Monday, 7 September 2009

Name-dropping makes you obnoxious

"But", I hear you murmer, "we knew this already!"

And yes, intuitively, I guess many of us do. Despite this, it still doesn't stop many people doing it, on a regular basis. Some might even say that networking somewhat encourages it. Well, networking as seen in a very narrow, and unlikeable, light (happy to write more on that subject, should anyone wish).

So yes, some German researchers have finally looked into the phenomenon, and found the following:

If you meet someone, and find out that they share a birthday with someone likeable, or that they know someone interesting, then you may perhaps feel sunshinier towards them, but only if they didn't tell you directly. And context is also pivotal.

If, on the other hand, you drop into conversation that you are good mates (or whatever) with someone famous, particularly if you volunteer the information fairly directly, then people are less likely to like you. So not a good strategy. Boasting does not make you friends. Hear me on this.

Actually, thinking about it, perhaps that's some of the appeal of things like Linkedin (apart from the obvious) - people can see how very cool and amazing your connections are, without you ever having to vouchsafe the fact. Now, who has some amazing contacts me to link to?

The article about the research can be found on Scientific American's website, here.