Emotional Intelligence Training with Six Seconds: Transformative Tools for a More Purpose Driven Life
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
“One of the most transformational experiences of my life. It taught me how to choose my best self!”Maria Jackson
“You will be personally and professionally transformed. Six Seconds’ phenomenal trainers are the real thing.”Kathleen Ruby, PhD.
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.
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?
You don’t magically get better at navigating and transforming emotions. It takes work – and the right toolsClick to tweet
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?
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.
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.
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.
Regional Network Director, Europe
Maria supports effective EQ implementation in all sectors, coaching trainers, consultants, and coaches to unlock people’s capabilities.
Regional Network Director, China
Natalie is an experienced trainer and consultant with over 12 years experience in training, learning and organizational development.
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.
Latest posts by Michael Miller (see all)
- “My Brain Is Growing!” 9 Ways to Teach A Growth Mindset to Kids - February 18, 2019
- The Power of Motivational Interviewing: 4 Steps to Ignite Others’ Motivation to Change – and Your Own - February 5, 2019
- The Motivation Iceberg: 3 Tips to Fuel Lasting Motivation with EQ - January 24, 2019