If you are using LinkedIn to build your professional network, reach potential clients, create strategic alliances, catch the eye of a hiring manager or recruiter, then you should pay careful attention to what you post and how you interact with others on LinkedIn. Your carefully crafted profile and your posts and comments on LinkedIn must be congruent. You can’t have a great profile and at the same time behave in a way that makes people question your integrity or maturity when interacting with others. People will notice and it can kill your brand over time.
If you spend any time interacting with others on LinkedIn, you will notice some people flagrantly displaying poor emotional intelligence. Some might label the worst of these offenders as social media trolls.
Why would you want to post incredibly hateful content or curse somebody out in the comments section? Even if you are doing this to be humorous or yank someone’s chain, it really says a lot about your personal and professional brand, especially on LinkedIn. These posts can harm your career and carry significant consequences that follow you over time.
How? The global universe of users (hiring managers, recruiters, potential strategic partners, and potential clients) can search your activity (history of posts, comments, and likes) on LinkedIn and by default they are making assumptions about you and whether they would want to associate with you professionally.
A few questions to consider prior to posting and potentially killing your brand…
Would you be willing to repeat your comments aloud in front of a group of millions of people? Would you say these things in front of your mother or at church?
Would you be able to pass the red face test? If your posts or comments are inappropriate, I doubt it!
Using Emotional Intelligence To Successfully Build and Maintain Your Linkedin Brand
Successful people find ways to build credibility, integrity, and likability in their LinkedIn brand by using emotional intelligence in a balanced and professional way.
Successful people post content that is relevant and meaningful to building their career (and others) or helping themselves achieve meaningful and fulfilling goals; they are demonstrating strong use of the skill self-actualization.
When they post authentic and original content, they are able to do so without the nagging fear of self-doubt and they aren’t overly worried about how many likes, shares, and comments they will receive; they are displaying balanced
use of self-regard.
Prior to posting or commenting, they consider how the emotions conveyed through their words may be perceived by others; they are using emotional self-awareness.
Successful people consider how to convey their post/response with authenticity; they are using the skill emotional expression.
When they reply to a post, an article, or someone’s comments, with whom they disagree, and they choose to state why they disagree in a respectful way, they are using assertiveness.
They are comfortable expressing their opinion on LinkedIn without requiring a consensus or a popular vote from others; they are displaying independence.
They make an effort to engage with others in their professional network in a meaningful way (making introductions, creating opportunities to get to know the professionals in their network, and making recommendations, etc.,) that is not self-serving, they are using interpersonal relationship skills.
When they take the time to consider other people’s perspectives and feelings prior to crafting their content/response, they are displaying empathy.
Successful people objectively consider the content and their potential response, instead of firing off a hasty emotional response laden with anger; they are using the skills reality testing and impulse control.
When they demonstrate that they are open to learning from other’s perspectives that may differ from their own, they are displaying flexibility in their thoughts. This is easily demonstrated by how well they interact with others, whom may be different from them, on LinkedIn.
When they authentically build other’s up instead of hatefully tearing them down, they are displaying good use of the skill optimism. This is seen through celebrating others’ successes and posting or commenting when appropriate with optimistic or inspirational words.
Wrapping It Up
Professionals want to gravitate towards others that they deem to be authentic, respectful, willing to display vulnerability, able to build strong relationships, able to make good decisions, and are resilient. Make sure to consider how you are using your emotional intelligence skills to build your LinkedIn brand. Make sure your profile and your posts/comments are congruent with each other.
About the Author:
Kris Macchiarola, Ed. S. is the president and owner of KMACCSOLUTIONS, LLC. Visit www.kmaccsolutions.com to learn more. Kris Macchiarola is certified by Multi Health Systems to administer the EQi-2.0 assessment portfolio (EQi-2.0 self/360/team), debrief results, and provide individual coaching or group trainings. The EQi-2.0 is backed by 30 years of research. Kris is a Channel Partner for The Ken Blanchard Companies and is certified to facilitate Situational Leadership II for leaders. Kris holds a Masters and an Education Specialist Degree, in School Psychology, from the University of South Florida.