The Importance of Multiplex Connections

by | Jan 19, 2023

When starting a recruiting conversation, most hiring managers lead with something related to work (ex. How did your business go last year?).

While it’s natural (and appropriate) to start with a question like this, unless you branch off quickly to an ancillary topic, the relationship will probably never get off the ground.

Author David Burkus explains why this happens:

Research findings suggest we prefer and seek out relationships where there is more than one context for connecting with the other person.

Sociologists refer to these as multiplex connections where there is an overlap of roles or affiliations from a different social context.

If a colleague at work sits on the same nonprofit board as you or sits next to you in spin class at the local gym, then you two share a multiplex tie.

We prefer relationships with multiplex ties because they tend to be richer, more trusting, and longer lasting.

Because most people subconsciously want these types of connections, you’ll get less resistance by becoming proficient at pivoting to non-work related topics.

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