Chapter 3 Excerpt – Treat Your Connections Like They’re Standing Right in Front of You

Chapter 3Treat Them Like They’re Right in Front of You – Online social media etiquette

Here’s the scenario: A person contacts you and would like to get to know you better, on a business level. You agree and start a conversation. As the relationship develops you find that you have more things in common than you originally thought. You want to deepen the relationship. You look for ways to help this other person and become good friends. Oh, and by the way, you’ve never actually physically met.

Welcome to the world of online networking. For this old-fashioned guy, it took a while to get used to meeting and talking to folks for months, sometimes years that I never actually met. Until I decide to apply a very important principal to my online relationships:

Treat your connections like they’re standing right in front of you.

By using your inherent sense of respect for others, you can develop some amazing relationships online.

Here’s a few tips to help you can treat your connections like they’re standing right in front of you:

  1. Be open to new relationships. I often get invitations on LinkedIn from people I have nothing in common with – an IT administrator, a blogging mom in New Hampshire – and for the most part I always accept those invitations. Why? Because I never know what may come out of that relationship in the long run.

  1. Be polite but be honest. Respond back to invitations honestly. IF you don’t want to pursue the relationship, then say so.

  1. Be yourself and be who you are, not who you want other to think you are. Don’t put on an online “identity” to impress or try and influence.

  1. Remember the other person is real – not just a computer connection. Respond in a reasonable time, don’t ignore them and be sure to follow through on anything you commit to do.

  1. Listen, don’t just talk. Listening is an art not easily mastered, especially in the white noise world of online networking!

  1. Finally, look for ways to develop an online relationship into a physical one. Like the person you’re connected to – either as a friend or business associate? Then take the time to meet them if you can. Make the face to face connection.

So, my question to you is simple: Who are you connected to online that you don’t know well but who may make a difference in your life? More importantly, who are you connected to online that you can make a difference in THEIR lives?

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One Response to “Chapter 3 Excerpt – Treat Your Connections Like They’re Standing Right in Front of You”

  1. Matt Scherer says:


    I really like your latest updates. My one suggestion is to consider the promotion of an organization like Toastmasters as a way to teach people how to improve their listening skills.

    As I learned when I was active in Toastmasters, there is a reason why God gave us two ears and two eyes. The four to one ratio of these two communication tools is an amazing process when people embrace it.

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