Years ago, I had a profile on LinkedIn.
More than 500 connections, mostly from book publishing and military special-operations, plus some old friends.
I found it impossible to manage 500+ connections, let alone the few who were truly important to me.
Plus, I found that most people were just too busy in their daily lives to interact, and too disinterested to correspond.
Excluding my dear friends and buddies from the Army, only those who saw an immediate payback made an effort to communicate.
We all know this: selfishness drives the human spirit
What’s in it for me?
How can I benefit?
When will I get paid?
Not to mention, we want it all now now now, while expending the least amount of effort, energy, time, resources and money.
Gone are the days when we sought human contact for the evolutionary purpose of simply connecting with another good person.
That common occurrence breaks my heart.
The powers that be have taught us to be supremely selfish in all aspects of life, and to distrust everyone on all levels, even our loved ones.
I say, “Let’s bring back the good ol’ days!”
My second tour here on LinkedIn is different this time
I’ve discovered some wonderful human beings who correspond once in a while, and eagerly respond to my missives. They take an interest in me and my work, and not simply because it may benefit them. And they allow me into their professional and personal lives.
Why so different now?
A few reasons: I changed the way I look, interact and behave here on LinkedIn. I go out of my way to send personalized requests to connect, and to comment on a person’s cool profile or work or interests. I also bend over backward to assist those in need, usually on a moment’s notice.
Yes, there are still some disinterested parties, and I delete them unceremoniously after a month or so, but the majority are responsive and kind and decent. And I thank those who go out of their way to interact in a strong, positive way.
This time, too, I am keeping my connections down to around 250, which is still too unwieldy. But I’m working to improve my actions and interactions, to make those 250 people an important part of my professional (and sometimes personal) part of my life.
Disappointment arises because of unexpressed communications and unfulfilled expectations.
My gentle advice to everyone here on LinkedIn
- Say hello from the heart
- Take a genuine interest in the other person and their work and interests
- Be not only professional but decent and humane
- Ask for what you want in a kind and respectful way
- Share your expectations with those you like, admire and trust
- Say please and say thank you
Happy Holidays to all and a very Happy New Year!