Six Degrees of Separation and Three Degrees of Influence


by Thomas Keydel


Connections matter. Yet, successful networking is difficult. No one immediately understands what is required to grow one’s network.

Based on the book, Connected: The surprising power of networks and how they shape our lives – How your friends’ friends’ friends affect everything you think, feel and do (2011), this workshop identifies why we are likely to underestimate our need for larger and stronger networks.
If you want to make a connection: tell a story.

This simple maxim builds on the four (4) key rules of interconnected life:

  1. We shape our networks and they shape us (what better reason is there for telling a story),
  2. Our friends affect us (we mimic what they offer by example),
  3. Our friends’ friends’ affect us (we are safest learning from what others experience—not from our own experience), and
  4. Networks have a life of their own (the ending isn’t “the ending,” just a point of reference for whatever we might choose to do).

The reason is simple. Connection influences emotion. Emotion is the genetically inspired way to spread information worth paying attention to. Emotions spread alarmingly fast because with social pressure and compliance we are heavily influenced by those around us.

So why do we underestimate our need for larger and stronger networks? We do not give ourselves permission to influence others, and more essentially, we refuse to trust ourselves.

Workshop Benefits:

  • Discover how easy is it to give yourself permission to tell a story.
  • Get hands-on practice trusting that what you say matters.
  • Help your clients expand their influence by you demonstrating your courage.
  • Build a deeper awareness for how networks influence all of us via illustrations of reciprocity, emotion, personal prosperity and health and political courage.




Tom Keydel is the author of the book, Zanshin: Finding the Power Inside Your Decisions, a Certified Financial coach, Graduate of Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology, and trained by CRR Global (Global Center for Right Relationship). Tom has also worked as conflict mediator in the Massachusetts District Courts. Conflict transforms lives because it provides opportunities to revisit our assumptions. Revisiting our assumptions in the decision-making process is the power of Zanshin.

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