In honor of Halloween, I suggest you take a moment to go ghost hunting. Rather than investigating the creepy buildings in town or the local cemetery, take a moment to glance through your connections on LinkedIn by opening a second tab in your browser. Instead of looking at the “All Updates” screen about half-way down your home page, click on the link for “Contacts” then “Connections” using the toolbar across the top of your home page.
The default setting should be all connections in alphabetical order. Take a quick scroll through your list of connections. Go ahead, I’ll wait.
Those who have added new connections will have their connection quantity highlighted in orange (how festive!). Those who have not will be in black. Take a moment to focus on the connections in black. When was the last time you heard from the majority of these connections, either via social networking or in person?
Have you encountered a ghost in your network? This is someone who you hear from when they’re in need, only to disappear until the next time something is needed. Unfortunately, I think most people with a sizable network have a few ghosts in their network.
So what’s the best way to get rid of ghosts? Sorry, calling Ghostbusters is not an acceptable answer! :-) If you practice the give-to-get philosophy, I’d suggest you need to engage your network. Rather than waiting for an update from your ghosts, why not send them a quick note to check in with them and see if you can be of assistance? Your timing could be perfect and the goodwill could go a long way toward strengthening your networking relationship. It’s better to grow a strong network as a treat than to be tricked!