To achieve personal and professional growth, social capital emerges as a linchpin, weaving together the threads of success through the power of connections. The profound impact of robust social capital extends far beyond mere networking; it acts as a catalyst for unlocking opportunities and garnering essential support. To embark on a journey of fortifying your social capital, deliberate and purposeful incorporation of ten key tips into your daily interactions becomes not just a strategy but a blueprint for cultivating meaningful relationships and navigating the pathways to achievement.

1. Cultivate Genuine Relationships

I truly believe that people/relationships will be your biggest asset. Develop authentic connections by showing sincere interest in others. Brene Brown, a renowned researcher and author on vulnerability and human connection, advocates for cultivating genuine relationships. Through her work, she encourages open and honest communication, fostering authentic connections by embracing vulnerability and empathy. 

I was inspired by something Oluwatosin Olaseinde, the personal finance guru twitted this week on the X platform. She wrote ‘Your energy is one of your biggest assets’. I couldn’t agree more and I will layer on my perspective by adding use your energy wisely to nurture valuable and strategic relationships. One major way to build genuine relationships for social capital is to actively listen, ask meaningful questions, and remember details about people’s lives to build trust.

2. Networking Events

To build social capital, attending networking events regularly to expand your circle of acquaintances is crucial. Engage in conversations, exchange business cards, and follow up with contacts to solidify relationships.

Oprah Winfrey understands this well, so her network includes influential figures like business magnates, political leaders, and celebrities. Her networking skills played a crucial role in the success of her media empire. Another person who understood the power of networks

3. Online Presence

The use of online platforms plays a strong role in building social capital. This must be done intentionally to project what you want to be known for.

Neil Patel’s blog attracts over 3 million visitors monthly, and he has been recognised by Forbes as one of the top 10 marketers. His online presence significantly impacts the digital marketing landscape. 

You can establish a strong online presence through professional platforms like LinkedIn. Share valuable content, connect with industry peers, and participate in relevant discussions to enhance your visibility.

4. Volunteer and Community Involvement

“Be the change you want to see” is a statement that resonates most with this. Your contribution to your community through volunteer work or local events will not only impact lives but will get you the capital required for social building. Not only does this showcase your commitment to social responsibility, but it also provides opportunities to meet like-minded individuals.

5. Be a Resource. Be a person of Value

Whatever you offer will attract people, but what you offer will determine the type of people you attract. Tim Ferriss’ book “The 4-Hour Workweek” has been translated into 40 languages, emphasising his global impact. His dedication to providing valuable resources has resonated with a vast and diverse audience.

When you offer your expertise and support to others without expecting immediate returns. Being a resource to your network builds goodwill and increases the likelihood of reciprocation in the future.

6. Attend Industry Seminars and Conferences

Some may feel that attending industry seminars and conferences is a waste of time and resources. Personally I have built my network over the years by being very selective about the events I attend. I have a personal rule that I must make one deal or connect with at least 3 people at any event I attend. So far so good. Don’t underestimate the usefulness of seminars and conferences. Not only does it help you stay informed about industry trends, you also get to meet professionals in your field and have access to leaders and experts that can open doors to valuable connections. I actually met my mentor Professor Ike Ehiribe a renowned international arbitrator at a sports arbitration conference in Kenya. I ordinarily may not have had a chance to connect with him. Ignore networking at your career peril.

7. Effective Communication

When the former US President and the Nobel Peace prize laureate, Barack Obama, delivered his speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, he ensured that he made everyone own a place in his speech. Despite his really unpopular status his speech catapulted him into the national spotlight. His effective communication has left a lasting impact on global politics.

Develop and hone your communication skills to articulate your ideas clearly and professionally. A well-spoken individual is more likely to make a lasting impression and be remembered positively in social circles.

8. Cross-Functional Collaboration

Being a one-way traffic employee or business owner will limit your influence and its returns. Seek opportunities for cross-functional collaboration within your workplace or industry. Building relationships across different departments or sectors broadens your network and exposes you to diverse perspectives.

9. Develop an Attitude of Gratitude

Never underestimate the power of “thank you.” Express gratitude always for the support and assistance you receive from others. A simple thank you can go a long way in strengthening relationships and creating a positive impression.

The late banking mogul and entrepreneur Herbert Wigwe together with partner Aig Imoukhede transformed a once failing small bank called Access Bank and turned into a pan African banking giant. Across board using his power and influence, he empowered thousands of people and gave people opportunities. The outpour during his funeral shows that he was grateful for many of the relationships he had and never took them for granted. This is loyalty and that show of gratitude will always take you to places most people can only dream of getting into. These are values we can imbibe and learn. May his precious soul continue to rest in peace.

10. Consistency is the Key

Building social capital is an ongoing process. Consistently invest time and effort into maintaining and expanding your network. Regular communication and engagement contribute to the longevity of your social capital. The “Oracle of Omaha” is a living example of this. Warren Buffett has been consistently listed among the world’s wealthiest individuals and is known as the “Oracle of Omaha” for his successful investment strategies. His consistent approach has stood the test of time in the financial world.

I hope you enjoyed this week’s focus on building social capital. Go on and put what you learnt into practice and share. Enjoy the rest of your week.