Have you ever considered what are your top 5 values, what’s your purpose in life and whether you’re surrounded by people who believe in what you believe? In a nutshell, that is what social capital stands for. It is defined as a network of relationships among people who live and work in a particular society, enabling that society to function effectively. Evidently, social capital would differ from person to person, but the major elements would stay the same through every circle.
What is Social Capital?
The benefits and resources generated by one’s social networks and personal interactions are referred to as social capital. This network grows wider and diverse as multitude of people contribute to it through their shared insights and knowledge holdings. This allows for an enhanced flow of ideas and resources, leading to accelerated access to opportunities. Informally, it means having your own set of people, whom you share the above-mentioned elements with. Not everybody you meet will have the same understanding or approach towards life the way you do. Hence, in your very own circle of social capital, you help each other navigate problem areas and provide solutions based on mutual reasoning.
The objective is to be able to depend on each other in the social circle in order to ensure the running and performance of your combined targets and goals. You might have a shared vision of your goals and outcomes, which would lessen the time lag in actualization of your targets. This is indisputable considering that your resources and ideologies are combined towards the same end results. There’s potential to grow on a professional level as well as personal when you open up opportunities to grow your social capital.
Categories of Social Capital
- Bonding: It refers to establishing social bonds within a group with shared interests
- Bridging: It refers to establishing social relationships across various groups. However, this is done selectively with people who have shared interests or relatively similar positions in the society
- Linking: It generates relationships between groups, but those that connect or link various socioeconomic factions
How to Grow Your Social Capital
- You can connect with people actively as well as strategically and build a professional network of individuals online
- Recognize and review people in terms of who you know and who you need to know. Analyse this with the objective of discharging your problem areas
- Identify the people who can help you improve professionally and reach out to them proactively
- Move out of your comfort zone and engage with people who share your interests
- Focus on people who are not just likeable but also bring something relevant to the table; ensure that you have something to give back in return as well
- Engage with people who criticize you. This will help you understand their perspectives and gauge the various opinions and views around that particular topic area
- Show inclination towards assisting other others and seek support for yourself when you need it
- Block time into your calendars to socialize with your network over lunch or coffee
- Leverage the value that your alumni association offers to you
- Concentrate on the quality of people that you’re interacting with rather than the volume
- Keep an eye out for things that pique your interest. Every new recreation, activity and craft brings a new opportunity to explore new people.
Have an opinion on the post? Share your networking stories below for us to know more about your insights and experiences with “social capital”. Let us know whether you’ve been able to leverage your social circle in order to enhance your opportunities.