On episode 36 of The Jordan Harbinger Show, Jordan interviews David Burkus, author of the book, “Friend of a Friend…:Understanding the Hidden Networks That Can Transform Your Life and Your Career. Having listened to Jordan Harbinger on his previously hosted show, The Art of Charm, I knew he was fascinated by the value of bringing people together. Beginning this episode, I was expecting to hear a new perspective on how to network and learn what a Superconnector was. After listening to the intro, I knew I was going to hear more than the same old thing and that Jordan would once again exceed my expectations with his approach to “take care of the entirety of [his] network.” This episode provides a window into how he’s done it over the last 12 years, and how David Burkus was inspired by a previous conversation with Jordan that led to the writing of this book.
When I think of networking, I picture a crowded room of people I don’t know and to be approached by someone trying to sell life insurance. Even David acknowledged that if you’d told him that he would be writing a book on networking, he pictured a “slicked back guy in a suit trying to work a room.” Not exactly the most positive mindset going in to develop a meaningful relationship. David goes on to say that, “there’s this huge gap in any of the advice” on networking and that “very little of it was based on the actual science of how networks get together” or “how they act or interact.”
When I began to reflect on my own journey on networking, I remembered my introduction to it was actually when I sold insurance myself. I was thrown into it and when I asked for help, there was literally no one who provided any guidance on what to do or how to do it. I was selling nothing. Looking back however, I made met one of my best friends at an event and made a lot of “weak and dormant ties.”
David identifies that, “There are people already in your network that you’re not seeing or understanding the importance of.” Those, he explains are your weak and dormant ties. “A weak tie is a person that you sort of know, but don’t really know that well” he says, while, “a dormant tie is a closer connection to you,” that you haven’t quite kept in touch with. He also states that “research over multiple decades has been strongly indicative that it’s the weak ties and especially dormant ties that are better for giving advice, making referrals, providing you with a different perspective, precisely because they’re not near you.” An interesting point, I thought.
Jordan and David also discuss some interesting action steps you can take to capitalize on the relationships you currently have and how you can develop ways to manage this process going forward. David even gives an example of how he uses his Facebook News Feed as a tool to see what some weak or dormant ties were “broadcasting to the world.” Instead of “liking” the photo or comment, he instead “use(s) it as a springboard for a conversation.” Personalizing a text, phone call, email, or face to face interaction to acknowledge the event. And if it’s only another minute and a half of my time to do something like this, I can only imagine how many people I can reconnect with and really get to know within my own network.
This podcast is a really interesting perspective on “networking” and how to build a relationship with new people. At the end of the day, it’s about getting to know people and stay connected with them. It will take a shift in how I engage after an initial meeting and a little courage to reach out to people I already know who are sharing the good news in their lives. Bringing David back to speak about networking from the perspective of taking care of the entire network has planted an idea for change in my mind. I believe you’ll find a lot of value in this episode. Because in the end, you never know who could help your change happen?
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