Managing professional connection requests

LinkedIn as a product, tool has great uses. HOW one uses it, varies from person to person. That creates an interesting challenge for you if you are a subscriber. When I joined LinkedIn I just wanted it to be a place where my professional career summary is available and there are “recommendations” from people I worked with to provide credibility to my experience & expertise.



In past few years, through my consulting and volunteering activities, I met a LOT of people. Attended classes, training(s), certifications, conferences and then conducted many! Many amazing individuals: sharing and learning. People started to the send me “friend” or “networking” requests and that’s when things started to get out of control.

In the recent past I realized, I have so many connections that I don’t know where I met them or even if I interacted with them or not. So, to take care of the situation, since few months I have started a practice. Here are few points I am following to help me manage the professional networking chaos:

  1. Only accept invitations from people you know or have interacted in some capacity
  2. Ask the person requesting to be connected, what’s the benefit in connecting for BOTH the parties? I’m not on LI to get brownie points for I have 5K+ connections.
  3. Validate if you get a response back
  4. Validate if the connection is beneficial BOTH to them and you!
  5. Ignore the rest

I try to reply back when I log in to individuals about, why should we connect using this format below. Let me know if you think I should make any changes:

“Hello XXXX,

Thank you for your request. Could I kindly request you to help me remember where we have met or interacted? Please accept my apologies for not being able to place our meeting.

What are your expectations from this professional connection we make, that would help both of us in future?

With Best Wishes,

I have seen this work pretty nicely so far as genuinely interested people DO write back and admit what they accept. I will continue this process and refine/tune as needed.

What’s your side of the story? Do you get overwhelming requests and what strategy works for you. Share with us!

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Posted by on August 16, 2015 in Personal Kanban


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I am not even going to look at how long I haven’t posted. Cause, I know it’s been a long time.

But during that time, I have a LOT to be thankful about. Few of them listed here:

  • I joined an incredible company and happy with the environment, work culture and colleagues. I am valued for what I am and get to work with the brightest minds in technology, project management and business analysis. Coaching & learning at the same time!
  • To the wonderful clients that I have met in the last year: Every experience makes you wiser, stronger, mature.
  • We got our green cards in 2014. It was just 6 year journey, but thankful to all the people who were involved.
  • To my friends, community in Atlanta: Without them, life in the suburbs would be dull.
  • To agile community at large that I have been part of. It’s amazing to see volunteers you worked with, finding you online and connecting so that they can work with you again. It’s an incredible feeling.
  • Last but not the least, to Meghana: For being there to celebrate, for envisioning the goals and make them happen, for sticking to our personal kanban. To the planning that we did that allowed us to – enjoy time with our families, pay off flat in Pune!
  • To the small & big celebrations we do together by traveling internationally. It’s great to learn about other cultures, people and of course the cuisine!

A decade later, I am a better person because of you! Here’s to the next one and many more to come!

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Posted by on August 9, 2015 in Musings


Distances suck..

There are times in life when you really hate the distance – being away from Parents, especially when they need help and you just can’t be there. The chain reaction of thoughts it starts, takes you back to “What am I doing here?”, “Why can’t we be all together?”…

While growing up, my parents helped me guide through choices that kept me with them until I got my Bachelors in Engineering. Whenever I was sick, had accidents (fractured arm, busted forehead, a complex left arm fracture and an appendectomy..) Mom and Dad have always been by my side. Dad spent nights on uncomfortable beds, drove me around the town to make sure I was able to attend school and tuition’s when my hand was in cast and traveled from Nagpur to Pune for being with me.

Recently, he tore his shoulder muscle – pretty badly. He went through a surgery and has been recuperating fine and attending his physical therapy sessions. Doctors say his recovery is good (definitely a good news) but his shoulder hurts during the exercise sessions.

A surprise call to my Mother-in-Law (one of the most active persons I know), revealed she is down with symptoms of dehydration and sunstroke.

It’s times like these when you just want to be there. Can’t express the feelings in words. Just counting our blessings that they are feeling better than before and recovering.

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Posted by on May 9, 2014 in Uncategorized


“Safety and security don’t just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear.”

– Nelson Mandela, former president of South Africa

While the world is trying to comprehend the activities in Newtown, CT about the inhumane incident, the first thought that crossed my mind was about the quote above. Lots of thoughts and emotions surfacing but I will refrain from expressing them.

Prayers and thoughts for everyone affected by this evil act.

“Safety and security..”

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Posted by on December 14, 2012 in Musings


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A good sign


See those white spots on my fingers? Skin peeling off. That’s a good sign for a guitar practitioner. It’s a sign I’ve been practicing.

When I started learning guitar, just before college, and was practicing regularly it started same, then it gets harder and blackish as one keeps playing with the strings regularly.

It’s a feeling, a sign, I had been missing since few years. It’s time to prioritize the activities and do more of what you love.

An inspired lesson from a nice conversation with Mike Cottmeyer (@mcottmeyer) in March. Better late than never.

Practice, Practice.. More Practice!

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Posted by on June 25, 2012 in Music


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Abhijeet Deshmukh (@_abhijeet_d) and I are more than childhood friends, we’re family. We’ve grown up together – shared our success, fears, crushes, tears, lunch boxes and stayed up late night studying together.

We were each other’s worst enemies in sports – cricket and table tennis – and we were the nightmare for others when we teamed up. He has been the brighter one for most of the things, except when I beat him in cricket, round the legs – one of the 5 victims of 6 balls (pitches) in an over. (Yes, you read that right).

Music was another thing that brought us together. So, when he joined the guitar class, he talked me into joining it too (Till date I still feel I want to learn drums). After we completed our apartment move, I found recently on one of my old cassettes lying in “what’s that stuff box”. Played it and found there are so many memories recorded in it!

Memories should be cherished, forever – and this one for me is a precious one. So, I used “Audacity” to convert the track into digital format.


This recording was done at my home in Nagpur, India via a simple microphone and recorded using a very old tape recorder/cassette recorder we had in our home (or was that the music system?). Mic was placed on a wooden stool/table between Abhijeet and me. Abhijeet was on the lead, I was on rhythm guitar.

I had a acoustic, Givson guitar. Abhijeet might have had a Hobner.

Note: It’s not a very clear recording and sounds distorted. That’s the way I could record/revive it.

Special thanks to: @jitterted (Ted Young) for suggesting SoundCloud option.

I hope it works! :) Herez the recording: Sharing an experiment from past (Guitar recording)

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Posted by on December 16, 2011 in Music


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User Stories: My knowledge bank of “value”able reads

I have been writing user stories for more than couple of years now. I am still learning and improving. And every story I write next – I try to improve it: Bring “value” to it. As a group manager of few online agile/scrum groups, I see many experienced people struggling to understand the concept of user stories.

Even met people who claim to have quite some experience in writing user stories – but when you hand them a card and pen, they go blank.

With respect to user stories few points need to be remembered:

1) They are from “users” perspective – So PLEASE involve the customer/user of the system while writing (Better let THEM write, if your org allows that)

2) A user story w/o an acceptance criteria is like a human w/o spinal cord.

3) There’s NO such thing as a PERFECT story – the dev team with product owner and customer have to come to an agreement to say the story is GOOD to go and can be used by development team for breaking down into tasks.

With all that said which can be debated as EVERYONE has a opinion, I started putting together some knowledge base for user stories. If you can help contribute to these links, PLEASE feel free to comment on this post and help point to valuable content related to user stories:

What are user stories?








There’s a LOT of information out on internet that can help you learn about user stories – if you’re a member of scrum alliance, there are valuable reads on their site submitted by agile practitioners. But NOTHING can get you the experience unless u start writing them yourself.

So, what are you waiting for: Grab a index card, a pen (or go the digital way) and collaborate with your customer team, product owner and developers to start writing – then scratch few, negotiate, refine some more, scratch again and come up with a user story that is ready for your product backlog.

Disclaimer: The only idea regarding this post is a centralized page for me to reference valuable content on User stories. If you have pointers and suggestions, please feel free to comment.

05/13/2011: Got a GREAT read from Martin Fowler that needs to be added to this list: Conversational Stories. I am so very happy to share that I AM practicing this with my team as a Proxy PO!


Posted by on March 27, 2011 in Agile


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