does it mean to practice EQ?

After 5 fun, emotional, exhausting and beautiful days, here is my answer: 
Practicing EQ means having the tools to be more aware of yourself and how you are feeling, more in control of your reactions, and living in a way that connects your every day actions with your bigger purpose. It’s becoming a master navigator of the world of emotions, which is to say, a calm, confident, and purposeful navigator of the world. 
To learn more about upcoming certification courses, check out the list by clicking on the button below or contact your regional network director. 
Sue McNamara

Sue McNamara

Regional Network Director, APAC

An expert on integrating EQ into the fabric of organizations and communities, Sue supports rigorous, research-based implementation of EQ throughout Asia Pacific.

Jayne Morrison

Jayne Morrison

Regional Network Director, MEAI

Jayne brings 20 years of operational leadership experience plus extensive expertise in the design and delivery of powerful, scalable learning and development programs.

Jim Vaive

Jim Vaive

Co Regional Network Director, N.America

Jim is a serial entrepreneur with a passion for supporting people to support people. He co-leads Six Seconds’ network in the region to build a thriving partnership for an emotionally intelligent future.

Maria Olsson

Maria Olsson

Regional Network Director, Europe

Maria supports effective EQ implementation in all sectors, coaching trainers, consultants, and coaches to unlock people’s capabilities.

Natalie Roitman

Natalie Roitman

Regional Network Director, China

Natalie is an experienced trainer and consultant with over 12 years experience in training, learning and organizational development.

Yasuhiro Tanabe

Yasuhiro Tanabe

Regional Network Director, Japan

An experienced business leader, Tanabe brings over three decades of operational and consulting experience in Japan and the US to integrate the concepts of EQ into the Japanese context.

Contact your Regional Network Director by filling in this form:

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