LinkedIn and Listening – what’s the connection?

November 16th, 2010

Yesterday, I helped a few of my fellow trainers understand more about how LinkedIn works and picked up a couple of tips myself. After the initial comments about the difficulties of running training sessions with a bunch of trainers, we progressed well and had a great discussion. Later today, I am presenting a session at the Business Club in Norwich on Active Listening.

What’s the connection (apart from me, that is)?

To me, they are both different aspects of building relationships and collaboration. If I am working with a client on networking and building relationships, both topics will form part of the discussion.

There are many helpful resources on how to use LinkedIn and all the other social media platforms and there are countless books and articles on how to listen effectively – indeed I’ve written some guides to both. Yet, they both need further exploration and understanding.


There are more than 8 million users on LinkedIn, nearly 5 million in the UK. Yet, the vast majority have minimal information on their profile with few connections and are not in any groups. When I talk to others, I find that many are just not sure what to do … they were invited by a friend or colleague or have been advised by the marketing department in the States that should all join. But, they don’t know why they are there. Knowing what to do is only part of the issue, they have to have some kind of strategy, as they should for any networking and marketing activities.  In summary, you might use LinkedIn to:

  • find former colleagues and business associates
  • discuss current issues with others in your industry
  • research other businesses – potential suppliers and customers
  • look for staff
  • look for a job
  • advertise and market your services

Why are you there?

Active listening

How do we listen? The tips overview gives ideas on how to listen face-to-face, but what about online? How many people are using social media to REALLY listen and have a conversation? Being connected to someone on LinkedIn provides an easy way to stay in touch … updating your status and your profile will put your name in front of your connections and that is all helpful. It isn’t a two-way communication; it doesn’t build a relationship. Use the information you now know about each other to have a meaningful conversation – online, telephone or face-to-face.

What next?

If you’d like to improve the networking and building relationship skills within your organisation, please contact:

Sue Cohen on 07971 400653, 020 8953 6477 or

Follow Sue on Twitter;  find Sue on LinkedIn

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