March 25

Emotional Intelligence – Skills for Success


The next step on our journey of exploring emotional intelligence is to break down the major categories into individual competencies that can be measured, developed, and practiced.


Several years ago, as I was working on a culture change project for an organization, it became clear that there were pockets of toxicity throughout the organization. This was evident in negative practices like favoritism, silos, lack of psychological safety, lack of constructive feedback, and consistent delays and procrastination. These elements stood in the way of getting better outcomes, including higher engagement, greater productivity, and increased margins and profits.

Even though I had access to dozens of psychometric assessments, there was something missing. I carefully thought through everything that I could measure and observe. This revealed the missing element. The emotional environment in that organization was the root cause of most of the toxicity and resistance to change. That began my research and application of neuroscience and emotional intelligence (EI) in the workplace (and in individuals).

I chose the tools provided by Six Seconds, the largest emotional intelligence organization in the world. That is a decision that I will always be thankful for. It connected the dots between people and performance.

"Emotions drive people, people drive performance."

Six Seconds

Today, that organization has a culture that is so much better than it was. Is it perfect? No. But it is definitely headed in the right direction.

The Six Seconds Model of Emotional Intelligence

The Six Seconds model of emotional intelligence competencies is a holistic approach to personal and professional development. It encompasses a set of competencies divided into three categories: self-awareness, self-management, and self-direction. Each competency contributes to overall emotional intelligence, enhancing one’s ability to succeed and find satisfaction in life and the workplace.

 There are a few different models of emotional intelligence. To avoid confusion, here is how the Six Seconds model aligns with the 5 element model:

Self-Awareness Competencies

  • Enhance Emotional Literacy: Understanding and expressing one’s emotions effectively. This competency allows individuals to accurately identify and express their feelings, leading to improved communication and relationships.
  • Recognize Patterns: Acknowledging recurring tendencies in thoughts and behaviors. Developing this skill helps in self-reflection and learning from past experiences, enabling personal growth and better decision-making.

Self-Management Competencies (5 part model = Self-Regulation and Motivation)

  • Apply Consequential Thinking: Evaluating the consequences of actions before proceeding. This involves thoughtful consideration of potential outcomes, leading to more responsible and effective decisions.
  • Navigate Emotions: Managing emotions effectively. This competency is about understanding and guiding one's emotional responses, promoting emotional stability and resilience.
  • Intrinsic Motivation: Being driven by internal values and purposes. This drives genuine engagement in activities, leading to greater satisfaction and achievement.
  • Exercise Optimism: Maintaining a positive outlook. This skill aids in overcoming challenges and seeing opportunities, fostering a mindset conducive to success and well-being.

Self-Direction Competencies (5 part model = Empathy and Social Skills)

  • Increase Empathy: Understanding and sharing the feelings of others. Empathy builds stronger, more compassionate relationships, crucial in personal and professional settings.
  • Noble Goals: Setting meaningful, long-term objectives aligned with personal values. This guides actions and decisions toward fulfilling and purpose-driven lives.
 It is important to know that EI competencies are among the easiest to learn and develop. Studies show that there is a direct correlation between EQ scores (the measure of emotional intelligence) and enhanced success.

Growing EI competencies

The next step after understanding what the competencies is to develop them. Here are specific suggestions to develop each competency:

  • Enhance Emotional Literacy: Practice recognizing and naming emotions in oneself and others. Activities like journaling, reflective discussions, and role-playing scenarios can help in understanding and articulating emotions more effectively.
  • Recognize Patterns: Observe, write down (journal), and reflect on normal reactions and responses to various situations. Look for the common patterns of behavior and response in these situations. Try different puzzles that can sharpen this skill.
  • Apply Consequential Thinking: Encourage thinking about the outcomes of actions before taking them. This can be practiced through case studies, decision-making exercises, and discussions that explore the consequences of different choices.
  • Navigate Emotions: Develop the ability to manage and respond to emotions constructively. Techniques like mindfulness, stress management exercises, and emotional regulation strategies are useful in honing this skill.
  • Intrinsic Motivation: Foster intrinsic motivation by engaging in activities that are personally meaningful. Setting personal goals, exploring individual interests, and reflecting on personal values can enhance this competency.
  • Exercise Optimism: Build optimism by practicing positive thinking and reframing challenges as opportunities. Activities like gratitude journaling and recognizing personal achievements can support this.
  • Increase Empathy: Develop empathy through active listening exercises, empathy mapping, and engaging in service learning projects that require understanding and addressing the needs of others.
  • Noble Goals: Clarify and pursue noble goals by identifying personal values and aligning them with long-term objectives. Creating vision boards, setting SMART goals, and reflecting on how daily actions align with these goals can be beneficial.

Practicing these competencies involves creating learning environments that support self-reflection, critical thinking, and social interaction. These environments can be fostered through collaborative projects, discussion-based learning, and experiential activities that encourage deeper understanding and application of these skills.

Integrating these competencies leads to enhanced effectiveness, focus, energy, and satisfaction. Emotional literacy and pattern recognition lay the foundation for understanding oneself, consequential thinking and emotion navigation enable effective self-regulation, while intrinsic motivation and optimism propel forward momentum. Empathy and noble goals ensure that actions are aligned with personal values and contribute positively to others. Collectively, these competencies form a powerful framework for achieving success and fulfillment in various aspects of life.

Copyright © 2024 EQFIT® - Author: Steven Goodner. All rights reserved. No portion of this material may be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher, except as permitted by U.S. copyright law. For permissions contact:


You may also like

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Get in touch

0 of 350