The One Person Every Network Needs

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Not all contacts are created equally. When you know someone from more than one context, that person is called a “multiplex tie.” Because these relationships are richer than those rooted in just one setting (the office, for example), they come with a higher level of trust and you’re likely to tap them more frequently. Invest in these multiplex ties to get the most from your network.

Examine your strongest professional relationships and identify which ones overlap with work, civic, religious, school, neighborhood, or childhood ties. Reach out to colleagues whose children go to school with your kids, for instance, or people you’ve trained with for a marathon. If you don’t have many of these types of connections, create them. Invite people you work with to join your volunteering efforts or strike up a conversation at your next school event.

Adapted from the HBR Guide to Networking.

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