Networks matter enormously for your health and happiness, well-being, the likelihood that you’ll get a job, your pay, your performance, creativity, and job satisfaction.
But, you don’t need to be obsessed with the size of your network.
All of these outcomes are actually associated with the structure and quality of your social relationships.
Discover your own network type: https://www.assessyournetwork.com/
To learn more about networks, read Marissa’s book Social Chemistry: https://marissaking.com/socialchemistry
May be slightly edited for clarity
Networks matter enormously for your health and happiness, well-being, the likelihood that you’ll get a job, your pay, your performance, creativity, and job satisfaction. For all of these factors, networks matter.
But despite the common belief that it’s the size of your networks that matters, all of these outcomes are actually associated with the structure and quality of your social relationships.
Despite the enormous importance of network structure, most people have no idea what their network looks like.
But the hundreds of interactions we have with people every day leave behind invisible traces.
This is your network.
What we know is there are really only 3 basic types. Understanding whether you’re a broker, a convener, or an expansionist will allow you to develop a greater understand of your current set of social relationships and what it might take if you hope to change some aspect of your life.
What do I mean by network structure?
My colleague Nicholas Christakis has a great analogy for describing this.
Let’s take carbon as an example. Carbon atoms arranged in one way, in flat sheets, produce graphite.
It’s soft. It’s cheap. And, can be found in a kid’s backpack.
On the other hand, carbon atoms arranged in a different manner produce diamonds.
Hard. Valuable. And, one of the most effective status symbols on the planet.
Diamonds and graphite are made of the same thing: Carbon.
But the way that those molecules are arranged produces radically different outcomes. Different properties.
The same is true of our social relationships. The structure of your network matters. And, produces different outcomes in the exact same way that carbon arranged in one way produces graphite and another produces diamonds.
So, what structure do you have?