The Peril of Disconnecting With A LinkedIn Contact

December 4th, 2008 | by Jason Alba |

I am frequently asked what happens if you disconnect with a connection on LinkedIn … most people want to know if their contact will get a message.  I think we simply don’t want to hurt feelings, as the connection might interpret the disconnect message to read something like:

Jason has disconnected from you in LinkedIn.  Yeah, you just aren’t good enough.  So pack up all your toys and take off.  Don’t bother to call, either, it’s over!

Probably 90% of the time that isn’t the message, but we’d rather avoid misunderstanding, right?  So my answer is, the contact will not receive any message from LinkedIn, and probably won’t even notice you disconnected.

But, there’s something I just became aware of… if you disconnect from someone apparently you can’t ever connect with them again in LinkedIn….!

I don’t even want to test this since I don’t want to lose an opportunity for a future connection, but from what I’m told you can’t send an invitation to the person’s email again if you’ve disconnected.

And apparently they can’t invite you….

If anyone has any further clarification I’d love to hear it.  If this is true, it makes me think thrice about how/why/when I would disconnect from someone (and ruin future opportunities to connect).

  1. 7 Responses to “The Peril of Disconnecting With A LinkedIn Contact”

  2. By Steve Duncan on Dec 4, 2008 | Reply

    I just recently disconnected from about 3900 people, as I discussed on my blog here: http://swduncan.com/archives/2008/11/07/a-shrinking-world/ My reasons for doing so are in the post.

    As I expected, I accidentally disco’d a few people who I didn’t want to. I simply sent them another invite, and we were once again connected.

  3. By Jason Alba on Dec 4, 2008 | Reply

    Steve, awesome information. I wish LI would weigh in and let us know what the deal is… but your experience is good, so maybe it’s not that bad afterall.

  4. By Steve Duncan on Dec 8, 2008 | Reply

    Yeah, Linkedin doesn’t do a great job of explaining the whole experience. Like a lot of sites, they focus on the joining & positive aspects, but don’t explain the darker side.

  5. By Lisa Hendrickson on Dec 10, 2008 | Reply

    I’m glad they have the remove connections as I don’t want to connect with that person or let others know that I approve of them. I have removed a few people who were mean to me or just plain not good networkers.

    I’m not sure I want them to get a message though…if I wanted to do that, I would tell them myself why they are not worthy of sharing my network the “remove” button rules. And I like they can’t reconnect too.

  6. By Paul Zagoridis - LinkedIn tips on Dec 10, 2008 | Reply

    I think the way it works is if you disconnect someone, they cannot invite you again. You can invite them back however.

    Just remember the invitation limit.

  7. By Trois on Dec 21, 2008 | Reply

    Earlier this year a contact of mine accidentally disconnected us – NO way to reconnect!!! (you would expect differently on a networking site… not on LI though). The solution we figured out after endless communication with their ‘support’ (right…) was to add a 2nd email address to your LI profile and have the invite sent to that address.
    Absurd, but then… LI is not interested in the opinion of their members.

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