The Social Bank Account

I love Tara Hunt’s post today about Social Capital and Community Freeloaders. She dives into the nature of “favors from friends,” and writes:

“Now, I don’t want to reduce every interaction we human beings have with another person to being a transaction, but, in effect, it is. If I ask a friend for a favor, she is bound oblige. However, if I ask that same friend for ten favors, she may start to feel like I’ve depleted my “allowance” on my account with her. Of course, with different people, we have more leeway. With our close friends and family we have loads of Social Capital to withdraw from and as our relationships get more casual, the less influence and favor we carry with others.”

Basically, you have a bank account. The more Social Capital you’ve accumulated in that bank account, the more of a safety net you have when things get rough and you need help.

Tara breaks Social Capital transactions into a very nice table of deposits and withdrawals. “Performing a favor,” for example, is a deposit. ” Expecting that people come to your events when you don’t go to theirs,” on the other hand, is a clear example of a withdrawal.

I appreciate that she lists all of these deposits:

  • Asking for the first favor
  • Asking for a lateral introduction
  • Encouraging people to get involved in your projects.
  • Requesting simple advice.

It’s the second favor, the prestigious introductions, the unsolicited sales pitches, and the extensive advice that send hits to your Social Capital resources. But simple and friendly “I could use your help” shoulder-taps can actually strengthen a connection. They show someone that they’re important to you, and that you value what they have to offer.

Another fun read on this subject is Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time.

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3 Responses to “The Social Bank Account”

  1. Tara Hunt Says:

    Thanks for the great post, Sarah! Asking advice from people makes them feel good. Constantly asking advice makes them feel taxed. You put it in better terms than I could have!

  2. Cyprus Says:

    “well, we all know theirs huge benefits to register a company in Cyprus, lol. My account pointed me to a few blogs on the net which i’m rather reluctant to check out as i’ve been so busy lately”

  3. Tjen Cash Online Says:

    Hvis du mener at å tjene penger online virker interessant, så kan denne bloggen noe for deg! Besøk oss nå.