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Networking Basics: 7 Beliefs that are Holding You Back

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Josie Copeland
Ten Thousand Coffees Team -
July 15, 2019

You want to meet colleagues in different teams, exchange ideas and build meaningful work relationships. But something keeps holding you back.

Here are 7 beliefs that are holding you back from building a great network.

Belief #1 | I should be able to do this alone

One of the main reasons that many people hesitate when reaching out for advice is that they may be judged for not being “good at their job”.

By asking for help from a people outside your inner circle, you can actually generate new ideas and perspectives on solving an issue yourself. According to the Great Work Study, conducted by the Tanner Institute, 72% of people who receive awards for their work ask for help, insights, and opinions from people outside of their inner circle.

Belief #2 | I’m sure the answer is online

Google is great for offering factual answers to the questions you search. But what if you are searching for the wrong thing? or a small part of a bigger picture? Talking to other people offers you fresh perspectives on an issue.

Also, our initial response is to dismiss unwanted advice or answers. We filter information online to suit our wants and needs, creating our own self-imposed bubble. Talking to different people forces us to listen to other opinions and better criticize and evaluate our own.

Belief #3 | I don’t want to bother anyone

In a behavioural study conducted by researchers Francis Flynn and Vanessa Lake, they reveal that most people dramatically underestimate how likely other people are to help.

Asking someone for help is a great way to show people that you value their advice. It demonstrates that you trust them, and value their skills and opinion which can really brighten their day.

Belief #4 | I don’t bring any value to the conversation

Low self-esteem feeds off this lie. The truth is you can bring value in a variety of different ways.

This may involved sharing your knowledge on a particular topic, telling stories of your success/failures or offering insight on a problem from your own unique perspective.

Belief #5 | Everyone already has work friends, they don’t need me

A recent study by Cigna shows that around 40% of American adults report suffering from loneliness, double the rate from the 1980s.

Believing that no one is interested in getting to know you is a dangerous assumption. In order to combat this, step away from your computer and show a genuine interest in someone’s hobbies, work and ideas. Often they will begin to show an interest in yours as well.

Belief #6 | I must network within my industry to be successful

Aside from gaining a diverse perspective, networking with people outside your industry actually improves your chances of success.

Why? Because when someone asks them if they know anyone that can XYZ, your recent conversation about you doing XYZ springs to mind! Voila, you’re first in line.

Belief #7 | I don’t have the time

With the wide array of technology available to us, there is really no excuse for lack of time. You could have a face-to-face conversation over coffee, instant message thread or video call on your phone.

Spend 1 hour a month meeting someone new and building existing relationships and you will be amazed by the benefits it will bring!

We hope this article helped you identify the ways in which you may be stopping yourself from building a rich network.

About Ten Thousand Coffees

Ten Thousand Coffees is an enterprise talent development platform that enables companies to scale and measure informal development. Every month, members receive data-driven introduction that are customized to their goals, interests and role. Feedback and success stories provide your organization with impactful business insights about the success of your people-strategies.  The Future of Work is transforming organizations: informal development between colleagues is where talent mobility and culture sticks. 

Visit www.tenthousandcoffees.com to learn more about how Ten Thousand Coffees can help your team today.

For more information contact info@tenthousandcoffees.com

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