There’s a psychologist at Harvard Business School trying to figure out why that guy from your office who stands behind your desk a little too long is so… awkward.
Francesca Gino has long studied networking and the “gentle art” of forming relationships with people who work in your field. Her latest piece of research suggests that your mom’s advice is the key to being liked in the workplace: Just be yourself.
According to research published by the Harvard Business Review, “meeting someone new in a work context will go much more smoothly if only you would stop trying to guess what it is they want from you.” Gino and her colleagues discovered that building relationships will go a lot smoother when you act authentically instead of trying to cater to the other person’s expectations.
In a fake-job interview hosted by Gino and her colleagues, they found that interviewees who were more natural experienced less anxiety and dread than those trying to guess what the interviewer wanted to see portrayed by them. So, when you’re prepping for your next big interview or meeting people you admire, remember to keep it real.