The Building Blocks of Social Networks - Deepstash

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The Building Blocks of Social Networks

The Building Blocks of Social Networks

There are three main styles of networking that people tend to use when navigating the social world:

  • Conveners tend to form close, interconnected groups. They tend to have social networks populated by mutual friends.
  • Brokers tend to have social networks that overlap less. If you’re a broker, you may have several friend groups that don’t interact with each other.
  • Expansionists are social butterflies—they tend to have extremely large social networks with numerous acquaintances.

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Research has found that conveners tend to be less lonely. In networks of conveners, where everyone knows each other, people also tend to have higher levels of trust in each other.

Being a broker is likely to benefit us in contexts where innovation and creativity are valued, since brokers serve as the connecting link between groups with different ideas and experiences.

Expansionists’ popularity can help them make important professional connections. Research suggests that we’re likely to find jobs through people we know, but particularly through acquaintances (who know about opportunities we don’t) rather than close friends or family.

If you’re feeling like your social skills are a bit rusty or the prospect of attending a networking mixer has always put butterflies in your stomach, consider this:

The notion that we often hear, that it’s the size of your network that matters, or the number of people you know, is simply wrong.

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