Are you looking to build a potent network? Don’t rely on casual interactions or half-hearted introductions. High-stakes activities that ally you with disparate individuals around a common point of interest are the best way to forge tight connections.
Whether you join people in sports teams, community service ventures, or interdepartmental initiatives, engaging with them in this new way creates stronger ties. This is because these conditions allow for unscripted behaviors and natural responses to unexpected events — things that rarely show up during business lunches or office meetings where impressions are managed and presentations are carefully rehearsed. People will see you as you truly are, and vice versa. Common activities also offer opportunities for celebration and commiseration, which generate loyalty and form close working relationships.
Adapted from the HBR Guide to Networking.