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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How Good a Networker Are You?

How good a networker are you? Find out with this Reach Networking Quiz.

  • Do you take an active role in at least one professional or philanthropic organization?
  • Do you burn bridges when you leave jobs or assignments and never look back?
  • Do you attend functions where you know you will meet people that you need to know?

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How Strong Is Your Inside Network?

Take this quiz to rate the strength of your current inside network.

  1. Do you know people at all levels of the organization? Do they know your name and what you do?
  2. Do you know all the people whose work intersects yours in any way?
  3. Do you know people who have jobs you might like to have someday?
  4. Are you involved in any cross-functional efforts or interdepartmental activities (temporary

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Networking Overview


Most jobs, about 80%, are in the “hidden” job market, obtained through personal contacts and referrals. It is important that everyone you know be aware that you are looking for a job so that the “word of mouth” process can begin to work on your behalf. Following the networking diamond below, your networking process should include the people that are closest to you, … [ Read more ]

The Art of Networking

I. Target Your Search: Before you start your job search process, do some research on the market. Choose at least two career targets that are realistic for your level of experience and qualifications. DO NOT communicate that you will accept “any job”. If you reach a dead end with a target, you can always broaden or reformulate your job search target. 

II. Look[ Read more ]

The 10 Secrets of a Master Networker

Here are 10 Networking Tips from Keith Ferrazzi, a man who needs two PalmPilots to keep track of all his contacts, people like Bill Clinton and Michael Milken.

  1. Don’t network just to network.
    “Well, what do you want?” Ferrazzi will ask any would-be networker seeking instruction in the art. What do you want? “If your aspirations lie with the crème de la crème,” he says,

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Where to Meet the Power Elite

Keith ferrazzi’s favorite places to hang with other people on the rise.

  • Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO). The organization is for executive managers under the age of 44 and has regional chapters across the United States.
  • Political fund-raisers. Although Ferrazzi once ran for office as a Republican, he no longer openly discusses his political affiliation. Why? So he can have access to both parties. He does

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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 ]

Workplace Networking: Key Dimensions

  • Formal organization. Do you connect with people from different parts of the organization? It’s natural to spend a lot of time interacting with colleagues in your department; after all, they are the people you probably see the most. But as you move up in the hierarchy, relationships that cross departmental boundaries become increasingly important for learning and decision-making. Building such bridging relationships takes time,

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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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8 Erroneous Assumptions about Internal Networking

  1. People I work with are automatically part of my network.
    False. You must create and nurture the relationships.
  2. Everyone is an equally good networking contact.
    False. Seek the experts and people who will give back. As you talk with people in your network, agree to respond quickly to their requests.
  3. I can ask for information or help without giving first.
    False. Listen generously to

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10 Networking Tips

  1. Prepare an “elevator speech.” Write a summary of what you want people to know about you that can be delivered in less than 30 seconds. Make it upbeat and succinct: who you are, what you do, what you’re looking for. More than that, and you risk turning off the listener, says Debra Condren, a career coach and business psychologist with offices in New York and

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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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5 Keys to Building Business Relationships

To illustrate the definitions of these terms, we will explain them using two people: “You” (the center of the network) and “Friend” (which could be your friend, neighbor, or any other person).

Three of the keys measure the relationship between You and your Friend:

  1. Credibility
    Your character and your competence; your ability

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