How to build mutually beneficial Linkedin connections (Part 3)

When I sat back and thought about what to write in this blog post it crossed my mind that cyber-relationships are very similar to face to face ones in that we go through a 3 stage process of actively seeking potential connections,  learning how to make ourselves attractive in their eyes so that they desire to connect with us and lastly putting in the work to maintain the relationship once we have connected with them.  So far in this short series on building mutually beneficial online connections via Linkedin and other social networking platforms, we have looked at the first two stages how to find mutually beneficial connections and how to attract them, last but not least this post aims to focus on how we can build and maintain these relationships once we connect with potential others.

Just like in the ‘natural world’ virtual relationships require us to invest in making them work, extra energy is required to make them work so that both parties are gaining something of value from them.  In Psychology there are different explanations on how and why some relationships work whilst others don’t, by developing some understanding of the dynamics of relationships we can discover how to enhance the quality of our online and natural relationships.

mutuslly beneficial relationships

Explanations of relationship maintenance

Profit and loss

The Social Exchange theory focuses on two things: firstly, how much we are rewarded by the relationship minus how much the relationship costs us in relation to investments such as time, energy, commitment and resources.  If the rewards of being in the relationship outweigh the costs then the relationship will work, if the costs outweigh the rewards then the relationship is more likely to end.  Secondly, there is a judgement of how beneficial the relationship is in comparision to other similar ones that are or have been, the more favourable their relationship is with you in comparision to these the more the relationship will be valued.


The Equity theory argues that connections are more interested in fairness over rewards, if the ratio of investment is perceived to be unequal then this will cause dissatisfaction and frustration which will inevitably put strain on the relationship.

Pleasure and needs fulfillment

The Rewards-Needs Hypothesis explains that relationships will be maintained if the connection is associated with pleasant emotions (makes us feel happy and good about ourselves) and reinforcing these feelings by meeting their needs.

Looking at these three theories makes me realise exactly how much work goes into making relationships work, it seems that we have to:

  • reward our connections for being in a relationship with us
  • make sure that they see the relationship as valuable
  • make sure that we’re not slacking on our own end
  • make the experience pleasurable
  • meet their needs

It all seems a bit one-sided doesn’t it?  Yes and no.

I have noticed that most people prefer to receive rather than give, even amongst the Christian community you find people wanting something from you in some shape or form but doesn’t the Bible teach us that it is more blessed to give than to receive?  All of this relationship stuff seems like hard work because it is hard work, but if our Saviour could come to serve mankind why can’t we?  The truth is that building any type of relationship that works requires you serving another individual and aiming to meet their needs, if you don’t want to do this then you don’t want to build a relationship at all you want to control, manipulate and be served.  Most people I see on LinkedIn and other networking sites are on them to have their needs met, they are not there to serve others what does this mean for those looking to build mutually beneficial relationships?  We could ignore them, bring ourselves down to their level or we could do what we have been called to do which is simply love and serve one another.  I know that this seems contradictory in light of the fact that this post is on mutually beneficial relationships but if you have completed the first two steps correctly then the chances are that you will also be able to receive something in return.  How do we go about this?

Think about how you would want to be treated and treat them in that way, after a while you will find that they will begin to value their relationship with you and will automatically find ways of adding value to it.  You may find that they begin to mirror your own behaviour because they see you as someone who they esteem, so not only are you treating them like you would wish to be treated but they are now returning the favour!  Being kind and showing love also generates gratitude and loyalty which are two intense emotions to have directed towards you, people who are grateful often go to great lengths to repay you, whilst loyal connections will bless you by telling others about how much you bless them and this will hopefully generate further interest in and for you.

I can’t help looking at the life of Yeshua (Jesus), His heart to serve, love and give of Himself to the last drop of blood and how the Father glorified Him after all the work was done.  Giving, loving and serving others although being a place of low estate in the eyes of man esteems us in God’s own eyes, He makes the first last and the last first.  If even that wasn’t enough to persuade us in our thinking Yeshua also advised His disciples “freely you have received, freely give”.  God has really given us so much, so when we weigh up what He has given us to what He asks us to give I feel that we should at least try to carry out His command.


12 thoughts on “How to build mutually beneficial Linkedin connections (Part 3)

  1. Check out the Elijah List on the web. It’s a on-line Ezine, Christian. It has the prophets, evangelist, apostles of our time. There is content that it relevant such as Christian music or art but there are articles by Christians worth your time and effort to read. Why? because they are so bless or so filled with the word of God that you many have a meeting or the presence of God show up. This happen to me recently when Pastor Mary Walters shared her Niagara falls event told of God. I was covered in a healing glory while reading this. Christ communications have to be something more than the next 10 steps or how too. God doesn’t believe in working hard; he believes in working in the spirit or and their you don’t spin or toil, like the Lilly. It has to be something that blesses them in the spirit. You don’t do it for more friends to connect with either. People will just follow you because they know there is a strong presence of God with you. You do it to bless God and for His glory and no other reason. You don’t want to spend time working hard to please people and develop mutual earthly connection by figuring out what your value as is. If you have a Vision from God you will know the next article and what needs to be said.. Your intentions will be all wrong and you will end up chasing your tail and working hard and maybe you will get some earthly response but far from the blessings over more than enough that God has for your.
    Paula Mary

    1. Hi Paula, I will definitely check the site out it is great to read something that blesses us. I am sorry that you feel this post is not a relevant Christ communication, if I’m mistaken please accept my apology but I think it is why? Because it’s based on the fact that people including Believers are self-centred. By becoming a servant to others we are not striving to form earthly connections but striving to demonstrate traits of our Messiah. Saying we are Christians or Believers requires obedience which takes us to kill the flesh and begin to exert the spiritual man. It takes a lot for us to be like the Saviour but it all boils down to submission out of love, without love we are empty shells, soulless noise so I definitely don’t see learning to serve others as meaningless.

      Of course we all have our own opinion based on what God is currently showing and teaching us, for me God is teaching me about giving of myself and trusting in Him to fill me back up. Part of this giving is sharing the little bit of knowledge I have, God will cause my behaviour to prosper because it’s done out of love for Him and the wonderful thing is this, I can see it
      changing me and making me a better person. I want to share this simple truth in a way that people are mostly interested in.

      But as I said, I will check out the site you have recommended.

      Shalom in Him x

    2. Hi again Paula, reading back over your comment I realise that you intended to give me wise counsel. You’re right, I did think about what to write in this post and out should flow from the Holy Spirit. I do still feel that the message is true, we should not have to make people like us but we are called to love and serve. I am trying to emphasise this trait because I know that it is important to Him.

      1. Yes, dearest one, it was absolutely meant for your benefit. I was somewhat brief perhaps but I was also looking to make a impressions. I’m a certified biblical coach. I’m trained to see what is productive and what is not. I see when people spend a lot of time being busy. You are very busy. I don’t get where you are coming from like a Vision and a purpose. Those who have no Vision from God are busy and end up running around a lot and trying to please God.

        Here is something from Mike Murdock “Lions have a s secret every many should learn.” I am 61 years old and have traveled around the world to 40 countries. Opportunities, the needs of people and a passion to impart the wisdom of God has driven me often to work all night long. Exhaustion happens often in the lives of passionate ministers who contain a Volcano of Compassion and want to solve problems every moment of their lives. Every year we hear about the most famous evangelist in the world being hospitalized for exhaustion.
        Emptying is sowing the Seed of our Life into the soil of the world, the human family. yest it is in these moments of emptying that the Enemy births depression, distorts our judgement, and erases hope and confidence. Fatigue weakens our ability to make good decisions.
        That’s why the study of the Lion is fascinating. They are powerful, fast, ( running 37 miles per hour) and hunt in groups. Yet they rest 20 hours a day. They naturally have a daily rhythm and routine that is relaxed… storing and harnessing the intensity of their thrust for the moment that matters.
        The Wise know… that every moment has a different value, a different focus and qualifies for a different level of energy and attention. Rest is not wasted time. A restored mind … can avoid a thousand heartaches. Learn from the Lion’s unknown Secret.

        I pray this blesses you. Why? Because I’m one of those self serving Christians who loves you.

        Paula Mary

    3. Hi Paula, your comment made me laugh even the last bit, but do you really see yourself as self-serving I don’t think so or you wouldn’t try to help. God is slowly teaching and revealing His plan and purpose for me in the mean time He had told me to give of myself. I am still learning what that looks like, hence the busyness you see. But He has also given me a deeper revelation of Shalom which is what I feel most drawn to share. Yes this does include entering and remaining in His divine rest. I know I’m yet to redeem your kind offer for free coaching, I am currently temping but next week I am free so if you email me with times that work for you maybe it’s God’s will for you to help me gain some clarity.

      Much love and shalom in Him

      1. Of course I don’t, I was being ironic to make a point. If you judge the breathern it blocks them from the Love that will deliver them to the full manifestion of Christ.

    1. Hi Marlee, just back from visiting your blog – loved it even the colour choice speaks volumes!!! Anyway, just wanted to ask you if you would like to do a guest post on marketing, started a series on this last week with tribes. I don’t know much so rely on external experts, anyway let me know.

      Blessings and shalom

  2. I enjoy your blogs, and agree we are all selfish, some more than others even Christians. That is a fact not a judgement. I must remove the plank from my own eye to see clearly and in reading some of your other things you post I see and understand you are very busy, very busy with your relationship with Jesus! I praise God for that. In following you just for a couple short months I have been encouraged. I would say it doesn’t really matter what people think, but we are called to encourage and exhort one another and if I am ever off base in any of my blogs according to Gods Word I would hope I would be exhorted in love. I am here to please God first and if I am not seeking out Mentoring (liked your post) it may because I had pride. God gives us others(who love God with all heart soul and mind) for a reason. thanking God for you today and PLEASE stay busy in what God has called you to do!! Much love in Jesus

    1. Thanks so much Eva, you encourage me too. We are all striving to be Christ like, I think that’s all we can do. I have learnt a lot about myself blogging here, not all positive but beneficial I think.

  3. GIVING and SHARING are synonymous! “For God so LOVED the world that He GAVE…” Hebrew 3:14 says we have become “FELLOWS” with Christ and SHARE in all He has for us. And since we are in a SHARING relationship as “fellows” with Christ we have no choice but GIVE back in some way out of LOVE. My pastor calls it, LIVE LOVE; a sermon message for this summer. If we are bloggers for God and don’t share with each other then we are blogging out of SELFISHNESS. THAT is NOT the fruit of the Spirit. Great series Florence, my sister in Christ Jesus and fellow blogger.

    1. Hi Mel, thanks for the encouragement. I think giving and sharing is definitely something that I am still being challenged in. If we all do our bit then it really is mutual, I think the challenge is to focus on ourselves rather than on others.

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