I am still receiving daily reverberations from my last major inadvertent act that could be labeled a major blunder. Certainly, when I realized what I did I was a bit mortified and embarrassed. But, like many things in life, this latest goof has been a blessing in disguise.
With limited time and a strong mandate to get up to speed on "Linked In," I was trying to get my profile more than 90% completed. So I was using some of their tools for fishing through my Contacts list, etc. My only excuse is a confusing interface and fatigue at the end of a long day. Flimsy at best. While looking at the list of contacts, I thought I was highlighting the ones who might want to be "linked" with me in a polite, kind and genteel way. I am not one to fill up some one's inbox with un-invited missives.
But, after hitting the "send invitation button" I realized I had done the exact opposite and sent 400 invitations to people who I thought would not really appreciate hearing from me or who I didn't know fairly well. Horrors. For women growing up in my generation, this falls under the category of "not polite." Successful business women my age have had to undergo years of therapy to learn how to "not be polite." I still haven't had the nerve to read the list of outstanding invitations.
But, amazingly, soon scores of replies began to show up stating "so and so" had accepted my invitation! Initially, the stream of accepted invitations were hilarious. I was now "linked" to my housekeeper, my former surgeon, my car mechanic, my newspaper delivery person, and my pet sitter. My favorite response was from the 80+ year old friends of my mother who told me how proud they were that I had decided to learn how to use the Internet. Each time the "you have mail" noise sounded, I was afraid to look. If nothing else, this little chapter had certainly supplied a huge load of amusement for a small price of embarrassment.
But the real lesson came a couple of days later, when I started to receive accepted invitations from some of the most high profile attorneys on the West Coast. Now, I know many of the movers and shakers in law firms, because in my business that's what you do. But, I don't know the general managing partner of every Am Law 100 law firm, and suddenly, somewhat to my amazement, many of these individuals accepted my invitation and I am now linked to their personal network. Another accepted invitation arrived today. You would know the name.
So, the whole chapter has been a good kick in the you know what. It is OK to shift your position a bit on the spectrum away from "timid" towards "bold." From "hesitant" to "confident." It doesn't mean you are venturing into the realms of "cocky" or "annoying." Life is short. People are people. Don't be afraid to approach them.
Now, with this amazing network, the possibilities seem endless!
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