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LinkedIn Etiquette- Some people just don’t get it

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Every so often I get reminded how new social media networking is. Many people are using it, when they have not had experience in proper ways of building relationships. In fact, some people believe that connecting on line is a substitute for building relationships. Linkedin has promoted the notion that you should only connect to people you know and trust. There is definitely a point to that. I respect that position, but I don’t follow that prescription in my practice of using Linkedin. My position as a management professional in a university and a personal who works in employer relations for my university’s career services necessitates me casting a wide net. If a Pace student or alumni asks to connect to me I always say “yes” even though I don’t know that person. I also do that with professionals who want to connect to me. It may pay off later on when I might need some information about a company.
I am very happy to share information with people in my network but I will not refer them to people they want to meet unless there is a compelling reason to connect them. An alumnus, recently persistently asked me to connect him to somebody in my network that I didn’t know. He insisted that I did know that person, because they were connected to me. I sarcastically, ask him how I know this person who I was connected to. Was that person a close friend of mine? I also asked him, how well did I know him. He said that he spoke to me briefly at a holiday party. I said that maybe in his world that made us trusted friends, however here on earth it doesn’t. He said I should consider him a close friend since he graduated a school where I worked. I think he was angry in that he believed that since he was a person who graduated from a school where I worked, I should recommend him to meet somebody in my network.
He had another alternative to connect to people who are in his field or who work for a company that he was interest in. He could join groups in his field of interest and then contact people in that group. In order to get a response from another person, he needs to take time to build rapport. Asking somebody to help you without having a relationship with them, not only will not work, but is rude. He did not know the proper rules of social engagement. If you have the same issue, I recommend, that you read a book on etiquette.

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