I receive my fair share of LinkedIn requests. Except in rare circumstances I accept them all. Lately I've been finding myself less than eager to do so. It's not due to snobbery, nor is it due to lack of time on my part. It's because of what I can best describe as "vampire words."
Vampire words are words or phrases that are empty, or in certain contexts suck the energy out of the intended audience. The phrase "seat at the table" are vampire words to those of us in the Human Resources profession. It denotes a certain victim mentality, that HR pros are not valuable and therefore have to earn the respect of their peers and others.
On LinkedIn the "vampire words" are those that, if it was in my power to do so, I would kill and bury in a heartbeat are...
"I'd like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn."
This phrase, which for LinkedIn was probably thought of as a nice way to help inexperienced and nervous members to make it easier to connect with folks, is dispiriting to me. I sigh wearily whenever I see it in my inbox. It means that this person doesn't want to connect with me. They want to increase their connection count, which is not the same thing. It's the equivalent of mass emails where I'm one of any number of recipients. They're impersonal, transactional in its intent, and while necessary at times are rarely engaging.
As strange as it may sound I'm actually quite interested in why people wish to connect with me. Oftentimes I'll ask new connections what motivated them to reach out to me. And the answers are as varied as the individuals who wrote them. So it's even more puzzling why these motivations aren't offered up front.
So to my future connections, please be considerate. Let me know why you want to connect!
- Looking for insight into the industry or company I work for? Let me know!
- Looking for me to introduce you to one of my contacts? Let me know!
- Looking to offer your products or services to me? Let me know!
It's obvious you want to add me to your network. Now tell me why--I promise not to bite!