• 02/04/2013
    4:13 PM
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Why Soliciting LinkedIn Endorsements Is A Bad Idea

LinkedIn's nagging automated requests to endorse others' skills are too generic to be useful to anyone. You're better served by staying in personal touch with your network.

-- I also feel guilty that others have endorsed me and, although appreciative, I'm uncomfortable endorsing them back. They might be in the insurance or commercial real estate business, and I have no idea how competent they might be in their particular field. Because I believe your endorsement or recommendation of others is a reflection of you, and because LinkedIn feels compelled to email the world with regular blasts that, "Steve, Nancy, Beth, John, Tom, Sue and Linda have all been endorsed by me," I'm put in an uncomfortable position. I don't want to endorse others with whom I haven't had a direct working experience.

Bottom line: Here is why this silly functionality is detrimental to your efforts to genuinely nurture your biggest asset: your portfolio of relationships. Relationships take regular feeding and care. Regardless of how competent we become in using tools like LinkedIn (keeping in mind that they're all simply that -- tools), nothing will ever replace face-to-face interactions. Instead of mindless endorsing skills and knowledge of your relationships, why not reach out to them for a conversation or a cup of coffee and get caught up on both sides?

"I didn't know you had business development expertise; give me some context of the results you've created for others so that I may be able to intelligently talk to my network about you and your skills or knowledge." I would submit that conversation is a lot more productive than presenting me with that "Endorse" button every time I log into LinkedIn.

As always, I welcome your opinion or perspective.

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