Management Tip of the Day: Network for quality, not quantity

Wed May 11, 2011 9:56am EDT
 
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BOSTON (Reuters Life!) - It may be not what you know but who you know that matters, but having 976 Facebook friends does not necessarily mean you are well connected, says Harvard Business Review.

The secret of successful networks has never been their size.

The Management Tip of the Day offers quick, practical management tips and ideas from Harvard Business Review and HBR.org (www.hbr.org). Any opinions expressed are not endorsed by Reuters.

"If you were to take the advice of some self-help books on networking, you would amass as many Facebook friends and LinkedIn connections as possible. But research shows that bigger networks are not necessarily better.

In fact, large networks can hurt your performance by putting too many collaborative demands on you.

The people who network successfully tend to have more ties to people who are not very connected themselves. People with connections to the less-connected are more likely to hear about ideas that haven't gotten exposure elsewhere, and are able to piece together unique opportunities.

Don't treat networking like a popularity contest. Find ways to connect with more than the usual suspects by reaching out to those who aren't surrounded by others."

-Today's management tip was adapted from "The Most Valuable People in Your Network" by Rob Cross.

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<p>A Facebook page is displayed on a computer screen in Brussels April 21, 2010. REUTERS/Thierry Roge</p>