Flight or Fight on LinkedIn

Many of us have had it done to us in one way or another.

We post an article, video, image, our ideas or perspectives into a LinkedIn Post and someone jumps into our conversation with a negative, sometimes hateful comment.

When this happens we generally have one of two reactions.

The first reaction is ‘Flight’.

This reaction is where we publicly ignore the negative/hateful comments on our posts.

Dale Carnegie taught me to ‘Never Criticize, Condemn or Complain’. I believe Dale would have approved of my regular flight reaction to negative and hateful comments on social media.

To me, flight means I will never publicly respond to these comments in any way.

Sometimes I’ll delete the comment if it’s truly a hateful, disrespectful and/or irrelevant response to my post or another comment in the thread, so others in the conversation do not fuel the negative/hateful debate.

Sometimes if the responder is someone I have felt some level of trust/respect for in the past, I’ll send them a LinkedIn message and ask them to ‘please be careful when responding to my posts on LinkedIn.’ I’ll only do this twice before I block/report and un-connect from the repeat offender. I have only had to do this twice in the past 11 years. 

Even though periodically I share a post that another LinkedIn Member may disagree with, the majority of my posts on LinkedIn do not solicit negative/hateful responses. I attribute this to the professionalism of my LinkedIn Network, thank you.

My flight reaction is only in regards to comments that are hateful, disrespectful and/or ugly in nature. I won’t walk away from a comment from a LinkedIn Member that disagrees with me. This is an opportunity for creative collaboration. Sometimes I’ll show creative curiosity and ask an open-ended question in a constructive way.

The second reaction to negative/hateful comments is ‘Fight’.

This occurs when we publicly attack those who comment with negative and/or hateful words. The energy put into a fight reaction on LinkedIn can range from simple yet equally negative words to a long drawn response of negative words in an effort to show those in the conversation how wrong, ridiculous, ignorant and/or uneducated the responder feels the original commenter is.

There are a few problems with responding to negative/hateful comments in this manner.

First of all pay attention to what George Bernard Shaw said; “Never wrestle with a pig. You both get dirty and the pig likes it.”  

I was always taught, “Don’t stoop to their level, you’re better than that.” Additionally, I repeat what Dale Carnegie taught me, “Never Criticize, Condemn or Complain.

It may ‘feel good’ for a moment as you hit that Post button shouting, “Take that!”, however, this feeling is short lived and offers no value to those in the conversation.

Secondly, when you get into a ‘war of words’ with these negative/hateful commenters, you’ll kill off any worthwhile engagement on that post. Most business professionals will swipe up and away from all posts that have arguments going on in the thread. We don’t want to be found in these conversations, regardless of which side of the argument others would perceive we land on.

Another problem with the tit-for-tat response to negative/hateful comments is our network will begin to perceive that we are not much different than the commenter with the original negative/hateful words. 

I strive to live by this edict; “Never do, say or engage in any way you don’t want to be seen, heard or perceived of in life.” @TLBurriss

Also, I do not believe I am responsible to ‘call someone out publicly’ for their negative/hateful words, especially on social media. I don’t believe we can change how others feel and/or act through the words we use in a social media comment or reply. If I want to influence someone in a meaningful way I know the best way to achieve this is through a face to face or at least ear-ear conversation. Unfortunately, social media arguments are more likely to explode, not resolve because all they see are the words. Positive influence occurs through tone and body language.

The purpose of sharing all content/engagement on LinkedIn should be to encourage meaningful conversation that presents you as an authority relevant to what you shared and/or engaged on.

The ultimate goal of sharing/engaging on LinkedIn is to become trusted, respected and even liked in order for your target audience to want to engage with you in business conversations.

The moment we allow and/or encourage (via response) negative/hateful debate on our posts and comments, we are in fact destroying any business value behind those posts and comments and in many cases, negatively impacting our professional and/or personal reputation.

Choose Flight, not Fight.

What are your thoughts?

Teddy 

Should I subscribe to LinkedIn Sales Navigator

Watch the YouTube Video that answers this question, or read below:

Here is my written response to this question:

The quick answer is this:

If you are serious prospector who needs an application to do focused searches and track prospecting activities, you should consider LinkedIn Sales Navigator.

A Serious Prospector uses LinkedIn Search tools multiple times every week and wishes there were just a few more filters available and features available.

Hitting the Commercial Use Limit too early in the month is not a reason to use Sales Navigator. You could use Business Premium to overcome that limitation.

If you think you need Sales Navigator, I recommend committing to a two month evaluation of the application, subscribing month to month rather than for an annual plan. You’ll get the first month for free if you do a 30 day eval. Give yourself two months to validate your needs and that you will consistently use the application.

Then become highly familiar with the application.

Here are a few features you will want to experiment with to get the greatest value from LinkedIn Sales Navigator:

  1. Saved Accounts – If your prospecting focuses on businesses, save accounts and then focus on the people in the businesses you are tracking.
  2. Saved Leads – Research the people in accounts who are relevant to your prospecting. Save the ones you want to pay attention to in Sales Navigator.
  3. Build structured Tags – Do this up front. Having a tagging philosophy helps you manage your prospecting activities easier.
  4. Experiment with Sales Navigator navigation. It is somewhat different than LinkedIn and you will need to switch back and forth between the two. There are also cool functions hidden behind windows and the various three dot menus (…)
  5. Experiment with Sales Navigator Filters and the integration of Boolean Strings in appropriate filters. Building powerful search strings is one key value of LinkedIn Sales Navigator
  6. Experiment with Saved Searches in Sales Navigator and LinkedIn. You can have up to 3 saved searches in each interface. Create unique saved searches across both platforms. Use the search results.
  7. Experiment with Sales Navigator and LinkedIn messaging. They are currently still stand alone systems. Messages sent via SN do not show up in LI, and visa versa.
  8. Experiment with the Mobile Apps. You’ll want to be able to efficiently use these apps. Learn what you can and should do using them and what you should not use them for because of compressed functionality.
  9. Build the use of Sales Navigator into your sales processes. You should be using Sales Navigator and LinkedIn within all of your sales processes, including calling and emailing targets, prospects and/or clients.
  10. Pay Attention to your Social Selling Index. Yes, it’s primarily a sales tool to get you to subscribe to Sales Navigator, however your SSI Score and other LinkedIn KPIs are a good measure of your activities.

If you want to discuss the benefits of using Sales Navigator as a prospecting tool and how I could help your sales team create success using these tools, grab a slot on my calendar and let’s talk about your goals.

Teddy