Characteristics that Distinguish a Strong from a Weak Tie

Aspects of the Relationship

  • Age of the relationship
  • Frequency of contact
  • Emotional attachment
  • Reciprocity
  • Number of dimensions
  • Common activities
  • Degrees of closeness involved in an earlier encounter, however brief

Context of the Relationship

  • Kinship
  • Common language, values, and background
  • Physical proximity
  • Number of common ties
  • Barriers to entry of the context in which you meet

Configuring Your Contact Manager

Any sophisticated contact manager allows you to customize the data fields. We recommend configuring your system to include fields for the following information:

Contact Information

  • Employer, phone, address, e-mail, web site
  • Partner/spouse full name
  • Children (listed in descending order by age)
  • Category: customer, supplier, lawyer, etc.
  • Preferred communication methods (phone, e-mail, short message service, other)

Professional Data

  • Resume. Whenever your friend switches jobs, just cut and

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The Recyclable Document

One of the greatest merits of virtual communications is that you can easily recycle your own words. We recommend you create a Recyclable Document with all of the information that you reuse when communicating with people virtually. Simply cutting and pasting from the Recyclable Document will save you a great deal of time and make it easier to communicate in a consistent way. Some of … [ Read more ]

7 Keys to Creating and Maintaining a Powerful Network

Five of the keys measure the relationship between you and your acquaintance:

  1. Character: Your integrity, clarity of motives, consistency of behavior, openness, discretion, and trustworthiness. This is driven by the reality and the appearance: the real content of your character, and what each acquaintance thinks of your character.
  2. Competence: Your ability to walk your talk; your demonstrated capability.

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Classifying Relationships

All of your relationships fall into two loosely-defined buckets, strong ties and weak ties:

  1. Strong ties. Your strong ties are your family, close friends, and close professional colleagues. They are long term and high reciprocity; you help them and they help you.
  2. Weak ties. Your weak ties are usually short term and instrumental; you interact with them for a specific purpose. These ties

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