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Should you stay connected with everyone you have met?

LinkedIn has a feature that I haven’t used, until this week. It is the “See Who You Already Know on LinkedIn” utility that offers to send invites to people whose email addresses are stored in your email account. 

A way to conveniently extend your LinkedIn community to people you know seems like a good idea. Why not send invites to people you have emailed in the past?

On Saturday, I decided to investigate this function. I was curious about how it worked and whether I could filter my email connections for those I wanted to connect with.

I hit “continue” in the pop-up menu and instantly had second thoughts–what about all the people who are copied on business emails? I decided to exit the window, no harm done.

Immediately, I noticed the red email indicator light up on my Blackberry. I looked at my email (a Pavlovian response) and saw two acceptances of my LinkedIn invites. Oh no. I was mortified. 

I had sent LinkedIn invites to everyone who has been copied on an email in my Gmail and Outlook accounts since the beginning of time–presidents of client organizations, professors, dentists, plumbers, you name it.

The acceptances kept coming in. How many invites were sent out, I wondered. How many were ignored? It felt like a popularity contest. 

The more the acceptances arrived, the more relaxed I became about my invitation bonanza. It’s only an invitation to connect, I rationalized.

Most people I recognized and was glad that we were now connected. I was surprised that I wasn’t already connected with others. Some I wouldn’t have sent invites to because either I didn’t have relationships with them or the invites might be viewed as requests inspired by personal gain. 

In total, I have received 60 acceptances in 6 days, a 4 percent increase in my total LinkedIn community.

Knowing what I know now, would I do it again? Absolutely. Like change management, my personal goal is to positively influence people to change how they think and act to be more successful. Influencing more people extends my influence, even if it has pushed me out of my comfort zone to achieve it. 

Helping someone decide whether to use a LinkedIn feature may seem like a small thing, but it might be more important to some readers, and that’s what makes writing this blog meaningful to me. You never know what influence you can have.

So should you try out this LinkedIn feature? The meaningful connections you gain might be worth it. They were worth it for me.


Five Minutes a Week Can Help Two Friends for Life

My blog post was delayed today because I was waiting for permission to include someone’s name and company. I didn’t anticipate that this would take hours and therefore found myself in a self-created dilemma: should I continue to wait or write a new blog post. Posting on Fridays is a personal commitment so here I go.

A week ago, I received an email from someone who had just bought Change with Confidence. Reading his note gave me an immediate energy boost. His taking the time to reach out to me meant a lot. 

In his note he said he was looking for change help from someone with experience in his specific industry. Since I didn’t have it I started looking for someone who did. Fortunately, I identified two people who had excellent experience and skills that could meet his needs. Excitedly I wrote him to share the good news. 

My final step in professional matchmaking was to make introductions. LinkedIn seemed the best medium given its excellent personal profiles and ability to make connections. My first exploration into the help site was unsuccessful. All I could find was instructions on how to request an introduction to someone in a connection’s network. Not what I was looking for.

My next attempt directed me to a chat stream about introductions. Margaret A. Ost provided the solution. Uncannily, the person who posted the question wanted to know how to request an introduction to someone in a connection’s network. I could have helped.

Courtesy of Margaret, here are the steps to introducing two connections that could benefit from knowing each other:

  • Search for one of the connection’s profiles from the top of your home page
  • From results, click their name
  • Click the share icon from the profile overview section
  • Enter each recipient’s name
  • Modify the message to explain how they could benefit from knowing each other
  • Click send message
A new relationship can help each person gain perspectives, information, opportunities, money and ongoing support they need to be successful. Can you imagine the good you could do by connecting two of your friends each week? I have decided to invest five minutes each week to connect two people in my network. 
My friends are worth it and the energy boosts will be great too.

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