Sunday, August 14, 2011

6 Degrees of Separation – Part I

You’re Closer than You Think!

The leverage of networking is truly miraculous. Most people think you have to have a large network to be effective. Nothing could be further from the truth. You need to know your network well to be effective. Having intimate high quality relationships with few will always trump having a large quantity of superficial relationships with many. 

Each networker's understanding of degrees of separation can have a dramatic affect on their ability to leverage the relationships that they create. The basic rule of degrees of separation suggests that we are not more than 6 people removed from meeting anyone in the world. It is not only important to build deeper trust relationships with the people you know, but it is also important to understand who they know. 

Assumptions of the Six Degrees of Separation:
  1. Each of us has trust/advocating relationships with at least 100 people (think beyond your business relationships to family, friends, etc.). This personal grouping of relationships is called our individual Sphere of Influence.
  2. A minimum of ½ of our sphere of influence will know at least 50 people we do not know but would in some way benefit from knowing.
  3. As we contact and develop relationships with the people to whom we are introduced by those in our sphere of influence, we are able to leverage those relationships to additional levels of separation.
  4. By the time we reach the 6th degree of separation, we will more than reach everyone in the world. Keep in mind that the world population is 6 billion +.
Starting with the hundred people that we know well, we are able to quickly connect out to key individuals and resources. Build your network by building your intimacy!

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