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Is Networking Manipulative?

As we progress in our readings and discussion of Networks, a common concern continues to arise. Is Networking manipulative? Why do people want to form relationships with one another? Are selfish motives the primary reason why someone pursues a relationship with another individual?

Reciprocity is a reason why we form relationships with one another. We seek to receive something in almost anything we do whether it’s affection, help, a promotion, etc…

However, we also have a desire to give (some more than others and at various frequencies).

As we grow up, we reflect on the times we have received help and guidance from others, but could offer nothing in return. As a result, we look for ways to give back and offer our assistance to others when it is needed.

Also, we form relationships with people out of genuine care for them or for the organization.

If we can improve the efficiency of our organization with better communication, it is an incentive to foster positive professional relationships with our coworkers.

The bottom line is that Networking can be manipulative. Some people do intend to form relationships with the sole intent of getting something from you. Nevertheless, our readings and discussion continue to reinforce that if one is Networking for the sake of receiving something, this phony attitude will be recognized and it will fail. The best relationships are formed with selfless, foundational base.