The Relationship Capital Checklist


Hang it up, email to friends or send to colleagues. But whatever you do, don’t forget to read its tips and check yourself against them. We all do a little better with a checklist around. Just ask your boss if you don’t believe us. 

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The Relationship Capital Checklist

1. Is your network multi-layered?

Whether you’re looking for business referrals, job opportunities or advice, your relationship
capital goes beyond the people you know directly. Just as critical are the people they know.
When leveraging your direct contacts, ask them to mine their networks as well.

2. Do you keep it lean?

A healthy network is about high-quality relationships with decision-makers and thought
leaders. Focus on curating contacts rather than collecting business cards.

3. Do you know who your hubs are?

The most valuable players in your network are your “hubs”—that is, people who maintain
efficient and effective networks of their own. By building as many hubs into your network as
possible, you open up a vast expanse of opportunity without dramatically increasing overhead.

4. Network maintenance: light touch or time suck?

Your network isn’t efficient if it requires too much of your time. An hour or so a week spent
on your contacts should suffice. That means knowing which relationships require a monthly
lunch, and which are fine with an occasional email.

5. How smart is your ask?

People’s time is precious, and there’s no quicker way of burning bridges than by wasting it.
Before you reach out, research the contact to make sure they’re best for your needs. Hone
your ask to ensure clarity, and follow up as necessary (but don’t be a pain!).

6. Is your contact list diverse or one-note?

The best ideas are born from discussion with people of varying perspectives and expertise.
For maximum efficacy, your relationship capital should be comprised of individuals from
different backgrounds, sectors and levels of experience.

7. Have you granted a five-minute favor this month?

A referral, recommendation or bit of mentoring can often be given with negligible cost to
yourself. Not only does giving your time and advice have the power to nurture your
relationships, but it also creates an environment of giving that can benefit you later. The more
of these you can do, the greater your relationship capital will be later.

8. Do you get asked for help?

You know you’re an expert relationship builder when people come to you for help or favors,
not because you necessarily have the solution yourself, but because you know someone who
might. Use this as a benchmark in the development of your relationship capital.


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