Having recently joined LinkedIn, I have till now been mildly active but quietly observing. I am not sure how it works for others (feel free to comment on your experiences below), but so far I sense more of a disconnect, than a connect with people and wonder how many of us actively engage with our range of 50 to 500+ connections.
Other than the prompts from LinkedIn that encourage us to click and acknowledge someone’s anniversary/birthday/promotion, how much time do we actually invest in personalizing these relationships? More importantly, what prevents us from reaching out, inquiring and learning more about our connections? Wouldn’t that be the right way to “grow your network”?
I suppose everybody has their own purpose for being here. But the question to ask is: Has that purpose been successfully achieved or do we all simply follow the generic Linkedin behaviour of Connect-Accept-Disconnect?
For instance, we send out a standard “Please add me to your LinkedIn network” message, which generally goes one of two ways. Ignored; if people think they don’t know the person or worse, assume they are “after my connections” or accepted; by those who believe in growing their network but thereafter, do nothing.
I once broke the “unspoken rule” of LinkedIn, when I personalized my response to somebody requesting to connect, asking them their interest in connecting with me and how I could be of help? I never got a reply back. Still, that person sits as part of my “connections” much like a year book picture.
In the meantime, I just spent a few hours getting to know a charming young lady and her business. It started with an invite to chat over coffee and we definitely connected in person. I am sure there are many such opportunities within our connections on LinkedIn as well, if only we decide to pursue them more relevantly.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this as I often use such insights in my workshop Re-Connect : The Art of Relating & Connecting with People, where I teach the importance of building and maintaining connections.
To greater connections and better relations!