What is the Quality of Your Network?

A good network of relationships helps you get things done, advance in your career and develop professionally. This assessment will reveal the quality of your current network on three crucial dimensions, so that you can then target the areas and strategies for improvement that make the most sense for you and your goals.

Demographics

Please provide some background information about yourself and your current job:

E-mail *
* Please insert a valid email address as we will use this address to send you the results of your network assessment.
Gender *
What best describes your current level? Choose "Other" if you are currently not working.
Which best describes your company? Choose "Other" if you are currently not working.

Your Network

List Your Network Contacts

List below the names or initials of up to 15 people with whom you have discussed important matters relating to your work and/or career over the last six months. You might have sought them out for advice, information, to bounce ideas, or to help you evaluate opportunities. Only list people with whom you have actually discussed important matters recently (this is not a measure of who you might be or should be talking things over with!).

New Contact name:
Listed contacts:
Contact name

How long have you known each of your contacts?

For each person listed on the Network List, indicate on the continuum from “< 1 year” to “10+ years” for how long you have known him or her.

Contact name < 1 Year 1‐4 Years 5‐10 Years +10 Years

How close a relationship do you have with each of your contacts?

For each person listed on the Network List, indicate on the continuum from “very distant” to “very close” how close a relationship you feel you have with him or her.

Contact name Very distant Somewhat distant Somewhat close Very close

Who are Your Contacts?

Hierarchical Level

Please indicate for each of your contacts the hierarchical level:

  • Your senior - higher up in your or another organization
  • Your peer - at your level in your or another organization
  • Your junior - below you in your or another organization
Contact name Your senior (higher up in your or another organization) Your peer (at your level in your or another organization) Your junior (below you in your or another organization)

Organizational Membership

Please indicate for each of your contacts if they are:

  • Same BU - From your business unit or department in your firm
  • Different BU - From a different business unit or department in your firm
  • Different firm - From a different firm
Contact name From your business unit or department in your firm From a different business unit or department in your firm From a different firm

Functional Specialty

Please indicate for each of your contacts if they are:

  • Same specialty - From your functional specialty (e.g. marketing)
  • Different specialty - From a different functional specialty
Contact name From your functional specialty (e.g. marketing) From a different functional specialty

Gender Composition

Please indicate for each of your contacts if they are:

Contact name Male Female

Who knows Whom?

Please indicate who knows whom among the people you listed by placing a checkmark in the cells corresponding to each acquainted pair. Leave a cell blank if the pair do not know each other (or if you do not know whether two people know each other). Start with person 1 and run along the top row checking whether person 1 know person 2, 3, 4 and so on. Then go to person two and do the same until you have covered all the people on your list.

A graphic representation of your Network

Below is a graph depicting the overall structure of your network. You are represented by the large blue circle and each yellow circle represents one of the contacts you named in the network assessment.

The Quality of Your Network

As discussed in Chapter 3 of my book Act Like a Leader, Think Like a Leader the quality of your network depends on three attributes that we call the BCDs of network advantage:

  • Breadth: Do you have a sufficiently diverse range of contacts? Or, do you tend to network with people who are like you in background and current affiliations?
  • Connectivity: Does your network allow you to reach out to people you don’t currently know and to connect people and groups that otherwise wouldn’t know each other? Or, is your network composed of people who mostly know one another?
  • Dynamism: Is your network growing and evolving with you? Or, do you tend to stick with the same set of trusted relationships over a long period of time?

The results below show the BCD (Breadth, Connectivity and Dynamism) of your current network of relationships.

I. How Broad is Your Network?

A broad network composed of relationships with different kinds of people can give you access to varied resources, information, and expose you to different perspectives. Alternatively, a network that is internally focused or homogenous in terms of the kinds of people it taps into will limit your capacity.

Hierarchical Composition

Organizational Composition

Functional Composition

Gender Composition

Broadening your network is easy to do, if you are willing to invest the time. The sidebars on pages 105-114 of my book Act Like Leader, Think Like a Leader, provide many concrete ideas that you can start on immediately to expand your network.

II. How Connective is Your Network?

Connectivity refers to your capacity to reach out far and wide outside your immediate network and to connect people and groups who wouldn't otherwise be able to reach each other. Connectivity increases your external perspective and allows you to add unique value.

Depending on your line of work, if the percentage of your current contacts who also know each other is above 50-60% you are at risk of having a network that is closed to outside influence. A highly dense network means less time for relationships outside your tight circle. After a while, no new information circulates. To improve the connectivity of your network consider:

  • 1. Are there people in your current network who might benefit from knowing each other? List the pairs that you will introduce to each other.
  • 2. Are there people in your current network who might introduce you to others you don’t yet know? List the person you already know and the person you will ask them to introduce you to.

III. How Dynamic is Your Network?

Most of us value long lasting, strong tie relationships, and we turn to those people for important issues. But as we grow and evolve in our careers it is important that our network also grows with us, and that we keep building new relationships in the direction of our goals and aspirations.

While many of the network broadening strategies mentioned above will add dynamism to your networks, there are times in your career when it becomes important to do a "network reset”, identifying more methodically the relationships we need to be successful moving forward and planning out the tactics for meeting or strengthening your relationship with those people. Use the sidebar on p. 101 of my book Act Like Leader, Think Like a Leader, “Making your network future facing”, to work out a personalised plan for a network reset.

IV. Network Mindset

Our mindsets about networking affect the time and effort we put into it, and ultimately, the return we get on our investment. If you do not believe that networking is worthwhile, for example, you will not allocate to it the time you need to see it pay off. Your answers to the five core questions listed below form your mindset about networking.

  • When should I work on my network?
  • How methodical should I be in building and maintaining my network?
  • Can networking be learned or is it something you’re either good at or not?
  • Who gains from my networking?
  • Is it worthwhile, relative to other things I could be doing with my time?

Below in yellow are your answers to the mindset questions, with the responses that indicate a more favorable mindset on the right. If you have 2 or more responses on the left, consider what experiments with your networking might tilt you more to the right.

Less Favorable Network Mindset More Favorable Network Mindset
When it comes to building my network, I tend to be reactive, mostly reaching out to people when I have a specific need. When it comes to building my network, I tend to be proactive, often reaching out to people even when there is no immediate task at hand.
I believe professional relationships should develop spontaneously, among people who naturally click or have common ground. I believe people should develop their professional network methodically, cultivating relationships that can be of mutual benefit.
People are either naturally gifted at networking, or they are not, and it’s generally difficult to change that. Networking is a skill you can develop, much like any other skill.
There is something about networking that I find self-serving or selfish – all about getting an advantage or “using people”. I think that networking is all about reciprocity and giving back as much as one gets.
I’m not sure I’ve gotten much back from the time and effort I’ve spent developing my network. I feel that I have gotten a lot back from the time and effort I’ve spent developing my network.

Thanks for taking the network assessment.

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