Podcast #403: A Better Way to Network

Networking. You’re told it’s something you need to do to advance your professional life, but the tactics most “networking professionals” suggest either don’t work or make you feel icky and awkward. 

My guest today argues that you don’t have to go to networking events or hand out business cards left and right to network effectively. You just need to realize you’re already embedded in a really effective network right now. 

His name is David Burkus. He’s a professor of leadership and the author of the book Friend of a Friend: Understanding the Hidden Networks That Can Transform Your Life and Your CareerToday on the show, David shares what’s wrong with most traditional networking tactics and why they’re not really effective. We then dig into the power of the network you already belong to. David explains what dormant weak ties are, why it can be beneficial to silo yourself off from others, how to balance siloing with connecting, and how to turn work-friends into friend-friends and friend-friends into work-friends. Lots of great counterintuitive insights in this episode. 

Show Highlights

  • The common approach people take towards networking 
  • Why traditional networking methods don’t work
  • How David’s “friend of a friend” approach to networking flips that old model on its head 
  • Recognizing the networks you already have
  • What are weak and dormant ties? Why are they more powerful than strong ties?
  • Managing your weak and dormant ties in order to keep them alive 
  • How to find the structural holes in your network 
  • Why “silos” are important 
  • What extroverts and introverts can learn from each other in regards to networking
  • What makes for a “super connector”
  • How do you manage your network once it starts to grow?
  • Why managing your relationships needs to be intentional 
  • How to cultivate a diverse network 
  • The idea of multiplexity in our networks — why our connections can be relevant in multiple contexts and facets 
  • The perhaps funny idea that should be the guiding principle of networking 
  • The “Don’t Believe the Hype” Principle 

Resources/People/Articles Mentioned in Podcast

Connect With David 

David on Twitter

David’s website

David’s podcast

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