Learning Experience from 6 Seconds EQ

Written by Raymond Tay on November 30, 2012 – 10:09 pm -

After attending the EQ certification course, I realised that our decisions can be enhanced and improved when we listen to feelings and make decisions with both our heads (IQ) and hearts (EQ). We should never close our feelings’ door as our emotions define us as human beings. Every emotion has something to tell us and they are information or indicators to the threats or opportunities that we perceive. They call us to action. With the SEI report, I discovered my strengths and areas for improvement. On the whole, I am satisfied with my scores and performance levels. From the results, I am now more aware of my patterns and will exercise optimism in future as well as becoming more hopeful.

There are many concepts, models and tools covered in the course. My favourite model is the Six Seconds EQ Model as it depicts all the key emotional competencies in the areas of self-awareness, self-management and self-direction in simple terms (Know, Choose & Give Yourself). It was my first encounter with the Plutchik model which highlights 8 primary emotions with different intensity and it increases my emotional literacy and vocabulary. The TFA model helps me to recognise my patterns, especially when things don’t work out according to my plan, and tailor my patterns into preferred and proactive ones. By applying consequential thinking (weighing costs and benefits), I can make optimal decisions with less or not regret for the common good. The most powerful force in us is our intrinsic motivation and when we engage more intrinsic motivation, we are happier and will not be directed or distracted by other people or materials. I have also learnt that we can exercise our optimism by seeing the issue as temporary and isolated and believing that we have the power to change or improve the issue.

We can increase our empathy by just sitting down with others and giving our full attention to the person. At the same time, we put our shoes into others’ and become the mirror of other people’s feelings. Since young, I have the privilege to serve, lead and train others and that ignited my passion and that passion has turned into my noble goal (being the bridge between wisdom and ignorance for others). With a clear noble goal, it guides my direction, my approach and my character. I learn to forget about myself and focus on what others will be receiving and how they are responding to me. That gives me life and fulfilment.

Project: Applying EQ in myself and my participants at a Student Leadership Camp

In Nov, I had to facilitate a 3D2N Student Leadership Camp with my colleague for 32 students from 8 different secondary schools. The aim of the camp is to equip participants with the basic knowledge and skills in leadership, teamwork, time management, creativity and self-confidence. Thus after learning about EQ, I planned to use that opportunity (camp) to apply learning into practice both personally and professionally.

Before the camp, I had recognised my patterns as follows:

Think: “Have I prepared enough?”, “Will the participants enjoy the camp?”

Feel: Anxiety, Anticipation and Excited

Act: Go through the programme again and check out all the required logistics.

I am pleased with my current patterns and it is normal for me to feel anxious and excited for my upcoming programmes as there is uncertainty in whatever thing we plan to do. I will also keep reminding myself that I enjoy what I do (engaging my intrinsic motivation) and the opportunity to engage and educate others. Furthermore, my vocation is my vacation and my noble goal to share knowledge and equip others with the positive attitude and life skills. Then my worries, fears and concerns (e.g. things that might go wrong) will be gone. That was how I validated my feelings, explored other empowering emotions (e.g. excitement and hopeful) and transformed my emotions.

During the camp, we had organised and facilitated many activities for the participants. One of the activities was “Hi 5 Challenges” which consists of 5 time-specific short games (e.g. Let’s Boogie, Turn Over a New Leaf and Whale-Watch) for the participants to work together and complete the tasks. I used TFA model as part of the reflection/debrief session for the participants. They were to reflect and recap their experience based on thoughts, feelings and actions during the games. After that, they discussed whether they would like to change/improve their choices of thinking, feeling and actions in future when they work together again.

Some of their responses are as follows:





“We are going to lose”,

“We need a strategy”

“We can win”,

“We can come out with
a few good ideas”


Frustrated, Demoralised, Pressured

Calm, Motivated


Work alone,
Never listen to others

Cooperate with one another,
Collaborate with other teams

Another activity that we had planned for was the Adventure Trail. In the early morning, the weather was not on our side and it was pouring. Therefore, I had to apply consequential thinking by looking into costs and benefits. As the rain was very heavy, the cost/risk of injury and illness due to slippery route/rain took over the benefits of moving beyond their comfort zone and team learning. It was unsafe for us to bring the students out for the adventure trail. I discussed with my fellow trainer and we decided to organise other indoor activities for the students. We also informed the students about our decision and reasons to stay indoors and some students felt disappointed and sad. After completing an indoor activity, the rain had stopped but the sky was still dark. I evaluated and applied consequential thinking again. Since the inclement weather had ended and the students did not have a chance to explore the Park, we decided to continue with the Adventure Trail. However, we had to cancel the nature trail in that Adventure Trail as the pathway and steps were very slippery and dangerous. We also ensured that all teams had enough ponchos for everyone in case of an inclement weather again. Hence, the Adventure Trail only included navigating to the various checkpoints within the open space and clear paths in the park and completing the tasks at the checkpoints.

During the Adventure Trail, the unfamiliar place and the insects (e.g. ants and mosquitoes) had annoyed some students and disturbed their comfort zones. A particular student stood out from the rest as she was complaining and cursing the insects in her team. She even contacted her friend who worked in National Parks to get rid of the insects at the park. Without making any judgement, I aimed to increase my empathy and I paid attention to her concerns and complaints. I could empathise with her as she seldom steps out of her house into the nature and she is well-taken care of at home. After the Adventure Trail, I planned to address their attitudes and behaviours as a whole.

During the debrief, I brought up a few points for their foods for thought:

  • Is discomfort/dissonance good for us? It pushes us, expands our comfort zones and challenges us to grow. Every emotion has a message for us. We can choose how we feel when we validate our feeling and change our state/focus/belief. (Navigating emotions)
  • “When the going gets tough, the weak complains/ wines/ blames/ becomes pessimistic but the tough gets going/ motivated /encourages others/ become optimistic/ believes it is temporary and he/she has the power or possible effort to change the situation or navigate their emotions or responses.” (Exercising optimism)
  • Which is more important? Prizes or People? What motivates you? Do you feel good when you work with others and build meaningful relationships? Why do you work in teams? What noble goal are you or your team pursuing? (Engaging intrinsic motivation, Pursing noble goals)

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