Photo by Anna Sudyk

How would your life be different if you didn’t care about being judged?

How would you show up in the world? What actions would you take? What results would you have?

Of course, in reality, it’s tough not to care about judgement.

It’s part of most of our interactions. We judge others. We judge ourselves. Judgement can be either positive or negative.

I realized through my own personal development that to have the biggest impact I can on this world, I must eliminate my fear of being judged negatively. I have been playing small in my professional life. I’m called to extend my reach and help more women. Fear of being judged previously stopped me from doing things that would advance my business.

I also realized that I must release my craving for positive judgement (that’s harder — see my podcast on approval seeking!). I want to show up as my authentic self because that alignment feels so joyful. My good energy attracts more amazing people and opportunities into my life.

I recognize that for me, judgement is paralyzing, For example, I crave learning and growth, yet I’ve often avoided putting myself in growth situations for fear of rejection. While the possibility of being judged will probably always scare me a little, now that I understand and see this in myself, I can work on moving through it.

My clients face the same fears. I have a client who is becoming more active on LinkedIn. She’s had a well written profile for years. Now she wants to enjoy the networking benefits of LinkedIn by engaging more deeply with the content and with her contacts. It’s been hard for her, though. She’s hesitant to put herself “out there” to develop online contacts into more meaningful human interactions.

We’re implementing a LinkedIn tactic that many of my clients use with great success: sending a private message after they’ve connected on LinkedIn and asking for a ten-minute phone call.

You can use this tactic with fringe connections who you’d like to establish more meaningful relationships with, or who have expertise you’d like to learn more about. Also try this direct message tactic with new connections who may have crucial job-search information that you can sponge up.

It does mean you have to be ready to be judged and potentially rejected though! (Scary!)

Here’s how the LinkedIn Messaging Relationship Building Strategy works:

Step 1: Send a personal invitation when you craft your LinkedIn connection request. Give context about why you’re interested in connecting, if you know someone in common, or what you admire about their professional background.

Step 2: Once the person accepts you as a LinkedIn Connection, the free messaging feature opens up. Send a direct message thanking your new contact for accepting your connection request and ask for a ten-minute phone call.

Here’s a template that you can personalize. The more your message speaks to the individual’s background or what you’re looking to gain from the conversation, the more likely they’ll respond with a “yes!”

Hi Mary,

Thanks so much for accepting my LinkedIn connection request.

Part of my networking practice is to get to know my LinkedIn contacts more deeply. I would love the opportunity to get to know you better as well.

Would you be open to a ten-minute phone call? I’d love to ask you about how you developed your career in Communications.

Of course, if there’s any way I can help you, I’d be delighted to. I am a connector and perhaps there’s someone I can introduce you to from my network!

I’m open on Friday between 8:30 am and 1:00 pm. Please let me know if you have availability or feel free to suggest another time.

I’m looking forward to chatting!

Warmly,

Beth

Will they respond? Well, not everyone is as open to networking as I am. But hopefully, a ten-minute phone call is something they can manage—it’s a small ask—and they can see the tremendous value in connecting live with other people. It’s been a game changer for me and for many of my clients, delivering professional results and personal wellbeing (it feels good to make connections!).

LinkedIn is the easiest place to practice developing new contacts. If someone doesn’t respond or says no, the rejection doesn’t matter. Just move on to the next person. You never know when karma will reward you for trying to broaden your horizons.

And don’t worry: you won’t seem too aggressive if you ask your new contact for a phone call. (That’s a common concern I hear from my clients.) If you write your message in a friendly, direct way, you will only gain from the experience. Remember, what you may feel as rejection is actually just the message recipient being busy. They’re likely judging you in a positive way for reaching out and flattered that you want to speak with them.

Start living in a way that truly feels joyful and provides growth opportunities. When you release your worry about how others might be judging you, you can show up in the most meaningful way possible — as your true, authentic self. And that’s really when the opportunities and abundance flow!