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Growth mindset


Grow Your Networks With a Growth Mindset

Grow Your Networks With a Growth Mindset

What if changing your mindset could take the struggles out of networking?

Professionals are often told – and mostly convinced – that networking is good for their careers. However, the challenge is plugging the knowing-doing gap. How can people build and manage their networks more effectively? What makes individuals more or less motivated to network? 

We speak to Ko Kuwabara, Associate Professor of Organisational Behaviour at INSEAD, whose research delves into the  motivational psychology of networking to better understand who builds effective networks and why people struggle with networking. In this podcast, he discusses networking through the lens of a growth vs. fixed mindset – a concept popularised by psychologist Carol S. Dweck.

Kuwabara explains how individuals with a fixed mindset tend to believe that networking is about having certain personal attributes such as being attractive, charismatic or funny. On the other hand, individuals with a growth mindset see networking skills as a muscle that can be strengthened through exercise. Because of this mindset, they recognise that they can further develop the skill and therefore make the effort to get better at it. 

Beyond the individual level, since organisations are made up of people, they stand to benefit when employees form meaningful networks within and beyond the organisation. As the modern workplace becomes increasingly diverse, a growth mindset can help members of an organisation better embrace diversity

Ultimately, adopting a growth mindset to get people started on networking is just the first step, he says. Like any relationship, networks need nurturing. Kuwabara’s research is moving in the direction of helping individuals maintain networks. After all, once people adopt a growth mindset, it may become easier to convince them that efforts put into maintaining their networks will be worthwhile.

Edited by:

Geraldine Ee

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