The best networks are the biggest ones, right? Wrong. Although popular belief and common self-help books tend to equate effectiveness with size, the truth is that the sheer number of people in your network is not nearly as important as you think. In their 2008 article “How Top Talent Uses Networks and Where Rising Stars Get Trapped,” researchers Rob Cross and Robert J. Thomas introduce three other factors that are much more influential in crafting an effective network: authenticity, centrality, and a complementary nature.
Building Relationships With Only 5 Minutes to Spare
You walk into work and immediately begin contemplating the overwhelming number of tasks you have to accomplish that day. After grabbing a quick cup of coffee, you sit at your desk and start to tackle your to-do list. With a never ending supply of emails and a bucket list of time sensitive deliverables, taking the time to make small talk with your co-workers seems out of the question...
Using Your Network to Rise to the Top
Are you reaching your growth and development goals at work? Is your career advancing at the pace you would like it to? For many people, the answer to these questions is a resounding no. They are disappointed time and again as they are passed up for promotions in favor of external candidates who are assumed to be better equipped for the challenge. Fortunately, this does not have to be the case.
Fair Treatment Cultivates a Sense of Belonging
Think of the last time you felt really mad. What was it about? Chances are, you experienced some type of injustice. In fact, most people’s top response to what makes them angry in life and at work is ‘unfair treatment’ (Törestad, 1990). There is a place for directed anger that can inspire action to make necessary change. But generally, it’s nice to work in a place that doesn’t make you frustrated daily.
Bringing Out the Best in One Another
"Because of you, I can feel myself slowly but surely becoming the me I have always dreamed of being." -Tyler Knott Gregson
Although we may read the quote above and think it’s something only felt between the two main characters of a romance film, research has actually found this to be a true experience known as the Michelangelo Phenomenon.
Is Your Tone of Voice Making Your Employees Feel Unsafe?
Employees feel safe when they feel like their mistakes aren’t held against them, when they can talk about tough issues, take risks, and ask for help without being rejected or undermined. Employees feel safe when their unique skills and talents are valued. According to research by Professor Amy Edmundson at Harvard Business School, when employees feel safe they perform better than when they feel unsafe, in part because they learn better (1999)...
Are You Too Self-Reliant?
In our society, we generally ascribe to the cultural belief that success or failure is a direct result of our own individual efforts and abilities (Baker, 2000, p.2). In fact, many of us pride ourselves on being independent and self-reliant, proud of not needing anyone or anything to help us get to the top, wherever that may be. Consequently, many of us may perceive asking for help as a weakness...
Your Most Effective Mentor May Be the Least Like You (From the Outside)
Take a second to think about an effective mentoring relationship. This can be something you have seen in a movie, or one you have taken part in yourself. Perhaps it was a formal mentoring program through school or work, or even an informal relationship with a coworker. What pops into your head when you think of mentor and protégé similarity? For many, it is age, race, or gender. Surely, these characteristics are responsible for objective similarity, and influence perceived similarity, right? Actually, research has proven that these characteristics are not key predictors of perceived similarity between mentor and protégé...
Tailoring Your Support for Others to the Circumstances
You may pride yourself on your ability to support your family, friends, and colleagues in times of need, or propel them to new heights in times of growth and opportunity. But with so many things to juggle in your own life, you may occasionally find yourself running on “autopilot” when you should be listening, learning, and shaping your support to the situation at hand...