Anyone who wants to successfully climb the corporate ladder needs a functioning network – a little bit of vitamin B can sometimes work wonders. While people used to make contacts on the golf course, there are now numerous other opportunities to network well professionally. But how does real networking work?
According to the psychologist Marisa Franco, a good networker is primarily characterized by helpfulness. Because those who think for others and are willing to do them a favor often get it back, writes Franco in a blog post on Psychology Today. “In the long run, giving is never a loss, it is always a gain,” she said Psychologist.
Tit for tat
The so-called reciprocity theory states that people feel obliged to give something back when they have received something. Tit for tat. The psychologist Dennis Regan already demonstrated this effect in a study in the 1970s. For this purpose, an initiated person should sell tickets to students. He was friendly to some of them. He was extremely unfriendly with the others. At the same time, he gave some of the students a Coke – and not the others.
It turned out that the test subjects who received a Coke bought twice as many tickets – even if they did not like the supposed seller. The tickets were also worth significantly more than the cola they brought with them.
“These results suggest that when deciding who to give something to, we give priority to people who have given us something. Even about those we prefer, ”writes Franco. So if you are expecting a favor from someone else, ask yourself beforehand how you can help that person.
It doesn’t always have to be the grand gesture. For example, you can leave a positive review on LinkedIn or network your contact with someone you know, advises Franco. “You can also offer to look out for professional prospects for the other,” writes the psychologist.
Those who expect support should also encourage others. In addition to professional success, this can also make you happy. Franco speaks of a “helper’s high”. This term comes from the 80s.
Several studies have confirmed positive feelings in subjects after helping others. Such a high increases joy and reduces personal stress, writes Franco. In the question of how one can help, one can also find personal fulfillment.