Is a functioning circle of friends already a resilient network?

Is it enough to ask the people you know for help from time to time and to offer this help? Then you can save yourself the stress of systematic contact management with all the events and memberships. Or is that not the case? What is the difference between a good circle of friends and a professional relationship network, a real lobby?

Differences between a circle of friends and a relationship network

1. goals & code

2. fixed organisational structures and procedures

A private circle of friends has no goals other than the social interaction of its members. With friends, you meet because you enjoy the time you spend together. Although one can hope to be supported by friends, this help tends to be private and sporadic. In a professional relationship network, there is a kind of code that establishes mutual support as a duty. Professional networks are dynamic, i.e. it is clear to all participants that there are goals that everyone wants to achieve and that this is the reason for belonging to the network. This is the common ground, from the Freemasons who strive for personal growth to the golf club where you want to improve your handicap. Therefore, it is also natural to help other members of the community in their pursuit. A circle of friends is more like a static circle of trust, a refuge to which one retreats, which helps one in crises but does not primarily serve the achievement of personal goals. A fall-back position, not a springboard.

“What connects the circle of friends?”

Of course, there is also a common value system among friends (this is even the basis of true friendship), norms of behaviour exist and certainly a general willingness to support each other. You can have a large circle of friends who always help you with removals, garden parties or heartbreak. But a professional lobby is something else. You can only speak of a systematic relationship network when there are people in your environment who support you permanently, regularly and as extensively as possible, both professionally and privately, who see this as the basis of the relationship and also demand the same from you. In short: You have a circle of friends if you can trust a group of like-minded people; you have a personal lobby if this group also actively helps you to achieve goals because they have agreed this among themselves.

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