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  ["ID"]=>
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  string(19) "2015-02-08 23:39:25"
  ["post_date_gmt"]=>
  string(19) "2015-02-08 23:39:25"
  ["post_content"]=>
  string(5272) "In the interest of transparency, I have to get one thing out of the way: I am a book nerd. I love books. Always have, always will. Not only that, I love literary fiction. Those titles you most often see housed under “classics” in the book shop. Books that are several centimeters thick. Difficult books; books that make you think about the human condition; books that seek the truth. I have never read a word of Harry Potter, which falls under the category of “popular fiction.” There are just too many classics in this world that I need to read first.

If you are still reading you have a genuinely astounding tolerance for book snobbery and I appreciate it immensely! I promise, I have a point.

In light of the above, it will come as no surprise that:
  1. My mother is an English teacher and;
  2. I studied English Literature at university.
Some might say that is the epitome of the “useless B.A.,” with no practical application - a waste of time and money. I am delighted to find a study to back up my feeling that this is not true. A study by Psychologists David Comer Kidd and Emanuele Castano has demonstrated that reading literary fiction (as opposed to popular fiction) can significantly increase a the reader’s capacity for empathy. You can read more about this here and here: "This genre prompts the reader to imagine the characters’ introspective dialogues. This psychological awareness carries over into the real world, which is full of complicated individuals whose inner lives are usually difficult to fathom. Although literary fiction tends to be more realistic than popular fiction, the characters disrupt reader expectations, undermining prejudices and stereotypes. They support and teach us values about social behavior, such as the importance of understanding those who are different from ourselves." - Julianne Chiaet This study has given the weight of “proof,” to something that I have always felt but have never been able to pinpoint – reading allows you to “walk a mile in someone else’s shoes.” Good fiction renders realistic characters whose lives we are able to inhabit. Sometimes this is inspirational, other times it is deeply unnerving. The act of reading skillfully wrought characters forces you to step outside of yourself and to look at the world through the eyes of another (if fictional) person. It comes as no surprise to me that this activity reinforces the reader’s capacity for empathy. Why should we care about our capacity for empathy? Empathy is a key ingredient to Emotional Intelligence, which “is the ability to monitor one's own and other people's emotions, to discriminate between different emotions and label them appropriately, and to use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior.” Emotional intelligence is a trait that makes us better at relating to and dealing with other people. It allows us to have more control over our own behavior and the behavior of others. In a job like recruitment, emotional intelligence - often referred to as “EQ” (as opposed to IQ) – is a crucial skill. It allows us to empathise with our candidates and our clients, and the ability to do this is absolutely fundamental to providing exceptional service to both. Candidates are often feeling stressed and nervous about the daunting prospect of transitioning to a new role, which is often accompanied by financial concerns. The ability to understand this and relate to this allows us to notice warning signs that someone might drop-out of a role, or to notice the difference between a candidate who is genuinely keen on a role and a candidate who is just saying it. Empathy and EQ also allow us to better understand our clients’ needs so that we can achieve that elusive goal, “the right fit.” It is often fairly easy to get the skills mix and background right; it is far more difficult to achieve a good personality or cultural fit. High EQ makes navigating these less quantifiable traits much easier. In my opinion, the ability to put yourself in both your candidates’ and your clients’ shoes is paramount to achieving success in recruitment. Any and all avenues for improving your skills in this area are well worth exploring. So if you don’t read regularly, or if you only read popular fiction or non-fiction, I would urge you to give some literary fiction a go. In my humble opinion, To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee is an excellent place to start.   Cox Purtell Recruitment Agency Blog / Sydney / Melbourne / Adelaide" ["post_title"]=> string(42) "The Unlikely Secret to Cultivating Empathy" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(122) "This study has given the weight of “proof,” to something that I have always felt but have never been able to pinpoint." ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(35) "unlikely-secret-cultivating-empathy" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(96) "http://www.coxpurtell.com.au/blog/culture-club/ http://www.coxpurtell.com.au/blog/whats-your-ei/" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2015-07-24 15:57:29" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2015-07-24 05:57:29" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(36) "http://www.coxpurtell.com.au/?p=2448" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" }

In the interest of transparency, I have to get one thing out of the way: I am a book nerd. I love books. Always have, always will. Not only that, I love literary fiction. Those titles you most often see housed under “classics” in the book shop. Books that are several centimeters thick. Difficult books; books that make you think about the human condition; books that seek the truth. I have never read a word of Harry Potter, which falls under the category of “popular fiction.” There are just too many classics in this world that I need to read first.

If you are still reading you have a genuinely astounding tolerance for book snobbery and I appreciate it immensely! I promise, I have a point.

In light of the above, it will come as no surprise that:

  1. My mother is an English teacher and;
  2. I studied English Literature at university.

Some might say that is the epitome of the “useless B.A.,” with no practical application – a waste of time and money. I am delighted to find a study to back up my feeling that this is not true.

A study by Psychologists David Comer Kidd and Emanuele Castano has demonstrated that reading literary fiction (as opposed to popular fiction) can significantly increase a the reader’s capacity for empathy. You can read more about this here and here:

“This genre prompts the reader to imagine the characters’ introspective dialogues. This psychological awareness carries over into the real world, which is full of complicated individuals whose inner lives are usually difficult to fathom. Although literary fiction tends to be more realistic than popular fiction, the characters disrupt reader expectations, undermining prejudices and stereotypes. They support and teach us values about social behavior, such as the importance of understanding those who are different from ourselves.” – Julianne Chiaet

This study has given the weight of “proof,” to something that I have always felt but have never been able to pinpoint – reading allows you to “walk a mile in someone else’s shoes.” Good fiction renders realistic characters whose lives we are able to inhabit. Sometimes this is inspirational, other times it is deeply unnerving.

The act of reading skillfully wrought characters forces you to step outside of yourself and to look at the world through the eyes of another (if fictional) person. It comes as no surprise to me that this activity reinforces the reader’s capacity for empathy.

Why should we care about our capacity for empathy? Empathy is a key ingredient to Emotional Intelligence, which “is the ability to monitor one’s own and other people’s emotions, to discriminate between different emotions and label them appropriately, and to use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior.”

Emotional intelligence is a trait that makes us better at relating to and dealing with other people. It allows us to have more control over our own behavior and the behavior of others.

In a job like recruitment, emotional intelligence – often referred to as “EQ” (as opposed to IQ) – is a crucial skill. It allows us to empathise with our candidates and our clients, and the ability to do this is absolutely fundamental to providing exceptional service to both.

Candidates are often feeling stressed and nervous about the daunting prospect of transitioning to a new role, which is often accompanied by financial concerns. The ability to understand this and relate to this allows us to notice warning signs that someone might drop-out of a role, or to notice the difference between a candidate who is genuinely keen on a role and a candidate who is just saying it.

Empathy and EQ also allow us to better understand our clients’ needs so that we can achieve that elusive goal, “the right fit.” It is often fairly easy to get the skills mix and background right; it is far more difficult to achieve a good personality or cultural fit. High EQ makes navigating these less quantifiable traits much easier.

In my opinion, the ability to put yourself in both your candidates’ and your clients’ shoes is paramount to achieving success in recruitment. Any and all avenues for improving your skills in this area are well worth exploring. So if you don’t read regularly, or if you only read popular fiction or non-fiction, I would urge you to give some literary fiction a go. In my humble opinion, To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee is an excellent place to start.

 

Cox Purtell Recruitment Agency Blog / Sydney / Melbourne / Adelaide

Tags: Cox Purtell | Cox Purtell Blog | Emotional Intelligence | Empathy | Permanent Recruitment | Recruitment Adelaide | Recruitment Agency Adelaide | Recruitment Agency Melbourne | Recruitment Agency Sydney | Recruitment Melbourne | Recruitment Sydney | Temporary Recruitment |

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