SOCIAL SKILLS: The Power of Networking (Part 2/3)

Social Skills [2]

Isn’t networking inauthentic?

You might be feeling some pushback here. Isn’t networking inauthentic?

Isn’t using people to get opportunities dirty?

First, you need to understand that you’re not alone.

Everybody thinks it’s dirty.

In a study by Harvard Business Review, over 300 people were asked to fill in the blanks of a few words “Wheel of Fortune” style. Half of them were promoted with conversations about networking, and half weren’t.

The ones who discussed networking before the test were twice as likely than the others to fill in W _ _ H, S H _ _ E R, and S _ _ P with "WASH", "SHOWER", and "SOAP".

While the other group was more likely to fill them in with "WISH", "SHAKER", and "STEP".

The article describers the reasons: “In other words, although most participants viewed networking to socialize and make friends as positive, they saw networking to enhance their careers as distinctly negative. Their negativity was not simply dislike or discomfort. It was a deeper feeling of moral contamination and inauthenticity.

So if we need to network to build great things, but networking fees dirty to us, what do we do?

How do we network with being dirty?

By networking without being dirty.

We need to focus not on what we can get from other people, but more on how we can help other people.

We need to ask good questions.

We need to learn more about other people’s successes and struggles.

We need to design products and services and solutions that help other overcome their struggles.

In an interview with Jay Shetty, Ryan Holiday said that being exceptional in your career probably won’t help your relationships—but being exceptional at relationships will certainly help your career.

We don’t use relationships to advance our career.

People will see right through that.

We develop strong relationships for the sake of it—and let the positive career outcomes flow from that.


Are you an overachiever?

Continue to next part: SOCIAL SKILLS (Part 3)

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3