I get a lot of connection requests to my LinkedIn profile from people I don’t know. Almost all of the requests are rejected and the reason I give is because I don’t know them. The requests are impersonal and provide no context so why would I accept them? Then I found myself reconnecting through this lazy way with Peter Sandman. We know each other but have not had contact for several years. Peter responded with a long email that reconnected properly by explaining how he values our connection and our changed circumstances
I am very happy to connect with anyone involved with workplace safety or the myriad of issues that relate to it but here are my suggestions about how to do this.
Send me an email explaining why you find me, or what I write or what I say, interesting. Include a full contact signature so that I can include you in my address book, verify your identity and get a reciprocal idea of how interesting you are. (Don’t offer guest blog posts as they are almost always pure advertising and I will start negotiating a fee)
Call me. If you are in my hometown, Melbourne, I will make time to meet you, have a coffee or a local bagel and listen to you. If you are interstate or overseas, email me to arrange a time to Facetime or Skype.
Comment on my blog and tell me where I am wrong, misinformed or if I am on the right track with some of the occupational health and safety stuff. All of my thoughts are works in progress and will only improve through analysis and discussion.
Send me an email through LinkedIn’s InMail process. As with standard emails, this allows us to establish a connection, a relationship and maybe even a friendship so that linking becomes a validation of the connection rather than a vague connection attempt that is the equivalent of collecting 500 Pokemon. I value quality over quantity every time.
I try to get to a couple of major safety-related conferences each year, predominantly in Australia. But I will also turn up at various seminars and workshops. These are great opportunities to introduce yourself even though they may not allow sufficient time to talk. The introduction can get followed up through the contact mechanisms listed above.
Above all, explain what you want and why you want to connect with me. This allows me to know what to bring to the conversation and encourages me to think about the relevance of our connection so I can do some leg work, or rather brain work, about how our needs overlap and can help each other. It may also be that I cannot help you but I know someone who can.
What this does is prepare the ground for a sustainable connection perhaps even “the beginning of a beautiful friendship” to quote Humphrey Bogart.