Dread Networking? Here’s How to Make It Feel Less Icky.
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The professional benefits of networking are well-documented. But if the very thought makes you squirm with discomfort, you aren’t alone.
Networking makes people feel morally impure, especially workers lower on the professional food chain who see engaging in networking as selfish. Still, failure to network has real consequences for workplace performance.
New research suggests that, for those who loathe happy-hour meetups and employee get-togethers, a change in attitude could be the ticket to a bigger network and more productive career.
“Think about networking as an opportunity rather than a burden. That’s the biggest hurdle you need to overcome.”
In an extensive research, it was found that the more promotion-focused respondents were, the less impure they felt about networking; the more prevention-focused they were, the more they experienced that “ick” factor.
Results of various related studies showed that promotion focus results in fewer feelings of impurity, but a prevention focus has you reaching for a hand sanitizer.
Further statistical analysis confirmed that it was the greater feelings of impurity that led people in the prevention group to network less than people in the promotion group. In other words, if you can shake off the dirty feeling, you’re more likely to shake new hands.
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Dilbert cartoons and the Office are way too accurate.
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