State of the Heart: 2023 Report
The world’s largest study of emotional intelligence since 2011
The world is facing a human energy crisis.
This year’s State of the Heart report reveals troubling trends for the world’s emotional health. Burnout is high, especially for younger generations. Emotional intelligence – the skills needed to thrive in complex and uncertain times – has declined for 3 consecutive years.
“On average,” Six Seconds CEO Joshua Freedman says, “people are more volatile; less likely to be able to navigate emotions. They’re less likely to feel connected to empathy, or a bigger sense of purpose. They’re less likely to be able to accurately understand and label the feelings they’re experiencing – a crucial foundation for mental and emotional health.”
The good news is that emotional skills are learnable – and hopefully, the worst of the chaos is behind us. Plus the declines are not evenly distributed among subgroups, and some have started to increase. That shows us a path forward.
This report offers a realistic look at where we’re at and hopeful solutions for a better future. Just fill out the form in the box and we’ll send you a free copy of the 2023 State of the Heart report.
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Explore Key Findings
What are the top takeaways from this year’s State of the Heart report?
Global emotional intelligence scores declined sharply during the pandemic and in the aftermath. From 2018 to 2022, global scores declined on every emotional intelligence competency.
The world is facing a human energy crisis – at home and at work. Wellbeing scores continue to decline, while rates of burnout, social isolation and emotional detachment are at all-time highs. These issues are especially concerning for younger generations – Millennials and Gen Z.
Women are leading the post-COVID comeback. Starting in 2021, most of women’s emotional intelligence and life success factor scores rebounded in a significant way, even as men’s continued yearslong declines.
Emotional intelligence scores are not evenly distributed throughout the world. Africa has the highest average emotional intelligence, and Asia the lowest. All seven global regions have unique strengths and opportunities.
Burnout is not evenly distributed among sectors and industries. While some have become market leaders in the post-pandemic recovery – like Marketing & PR and Hospitality & Travel – others – like the Pharmaceutical industry – have seen sustained drops.
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2021: Volatility in the Pandemic Shadow
The latest State of the Heart findings focus on 2014-2020 trends and their implications for businesses, schools, and communities as we build back better. Fill in the form below to receive your report (Oct 11, 2021)
1. The first findings reveal a concerning shift in key emotional intelligence capabilities, including Imagination, Collaboration and Risk Tolerance. These skills are both essential in every day life and urgently needed in the workplace. This article, Leading in a Hybrid Workplace, highlights the implications of these changing capabilities for business leaders.
2. Here’s an overview of emotional intelligence trends during 2020: How Did the Pandemic Impact People’s Emotional Intelligence? 3 Key Insights
3. What are the generational EQ differences? There were massive shifts in EQ between 2019-2020, with concerning trends for GenZ suffering … and for Boomers in terms of leadership.
The overall decline in emotional intelligence is alarming, but as the graph shows, prior to the pandemic the story was improving.
The 2021 analysis from the State of the Heart study is based on a randomized global sample starting from a pool of 127,645 people. The researchers then extracted a sample of 20,160 people from 129 countries, balanced by global region, age, gender. The sample includes other categories such as job role, industry, division, and more.
2018: High EQ & World Health Org Wellbeing
A highlight of the 2018 State of the Heart Report (available here) was correlating national-average emotional intelligence scores with WHO data on wellbeing. Some people question the value of self-assessment — these findings show there’s a real-world correlation with global significance.
This graph shows countries in the State of the Heart database matched to countries & territories with a
Wellbeing Metric, a summary of data from the World Health Organization and other sources (see page 13 of the report).
The EQ competency most closely correlated with the Wellbeing Metric is Navigate Emotions (harnessing & utilizing feelings to move forward intentionally). Countries with higher scores are shown in darker colors.
The SEI assessment includes a self-reported Wellbeing Outcome score, indicated by the size of each bubble. This smaller bubbles in the low- er left and larger in upper right shows that the self-reported SEI Wellbeing score is correlated with the national Wellbeing Metric and with EQ.
2018: Worldwide Decisions & Impacts
The 2018 State of the Heart Research also explored the impact on DECISIONS MAKING and emotional intelligence supports people to make decisions that create a higher level of satisfaction.
We also explored the role of emotional intelligence in building strong communities, showing how learned “Brain Style” affects decisions.
Another topic was GROWTH and the role of emotional intelligence in sustaining a commitment to learning and development.
The report also includes regional reports to zoom into specific parts of the world.