Frank Agin, host of Networking Rx, interview Jim Moats, author of Leading from the Edge of the Inside and award-winning advisor to CEOs and executives.
In the 1960s, Harvard social psychologist Stanley Milgram studied what he termed the “small world” problem. He wanted to better understand how people were connected to one another.
So, he sent to 160 randomly selected people in Omaha, NE a packet with the name and address of a stockbroker from Boston. He instructed each individual to write their name on the roster in the packet, then mail it to someone they thought would get it closer to the stockbroker.
On average the packets reached the broker in six steps (thus the phrase “six degrees of separation”). Milgram initially reasoned that if the packets started from 160 random points, they would arrive at their destination with similar randomness. Many of the packets, however, followed the same asymmetrical pattern. Half of the responses that got to the stockbroker were delivered by three people. So, the phrase “six degrees of separation” doesn’t mean that everyone is linked to everyone else in just six steps. It means that a very small number of people are linked to everyone else in a few steps, and the rest of us are linked to the world through those few.
Try this. Write down the names of 40 friends and trace them back to how they were introduced to you. This will reveal that what people term as their “social circles” are really inverted pyramids. A large percentage of your contacts likely originated from relatively few individuals – your Network Pyramid Capstones.
Consider this – to “jump start” your network or determine where your time is best spent, find your Network Pyramid Capstones. Then reconnect with each over lunch, coffee, or whatever.
Make an effort to develop a great relationship with these people – find ways to help them and be sure they understand how they can help you. These individuals have been instrumental in building your network to this point and will likely do so in the future.
Frank Agin, founder and president of AmSpirit Business Connections and host of Networking Rx, shares a facilitation exercise that applies ‘lifeboat ethics’ to business networking.
Frank Agin, host of Networking Rx, has a discussion with Dr. Wayne Baker on Reciprocity Rings, the inspiration for his new book, All You Have To Do Is Ask. For information on the book and free resources and assessments, go to www.AllYouHaveToDoIsAsk.com.
Networking is simply human interaction and it has been with us since the beginning of time. These human interactions are really just the relationships we have with one another. How we connect. Some connections are passing. Some connections are more lasting. Some connections are seemingly lifelong.
Given this, networking is, more or less, really just human behavior. Talking. Listening. Understanding. Being empathetic, encouraging, inspiring, smiling, laughing, and being a friend. Thus, all human behaviors involving other people are relationship-based and is networking.
The wonderful thing about human behavior is that there are patterns to it. While the patterns may not be perfectly predictable – as you might find with a chemical reaction or a physics experiment – there are patterns generally there.
Whenever there are patterns, however, there is curiosity. And whenever there is curiosity, you will find people of science trying to explain the patterns through studying, observing, and examining them.
Human behavior involving our relationships is no different. The social sciences – sociology, psychology, and economics, just to name a few – for years have examined how humans relate to one another, both personally and professionally.
Frank Agin, founder and president of AmSpirit Business Connections and host of Networking Rx, discusses a TEDx program delivered by professor and author Christine Porath on the impact that disrespectful and rude behavior has on our lives.
Frank Agin, president of AmSpirit Business Connections, has a conversation with Jamie Sarche on how she uses relationships to build success in an industry where you’d not expect it … pre-planning funeral services.
If you think about it, considering all these different options and orders, there are literally dozens (if not hundreds) of different 30-second commercials for you. So, do not stop at just one. Rather, select a handful of the ones that you feel are the most powerful for you and where you are the most comfortable saying them. Go with these.
Like anything, however, you will not get good at delivering your 30-second commercials without preparation, planning and practice.
Write Them: Using something as basic as a small note pad or 3×5 cards, neatly write or type your commercials for future reference.
Review Them: Once you have them written out, keep them handy so that you can practice or review them from time to time (just a few minutes each week is plenty).
Use Them: When someone then asks, “Who are you?”, do not hesitate. Have the courage to launch into one of your 30-second commercials (picking the appropriate one for the time and place).
Refine Them: Your 30-second commercials are always a work in process. You should look for ways to update them to make them more clear or better represent you.
Frank Agin, president of AmSpirit Business Connections and host of Networking Rx, shares information from The Gottman Institute on four behaviors that impair relationships. For more on this go to: https://www.gottman.com/blog/the-four-horsemen-recognizing-criticism-contempt-defensiveness-and-stonewalling/
Frank Agin, president of AmSpirit Business Connections, talks with Michael Rogers about the SONIC leadership formula from his new book, Do You Care To Lead?