Four Degrees of Separation!

In fact, research by Facebook scientists and the University of Milan shows the average number of acquaintances separating any two people in the world is not six but 4.74.

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.

The old saying says there are only six degrees of separation between you and anyone else on the planet. But, we’ve learned (and LinkedIn has reinforced) that there are really less.

In fact, research by Facebook scientists and the University of Milan shows the average number of acquaintances separating any two people in the world is not six but 4.74.

So, how important are connections? Very. How beneficial can a strong network be to your career? Very.

And, here’s what you can do to make yours stronger.

Cultivate and invest in those relationships first. Even if you feel like you don’t need to network, you do. You never know when you’ll need someone to make an introduction.

And, it’s improper to ask someone for help when you’ve not spoken to her in ages, but now are doing so simply to ask for something. Remember, relationship building is best approached with a how-can-I-help-you mentality rather than a what-can-you-do-for-me mindset.

What need does someone else have and how can you use your resources to fill that gap?

As you begin to set up lunches or meetings with your contacts (new or old), try to listen more than you talk. Everyone loves to be heard, so take this opportunity to ask great questions; build rapport.

If your contact mentions something big coming up (say a birthday, anniversary, promotion or travel) make a mental note to follow up and ask how that went or send a nice note their way.

It’s the small things like this that make lasting impact and show people that you care.

By Darrah Brustein

Want more tips on how to create the life you want through intentional relationship building? Get your FREE ebook “The 55 Best Questions To Ask To Break The Ice And Really Get To Know Someone” here.

Darrah is the co-founder of Equitable Payments, a merchant services brokerage, and author of Finance Whiz Kids, a series of kids book that teach the basics of financial education.

“I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard and valued.” Brene Brown

Originally published at

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...


Four Degrees Of Separation

by Darrah Brustein

Four Degrees Of Seperation!

by Darrah Brustein

How ‘Saved By The Bell’ Reminded Me of the Power of Networking

by Darrah Brustein

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.


We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.