发布者: 千缘 | 发布时间: 2021-1-12 01:54| 查看数: 119| 评论数: 0|

I started teaching MBA students 17 yearsago. Sometimes I run into my students years later. And when I run into them, afunny thing happens. I don't remember just their faces;


I also remember where exactly in the classroom they were sitting. And I remember who they weresitting with as well. This is not because I have any special superpowers of memory. The reason I can remember them is because they are creatures of habit.


They are sitting with their favorite people in their favorite seats. They findtheir twins, they stay with them for the whole year.


Now, the danger of this for my students isthey're at risk of leaving the university with just a few people who areexactly like them. They're going to squander their chance for an international,diverse network.


How could this happen to them? My students are open-minded.They come to business school precisely so that they can get great networks.


Now, all of us socially narrow in ourlives, in our school, in work, and so I want you to think about this one. Howmany of you here brought a friend along for this talk? I want you to look at your friend a little bit.


Are they of the same nationality as you? Are they ofthe same gender as you? Are they of the same race? Really look at them closely.Don't they kind of look like you as well?


The muscle people are together, and thepeople with the same hairstyles and the checked shirts.


We all do this in life. We all do it inlife, and in fact, there's nothing wrong with this. It makes us comfortable tobe around people who are similar. The problem is when we're on a precipice,right?


When we're in trouble, when we need new ideas, when we need new jobs,when we need new resources -- this is when we really pay a price for living ina clique.


Mark Granovetter, the sociologist, had afamous paper "The Strength of Weak Ties," and what he did in thispaper is he asked people how they got their jobs. And what he learned was thatmost people don't get their jobs through their strong ties


their father,their mother, their significant other. They instead get jobs through weak ties,people who they just met.


So if you think about what the problem is with yourstrong ties, think about your significant other, for example. The network isredundant. Everybody that they know, you know.


Or I hope you know them. Right?Your weak ties -- people you just met today -- they are your ticket to a wholenew social world.


The thing is that we have this amazingticket to travel our social worlds, but we don't use it very well. Sometimes westay awfully close to home. And today, what I want to talk about is:


What are those habits that keep human beings so close to home, and how can we be alittle bit more intentional about traveling our social universe?


So let's look at the first strategy. Thefirst strategy is to use a more imperfect social search engine. What I mean bya social search engine is how you are finding and filtering your friends.


And so people always tell me, "I want to get lucky through the network. I wantto get a new job. I want to get a great opportunity."


And I say,"Well, that's really hard, because your networks are so fundamentallypredictable." Map out your habitual daily footpath, and what you'llprobably discover is that you start at home, you go to your school or your work place,


you maybe go up the same staircase or elevator, you go to thebathroom -- the same bathroom -- and the same stall in that bathroom, you endup in the gym, then you come right back home.


It's like stops on a trains chedule. It's that predictable. It's efficient, but the problem is, you'reseeing exactly the same people.


Make your network slightly more inefficient. Goto a bathroom on a different floor. You encounter a whole new network ofpeople.


The other side of it is how we are actuallyfiltering. And we do this automatically. The minute we meet someone, we arelooking at them, we meet them, we are initially seeing,  


"You're interesting." "You're not interesting." "You're relevant."We do this automatically. We can't even help it. And what I want to encourageyou to do instead is to fight your filters.


I want you to take a look around this room, and I want you to identify the least interesting person that yousee, and I want you to connect with them over the next coffee break.


And I want you to go even further than that. What I want you to do is find the mostirritating person you see as well and connect with them.


What you are doing with this exercise isyou are forcing yourself to see what you don't want to see, to connect with whoyou don't want to connect with, to widen your social world.


To truly widen,what we have to do is, we've got to fight our sense of choice. We've got tofight our choices. And my students hate this, but you know what I do?


I won'tlet them sit in their favorite seats. I move them around from seat to seat. Iforce them to work with different people so there are more accidental bumps in the network where people get a chance to connect with each other.


And we studied exactly this kind of an intervention at Harvard University.At Harvard,when you look at the rooming groups, there's freshman rooming groups,


peopleare not choosing those room mates.They're of all different races, all differentethnicities. Maybe people are initially uncomfortable with those roommates,


but the amazing thing is, at the end of a year with those students, they're able toovercome that initial discomfort. They're able to find deep-level commonalitieswith people.


So the takeaway here is not just "takesomeone out to coffee." It's a little more subtle. It's "go to thecoffee room." When researchers talk about social hubs, what makes a socialhub so special is you can't choose;

这里要给各位的讯息不只是「找人出去喝杯咖啡」。还要更微妙一点。是「去咖啡厅」。当研究者谈论社交中心时 ,社交中心之所以特别,就是因为你无法选择;

you can't predict who you're going to meetin that place. And so with these social hubs, the paradox is, interestinglyenough, to get randomness, it requires, actually, some planning.


In one university that I worked at, there was a mail room on every single floor. Whatthat meant is that the only people who would bump into each other are those whoare actually on that floor and who are bumping into each other anyway.


At another university I worked at, there was only one mail room, so all the faculty from all over that building would run into each other in that social hub.


A simple change in planning, a huge difference in the traffic of people and theaccidental bumps in the network.


Here's my question for you: What are youdoing that breaks you from your social habits? Where do you find yourself inplaces where you get injections of unpredictable diversity?


And my students give me some wonderful examples. They tell me when they're doing pickupbasketball games, or my favorite example is when they go to a dog park. They tell me it's even better than online dating when they're there.


So the real thing that I want you to thinkabout is we've got to fight our filters. We've got to make ourselves a littlemore inefficient, and by doing so, we are creating a more imprecise socialsearch engine.


And you're creating that randomness, that luck that is going tocause you to widen your travels, through your social universe.


But in fact, there's more to it than that.Sometimes we actually buy ourselves a second-class ticket to travel our socialuniverse. We are not courageous when we reach out to people.


Let me give you anexample of that. A few years ago, I had a very eventful year. That year, Imanaged to lose a job, I managed to get a dream job overseas and accept it,


I had a baby the next month, I got very sick, I was unable to take the dream job.


And so in a few weeks, what ended up happening was, I lost my identity as afaculty member, and I got a very stressful new identity as a mother. What Ialso got was tons of advice from people.


And the advice I despised more thanany other advice was, "You've got to go network with everybody." Whenyour psychological world is breaking down, the hardest thing to do is to tryand reach out and build up your social world.


And so we studied exactly this idea on amuch larger scale. What we did was we looked at high and low socioeconomicstatus people, and we looked at them in two situations.


We looked at them firstin a baseline condition, when they were quite comfortable. And what we foundwas that our lower socioeconomic status people, when they were comfortable,were actually reaching out to more people.


They thought of more people.They were also less constrained in how they were networking. They were thinking ofmore diverse people than the higher-status people.


Then we asked them to thinkabout maybe losing a job. We threatened them. And once they thought about that,the networks they generated completely differed. The lower socioeconomic statuspeople reached inwards.


They thought of fewer people. They thought ofless-diverse people. The higher socioeconomic status people thought of morepeople, they thought of a broader network, they were positioning themselves tobounce back from that setback.


Let's consider what this actually means.Imagine that you were being spontaneously unfriended by everyone in yournetwork other than your mom, your dad and your dog.


This is essentially what we are doing atthese moments when we need our networks the most. Imagine -- this is what we'redoing. We're doing it to ourselves.


We are mentally compressing our networks when we are being harassed, when we are being bullied, when we are threatenedabout losing a job, when we feel down and weak.


We are closing ourselves off,isolating ourselves, creating a blind spot where we actually don't see ourresources. We don't see our allies, we don't see our opportunities.


How can we overcome this? Two simplestrategies. One strategy is simply to look at your list of Facebook friends andLinkedIn friends just so you remind yourself of people who are there beyondthose that automatically come to mind.


And in our own research, one of thethings we did was, we considered Claude Steele's research on self-affirmation: simply thinking about your own values, networking from a place of strength.


What Leigh Thompson, Hoon-Seok Choi and I were able to do is, we found thatpeople who had affirmed themselves first were able to take advice from peoplewho would otherwise be threatening to them.


Here's a last exercise. I want you to lookin your email in-box, and I want you to look at the last time you askedsomebody for a favor. And I want you to look at the language that you used.


Did you say things like, "Oh, you're a great resource," or "I oweyou one," "I'm obligated to you." All of this languagerepresents a metaphor. It's a metaphor of economics, of a balance sheet, of accounting, of transactions.


And when we think about human relations in atransactional way, it is fundamentally uncomfortable to us as human beings. Wemust think about human relations and reaching out to people in more humaneways.


Here's an idea as to how to do so. Look atwords like "please," "thank you," "you'rewelcome" in other languages. Look at the literal translation of these words.


Each of these words is a word that helps us impose upon other people inour social networks. And so, the word "thank you," if you look at itin Spanish, Italian, French, "gracias," "grazie,""merci" in French.


Each of them are "grace" and"mercy." They are godly words. There's nothing economic or transactional about those words.


The word "you're welcome" isinteresting.The great persuasion theorist Robert Cialdini says we've got toget our favors back. So we need to emphasize the transaction a little bit more.


He says, "Let's not say 'You're welcome.' Instead say, 'I know you'd dothe same for me.'" But sometimes it may be helpful to not think intransactional ways, to eliminate the transaction, to make it a little bit moreinvisible.


And in fact, if you look in Chinese, the word "bú kè qì"in Chinese, "You're welcome," means, "Don't be formal; we'refamily. We don't need to go through those formalities."


And "kembali"in Indonesian is "Come back to me." When you say "You'rewelcome" next time, think about how you can maybe eliminate thetransaction


and instead strengthen that social tie. Maybe "It's great tocollaborate," or "That's what friends are for."


I want you to think about how you thinkabout this ticket that you have to travel your social universe. Here's onemetaphor. It's a common metaphor: "Life is a journey." Right?


It's atrain ride, and you're a passenger on the train, and there are certain peoplewith you. Certain people get on this train, and some stay with you, some leaveat different stops,


new ones may enter. I love this metaphor, it's a beautiful one.But I want you to consider a different metaphor.


This one is passive,being a passenger on that train, and it's quite linear. You're off to someparticular destination. Why not instead think of yourself as an atom, bumpingup against other atoms,


maybe transferring energy with them, bonding with thema little and maybe creating something new on your travels through the socialuniverse.Thank you so much. And I hope we bump intoeach other again.



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