A masterclass in empathy

May 12, 2024
A masterclass in empathy

Find Your Superpower newsletter 056

Read time: 4 minutes

Topics covered: LinkedIn, empathy, Happy Mother’s Day


Happy Mother’s Day!

I have been meeting many people over the past two days at the Asia Professional Speakers Singapore’s DARE+ Summit, first speaking on a panel on Friday and at a masterclass on LinkedIn branding the next day.

I wasn’t planning on writing a newsletter given that it is Mother’s Day today, but I was so inspired by something I heard at the masterclass run by my friend and mentor Frank Koo that I decided to write it anyway.

At the end of Frank’s masterclass where I spoke for 5-10 minutes about my journey as a LinkedIn coach, we took some questions from the audience.

A question we received (paraphrased and anonymized) was as follows:

“My colleagues and I find LinkedIn to be increasingly unenjoyable, with people oversharing personal stories and bragging about their awards.”

This is a very common question that I’ve been asked many times before, and I have a standard answer for it.



My standard answer

Whenever I am asked this question, I usually remind the person who asked it that they have a lot of control over their LinkedIn feed.

We instruct LinkedIn on what we want to see and not see by engaging with posts that we like and scrolling away from posts we dislike.

We could unfollow the person whom we no longer want to read posts from, or we could simply mute their content.

In more extreme cases, we could even unfollow people who interact with such posts, so that those posts don’t get recommended to us.

All of the above is fully within our control.

For example, my LinkedIn feed is heavily curated to only show me posts from high-quality, high-value content creators on LinkedIn, and so I get my daily dose of work and industry updates, inspiration and positivity that keeps me in a high vibrational state.

I have long unfollowed energy vampires and shock jocks.

So long, farewell.


What made me write this newsletter on Mother’s Day

Then, femtech entrepreneur and marketing director Andrea Tan, sitting in the audience, commented on that question.

Here’s what Andrea said (paraphrased from memory):

“LinkedIn has grown a lot in recent years (editor’s note: it has now crossed the one-billion user mark) and there are many new users on the platform.

Many people are starting to create content on the platform for the first time, as they realize how powerful LinkedIn is for growing a personal brand and small business.

Imagine for a moment that LinkedIn is a gym—of course you will meet all sorts of people in the gym.

Not everyone is a pro-user and an expert.

Everyone is figuring things out and somewhere in their fitness journey.

We don’t immediately judge others for their poor technique or stamina, the same way we wouldn’t want others to judge our efforts in the gym.

Instead, we give them support and encouragement in the comments (editor's note: or simply unfollow them in peace).

Eventually, everyone gets better at creating content on LinkedIn.”


Mic drop moment.

That’s not how I would have responded to the question, as a left-brained, problem-solving-oriented individual who wants to give my clients a solution to their problem.

What do you think? Do you agree with Andrea? I certainly did.

It reminded me about my newsletter from last week where I discussed the nine stages of personal branding based on a book called Followed by Amanda Bucci.

In Stage 1, the avoidance stage, most social media users experience the following:

  • They are critical of content creators

  • They aren’t sure how to even start creating content

  • They focus on all the negative parts of being a content creator to stay safe and comfortable, not stepping into the ring

The fact is, when people ask questions like that, they are really trying to put some distance between themselves and content creators.

In the avoidance stage, they identify as non-content creator and they are critical of content creators in general. They are quick to judge them.

Someone at a later stage in their personal branding journey would instead show empathy to other content creators, remembering their early days of being equally goofy and embarrassing.


PS: Does the avoidance stage describe your persona on LinkedIn?

If so, you may want to get on the waitlist for my next six-week Find Your Superpower LinkedIn bootcamp.

Cohort 3 will be opening for registration in a few weeks time.



Thanks for reading issue 056 of my weekly Find Your Superpower newsletter.

For those of you who are new to my newsletter, Find Your Superpower is subscribed to by 36,000+ people, and discusses the following three goals: (1) Making a career transition, (2) Professional branding on LinkedIn, and (3) Reinventing ourselves for the future of work.

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