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Variety is the spice

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“It is not best that we should all think alike; it is a difference of opinion that makes horse races” ~~Mark Twain

It’s true that “birds of a feather flock together” while the strength in a network expands along with its diversity. This means leaving our comfort zone—intentionally. Expanding contacts in order to provide better access for your customers to services they may need as well as to expand your reach into new markets.

You can essentially break the world into two main camps. In one we have all the people we know. In the other are those we do not know. It won’t take long to see which is bigger. It takes effort to tap in to the larger world and meeting someone totally different from you is a valuable shortcut, not even considering the added benefit of exposure to new ideas.

Humans are naturally attracted to the same type of people. We can relate more quickly to others of the same general age, ethnicity, economics, and so on. Limited to this environment, though, the opportunities dwindle. Reaching out to diversity is ever expanding and healthy for relationships and a robust network.

As you grow your contacts you will find that a few people are the connectors that make it possible to bridge diverse worlds. Wayne Baker, author of Achieving Success Through Social Capital called these connectors “linchpins…are the gateways between clumps…and [they] provide the shortcuts that convert a big world into a small one.”

This week’s action step involves adding diversity to your network. Look for a mixer next month and add it to your schedule. While there make it a point to introduce yourself to someone you don’t know and someone you would be unlikely to cross paths with in any other setting. Look for someone different in age, gender, race, religion, ability, interests, and belief.

© 2017 by Stephen Hand of Triangle BNI. All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission of Stephen Hand of Triangle BNI.

 

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Written by bniguy

February 26, 2017 at 7:28 am

Posted in events, HowTo, networking

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