I’ve been using LinkedIn a lot lately, and one of the features I particularly like using is the ‘Recommendations’. You basically get to say nice things about someone you’ve worked with – a professional compliment on their awesomeness and expertise. You can give them to anyone in your network, or ask anyone in your network to give you one.
The thing I’ve noticed about recommendations though, is that not many people seem to have them. And even if they have some, it’s usually only one or two from their network of hundreds!
Does that mean they aren’t awesome people? No, not at all – they are fantastic people who do great work.
I think the problem lies with us – it takes effort to recommend someone. You have to give of yourself, spend time formulating your thoughts, be genuine, and really mean what you say (as your whole network gets to read it!).
From experience, it seems that there are usually only a couple of ‘recommenders’ within any social group. The people who seem to know the good places to go, know who is best at what and can tell you all about it, know which shops have the best deals … but I don’t think it’s that the others in the group don’t also have this valuable information. They just choose not to share it.
To recommend means you have to overcome shyness. You have to back yourself and what you’re saying. It’s stepping out to help someone else, giving them the next rung on the ladder or tool in their toolkit.
I love recommenders. I want to be one myself, never hesitant when someone asks me to help them out by referring them to others – because I know that for them to ask takes courage; belief in what they have to offer, and knowing that others may need it too.
That’s why I think we should all share the love a bit more, and instead of merely thinking that someone is amazing and never telling anyone else about it, speak up and …
Be a Recommender