Business English
Build a network that challenges you
Build a network that challenges you

warm up

  • How do you feel when somebody challenges your point of view?
  • Why is it a good idea to challenge your opinions?
  • Think about your colleagues or friends. Who do you argue the most?


Listen to the recording and try to understand the main idea from the article.



Build a network that challeges your point of view

When your network is mostly people whose backgrounds and skill sets are similar to yours, it’s unlikely to help you find new ideas or creative solutions. 1. Diversify your network by connecting with people whose viewpoints, insights, and experiences differ from your own. When you meet someone new, talk about what you don’t have in common. Ask friends to introduce you to their contacts who have an interesting job or who work in a unique space. In particular, try to meet people who will challenge your 2. assumptions and 3. biases . If you’re 4. struggling to build your network in the usual ways, create a reason to bring a diverse group together. For example, a monthly book club can give you the chance to hear a 5. variety of perspectives, as well as to read authors you wouldn’t normally pick up. By making a 6. concerted effort , you can develop a network that both inspires you and pushes you to expand your thinking.

urozmaicić, różnicować, poszerzyć zakres

przypuszczenie, założenie

stronniczość, uprzedzenie, tendencyjność

borykać się, wysilać się, starać się bardzo

różnorodność, rozmaitość, zróżnicowanie

wspólny trud



  • Why shouldn’t we surround ourselves with people who think similarly to us?
  • What kind of differences you could be looking for?
  • How can you find people who are different from you?
  • How can these people help you?


What do you think of the idea of networking with people who think differently?



Time for some practice.

Complete the task below. When you put your name, you can see on the leaderboard how you scored against other users of The Blue Tree.


lesson glossary



This HBR Management Tip touches upon the issue of people we surround ourselves with. How important is it to make sure that our network of contacts includes people who are different from us?

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