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ConnectionBrowsingScott

Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 7 months ago

From ConnectionBrowsing

 

 

Let me start by saying…

 

 

 

I don't open my connections for browsing. The reason I don't is because I already have more demands on my time for networking than I can handle – I don't want to invite more, particularly in a way that I consider marginally beneficial. If other people want to browse and allow browsing – hey, great. No problem whatsoever with the concept – I just don't have time to do it myself or support others doing it. So it really doesn't matter to me if others in my network do or not.

 

 

 

That said, the whole idea of "I'm not going to open my connections for browsing to someone who won't open theirs to me" is NOT reciprocity, except in some twisted, negative way. It's basically the LinkedIn equivalent of "If you're not going to share your ball with me, I'm not going to share mine with you."

 

 

 

What – are we three years old? Come on.

 

 

 

People have all kinds of legitimate reasons for not sharing their networks. If you're comfortable sharing yours, and if you feel it creates value for your network, and therefore for you, to do so, then by all means share it. What harm is done in sharing it with someone who doesn't share theirs? Do you really need to "punish" them for not sharing theirs? Talk about telling other people how to network!

 

 

 

Reciprocity in a network context is about "paying it forward", with the expectation that somehow, collectively, the network will give you returns far exceeding what you put in. If you take that down to the individual level and "keep score" with each individual person, that misses the whole point of networking.

 

 

 

Let's consider a similar situation, and I think it will make it obvious how silly the whole idea is…

 

 

 

Let's say that you're a job-seeker, or perhaps a semi-retired executive. You have 30-40-50 hours a week to spend networking. You have the time to spend, say, an hour on the phone getting to know someone. One of those people you want to meet is an extremely busy executive. They have maybe 3-4-5 hours a week to spend networking. They tell you that they'd be happy to spend 15 minutes on the phone with you.

 

 

 

Are you going to refuse to meet with them because they can only give you 15 minutes while you're able to put an hour or more into the relationship?

 

 

 

Of course not – that's ludicrous. You can't expect the same thing from everyone else that you expect from yourself. Everyone's situation is unique.

 

 

 

It's not good networking to withhold anything from certain people in your network simply because they choose not to reciprocate in the same way or at the same level. It doesn't serve you in any way whatsoever – in fact, it makes you look petty.

 

Scott Allen

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