LinkedIn has become a very good venue for connecting with other professionals. This has great value when building relationships for business or personal development.
I believe that a more important use of LinkedIn is in the sharing and researching of knowledge related to business, charity, community and personal development.
Participating in this activity within LinkedIn not only provides a learning environment, but it also helps to fuel relationship building.
Knowledge transfer cain occur in a couple different ways thru LinkedIn:
Directly Connections – People are the source of all knowledge. This stuff does not grow on trees and you can’t harvest it from a strawberry patch. Knowledge comes from our experiences, failures and successes in life. Lots of knowledge requires lots of people who have experienced, failed and succeed. Connecting with them directly opens the door for sharing this knowledge between individuals directly. Connect with people on LinkedIn and turn these virtual connections into IRL (In Real Life) connections. This allows you to continue building the relationships and sharing & gaining knowledge between each other.
Group Discussions – One reason people get together in groups is because they want to share with or benefit from liked minded people and/or interesting people in relevant areas of life, business or community. LinkedIn groups expands your connections to include the members of the group, regardless of you individual connections. This is an immense value because of the increased number of potential contributors you can share with or gain knowledge from.
You gain knowledge by hearing (reading) open dialogue discussions and comments. You share knowledge by creating your own discussion and/or commenting on open discussions. This participation allows you to support a point of view, add value to a point of view or share a differing point of view relevant to the discussion in a mutually respectful manner.
I coach users to research and consider joining Groups that are relevant to what you do or what they want to be doing in life, business or community. Once you decide to join a group, commit to some level of participation.
One important point with regards to LinkedIn Groups – Relevance. Do not post a discussion or comment that is not relevant to the group or discussion.
Examples of non-relevant sharing – If the group is a Technology based group, do not post a discussion about marketing or an auto repair business. If the discussion is about Brand awareness or Web development platforms, do not post a comment about your sunglasses business or vacation packages.
If you keep your discussions and comments relevant to the group or discussion, you will maintain a level of trust and respect with the group members. Do something to bluntly contradict Relevance and you will lose all trust and respect you ever had or could have.
LinkedIn Groups – Join, listen, share and benefit from the knowledge available thru LinkedIn Groups.