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The Importance of Connecting with Colleagues

| September 28, 2010

by Jim Bruce

Today’s reading is about a particular form of relationships called “clicking,” the phenomenon of rapidly connecting with another person, either in the work environment or in our personal lives.  The article “The Importance of Connecting with Colleagues” is a discussion by Ori Brafman and Rom Brafman of their new book “Click:  The Magic of Instant Connections.”

“Click” is the outgrowth of a research project to discover what happens when people click;  and whether and how these moments shape our lives.  Two big surprises came from the research:

1.  Some individuals are more naturally inclined to form clicking relationships.

2.  People who click are more likely to succeed in the workplace.

People who click have a trait University of Minnesota psychologist Mark Snyder calls self-monitoring.  High self-monitors, he discovered, are social chameleons.  They pick up on subtle cues and tailor their responses to the situation.

In a study of a particular high tech company, research found that it took an average of just 18 months for high self-monitors to infiltrate the nucleus of their workplace network.  It took low self-monitors some nine times as long, 13 years!

While self-monitoring comes naturally to some, we can all train ourselves to be higher self-monitoring.  The Brafman’s research suggests two things that are particularly relevant:  proximity and vulnerability.

Research shows that you are twice as likely to click with someone whose office is next to yours than with someone just one office further down the hall.  And that likelihood keeps decreasing by half with each further office.  Further, the more frequent our face-to-face interactions, the stronger our relationship and the more likely we’ll click even if we don’t speak.

And, the more we reveal about ourselves and our own vulnerability, the more likely we’ll click.  When we disclose our feelings, we send a message of trust to others making it easier for them to relate to us more openly.

So, if you’ve gotten this far, you may have come to realize that people who click hae a particular form or relationship.  Think about how to incorporate the Brafman’s research on clicking into your practice of building relationships.


Have a great week.  .  .  .  .    jim