Did You Know?
Latin America’s EQ ranked HIGHER than the global average.
This is unexpected news amidst the complex political and ethical challenges affecting the entire region. However, these results should not be taken with complacency. Rather, they constitute a call to action to leverage intelligently from our strengths, and use EQ as a catalyst for positive change in the region.
What strengths can Latin America use to generate positive change?
Emotional intelligence, both as a conceptual framework and as an active pursuit has been incipiently finding their way into the mindset of an increasing number of people in the region, most of them connected to the business world.
Incidentally, putting into action what seems abstract is a real challenge because it becomes very obvious that profound emotional contradictions are the first obstacle to overcome. It’s not surprising; Latin America is and has been struggling to find common identity and sense of belonging for centuries. So, one of the biggest tests for Latin American change-makers is learning to leverage this big EQ momentum in the region that results in a positive impact for their citizens’ quality of life.
Findings of the State of the Heart Report
In the State of the Heart Report, Latin America obtained EQ scores that are statistically higher, an average of 101.5, than the global average of 97.3 in the most recent years. This means that in the region, individuals with higher EQ are 7.7 times likely to obtain higher results in 4 important areas: effectiveness, relationships, quality of life and wellbeing.
This means that unequivocally there is bright promise in using EQ as an effective way to sustain better living conditions for Latin Americans; not in some abstract way, but by implementing practical action items focused on areas where most of daily struggles occur: social and economic inequality and, erosion of civility and lack of trustworthiness in the political discourse.
18 EQ Brain Talents
To make emotional intelligence more actionable, Six Seconds conducted research to define key behaviors that high-performing leaders use to apply their EQ skills (see 6sec.org/talents for details). Eighteen “talents” emerged – learned behaviors for putting EQ into action.
Using Brain Talent in Latin America
Compared to the rest of the world, Resilience, Imagination and Risk Tolerance are the highest talents for Latin America. These talents are helpful resources that allow people to navigate survive a volatile reality, a place where rules change all the time, agreements are not abided and, there is constant need to look over your shoulder. In turn, this reality translates into a constant flight or fight environment that is impacting our ability to trust each other, thus damaging interpersonal relations and any prospects for creating the kind of deeper connections that make communities and entire countries thrive.
So, how will our current inventory of brain talents serve our most pressing needs for building more civility, respect, and empathy towards each other, while at the same time, designing a more collaborative and peaceful future together?
Seeing the unknown.
Accepting the unknown potential.
How will the current inventory of brain talents serve Latin America’s most pressing needs for building more civility, respect, and empathy towards each other, while at the same time, designing a more collaborative and peaceful future together?
For starters, we could work up from our current strengths. State of the Heart reports that overall wellbeing in Latin America is actually higher by 2.7 points and relationships are higher than the global average by about 3.7 points.
Throughout the region, reliance on human connection, a value strongly imbued since childhood, is meshed within culture. People may have their differences of opinion and feelings, but from preschools to leading organizations, there is an explicit agreement that family and friends are the number one priority.
When we look at devaluated currency, social unrest, rampant corruption among many other immediate problems, the later become minor ills that people are expected to sort out as imaginatively as possible and move forward fast enough to prepare for the next blow. The problem with this short-term orientation is that often people feel cajoled into create novel solutions without committing to a careful process of reflection, therefore their resulting careless decisions have impact on others, erode common trust and, very importantly will most likely create more problems that the ones they were set to originally address.
The brain talents with the potential to create positive changes in these areas of evaluation and problem solving for the most challenging issues in Latin America are: Reflection, Prioritizing, and Problem Solving, but our region has the lowest score for these items in comparison to other regions.
Latin America Challenge
What is a path forward for this region to leverage strengths during challenging times?
1) PRIORITIZE to sort out what is important and what is urgent.
2) EVALUATE by taking a step back and carefully consider options.
3) COLLABORATE by working together with others to solve problems.
Brain Styles: problem or solution?
Brain styles are learned frameworks to understand one’s brain preferences. They provide substantial information about how analytical and emotional work together in a person’s brain while obtaining data, making decisions and energizing for action. Although, Six Seconds have identified 8 archetypal styles, most people display a combination of two or three combined in unique ways.
625 million ways to change
Every brain of the approximately 625 million inhabitants in Latin America (1) has a unique set of preferences and brain style. Moreover, no style is better than other. Fortunately, this yields to a 625 million original ways to apply our unique brainpower into positive change.
In State of the Heart , Latin America has significantly more Visionary and Inventor brain styles compared to elsewhere and significantly fewer Guardians and Strategists.
Visionary and Inventor brain styles shared two important traits: enjoyment in innovation and forward thinking. These brain styles get their energy from ideals in the long term; and both tend to value openness and creativity. Yet, they may behave very different in the way in which they acquire data; inventors set their senses into rational data, whereas visionaries pay more attention to emotional clues. Interestingly, if working as a team, their differences on Focus may create powerful learning opportunities for both.
On the other hand, lower results for Guardians and Strategists may be correlated with lower scores for Reflection reported in the State of the Heart . Six Seconds’ research has demonstrated that all 18 identified talents are learnable skills that can be assimilated with proper awareness and training. Indeed, when Reflection, or any other Brain Talents are practiced consistently and integrated into a daily routine, they boost certain emotional intelligence skills that are crucial to obtain better outcomes in life.
From Survive to Thrive in Latin America
How would it look if Latin America balances out its short-term focus, while galvanizing its talents and embarking into a THRIVE mindset journey? I am not claiming that EQ would solve all the problems in the region, but it will surely teach each one of us to tap into a valuable resource – our emotions – so we can thrive based on those values that the rest of the world admires from us: kindness, respect and human connection.
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