Fun Is My Networking Secret Weapon

A funny thing happened recently at the end of the Walmart RCE corporate holiday party that I was emceeing. Many of the employees came up to thank me and give me high fives as they were really appreciative of my efforts in creating a fun event for them. I was having such great conversations with so many people that a few of them even asked me to consider joining their teams. I was taken aback by this frank eagerness to work side by side, having just met that night. And as much as I like to think those professional overtures were made because of my charming personality, I know better. It's our biology that makes us so affable and open after events like these.

When we're moving and having fun together, we can’t help but feel great as our body is flush with positive hormones, including oxytocin, the bonding hormone. In fact, two decades of research by Harvard neuroscientists have found a direct correlation between the amount of oxytocin a person's brain produces and the level of trust they feel in any given situation. Higher the trust, higher the empathy and deeper the connections we make with those around us.

Moments of high elation after an intense experience together are breeding grounds for starting or building great relationships. And great co-worker relationships are the building blocks of high performance companies. So the next time you're leading a fun team outing/activity, always leave room at the end for your teammates to catch their breaths, socialize and get some work done.

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