Tag Archives: Networking

Choice of Confidants Evolves Rapidly in New Contexts

Peter V Marsden

Peter V Marsden

Prevailing career advice reinforces maintaining a robust professional network, and well-being research emphasizes cultivating supportive social contacts.

Claude S. Fischer

Claude S. Fischer

Core discussion networks,” described by Harvard’s Peter V. Marsden, include people consulted about important matters across professional and personal realms.
Most people expect that these confidants are enduring close contacts, according to University of California, Berkeley’s Lynne McCallister and Claude Fischer.

Mario Luis Small

Mario Luis Small

However, Harvard’s Mario Luis Small, with Vontrese Deeds Pamphile of Northwestern, and University of Chicago’s Peter McMahan demonstrated that core discussion networks can change quickly with new social contexts and obligations.
In fact, Small and team found much quicker network evolutions than previously observed by Utrecht University’s Gerald Mollenhorst, Beate Volker, and Henk Flap.

Gerald Mollenhorst

Gerald Mollenhorst

Change in core discussion network often results from lack of opportunity to meet, asserted Mollenhorst and colleagues.
In addition, life transition events, such as completing education, beginning a job, entering a marriage, and birth of a child were associated with changes in personal networks in research by University of Amsterdam’s Matthijs Kalmijn.

Matthijs Kalmijn

Matthijs Kalmijn

Small and colleagues evaluated a core discussion network during transition to graduate school for 37 first-year students from three academic departments during their first 12 months, using a qualitative-quantitative complementary approach described by Sam Houston State University’s Anthony J. Onwuegbuzie and Kathleen Collins of University of Arkansas.

Network Outcomes” observed by Small’s team were characterized as:

  • Stasis,
  • Expansion,
  • Shedding,
  • Substitution.
Anthony J Onwuegbuzie

Anthony J Onwuegbuzie

Related “Network Mechanisms” of core discussion group changes included new routine activities and obligations and variance in strength of existing social relationships and were associated with rapid adaptation to new social contexts.

Previously, Small demonstrated than almost half the members of a typical core discussion network were composed of people not seen as “close,” suggesting that sources of social support are adaptable to changing contexts of life transitions, and need not be close or long-term contacts.

  • What percentage of your core discussion group confidents are “close” social contacts?
  • What processes enable developing new social support relationships? 

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Women’s Career Development Model – Individual Action in Negotiation, Networking-Mentoring-Sponsorship, Skillful Self-Promotion – Part 2 of 2

Kenexa Career Development Model-Individual Behaviors

Kenexa Career Development Model-Individual Behaviors

Part 1 of this post, Women’s Career Development Model – Individual Action in Career Planning and the Contest and Sponsorship Pathways to Advancement – Part 1 of 2,  highlighted Ines Wichart’s model of women’s career development with three levels and 11 components, based on her research as Kenexa High Performance Institute (KHPI), a subsidiary of IBM.

Ines Wichert

Ines Wichert

She outlined four behaviors that individuals can control or influence toward career advancement:

  • Career planning 
  • Opportunity-seeking, Negotiation
  • Career-building networking; Mentoring-Sponsorship    
  • Skillful self-promotion

The first segment of this two-part post considered facets of Career Planning and two independent paths to career advancement: Contest and Sponsorship routes.

Let’s consider the additional elements that respond to individual attention and efforts, including Opportunity-seeking while embracing risk.  

Susan Vinnicombe

Susan Vinnicombe

Val Singh

Val Singh

Highly effective career advancement opportunities include stretch assignments and on-the-job training.

Susan Vinnicombe and Val Singh of Cranfield University report that these development activities are most effective in building credibility, visibility, reputation as a capable, well-rounded leader.

However, their research found that women need more encouragement to take on challenging assignments than men, who are more likely to ask for these assignments.

Linda Babcock

Linda Babcock

Similarly, Linda Babcock reported that women tend to need encouragement to ask for promotions and salary increases.

Her research demonstrated that women are less likely to negotiate for their first salaries, unless they know that these are acceptable practices.

Manhattan CollegeAs a countermeasure, Babcock recommends negotiation practices demonstrated to mitigate negative perceptions by both men and women negotiation partners

Like Babcock, Mary Wade’s research at Manhattan College found that both men and women evaluated more negatively women who negotiated for salary using the same script as men.

Corinne Moss-Racusin

Corinne Moss-Racusin

Laurie Rudman

Laurie Rudman

Corinne Moss-Racusin and Laurie Rudman replicated this disconcerting finding at Rutgers University, leading to their formulation of “The Backlash Avoidance Model” (BAM)”.

According to this construct, women may demonstrate traditional gender role behaviors to mitigate “backlash” of negative reaction by men and women to “role discrepant” behaviors like asking for career advancement and commensurate compensation.

  • What approaches have been effective when you have asked for a salary increase or promotion?
         –How did you prepare?

         -How did you overcome objections?
  • When people ask you for a salary increase or promotion, what negotiation approaches have been most effective?
              -What have been least effective?

Wichart’s model of individual initiatives toward career advancement points to the importance of skillful professional networking, mentoring, and sponsorship.

National Center for Women and Information TechnologyNational Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) reported that nearly half of technical women surveyed said they lack role models and mentors, and 84% said they lack sponsors.
The result is that these women are four times more likely to leave the current job role.

One reason that women’s professional networking efforts and seeking mentors may yield less effective career advancement than men:  Women tend to engage in professional networking for affiliation and emotional support with people close to their job level whereas men tend to network for career development with people significantly above the job level, according to Adelina Broadbridge of University of Stirling.University of Stirling

As a result of these differing approaches to professional networking, men may enjoy more rapid career advancement due to visibility and sponsorship.

Pamela Perrewe

Pamela Perrewe

F. Randy Blass

F. Randy Blass

In addition, women are likely to demonstrate less political understanding and insight because mentors are not sufficiently senior, according to Florida State University’s F. Randy Blass, Pamela Perrewe, and Gerald Ferris with Robyn Brouer of SUNY Buffalo.

Gerald Ferris

Gerald Ferris

Robyn Brouer

Robyn Brouer

Organizational support for formal and informal mentoring has been shown to increase employee engagement, satisfaction, and retention.

Therefore, organizations concerned with retaining talented women and minorities can increase the likelihood of keeping skilled employees by initiating structured mentoring programs and encouraging selective sponsorship.

  •  How have mentors and sponsors enabled your career moves?
  •  How do you decide who you are willing to mentor or sponsor?   

Previous posts have shared much current research and leading recommendations in building personal brand and practicing skillful self-promotion:

In light of the potential negative perceptions of women who showcase their accomplishments as they ask for salary increases and role advancement:

  •   How do you raise awareness of your accomplishments’ impact to avoid “backlash”?
  •   How do you define, develop, and communicate, “skillfully promote” your personal brand?

These research findings suggest three parting suggestions for women who want to Play Bigger:

  1. Question the thought that “I’m not ready yet.”
  2. Develop resilience and “a thick skin”:   If you are doing something innovative or important, you may draw both praise and criticism when you are noticed.
  3. Filter advice:  Implement recommendations that have “the ring of truth” and “resonate”;
    leave the rest.
  • What is the most helpful career advice you implemented?
  • What career advice have you decided not to implement?

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Five Questions to “Work Any Room”

Allison Graham

Allison Graham

Allison Graham asserts in her book, From Business Cards to Business Relationships: Personal Branding and Profitable Networking Made Easy,  that the goal of conversation at business and social events is to determine whether there is enough common ground to connect again.

She offers five questions to start conversations with people you’ve never met before:

• “What’s your connection to the event?
This question can uncover mutual contacts

• “What’s keeping you busy when you’re not at events like this or at work?

• “Are you getting away this summer?
This question can lead to conversations about family, reveal special interests and travel

• “Are you working on any charity initiatives?
This question makes it easy to launch into a deeper connection, revealing values and priorities

• “How did you come to be in your line of work?
For many, the path to where they are today can be an inspiring or challenging journey, full of surprise, suspense, and drama

Graham concludes that:

• Each person decides during the initial contact whether there is enough connection to warrant future interaction

• During these small conversations, people form their opinions about whether they like you, trust you, and believe you’re competent

• Match the depth of dialogue to the environment

• Your words may be forgotten, but how you make people feel will be remembered

• Relaxation, full engagement, genuine interest, enable the conversation to “flow”

-*How do you prepare for professional “networking” with people you’ve never met before?

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