10X Business Letter
Pleasant 75 Degrees
Dear 10X Business Builder,
I fly a lot in Brazil. Flights are cheap and plentiful to cities 1-2 from Rio.
Recently I took a flight to Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais. (fun fact: they have 3 soccer teams and 3 stadiums in a city of just 2.5 Million. )
Every time I’m on a flight with Brazilians I’m reminded of cultural differences.
Here’s what I mean:
The second that the plane lands (sometimes before the fasten seat belt is turned off), the people from the back of the plane bum-rush to the front of the plane.
Complete disregard for age or gender. Old, young, male, female… it doesn’t matter… they all do it.
To me, a foreigner, it’s rude as hell.
After the initial stage of infuriation, I stopped to think about why they do this? It’s something I’ve noticed in all things to do with lines/waiting.
Before boarding the plane, they are standing in line (not really a line more of group, because everyone is still jockeying for position) AN HOUR BEFORE THE FLIGHT.
Ordering a drink at a bar: they cram their way to the front of the bar, like a rugby scrum, physically scream at the bartender and waive their fiche (drink tickets) in his face. If you don’t play the game too, you will not get served. FACT.
Driving: waiting at a red lights, yes red lights, horns are blaring as-if they want you to run the red light. It’s not uncommon to see someone creep to the front of the line trying to time it just right to jolt out in front of everyone.
This behavior isn’t completely unique to Brazilians, but it’s certainly amplified here.
I still makes me laugh, when I see an 80 year old lady in her moo-moo cussing the gods because she has to wait.
Back to the plane:
As I’m genuinely curious and a student of human behavior, I’m always asking why?
I think it’s mixture of cultural and psychological motives.
Cultural: with Brazil’s spotted history of corruption, inflation and never ending crises many people have grown up in a world of finite and limited resources — money, food, education, opportunity etc.
It’s been a dog eat dog world. Survival of the fittest. A world where you’re taught you better get yours (even if it’s at the cost of others). And this has been handed down from one generation to the next.
The psychological: The law of conformity (belonging) and fear of loss. If you see someone running to the front of the plane and then another, your innate reaction is to wonder what you’re missing out on and secondly, to do what everyone else is doing (conformity).
When everyone else is doing it, why wouldn’t you. You don’t want to miss out. And most importantly, you want to belong.
Though, there are definitely some cultural influences, it’s still HUMAN behavior. And there are influence lessons in this long explanation. You can actually use these same human instincts of belonging and conformity in your presentations. For example, if you can get a small group of people to “run to the back of the room”, others will be sure to follow. Want to learn how?
Influence Academy will teach you how:
Editor, The 10X Business Letter