With Jonathan Bradshaw taking his annual break from delivering the weekly ‘Meetology® Minute’ vlogs, we are delighted to share the third post from our guest blogger Ruari Fangman. We met Ruari through our partnership with the University of the West of England from where, under the tutorship of our lead psychologist (and Senior Lecturer at UWE) Dr Paul Redford, Ruari has recently graduated with a Msc in Occupational Psychology. You can find more our about what Ruari’s has been up to post-graduation here.
Sometimes the idea of proactively ‘networking’ at a business or social event gets a bad press but it is a key skill than, if done well, can lead to many personal and professional benefits. In 2014 Time magazine ran an article suggesting that it should be taught as a part of business degrees and it is such an important activity that there are even “Networking Events” for different industries, especially devoted to making new and useful connections.
Although there is quite a lot of evidence as to the benefits of networking, there seems to have been far less research undertaken on the relationship between a person’s social skills and their abilities when it comes to how competent they are at it, but I did managed to uncover an example (1). Researchers conducted a study in which they compared the networking and social skills of a group of 388 masters level students in the U.S and Germany and the results were clear – effective social skills were correlated significantly and positively with the subsequent networking behaviours of the students.
On a slightly different point it is interesting to note that people who have been judged to be less socially skilled and not as effective at networking have been found to be less likely to be promoted, earned less and experienced less job satisfaction. This research iterates the importance of good social skills when networking and that having them will likely have a positive impact on your overall career whether that is an increased salary or job satisfaction.
See you next week.
1: Please see reference tab for further reading.
Research mentioned and other relevant studies:
Bing, M.N., Davison, H.K., Minor, I., Novicevic, M.M. & Frink, D.D. 2011, “The prediction of task and contextual performance by political skill: A meta-analysis and moderator test”, Journal of Vocational Behavior, vol. 79, no. 2, pp. 563-577.
Hagar, M. A. (2015). An examination of social skills as a correlate and moderator of the relationship between networking behaviors and career outcomes. Dissertation Abstracts International Section A, 76,
Nesheim, T., Olsen, K. & Sandvik, A. 2017, “Never walk alone: achieving work performance through networking ability and autonomy”, EMPLOYEE RELATIONS, vol. 39, no. 2, pp. 240-253.