Sunday, November 15, 2009

How to Build a Strong Social Network

Connections and relationships are important aspects of human life. These connections or social network, in other words, are important tools in job hunting, starting your own business, and in furthering you personal ambitions. Because of its importance, developing your network should be started as early as possible.

I remember a classmate of mine who said that joining a fraternity is important because the frat he is joining is well connected and will help him in his future career. And I believe that there is grain of truth in what he said. Our connections sometimes determine if we can move ahead or be left behind in achieving our life’s goals.

So how could you build a strong and social network? Here are my tips:

Be Sincere

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The first rule in building your network while is to be sincere with anyone whom you are joining in your network. Never befriend anyone just for the sake of using them to further your goals. Having this motivation in developing your network will make your relationship a fake one and it will be felt by those whom you are befriending. Another thing is that relationships formed from sincere motivations tend to be stronger. Remember, stronger relationships build a stronger network and return produces better benefits.

Be Friendly and Approachable

How can you strike a good friendship if you tend to be sarcastic with other people or you have an intimidating aura? A person who is approachable and emanates a friendly aura tends to have a larger network. Having a larger social network is important and open up various channels of opportunities.

 The Rule of Equivalent Trade

The Rule of Equivalent Trade only means that relationships are two way processes. If you receive something from your friend, then you should also have something that could also give to that person at a value equal to the one you receive. It doesn’t mean that if you are given two hundred dollars, you will also give two hundred dollars in return. Everyone is unique and have own perception of values on different things. It is possible that the person who gave you those two hundred dollars will value your smile as worth the two hundred dollars that you received.

Study each of the persons in your network and know their perceptions on value of things. Keep a person that only requires a return of things at a value below or at par with what you believe should be given to that person. Be careful, or at worst, eliminate persons who demand too much things beyond your perception of value from your network.

Show them Your Value

One of the best ways of keeping your network strong is to show that you are a valuable person. People tend to keep persons in their network if they see them as an asset in their social network. But if you are just a person who always asks for free lunch, so to speak, then your value will go low and many people will cut you off from their network. Remember, the more valuable you are, the harder you are to be removed in other people’s network. Another thing is that the higher your value, then the more possibilities and benefits you can obtain in your social network.

Creating a strong social network is a continuous process. Some people build a connection with little effort, while some put a lot of effort but destroys their network in a long run. The best tip that I could give is that building a social network should conform to your personality so that you can do it as natural as possible. Always remember that a strong social network can not be made overnight and must be acted upon continuously.

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