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Decoding the Patterns of Human Connection with Marissa King

Released Monday, 22nd March 2021
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Today we welcome Marissa King to the Masters of Community podcast. Marissa is the author of the new book, social chemistry, and a professor of organizational behavior at Yale. In this episode, we discuss the 3 types of networks: brokers, conveners, and expansionists, and how communities and networks differ. Marissa shares her insights into cliques, gossip, and the 6 degrees of separation and how these play into networks and communities. We wrap up talking about creating authentic networks through proximity and interaction frequency while being fully present. Listen to the full episode to enhance your communication skills in community, business, and your personal life.

Who is this episode for?: Everyone

3 key takeaways:
- The 3 network types consist of: brokers, conveners, expansionist
- The 2 ways we create networks are proximity (space) and interaction frequency (formal project assignment
- Community: higher sense of identity & common goals vs network: a simple descriptive tool that maps a set of social relationships who can come together in certain configuration but may not identify as a community.

Notable Quotes:
“ What allows for successful mobilization? Or successful behavioral change? Or what allows for people to truly feel engaged with one another and supported? For every single one of those outcomes, it's not the size of the network that matters. What's far more important is trying to understand, how are those networks structured?...And so I refer to these three network types is brokers, conveners and expansionists in each of these types has this certain set of properties.”

“A network is just a simple, descriptive tool. It's a way of mapping a set of social relationships, but I think the difference between a network is you can have a lot of people who come together in certain configurations, but they may not necessarily identify as a community. And I think, with the overarching differences is that a community has some sort of higher identity or a set of common goals and a set of common purposes. That higher level identity or shared purpose is what's unique about community that doesn't necessarily exist just by having a collection of individuals coming together.”

Rapid fire question answers:

1. What’s your favorite book to recommend to others?
"The Science of Sync" by Steven Strogatz

2. Most memorable community experience? When Marissa observed 12 step groups in action. These were such diverse groups of people coming together with the emerging issues of substance disorder.

3. If you’re on your death bed and you could only leave one piece of life advice behind for all the future generations, what would that advice be? It’s all about love. At the end of the day, you’ll remember relationships the most.

4. What’s your go-to community engagement starter?
What’s something you’re most excited about right now?

5. Weirdest community you’ve been a part of? Reed college - weird school in Portland Oregon:

6. Would you prefer to have strong ties or weak ties for the rest of your life? Strong ties

7. #1 tip to someone who wants to improve their networking skills? There’s extraordinary value in your current network - focus on that first.