Introduction to Knowing Yourself & Social Networks

Outside of the basic rhetorical strategies, good communication also depends on introspection and self-awareness. One’s communication style is a reflection of oneself. Personality traits, cognitive biases and relationships with others all influence that style.

In addition, navigating professional and social situations requires an understanding of how people create, grow and maintain relationships with each other in a social network, and the nature of different types of interpersonal relationships.

Why It Matters

It’s easier to collaborate and compromise with others if you understand yourself. Learning about your personality traits, biases and communication style helps you develop strategies for communicating in both simple and complex situations. In addition, understanding the different types of social and professional bonds allows you to read the contours of the social landscape around you, act appropriately towards your connections and identify which rhetorical strategies may be effective in a given situation.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand how personality traits differ and their importance in building healthy working relationships
  • Identify cognitive biases
  • Objectively analyze one’s own individual communication style
  • Recognize the role individuals play in social networks
  • Analyze strong and weak ties between individuals
  • Understand the expectations of reciprocity in a network

Images: “Social Network Visualization” by Martin Grandjean licensed under CC BY SA 4.0