Quiz: Are you a Connector, a Maven or a Persuader?

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In his 2000 debut The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, author Malcolm Gladwell identifies three very special types of people who make the world of business networks go round. Take our quiz to understand which you are most like, or on your way to being, so that you can play to your natural strengths as you build your networks, knowing what it is you bring to the room. After every answer you’ll find an initial – keep a tally as you go.  

1. Your women’s network is throwing its largest gathering to date. You’re most excited about…

  • Getting to know diverse people from departments you’ve never come into contact with before (c)
  • Finding out what projects are going on in disparate parts of the business (m)
  • Getting as many people on board as you can with a new initiative you want to launch (p)

2. You’re getting stuck into writing a report when you realise you’re missing some crucial industry data. Your solution is to…

  • Enlist the help of someone in your vicinity – you’ll have no problems returning the favour if they ever need anything in exchange (p)
  • Call up that former colleague you’ve kept in touch with – they’ll almost certainly have all the answers or be able to point you to someone who will (c)
  • Trawl through the Internet, books, blogs and social networks to generate as much information as you can to plug the gap (m)

3. You’re planning an away day for your team. Which of the following are you most likely to pay attention to?

  • Getting the team to buy into the ideas you want to present, so that you can move forward as a group (p)
  • Finding lots of material to stimulate ideas and discussion (m)
  • Creating tasks and workshops in a way that gets the best out of each and every person (c)

4. When a LinkedIn connection requests you help, it’s more likely to be…

  • To ask you to introduce them to someone they’d like to get to know (c)
  • Offering their time or help with a project you’ve spoken to them about (p)
  • To pick your brains about a problem they’re encountering at work (m)

5. Which piece of feedback are you most likely to hear following a presentation?

  • You speak with such passion – you totally had me convinced (p)
  • You speak with such authority – you really know your stuff (m)
  • When you speak you really touch people – you understand your audience and their needs (c)

6. Someone on your team is really struggling with confidence issues. You think:

  • I know just the training course they should go on, and there’s a great book I can lend them (m)
  • I know someone who’d be a fantastic mentor for them (c)
  • I can coach them myself – I’m sure I can convince them to take on some of the techniques that work for me (p)

7. At the heart of a good brainstorm is the principle of…

  • Effective debate – it’s all about arguing your point convincingly (p)
  • Empathy – it’s crucial you understand where the other person and their ideas are coming from (c)
  • Quantity – just getting down as many ideas as possible, good and bad (m)

8. A networking event was a success if you managed to…

  • Talk to as many people as possible, finding out about their lives and what makes them tick (c)
  • Came away buzzing with ideas (m)
  • You managed to convince others of the validity of your opinion or something that really matters to you (p)

9. When you’re reading your industry’s trade magazine, you’re mostly drawn to…

  • A compelling theory or idea that you can really get behind (p)
  • The detail behind some new way of doing things – the more data for you to pour over, the better (m)
  • Profiles of key figures and how they’re making things happen (c)

10. Some time after meeting at a networking function, a connection emails you a few words of thanks for your help. You get the biggest buzz if they…

  • Are grateful for a referral that won them a job or promotion (c)
  • Admit they were inspired by something you said and have made life or career changes as a result (p)
  • Are returning the favour with some interesting new insight – a report, publication or details of something they heard – that you can add to your knowledge bank (m)



Congratulations – you’re what Smart Networking Founder Heather White calls “one of the most valuable people in any network”. Why are Connectors so crucial to know? “These people who link us up with the world, who bridge Omaha and Sharon, who introduce us to our social circles – these people on whom we rely on more heavily than we realise [have] a very special gift of bringing people together,” says Malcolm Gladwell. When you make change happen, it’s usually through galvanizing what you consider your primary resource – who you know. “Wow, is there anyone you don’t know?” is something you’re used to hearing. Whenever you or anyone is faced with a problem, you’re naturally inclined to wonder who you can reach out to for help – and there’s no shortage of it on offer to you. In return, you love sharing information widely – making introductions and seeing those relationships flourish gives you a real buzz. Group chat is your lifeblood – it’s through talking to people and knowing what’s going on around them that makes you such a useful resource to the many people who reach out for your help. What now? Indulge your passion for helping others by Becoming a mentor or signing up to be a Modern Muse. Looking to expand your contact list across borders? Read on to discover more about the other networking archetypes – perhaps you’re lucky enough to embody some of the traits of Mavens and/or Persuaders too. If you’re not a natural connector but want to garner more of these skills, begin to understand how in Connecting with connectors: finding the most valuable people in your network.  


“You’re such an ideas person.” Sound familiar? That’s because you’re a Maven – someone who thrives on information and ideas to the point where you sometimes feel overwhelmed because you have so many ideas competing for space in your head. But you’re not just about ‘the big picture’ – you can spot a ‘thin’ idea a mile off, and know just where to look to find all that missing data that others might not notice. In fact, you’re such an in-depth researcher that you might need to put limitations on how much time you allow for fact generation and exploration, or you might never end up at execution stage. As far as your networks are concerned, you’re the person others come to when they need information. If you don’t have it, you’ll almost certainly know where to look. Your reputation as an expert reaches far and wide – ramp it up whenever you can by sharing the information you covet with your wider community. What now? Time to make sure all those thoughts and ideas are being shared as widely as possible. Harvest new ideas in Food for thought: 5 unusual TED Talks to watch on your lunch break. Understand more about the science of creativity in order to galvanise more of your brilliant ideas using our workbook Unleashing your creativity in the workplace. If you’re part Maven, part Connector or Persuader, read on to discover your dual networking personality. If you lack the discipline of a Maven but need to get on top of some of these skills, begin by reading Improving your attention to detail.  


“Mavens are data banks. They provide the message. Connectors are social glue: they spread it. But there is also a select group of people – Salesmen [or Persuaders] – with the skills to persuade us when we are unconvinced of what we are hearing.” Anyone can have an idea, but the skill of a leader is to wrap up that idea into a compelling message, make it ‘sticky’ so that others want to go on the journey too. As a Persuader, this is an art that comes naturally to you. When you want your employees, colleagues or even your boss to buy into your big idea, you know just what to say or do to get them on board with you. You can take even the dullest, tried and tested solution, and, as a natural storyteller, find a way to give it sizzle and pizazz. Networking, for you, is an opportunity to win even more hearts and minds and others are naturally drawn to your big ideas. What now? As a Persuader, you’re driven by compelling ideas. Don’t forget that it’s people who’ll bring those ideas to fruition, so look for the Connectors in your network who’ll be able to tie you in with the personalities you need to be associated with. Read: Connecting with connectors: finding the most valuable people in your network. Salespeople, or ‘Persuaders’ are naturally charismatic. If you’re not a natural Persuader but want to dial up some of these skills, take the everywomanNetwork workbook 60 minutes to charisma


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