Saturday, March 31, 2012

Enhancing Your Social Capital

They say, it matters not what you  know but whom you know. I do not  totally agree but there's certainly something to be gained with  increasing your circle of influence.

Whom you know will not help you  build the reputation which is a by  product of good work but it will open doors that will allow you to do what you need to do and spread the word about how well you do it.

Your network of highly engaged  friends and acquiantances is your social capital. The size and level of engagement determines how rich that capital is. What you need to do to increase your social capital and how to benefit from it are some of the things you can consider from this blog post.
  1. Take an inventory of your social capital now. Make an effort to list down the number of people you know who also know you and whom you can tap for something or anything. This is why it is important to sort and categorize them for how they may contribute to your social capital. You may categorize them as your social network, economic, political, religious or cultural. You may add other categories as you please. You may also segmentize them as local, national and/or international.
  2. Evaluate your current network. What do you see? Do you have a sizeable amount? how engaged are they? How well and how often are you communicating? You should be able to determine if you have a sizeable network. In my opinion, there is no network that's too big, only too small. You should also be able to determine how much you have invested in their emotional bank account by engaging them. Saying hi, sharing information, asking questions and occasional meet-ups with your closest and most important network - how often you do this determines how much you engage your "friends."
  3. Grow your network. It is never too early nor too late to deliberately grow your network and take score. Have a database that contain names, emails, telephone numbers and a few other information that will help you determine what these people mean to you. This will be helpful when your database reaches thousands of names.
  4. Engage your network. As I mentioned in item #2. In order to make the connection intact, you have to see that it is. Reach out and make an effort to elicit a reaction.  There are many ways to do this. Saying hi, emailing, asking questions, offering help. Try any and all of these if you want. 
  5. Use your network. When you are faced with a challenge or if there are opportunities that require connecting with others, ask yourself this. Who among these people that I know can I tap to help or ask who among them would be happy to be part of my project or cause?

In my work, I have seen people who made great things happen because they are able to tap into their rich pool of connection. I believe that as we increase our responsibility in the organization we work in or the business you are engaged int, having a rich network is helpful in our career and business success.

Get to work now.

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