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Of the last 30 invites to connect I have received, only 2 added a personal touch. I accepted just 11 because I feel that if you’ve not even looked at my profile or used some manners, you’re probably a spam bot.

Could the hiring manager or the great applicant that you’re trying to connect to feel the same?

Continuing to be stunned by LinkedIn networking rudeness, I tasked my friend and coach, Laura Borland, to come up with one simple way to improve communication and networking on this professional network. She’s hit the nail on the head!


The number 1 way to improve your LinkedIn networking

“Why is it there are some people it’s really easy to connect and talk with, and then there are others who just look at you like you’ve just rocked up from a different planet? It’s a big question with many answers. It can be about attitude, desire, values, what we believe and think.

But here I am going to talk about, not just the words that we use, but our style of communicating. You get an e-mail from someone and your instant reaction might be that they were curt or rude, or there was too much detail, or they were a bit too friendly… You get the picture – we’ve all been there. It can make you switch off to what they are trying to communicate..

Or, if you are the person who cannot be understood and you’re going round and round in circles it can leave you feeling frustrated, offended and disillusioned – amongst other things.


Communicating effectively can be tricky business.

As simplistic as it may sound, we all have our own individual way of communicating. But when we want to be heard, especially when we want to achieve an outcome, it can be worth adapting how you communicate, so that the other person can hear you.

But we can only do this when we are aware of what our preferences are. Are you direct and to the point? Or friendly and all about the connection? Or maybe you look to create a nice experience for the other person? Or maybe you are all about the detail and that facts?

Let me give you an example. If this is the kind of e-mail you write……

Hi James,

It was so good to see you at the meeting last week. You were looking great. Am really pleased that things are going so well with you.

Our conversation has given me this amazing idea that I would love to get your thoughts on. How about we meet up next week for a coffee and I can tell you more . Unless your curiosity gets the better of you and you would rather meet this Friday about 4ish? ☺

Look forward to hearing from you,

(Your name)


How would you feel receiving an e-mail like this?


Just dropping you a note to say that I have a proposal I would like to discuss with you, that will help you achieve some of the objectives you talked about last time we met.

I would like to get your thoughts on this. When would be the best time to meet?


(Your name)


Two totally different styles.

Once we truly begin to understand that we all communicate differently, we can stop taking others so personally.

They are not doing it to wind you up, they are just speaking their language, from their perspective, in their world.

So if you are on a site like LinkedIn, which is all about connections, it is worth using your limited 290 characters [in your LinkedIn connection request] to mirror some of the language that the person uses to describe themselves in their profile.


Talk to them in their language and you will have much more success.

Not sure what your language is?

Look at the communications you have that engage you and then the ones that wind you up. They will begin to give you some clues.

Good luck and have fun playing with it!”


Laura BorlandLaura Borland is a creative and successful coach and Certified Innermetrix Consultant, with a wide range of experience of working with leaders, business owners and private individuals. She combines a natural inquisitiveness with insight and a desire to support transformational changes in organisations and people. Connect with her at