What Long Lost Friends Have to Offer
A dormant tie is somebody that you had a meaningful history with at some point but have lost touch in the past few years.
Adam Grant is the youngest tenured professor at Wharton and a leading expert on success, work motivation, and helping and giving behaviors. He has been recognized as Wharton’s single-highest-rated teacher, one of the world’s 40 best business professors under 40, and one of BusinessWeek’s favorite professors. Previously, he was a record-setting advertising director at Let’s Go Publications, an All-American springboard diver, and a professional magician.
Adam earned his Ph.D. in organizational psychology from the University of Michigan, completing it in less than three years, and his B.A. from Harvard University, magna cum laude with highest honors and Phi Beta Kappa honors. He has been honored with the Excellence in Teaching Award for every class that he has taught. He has presented for leaders at organizations such as Google, the NFL, Merck, Microsoft, Goldman Sachs, IBM, the United Nations, the World Economic Forum, and the U.S. Army, Navy, and Air Force. He has appeared on CNN and CBC, and designed several experiential learning activities based on The Apprentice in which students have raised over $175,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation while developing leadership, influence, networking and collaboration skills.
Adam’s research has been featured in bestselling books, including Quiet by Susan Cain, Drive and To Sell Is Human by Daniel Pink, and The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor, as well as hundreds of media outlets, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine,USA Today, The Financial Times, Oprah Magazine, and the Freakonomics blog. Adam has more than 60 publications in leading management and psychology journals, and his pioneering studies have increased performance and reduced burnout among engineers and sales professionals, enhanced call center productivity, and motivated safety behaviors among doctors, nurses and lifeguards. In 2011, he won the triple crown of prestigious scholarly achievement awards from the American Psychological Association, the Academy of Management, and the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology.
Personally I struggle a lot with reaching out to weak ties. I often don’t feel comfortable contacting an acquaintance for help. I also don’t want to feel like a taker who only reaches out when I need something and never reciprocates.
Well it turns out there’s actually a way to get the best of both worlds – the comfort of a strong tie and the novel information of a weak tie. And Daniel Levin and his colleagues call it a dormant tie.
A dormant tie is somebody that you had a meaningful history with at some point but have lost touch in the past few years. And the studies of this are phenomenal. What they show is that if you actually reconnect with a dormant tie it’s faster and easier because you do have that sort of shared experience to build on.
And you also get that fast access to novel information because in the last few years those dormant ties have been meeting different people and learning about different ideas. And so they actually can give you the best of both worlds.
In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock
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