Great tool for social emotional learning

Choose or Lose EQ Cards

chooseorloseSummary: A hands-on tool for raising awareness about choices, this card set is ideal for coaching, small group instruction, or personal development.


Use: There are many exercises you can do with “Choose or Lose” that are foundational for building emotional intelligence. For example, you can assess a recent decision to identify the patterns you followed in your reaction. You simply select cards that match your thoughts, feelings, and actions during the decision, and then follow a process to examine those choices. The tool helps clarify the components of decision-making, shows the links between thought, feeling, and action, and increases awareness of patterns.


  • recognize patterns – observe typical responses
  • evaluate a decision / consequential thinking – identify the costs & benefits of a reaction
  • enhance emotional literacy – learn more feeling vocab, see what might trigger feelings

Basic Instructions:

  1. Think of a difficult situation
  2. Choose a card that represents how you were thinking, feeling, and what you did
  3. Brief discussion of that set – how did it work?
  4. If you are in a similar situation again, is there one of these you’d like to change, one you’d like to have different?
  5. If you change that one, how might it affect either of the others? (repeat)
  6. How might this new set work out?
  7. What’s one action step you can take now to help you move toward that new set for the future?




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