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At the turn of the 20th century, Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw wrote that “[h]appy is the man who is living by his hobby”.

Nowadays, we’ve become more gender-aware and gender-sensitive, but the essence of his message remains as true as ever: cultivating our hobbies makes us all – men and women – happy.

As a matter of fact, when we think of hobbies, we can immediately visualise a relaxing activity like reading, spending time with friends while sipping our favourite drink, or trying to improve in a sport we love.

But as it turns out, hobbies also have a deeper side, which throws some light on our personality and especially our conflict resolution style. In this sense, hobbies can assist in the recruitment process to pick the most suitable person for the job.

Last year, we shared the results of our research showing a direct correlation between active hobbies and domination levels for the CSRs working in the contact centres of one of the UK’s ‘Big Six’ utilities.

This year, we’re able to compare these data with those obtained from the study we’ve been carrying out in the Government Agency we’re currently working for.

The new results confirm that contact centre advisors who engage in active hobbies (such as playing sports or doing outdoor activities) tend to be more dominant than those who prefer sedentary (for example watching films and drawing) and social hobbies (e.g. social drinking, eating out with friends).

That is, in both the private and public sectors, CSRs who have active hobbies are more likely to display dominance in situations of conflictThose with sedentary or social hobbies, instead, favour a more collaborative approach. According to these findings, front-line staff who cultivate active hobbies might be more suitable in sales rather than in customer service roles where collaboration and empathy count more than influence.
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