How to network when you hate networking. Build your relationships and find your support system so you can growth and thrive in business

How to network when you hate networking

Let’s face it, most of us hate even the idea of networking. In fact, it’s so unpleasant that this study, co-authored by Harvard professor Francesca Gino, found that people avoid professional networking because it makes them feel physically dirty. We can relate.

Networking is the most important thing womxn should do for their careers — but aren’t.

Networking is the most important thing womxn should do for their careers — but aren’t. Womxn often socialized to believe many of the negative myths about networking, it’s insincere, pushy, or even manipulative, only for political corporate climbers, not “real work”, best left to extroverts and all about gathering as many contacts as possible.

Why we have negative feelings when we hear the word networking.

When we think of networking we think of large, blandly decorated rooms filled with suits, name tags, cheap wine, bad food, uncomfortable shoes and a bag full of crumpled business cards and flyers. Ugh. Or images of “the old-boys network” pop into our head, where men informally use their positions of influence to help other men. While some might think that womxn need to network like men to get ahead, research suggests that that doesn’t work for us and we commonly make these mistakes.

Men are socialized early on to network.

Men are socialized early on to network and blend personal relationships with work ones to get ahead. Womxn are less comfortable doing that. Men tend to create broad networks and strong alliances. They also network with a clear, short-term goal in mind.

Men and women have very different brains and they do network differently. The male brain is more compartmentalized; they get straight to the point; they know the goal. They tend to decide right away, with little to no small talk, whether they will work with you or not.
— Helen Fisher, Ph.D.

Six ways womxn network differently – Forbes

  1. Womxn focus on building long-term personal connections or friendships.
  2. They make contacts through people they know.
  3. They form smaller, deeper networks based on trust.
  4. They frequently seek advice for both personal and professional needs.
  5. They tend to think about what they can do for the other person first and hesitate to ask for what they want out of the interaction.
  6. Womxn also (typically) don’t want to attend events after work because it eats into their life outside of work and they are still more likely to be the primary caregivers at home.

Womxn who try to network like men to get ahead actually do the worst because they are missing one crucial ingredient, a close inner circle of women. 77% of the highest-achieving women in the study had strong ties with an inner circle of two to three other women.
— Kellogg School of Management

It’s important for womxn to form a strong inner circle.

The research also showed that womxn who form a strong inner circle with other womxn (who can share gender-specific career advice) are nearly three times more likely to get a better job than women who don’t have that support system. Womxn-only networks are on the rise and there are many benefits to being part of a female-forward network. Being communal allows womxn to share ideas and skills and leverage the best pieces into the most optimal work.

Let’s take the work out of networking

 

Take the word “work” out of networking. There is power in relationships that extends beyond a generic introduction. When you create connections based on shared interests and goals, you’ll be more successful at your job, because people want to work with people they know and like. – Forbes

 

 

Want to intentionally grow your connections and support system in business so you can grow and thrive with less hustle and more ease?

Download our free ebook here: How to build high-quality connections to grow in business

 


 

The Lola is a womxn’s club, workspace and digital community creating space for womxn to connect, grow and thrive.

Do you want to strengthen your network? Intentionally build your connections, resources and support systems? Are you ready to grow, create impact and thrive in your life and in business, all with less hustle and more ease? Let’s get started!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Free Ebook: How to build high quality connections to grow in business

Build the connections you need in a way that feels right to you (no soul crushing networking practices here), so you can grow and thrive personally and professionally with more grace and ease and get the support you need most.

  • 10 powerful reasons to start building your network with intention
  • Why you should avoid "networking" and focus on building relationships
  • How to show up in your business relationships and create new connections
  • How to offer and ask for help to deepen your connections

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Free Resource: How to build high quality connections to grow in business. Get the guide!