My LinkedIn Invitation Was Rejected

Getting a Grip - Personal workplace advice from Handshake 2.0 Dear Getting a Grip:  At business networking events, I met a person several times.  We even talked about our LinkedIn connections.  But when I e-mailed him a LinkedIn invitation, he didn’t accept it.  I’m seen him since and neither of us spoke of it.  I now find him very annoying.  Who does he think he is?

Dear Annoyed:  As we increase our networks of people – beyond the hundred or so friends, family members, mentors, and close colleagues we know well – to those we know marginally, or not at all, the contact-to-conversion ratio works against us.  If for every 10 invitations, we get one rejection, for every 100 invitations, we’ll get 10 rejections.  It’s not personal.

Yet, it feels personal and begs a deeper question:  Am I to whom I'm linked?  Is my value measured by the number and status of my contacts?  In business, the answer pretty much is “yes.”  “It’s who you know” and word-of-mouth referrals aren’t the grease of commerce, they’re the machinery.  Here, the contact-to-conversion ratio works for us.  The greater our number of contacts, the greater our conversion-to-sales ratio.  That said, is our value as humans determined by our contacts?  That’s a “no.” 

Getting a Grip:  Who does he think he is?  Someone who doesn’t see his path linking to yours.

The only company we can fully count on to value us is our own.  We continue to work on self-regard all our lives, but the alternative – other-regard or LinkedIn-regard – leaves us not only annoyed, but vulnerably dependent on the ultimately unknowable and uncontrollable reasons and whims of others.  Powered by self-acceptance and self-regard, we’re free to continue on our paths, whether others choose to share them – or link to them – or not. 

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Need to start “Getting a Grip” on a personal problem at work?  Need workplace advice?  E-mail your question to [email protected].

Getting a Grip, a workplace advice column for Handshake 2.0, is written by Anne Giles Clelland.  Getting a Grip regrets that not all questions can be answered, personal replies are not possible, and questions may be edited for brevity and clarity.

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Getting a Grip appears monthly in Valley Business FRONT.

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