Is there really no space for the personal on LinkedIn? November 4, 2016 – Posted in: Leaders and Teams – Tags: , , ,

This post first appeared as an article on my LinkedIn page…

Yesterday, I responded to a personal post in my feed from a man called Peter Brady (not my connection) about his recent wedding. He popped up a picture of his beautiful bride telling us how happy he was whilst acknowledging that his news wasn’t ‘work related’.

I commented that I was glad to see into someone’s personal life on LinkedIn, which caused some strong reactions. And, I’ve been mulling this ever since. Everyone has the right to their opinion but I feel quite passionately about this… Is there really no place for the personal within our online business networking community? One comment was that we should leave ‘personal guff to Facebook’ but is someone’s wedding really ‘guff”? I honestly don’t think so!

Over the past few weeks I’ve seen a story about adoption on LinkedIn. I’ve also seen a post about the tragic death of someone’s child as well as Peter’s post about his wedding. These stories are not guff and they are nothing like some of the banalities that do exist on Facebook. These are stories about the realities of peoples’ lives. The stuff that unites and binds us all.

We are not robots. We are people with feelings and lives and tragedies and celebrations. Knowing these things about our colleagues and peers helps us to work better within our teams. It keeps us real and rooted in our humanity.

I believe one can absolutely be personal and professional. In fact, some of the most professional people I know bring their ‘whole person’ with them to work. They fully show up! I don’t mean that they overshare personal stuff with colleagues but they do allow space for peoples’ lives to be a part of their careers.

I do a lot of work with teams to help them work better together. The first and deepest piece of work is about trust and enabling people to be vulnerable with each other. This means sharing some life truths. From there you have teams who understand each other better and can work collectively and accountably towards mutual goals.

I, personally, don’t see a need for keeping the personal off LinkedIn. In fact, I think it’s crucial that we see more of it.


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