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Emotional intelligence (EQ) is the capacity to blend thinking and feeling to make optimal decisions — which is key to having a successful relationship with yourself and others. To provide a practical and simple way to learn and practice emotional intelligence, Six Seconds developed a three-part model as a process ­­— an action plan for using emotional intelligence in daily life. 

This course introduces the Six Seconds’ model of EQ-in-Action which begins with three important pursuits:

  • to become more aware (noticing what you do or Know Yourself),
  • more intentional (doing what you mean or Choose Yourself), and
  • more purposeful (doing it for a reason or Give Yourself).

This model is presented as a CIRCLE — not a list— because it is a process! The process works when you spin it, like a propeller moving a ship. As you move through these three pursuits, you gain positive momentum. Additionally, under these pursuits live eight specific, learnable, measurable skills. They can be measured through the Six Seconds Emotional Intelligence Assessment — or SEI — found here.  

The development of adults’ and students’ social-emotional learning (SEL) skills is akin to the Habits of Mind introduced and explained in the book, Learning and Leading with Habits of Mind: 16 Essential Characteristics for Success (Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 2009) by Arthur Costa and Bena Kallick in which they explore the mental disciplines that successful students and adults use to explore new material and solve problems of all kinds in their lives. Our goal as educators should be to guide and coach our students in developing effective self-awareness, tools, and skills to use when confronted with challenges in all areas of life. In speaking of the Habits of Mind, Costa and Kallick say:

“Taken together, they are a force directing us toward increasingly authentic, congruent, ethical behavior. They are the tools of disciplined choice making. They are the primary vehicles in the lifelong journey toward integration. They are the ‘right stuff’ that makes human beings efficacious. These skills apply not only to your students but to you as well.” 

Arthur Costa, bena kallick

This SEL Level 1: Introduction course will introduce you to each of the Six Seconds eight skills (competencies) that have been identified as useful and essential for life-long success. Each module after the introduction explains and explores one skill and provides ways for you to bring it into your work in the classroom. 

If we can help our students become more self-aware and in touch with their patterns and responses to the events and work in their lives, we are providing them with tools which will prove useful in helping them to build more purposeful lives and be more capable of solving the problems they encounter. Teaching students to feel more in control of their decisions and reactions will support them as the directors of their own learning and working. 

As Daniel Kahneman discusses in his book Thinking Fast and Slow, many of our decisions are driven by our reflexive reactions and our patterned behaviors. It is only later that we use our rational thinking to justify or support that emotional decision. Let’s set the goal of being more aware of why we react and choose the way we do before we do it. Mastery of emotional intelligence (EQ) is a long-term process; therefore, it is important that you consistently revisit the habits of mind and social-emotional learning (SEL) skills in your work. 

The goal of this course is to provide you with a set of resources that will enable you to begin to explore and strengthen your own emotional intelligence (EQ) as well as developing habits of mind to use in your daily life and work at school. Much of the mastery of EQ skills (competencies) is not a one-off event.  Rather than one final product for this course, you will engage with the eight different competencies and investigate how their use in your classroom and with your students can lead to more health, wellness, and agency. 

For each module, you will implement an activity that is intended to help students develop and explore the skill to which you are introduced. You will reflect after each experience and submit a module reflection.  

In order to complete this course, you must complete all modules, and submit the assignments and reflections for each.

Let’s start by learning about how emotional intelligence (EQ) can help. 

What is Emotional Intelligence? #2 | Six Seconds (4 minutes)

How could emotional intelligence (EQ) change your life? In this video we break down the benefits of increasing your EQ and give you an easy definition and framework to understand what it is and how to develop it. What if there were skills that you could learn that would allow you to do the following?

  • build better relationships
  • be more effective
  • increase your wellbeing
  • have a higher quality of life

The answer is emotional intelligence. Research shows that the skills that have the greatest impact on life success are not cognitive skills but the majority of performance is explained by emotional intelligence or what are typically referred to as “soft skills.”

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EQ for YOU