Recently a colleague rejoiced in a post on LinkedIn he dared to show him with his now-adult daughter. He professed his love and admiration for all she has accomplished over a photo of the two of them a few years ago: a poignant and honest combination of graphic and narrative.

His LinkedIn connections went nuts: hundreds of “likes” and dozens of comments. (I would have preferred hundreds of comments and dozens of “likes” but I’ll keep strumming those “best practices in gesturing” chords, as I have in the past and will in the future.)

I was genuinely happy for him that the attention astonished him, and he was very pleased at the response.

From this and other instances, I see what appears best to catch our attention: in this #newnow pandemic age when the news is so dire, perhaps, just perhaps, what  LinkedIn readers need is some happy news or an “aw-shucks” photo with comments that tug the heartstrings.

The moral of the story: it’s OK to be professional yet personal on LinkedIn, but in moderation. But the moral supposed to go at the end of the fable, right? So a few ideas for you are in order:

What not to post: something that takes up space, like not being authentic, like where you are eating lunch and dinner daily. Yes, folks, I had to write about that a while ago. That was and still is waaaay over the top. Cool it on the LinkedIn Polls too please.

What to consider sharing about you: when you achieve a success, land a big contract (even if you have to generically tell us about the company when mentioning the client’s name is not appropriate), when you have a new book published, a podcast just recorded, final touches on a presentation, pleasure at being asked to speak at a conference, etc.

What to consider helping someone else: Showing how you are pleased or happy about a personal accomplishment is a great way to attract others craving good news, and your good connections should want to congratulate you in words (let’s refrain from the lame “likes” and clapping hands icons!), even as economical a comment as “Bravo, David!” or “Brava, Michelle, nice!” or more if you feel the need to call attention to your respect and admiration for that person and If warranted, I often add “they are lucky to have you!”

Yes, more than a like, but why you care to comment. How they make a difference.

Back to your accomplishment(s) to share: if you don’t tell us, we won’t know, and we want to know. Pride is not a deadly sin on LinkedIn. 

It’s a two-way street. One person appreciating the other. Professional appreciation and recognition: the person who posted original piece took the time to express him/herself in a very real, honest way by pulling your heartstrings.

We can all make a concerted effort to respond to each other with chords from our own heartstrings. Try it.

Marc W. Halpert

LinkedIn personal coach, group trainer, marketing strategist and overall evangelist, having a great time pursuing my passion of connecting professionals so they can collaborate better!

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