Starting a new position, especially if you are a new manager is exciting. Yet at the same time, you may feel anxiety and suffer from “Impostor Syndrome” – that self-doubt that comes along with new responsibility; the fear that maybe others will find you out.
The key to moving through this period is forging strong connections and lasting work relationships.
But how to do this?
Well, history has a lesson for us and it is one taught by none other than Ben Franklin.
Some time back in Franklin’s early political career as a clerk in Philadelphia’s General Assembly, during reappointment a new member of the Assembly argued against Franklin’s appointment in favor of another candidate. Franklin was ultimately successful but also wanted to have this assembly member’s advocacy in the future.
Upon learning this gentleman was in position of a rare book collection, Franklin asked if perhaps he could barrow one of the assemblyman’s most prized assets. The gentlemen obliged and Franklin returned the book a week later along with a thank you note.
From that time forward, the assembly member was one of Franklin’s strongest supporters.
Social scientists’ research has proven that in fact those who you ask a favor of actually will feel even closer and more supportive of you that those you do a favor for and have coined this “The Franklin Effect.”
The fancy term for explaining this behavior is “cognitive dissonance” but the simple way to think of this is that if someone does something special for us, like allow us to barrow a prized position, this only makes sense if we are worthy of such a favor. And we only do special favors for people we like and connect with, so to be consistent with our actions, we subconsciously conclude that we must really like this person. It is an odd but consistent and long-lasting effect.
However, avoid asking favor upon favor upon favor. While I haven’t seen research to support this, my believe is that the continued requesting of favors would work strongly to your disadvantage as you would then be viewed as taking advantage of another’s good will.
So consider using “The Franklin Effect” in a genuine and judicious manner in your new position especially with those who have significant influence and may not immediately favor you.
Finally, if I could ask a favor, would you please “like” this post and forward for all to see!