Now this could be quite the controversial article but I think it is something that needs to be discussed. Blocking people on LinkedIn might be a necessary approach if someone is being particularly challenging or perhaps over familiar but I do feel blocking people is quite a significant statement and it begs the question… Does it belong in the business world?
In my experience of business it is all about conducting myself professionally. This includes, but is not limited to dealing with…
- People who always think they are right
- People who claim rudeness is banter
- People who act passive-aggressively
- People who act actually aggressively
- People who back stab
- People who try to intimidate
- People who patronise and over explain
In all these cases I’ve felt difficult, challenged, even upset or hurt but in all of these cases and many more I have never blocked anyone. Now why is this?
Because for me online is not the real world and I think we all get a bit caught up in our digital versions and overthink or imagine negative outcomes of staying associated with people we don’t particularly like. In actual fact, it would be frankly idiotic and as such hugely unlikely someone you don’t like would post something publicly about you or your business, because it would cause significant reputational damage to the antagonist.
So when is it OK to block someone? What if you feel they get competitive advantage from you or maybe they plagiarise, what if they try to “steal” your clients? The truth is, I have blocked someone, for a period of time. Someone who was “inspired” by me and my business offer, very much inspired it seems. But I felt our little hiatus was an opportunity for them to be inspired by themselves instead. They are now unblocked. Did it feel good to block them? Not really. Did I really care enough about them in the first place? Not really. I always say I don’t think I have any competition because I am me. I feel the same about others too, I can’t be a threat because I could never do what you do the way you do it. To me, there is no competition, just people, personality and preference.
The reason I write this really is because I’m not sure if blocking is a good strategy. Particularly if you the blockee or blocker had a good relationship previously. Even if you didn’t it is quite a finite and significant statement, I think it is a statement less of anger or upset but that you care enough to do it. Does it just make you look insecure, worrisome, petty?
Also blocking creates a whole raft of issues. If one day your blockee is the one person you know with a certain skillset or knowledge of something and you want to take it back, how do you explain it away?
So to block or not to block? That is the question. I am not judging either way but I’d love your opinion.