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Understanding Your Network

AllBright. Sisterhood Works. Networking 101. Understand your network. Listen to Marissa King explain.

Listen to Marissa King as she offers you a new perspective on the types of relationships you can find within your network.

‘In thinking about one of the most fundamental aspects of your network, there’s always inherently going to be a trade-off between the strength of your ties. So in thinking about what constitutes a tie – a tie is really just a connection. You can think of connections in lots of different ways. A tie could be formed by information exchange. It could be created by the exchange of resources, or reciprocity, or emotional intensity. So a tie is really just a channel, and you can think of that channel as having different widths.

A strong tie is going to be created when there is more emotional investment, as well as more time and intensity devoted to the relationship, and a greater sense of reciprocity, trust and buy-in. Though the net width is greater, we think of those as our strong ties. Often times, these are the people that you would turn to in the event of an emergency, or if you needed to ask for help or advice. Your family and your closest friends – those are your strong ties.

But there’s also extraordinary value in our weak ties, who are often acquaintances. Perhaps it’s someone that you used to be quite close to but you lost touch with over time. So they’re people you interact with less frequency, but there’s also less emotional intensity in those weak ties, and each of these has very different benefits. Our strong ties are good for providing emotional support, but our weak ties are often our best sources of new information.’

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Sisterhood Works: How to Build a More Meaningful Network

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