The Literary Fiction Edge

The Literary Fiction Edge

Post from: MAPpingCompanySuccess

Are you looking for an edge when interviewing, whether as boss or candidate?

Do you see benefit from strengthening your so-called EQ?

What if all it took was the willingness to read?

[The study] found that after reading literary fiction, as opposed to popular fiction or serious nonfiction, people performed better on tests measuring empathy, social perception and emotional intelligence — skills that come in especially handy when you are trying to read someone’s body language or gauge what they might be thinking.

What is ‘literary fiction’? How does it differ from popular fiction or non-fiction stories, like biographies?

In literary fiction, like Dostoyevsky, “there is no single, overarching authorial voice,” he said. “Each character presents a different version of reality, and they aren’t necessarily reliable. You have to participate as a reader in this dialectic, which is really something you have to do in real life.”

Apparently, just as boredom is an excellent source of creativity, engaging with characters who have no obvious, predetermined course and are struggling in a plot that could go many different ways sensitizes you to the subtleties in their thoughts and actions and opens your mind to a myriad of possibilities.

The Lady and the Tiger, a short story by Frank R. Stockton, is a good example of characters, story and, in this case, an ending that guarantees deep thinking and lively discussion.

Reading is good brain exercise and choosing to read something with a great story that also gives you a decided edge in both your business and personal life is called a no-brainer.

Flickr image credit: romana klee

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