A Yale Professor’s Personality Test Shows Your Most Effective Networking Style

Are you an expansionist, a broker, or a convener?


Continually expanding your network can have great value when it comes to recruitment, business partnerships, outside endeavors, and so much more.

In work and in life, relationships are everything. Most of us know this intuitively. What most people don’t know, however, is that each of us is sitting on a simple, straightforward way to strengthen all our relationships in ways that are beneficial not only to us, but also to the people with whom we’re connected, and to the people they’re connected to, as well. All it takes is a little self-knowledge.

As a professor of organizational behavior at the Yale School of Management, my research on social dynamics has led me to identify three main types of networkers: the expansionist, the broker, and the convener.

Most people will find that they fall into one of these categories. Understanding which one applies to you can transform the way you approach your relationships.


Expansionists know everyone, and everyone knows them — but their popularity doesn’t necessarily translate to deep relationships. The pop singer Selena Gomez expressed a pitfall of this networking type when she once admitted: “I know everybody but have no friends.” Expansionists benefit from boundary-setting, so that they can avoid spreading themselves too thin.


Beyond network size, we really care about network structure.

Thinking back over the last six months, who are the people you most often discussed important matters with — the things stressing you out, or personal goals you’re working toward — or received emotional support from? 

As a convener, you may not have the most sprawling network, but you’ve built a tight circle of trust. Like your fellow convener, Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, your guarded nature belies an influential army of allies.


Now that we’ve considered expansion and convening, let’s take a look at brokerage using a scale developed by the management researcher David Obstfeld.

This means that you adapt easily to different surroundings and peer groups. In a high school cafeteria, you’d be the type to float from the jocks’ table to the theatre kids to the goths, no sweat. Like your fellow broker Barack Obama, your exposure to diverse perspectives and ideas gives you a leg up in understanding the bigger picture of the world around you.

Source: Medium & Power Digital Marketing