Sunday, August 17, 2014

Why the LinkedIn Connected App Makes Sense

I recently downloaded the new LinkedIn Connected App (iOS) and didn't know what to expect but thought I would give it a try. To my surprise, it allows me to clearly focus on my colleagues and potential connections up close and personal, without the clutter of articles, comments, and recommendations. Since joining LinkedIn a few years ago, I have been able to learn more about my colleagues and enhance my sphere of contacts, which is very valuable on many levels. LinkedIn Connected takes the guess work out of what is going on with my connections, and when you have a few hundred people in your circle, it can become very challenging to know who is doing "what" and "when". This app brought into focus those things I should be paying more attention to if fostering real relationships is my goal.

While networking is only the first step in creating a relationship, you have to cultivate the connection you've created and find ways to make your relevance apparent and valuable to your circle. Just having a person in your "list" does not automatically give her a compelling reason to assist you with anything. It's crucial to take responsibility for growing your relationships, just as it is for owning your career. Showing interest in someone's status and accomplishments can bring value because it demonstrates that you are present and you care. In return, your action can strengthen a relationship,  turn an acquaintance into an ally, and create future opportunities to collaborate or receive an important introduction. Whether virtually or in person, if you agree that relationships are first, then this app will be a great help for doing those things that let you focus on people.

Here are features I found useful:
  • View a showcase of who is having an anniversary, job change, etc.
  • Sort connections alphabetically or by newly added
  • Analyze your connections by location, title, tags, and other filters
  • Really "see" potential connections
I did not utilize the feature to sync my calendar and contacts, but you may find it helpful. Now, what improvements can LinkedIn implement for a better user experience? You have to close out of the Connected App to use the LinkedIn App, but if I had an option within the app to toggle back and forth between the two, it would be perfect for me (and hopefully the information updates would sync in a timely manner). Overall I find it very helpful, and with so many things competing for our attention, it makes sense that we take a moment and focus on what is really important - people.