So I had a little rant on LinkedIn the other day. Actually, maybe less rant, more setting expectations.

It was about me only connecting with people I have met or had an exchange with personally. I believe LinkedIn is about connections, not contacts and the purpose is to have a network of trusted people that you can recommend, and who will do the same for you. If you have all of these ‘contacts’ you don’t know, how can you recommend them having no clue about their professional reputation?

The process of getting to know people enough to count them in your circle or tribe can take awhile, or a short time. I believe the fast track to meaningful connection is intimacy – professional intimacy. Showing your true self – being authentic, ensuring you give them (and yourself) a safe space to be vulnerable, staying true to your word, respecting their choices without judgement and adding value to the conversation – it could be helping advance their career, offering up a great book in their interest area or just being a listening ear.

These are just a few steps to building intimacy. Of the professional kind.

As HR professionals, we need to build professional intimacy – its the basis of trust. And to be effective in our roles, we need to be trusted. We need to be credible. We need to have an orientation toward helping others, authentically and with the best possible outcome for all at the centre.