A recent post on the Harvard Business Review Blog described the benefits of reading poetry for individuals working in business and management. (Article can be found here.) A compelling argument for poetry’s usefulness for professional development pertains to the concision and efficiency of the poetic form. In other words, “poetry teaches us to wrestle with and simplify complexity…improving one’s ability to better conceptualize the world and communicate it — through presentations or writing — to others.”
One of the most interesting ideas around this topic came from the comment section. Here, a reader suggests that it isn’t the reading of poetry itself that leads to the numerous positive effects on the brain research has attributed to poetry. Rather, this individual posits, it’s that the types of people who read poems for pleasure are the types of people who have the ability to reduce a complicated, layered idea down to its essence—and who enjoy this kind of intellectual exercise and implement this kind of thinking in other areas of their lives.
The article is a great read, and it’s always encouraging to see research supporting the notion that a well-rounded, balanced life contributes to satisfaction and success across the board.
*Bonus: this is also a great reminder that correlation does not equal causation! :)
tags: poetry professional development