Why working faster will make you less caring

An interesting study by John Darley and C. Batson entitled “The Good Samaritan” involved having seminary students write a speech. One group was assigned the topic of jobs available after graduation. The other group was given the task of giving a speech on the Good Samaritan. The parable of the Good Samaritan is about several holy men coming across a wounded person on the road and passing him by. A Samaritan comes across the man and does stop to help.

The students were to deliver the speech in an auditorium on the other side of the campus. They were then given three levels of urgency in giving their speech:

  • Low Hurry: “It’ll be a few minutes before they’re ready for you, but you might as well head on over. If you have to wait over there, it should’nt be long”
  • Intermediate Hurry: “The assistnat is ready for you, so please go right over.”
  • High Hurry: “Oh, you’re late. They were expecting you a few minutes ago. You’d better get moving. The assistant should be waiting for you so you’d better hurry. It should take only a minute.”

The students passed a person who was part of the experiment. He was groaning, coughing, and huddled in a distressed position. The experimenters wanted to know if they would stop to help this person on their way to their speech and whether that action was based on the topic or the urgency.

The results were as followed:

  • Low Hurry: 63 percent
  • Intermediate Hurry: 45 percent
  • High Hurry: 10 percent.

The topic had nothing to do with the caring response as much as the hurry they were in. Working at a high speed, under stress to get things done quickly, will ultimately reduce the amount of care you exhibit to your co-workers and clients. Personal life is the same way. Not taking time to slow down will diminish your ability to care for those around you. We need to manage our time well.

So, what are some practical ways we can slow ourselves down. What works against our ability to slow down and, as they say, smell the roses? Comment here>>

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