Tuesday, April 21, 2009

CONNECTORSHIP: Harvard Business Review, Jan 09. Networking: Start doing it at work

By Gayle Hallgren
We have a great story about the late Ted Rogers of Rogers Communication. A few years ago Ted was at the headquarters of Rogers in Toronto and he got into the elevator. A group of employees were in the elevator with him and Ted Rogers said, "Who is going to the happy floor?" They all smiled, but no one answered! When I asked my friend, who was in that elevator, why no one said anything, she said, 'it felt uncomfortable, like brown-nosing.' Many people are afraid to engage others at work, particularly those senior to them. Read William Byham's article Start Networking Right Away (Even If You Hate It) in the Jan 09 Harvard Business Review to see why engaging the connectors, your peers and those senior to you is essential to career success. One of the real secrets Byham shares is this: "Most people will be more receptive than you think. No one turns down a call from someone who starts the conversation with "I'm new in my job, and I'm trying to get to know people who....".  Why do it? Well, if we don't, we may die....see the article from the UK Biologist above.
You comments please...

PS  Darcy reports below in comments that, Dr Ken Prkachin in doing research for the Heart and Stroke Foundation, found blood pressure generally rises when people are asked to meet strangers: It is so common, we have given it a name,  Networking Nervosus.  And yes, Martha, there is a cure!
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Darcy Rezac said...

Thanks Gayle. It is true, 80% of our audiences express some level of discomfort networking. It is so common we have given it a name: Networking Nervosus. Dr Ken Prkachin did research for the Heart and Stroke Foundation showed a significant rise in blood pressure when people were asked to network, on average. Most said they would rather do a tough chore at work, like their budget! Ugh! Good news, though. Dr Daniel Goleman tells us, this is a learned skill and it is actually good for us, mentally and physically.(Active networkers actually live longer...yes, it is true.)

Margaret said...

Well, it's just like any thing in life....Practice makes Perfect! That's why i appreciate organizations like VBoT or CYP, because we can apply our skills of positive network in a friendly enviornment as well as learning from each other! MW

Darcy Rezac said...

Thanks, Margaret.