What is Dunbar's number?

What is Dunbar's number?

Dunbar's number is a limit on a person's social ties that anthropologist Robin Dunbar found after a great deal of research and observation. For a person, Dunbar's number amounts to 150 contacts. Even if you're a very, very active partner, have a wide social circle and thousands of followers on social media, your Dunbar's number still doesn't exceed 150.

Why so? Because that's how the human brain and memory capacity are wired. It is capable of qualitatively and consciously maintaining from 100 to 230 social connections. You can check: try to remember all your acquaintances - are you aware of everyone's life situation? Chances are, you'll remember something significant about 150.

Dunbar's number is good news, overall. Because it levels the playing field for introverts and extroverts, for example, in a partner program or any activity involving active communication.

Each person's social connections consist of several levels. Each level increases the number of connections, but decreases the degree of involvement/closeness. According to Dunbar, there are four of these levels. But social media extends the number to 5.

• From 2 to 5 people - close circle of communication, best friends. It takes more than 200 hours to get to this level of communication.
• Up to 15 people - a sympathy group, people who are happy with each other and ready to provide mutual support. It takes about 200 hours to establish this level of relationship.
• Up to 50 people are those with whom companionship happens from time to time. It takes about 100 hours to get to this level.
• 150 are those with whom communication is incidental, and interaction occurs only by circumstance. It takes 50 hours to get to this level.
• Infinity is represented by social media, followers, people who know you and you don't know them. It takes no time.

You can make as many social connections as you want, just remember that as the number increases, the quality decreases. Maintaining any contact takes time and resources.

Back in the day, Dunbar's number had an impact on business. Some companies started limiting the number of employees working together to 150 business members. Buildings were built for 150 workplaces, and parking lots - for 150 cars. And a sympathy group of 15 (according to Dunbar) is the perfect team.

In partner business, people are your social asset. Therefore, you should think about developing your partner network in depth, given Dunbar's number, this way your structure will become effective and sustainable. Check out the "Training" section in the back office to understand or remind yourself how it's done and what benefits you'll get.