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  • Tamar Balkin

Can You Increase Your Luck With A Cup Of Coffee And A Five Minute Favour?

Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash

“If we create networks with the sole intention of getting something, we won’t succeed. We can’t pursue the benefits of networks; the benefits ensue from investments in meaningful activities and relationships.” Adam Grant.

I am fortunate to have a large list of subscribers to my blog, from a variety of Organisations, cities and professional backgrounds. My aim is for my blogs to provoke thought and change behaviour, and I am always appreciative of your comments and feedback. Yet I am mindful that connecting with you via the internet is no substitute for real personal interaction. Irrespective of how sophisticated technology will advance, I honestly believe nothing will ever replace the power of face to face human connection. As you know varied social interaction has many benefits including:

  • Psychological health

  • Intellectual stimulation

  • Resilience

  • Happiness

  • Physical health

  • Reducing Workplace agression

  • Positive peer pressure

  • Creativity

  • Motivation

  • Helping others

  • Luck

The last two points are not traditional reasons for social interaction yet I think they are worthwhile additions to my list.

  • The multitude of benefits of helping others are best articulated by Adam Grant in his book Give and Take. According to Grant an excellent way of helping others is the five minute favour, where you simply offer to do something little for someone else. I think that there is always one thing that we can do for others: an introduction; a non-judgemental perspective on a problem; or recommending a good book or podcast.

  • Including variety and randomness in your social contact with others according to Richard Weisman, will increase your luck in life and work.

So how can you put this all together in your life and connect properly with people in the world beyond blogs, emails, WhatsApp and social media? Today you should start to think about who you would like to re-connect with in person, perhaps it's someone whom you typically contact via email or brief sms. Drawing inspiration from Richard Weisman’s research into luck, to increase variability (and have some fun) literally roll a dice to decide whom you should contact first. When you make the face to face arrangement, challenge your guest to come along with a request, like a five minute favour that you can do for them. By presenting this challenge you will deepen the personal connection, take away any awkwardness and in the future feel the satisfaction of doing something for someone else. Remember giving has long term, benefits as Adam Grant so aptly put it: “Being a giver is not good for a 100-yard dash, but it’s valuable in a marathon.” In the spirit of practicing what I preach, I too shall be 'rolling the dice' to choose people from this mail-chimp list to connect with face to face (or via Skype if you are out of Sydney). I am of course always keen to catch up with all of you, so if you want to “jump the queue” please email me to schedule a coffee or if you want to come to an interesting talk or event with me. Thank you to Adam Grant for his recent podcast which inspired this blog.

Networking For People Who Hate Networking in WorkLife with Adam Grant. episode 4. ______________ References and Further reading: Do the self assessment see if you are a giver or a taker. Networking For People Who Hate NetworkingWorkLife with Adam Grant. episode 4. Brown, Valerie M; Loh, Jennifer M I, Marsh, Nigel V. (2012) Moderators of Workplace Aggression: The Influences of Social Support and Training. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Organisational Psychology; Vol. 5,: 32-42. Cohen, S. (2004) Social relationships and health. American Psychologist. ; 58(8): 676-684. Grav, S., Hellzen, O., Romild, U., & Stordal, E.(2012) Association between social support and depression in the general population: The HUNT study, a cross-sectional survey. Journal of Clinical Nursing. 21(1-2): 111-120. Grant Adam (2013) Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success. Rosengren, A., Orth-Gomer, K., Wedel, H., & Wilhelmsen, L. (1993). Stressful life events, social support, and mortality in men born in 1933. British Medical Journal. 307(6912): 1102-1105. Schutt, R K; Meschede, T; Rierdan, J. (Jun 1994) Distress, suicidal thoughts, and social support among homeless adults. Journal of Health and Social Behavior; Washington Vol. 35, Iss. 2, : 134-42. Southwick SM, Vythilingam M, Charney DS. (2005) The psychobiology of depression and resilience to stress: Implications for prevention and treatment.Annual Review Clinical Psychology. 1:255–91.

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