Note: Emotional Intelligence (“EI”) is the belief that our ability to channel and control our emotions will have a direct effect on our success.  I came across an article on inc.com by my connection Justin Bariso and I wanted to add my 2 cents, from a LinkedIn currency perspective, to make this concept, as expanded upon in his great article, fit the audience here. Every day for the next 13 business days I will offer how, and where, and especially why, you should take advantage of his article’s teaching on your LinkedIn profile page. Thank you, Justin for agreeing to my offering further comments. 

Empathy is a virtue

Empathy means understanding and acknowledging others’ emotional state, whether it is happy or sad or in-between.

On LinkedIn, some people announce new jobs, newborn children / grandchildren / new business successes / new books and articles published; all are worth an atta-boy /atta-girl for the sheer excitement that we all share when a colleague wins or gains. They have broken through a new boundary of some sort, or a hurdled past some milestone in their work, and we want to pat them on the back electronically. For those reasons, please give more than a “like,” and don’t merely click a canned response LinkedIn offer you; rather, actually key in congratulatory remarks that are meaningful and warm.

On LinkedIn passive items that LinkedIn automatically calls our attention can include a work anniversary. That’s worthy of at least a comment of congratulations, so try using: ”Congrats, Bob, wishing you continued success” or “Bob, keep up the great work, they’re lucky to have you!”

(And LinkedIn posts birthdays–ugh! so if your birthday is still listed on your Contact Details page, which I curmudgeonly think is not terribly business-like, please remove it.)

And then there is not-so-good news that appears, such as people announcing a lay-off that placed them seeking a job and reaching out for help, or the death of a colleague, or any of many other fact-of-life events we steer through as business professionals: these are worth a private message of understanding or condolence, or at least a public comment of the same if your relationship is not that close, but you just want to lend support. And of course, best of all is a referral to a colleague who can help, or asking a discrete segment of your connections to pass it along to someone else who can!

Empathy builds interpersonal connection in a strong way. It’s a highly developed human emotion, one that business pros know how to use properly in daily life.

Expressing empathy in your own words, warmly and said well on LinkedIn, is a virtue.