"woman networking" Today, when I checked my emails, I found a very important message from one of my LinkedIn connections. I wanted to share her message and my response because I feel there is a very valuable lesson to be learned.

Here is the message I received:

Good afternoon,

Hoping and praying all is well. As I was sending out messages to my connections to see how they were doing, I received back a message that one of my connections, Jeff Regan had passed away on August 2. This was a shock to me as I just assumed everyone is alive and well.

Jeff was a really kind man who always sent his connections update messages on what was going on in his life and how he may assist with his business.

I know we network here mainly for business purposes, but take time out to see how your connections are doing personally.

My response, while reminding myself that I need to do a lot more of this was:

We all pride ourselves on our networking abilities, but for some reason, seem to get bogged down in all other business activities, with the mindset that I’ll do it later. Later just keeps getting pushed back further and further and then we don’t do it. Pretty soon, it is lodged so far back in our memory that we just move on to other things. All of a sudden, it’s too late.

The connections you worked so hard to make, the relationships you were beginning to establish, and the ones that were already established could be completely demolished in a heartbeat! Who wants to be known as a networker who does not have the energy, the compassion, the drive to keep in touch. Do we only want to contact our network when we need something? No, and I do mean, NO!

Keeping in touch is so critical to our network. Not only in having the opportunity to share good things with one another, but in the times when necessary, share some sad information that could prove to be beneficial in the support of the family members when something traumatic happens to one of our connections. Take the example above, about Jeff Regan. I feel so bad in the fact that although I didn’t know Jeff well at all, if I had kept in touch, I might have known he was not feeling well, been involved in an accident, or whatever it was that caused his death. I could have sent thoughts, prayers, general condolences to his family members during their time of grief. I could have shown them I am a thoughtful, kind, compassionate person. Isn’t that what we want our network to think about us? More on Are You Keeping in Touch with YOUR Network?

Carol Deckert is a Networking Expert/Coach. She’s the founder of Referrals Unlimited Network; has more than 10,800 first-level connections in LinkedIn and approximately 1,500 “friends” on FaceBook and more than 5,000 followers on Twitter! Carol knows you do need the numbers before you can accumulate quality connections, because not every connection will be a good one for you. Through her coaching of groups and individuals, she helps others learn to do what she did, saving them lots of time and heartache, by teaching them how to network efficiently and effectively. Contact Carol on Skype: Deckert1116. Visit her blog http://CarolConnectsPeople.com