I teach classes on using LinkedIn for job search, recruiting, selling or for running your business. I preach, yes preach, the value of LinkedIn is directly correlated to two things,- how trusted and how large your 1st degree network (people directly connected to you) is – period.
There are those who believe that very large networks, without regard to the quality of the network, are equal in value, if not more so, than smaller, trusted networks. They refer to themselves very often as LIONs – which means “LinkedIn Open Networker”. They publish their email address in their profile name. They advertise the number of connections they have in their profile name as well. They ask you to invite them to connect because they have run out of their lifetime allotment of invitations on LinkedIn – 3,000 I believe. They cite networking theory that “weak links” are often more valuable then strong ones. It is one way to go.
My view is simple. It matches LinkedIn’s philosophy I might add. You should only connect with people you know, trust and respect. It takes a special personality type to reach out to strangers and engage them in meaningful relationships. We are called sales people. And even we prefer not to “cold call” if we can help it. Connections with strangers can at best get you an introduction which amounts to “Harry, meet Sally.” Not very useful.
I do admit there are some pragmatic connections I make where I haven’t met with and don’t really know the people with whom I connect. They are often geographically remote – a connection in New Zealand comes to mind. However, before we connect, we have always interacted in some way and demonstrated to each other that we probably will have value for each other over the long haul. We come to agree that there is usually some subject or expertise we have in common or can provide to each other. That said, those type of connections constitute a very small minority of my network. Certainly less than 5%.
So if you agree with this philosophy, or come to agree with it, and you have not been as fastidious during your early months or years on LinkedIn – how do you remove some connections from your network on LinkedIn and how embarrassing is it to explain yourself to the other party?
Great news! It is really simple to do and there is no chance for embarrassment. Here is where you go to do it.
On your LinkedIn home page, or almost any screen in LinkedIn, click on ‘Contacts’ in the left side personal navigation panel. It will land you on the appropriate screen as shown here. Then click on ‘remove connections in the upper right portion of the blue screen label. Click on the graphic below to see a larger version of it.
Then simply check the box next to the connection you want to remove in your address book and voila! They are gone. The nice part is that LinkedIn simply snips the wire. There is no notification sent to the party you just removed from you network. As above, click on the graphic to see a larger version of it.
Your network will be richer and more valuable as you prune it – kind of like a garden. And by all means, add trusted connections – more of that type is better.
Go close some business,