In the age of connectivity how you utilise your connections determines your level of success. If it’s to be believed that we are, ‘six degrees of separation’ away from anyone anywhere in the world, maybe it’s time to look at how to connect more deeply with our contacts.
The ‘six degrees’ idea stems from several experiments conducted by a psychologist called Stanley Milgram in the ’60s and ’70s who sent 300 letters from a group of people in one part of the United States to specific people they didn’t know in other parts of the country. The group were asked not to forward the letters directly, but to use someone they knew on a first name basis, with instructions for that person to forward the letter to someone in their network that might know the person. The letters took on average six connections to reach the intended person, coining the phrase, ‘six degrees of separation’. Facebook has since determined that the number stands at 3.57 degrees of separation, with each 1.6 billion Facebook user being connected to every other person by an average of three and a half other people.
Some of us are better connected than others. We all interact with a wide range of people in many different ways for many different reasons. Asking your contacts for support in promoting your ideas can be an effective way to stay connected with a wider network.
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Deb McKoy is the Founder and Consultant at Peppergrain Ltd, London, UK. She began her career as a recording artist, achieving success in the UK national charts before going on to help businesses and individuals maximise their brand.