Collaboration is a key component of success in any business – and small-scale, organic farming is no exception. It has to be a team effort, or the hard, tedious work and long hours would be too much. But like in any profession, people’s brains process the world differently – what they notice, focus on and prioritize – and this can make collaboration really difficult.

This is the story of how two organic farming pioneers used Six Seconds’ methodology to learn to appreciate each others’ way of looking at the world, and as a result, work together more effectively in the garden.

The Fruits of Collaboration

Six Seconds’ Brain Styles helped these two organic farmers work together more effectively

John, the owner of the farm, is pretty eccentric. At 72, he’s as passionate as he has ever been. If you ask him about planting onions, he’s likely to respond with a quote from Shakespeare. Ask him about fixing that irrigation line, and you will likely get a few lines of Bob Dylan. He may circle back to your question about the irrigation line – maybe.

He’s a fearless dreamer who has played a big role in creating a very non-traditional, and stunning, garden. It’s more like a wonderland of flowers and grasses and fruits than a farm in the traditional sense – and he’s been doing it since the 1960’s, long before organic became a thing. He really did help pioneer a movement.

Emily, the de facto farm manager, is a mix between a caring mother and a really enthusiastic high school cheerleader. She is focused on motivating the troops and getting things done – and when it comes to farming, the to-do list is always plenty long.

A more practical thinker, Emily will respond to your question about fixing that irrigation line with an answer about fixing irrigation lines.

She has also been a pioneer of the organic farming movement – setting up her own farms in Hawai’i, Vermont and a student farm at a prestigious university. Even though she is working on John’s farm at the moment, she has done it on her own farms for decades – and has her own ideas of how to do things.

John and Emily process the world similarly in some ways, and quite differently in others. To understand that better, let’s take a look at their sample Brain Brief Profiles – a powerful tool created by Six Seconds that takes a snapshot of a brain’s current style for processing emotional and cognitive data. It highlights how they think similarly, and a few key differences that could cause problems as they lead the farm together.

The Brain Profiles are broken down into 3 categories: Focus, Decisions, and Drive. John is on the left, and Emily is on the right.

Get the Brain Brief Profiles Introduction today - and learn more about this amazing tool. A short, concise introduction into Six Seconds' Brain Styles

Fill in the form and we’ll email you the Brain Brief Profiles Introduction. Includes descriptions of the 8 Brain Styles and the Brain Profiles reports.

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FOCUS: Where’s your attention?

The Focus scale measures your brain’s preferred data. Some brains first seek out data from numbers, systems, shapes… others go first to emotional data. As you can see, both John’s & Emily’s brains tend to engage emotional data first. That’s probably one reason they are both amazing with people.

DECISIONS: How does your brain assess?

The Decisions scale looks at how your brain assesses options. Seeing options, some brains seek out the risks (on the left), others go first to opportunities (on the right). John and Emily are both on the Opportunities side, which may be why they like trying new things, like creating an organic farm in the first place!

DRIVE: Where does your brain get energy?

The Drive scale measures whether your brain is motivated more by long term goals or short term, practical actions. It’s about balancing motivation for the present and the future. This is the one area where they fall on opposite ends of the spectrum. John is more idealistic and focused on the future, and Emily is more practical and focused on what needs to be done now. What exactly does that mean? Take a look at the descriptions on this spectrum below.  What end of the Drive spectrum do you fall on? More practical or more idealistic?

Imagine John and Emily talking about what should be done on the farm – and how their different brain styles could lead them to very different conclusions. Should we prioritize planting those onions, or planting a few more peach trees to complete the orchard as it was originally dreamed about?

And you could see how that could lead to frustrations and misconceptions, especially in the midst of the hot, difficult work that is farming.

Emily is what we call an Energizer – practical and focused on what needs to be done now.

  • But this focus on completing tasks now could be a turn off for coworkers who thrive on thinking about the future and what could be, as opposed to honing in on the mundane tasks of the day, every singly day.

John is what we call a Visionary – a dreamer who thinks a lot about the future. 

  • But sometimes Visionaries think so much about the future that it’s a turn off to their coworkers, who end up seeing them as impractical dreamers who are obstructing progress.

Uh oh. You can see how there’s a potential for conflict between two coworkers who process the world so differently.

Using the Brain Profiles to Work Together More Effectively

But herein lies the wisdom and amazing potential of the Brain Profiles.  Because people’s brains process the world differently, we are often left wondering, “What in the heck are they thinking?” But the snapshot that we get from a Brain Brief Profile gives us insight into how they are actually thinking. It’s knowledge that empowers us to understand others better, to be more empathetic and have more respect for the way someone else’s mind works differently than our own.

And at the end of the day, it allows us to work together more effectively.

Whether it’s with family members or coworkers, we have seen countless people use these tools to have better understanding and increased collaboration.

Brain Profiles FAQs

Can you only use them at work? No, there are many potential uses for the Brain Profiles. You can get a Brain Profile to understand the way your own mind works, which is an essential part of self-awareness and recognizing patterns. Or you can take them with a family member or romantic partner, to better understand their Brain Styles. And of course, you can take them with coworkers – anybody with whom you want to work together more effectively.

How much does it cost? The Brain Brief Profile is only $10. Get it today from the EQ store. 

What is it based on? The Brain Profiles come from the Six Seconds Emotional Intelligence Assessment (SEI™). The SEI Assessment is an effective measure that helps people develop and apply emotional intelligence professionally and personally. The tools are used for a broad range of training, coaching, hiring, and development needs.

How many Brain Styles are there? There are 8 Brain Styles: Visionary, Energizer, Scientist, Inventor, Guardian, Deliverer, Sage and Strategist. What do you think you are? If you have a family member, coworker or employee who you struggle to work with, it may be really helpful to find out their Brain Style. I know I have had “aha” moments that helped me understand how someone’s brain worked, and helped me be more empathetic with them.

Fill out the form above for a visual representation of each of the 8 Brain Styles, which is included in the Brain Brief Profiles Introduction.

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Whether you want to use the Brain Profiles for your team at work, your family, or your own personal development, it’s an amazing psychometric tool that distills a decade of research into an incredibly insightful summary of your Brain Style. It’s serious science made simple – and it comes with a free “Brain Brief Interpretation Guide,” an e-book about Brain Styles. The guide includes additional background, plus how to work with your style — and how to work with people of other styles.

And it’s only $10! https://products.6seconds.org/product/brain-brief-profile

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The Brain Profiles are serious science, made simple!

Michael Miller

Michael Miller

EQ Librarian at Six Seconds
Michael Miller is a writer and contributor for Six Seconds- The Emotional Intelligence Network. He is passionate about living a balanced, healthy life and helping others to do the same. You can reach him at michael.miller@6seconds.org.
Michael Miller