Disconnect from the White Noise on LinkedIn… and Prospect at the Same Time? Part 1

How do you disconnect from a current 1st degree connection?

More often than you would think, the question of “disconnecting” on LinkedIn comes up in conversation. Many professionals on LinkedIn are concerned with disconnecting with 1st degree connections for a number of reasons.

Here are some common Q&A’s of FOD’s (Fears of Disconnecting):

Q: What if they see that I have disconnected from them?

A: What if they do? If you are disconnecting, then how important is the actual relationship (if there is a relationship at all)?

Q: Do they receive a notification that I have disconnected?

A: Think about that question… have you ever received a notification that someone has disconnected from you? The answer is no.  However, one of the two ways to disconnect is a little stealthier than the other.  We’ll get into that in a minute.

Q: What if I can leverage them down the road at some point?

A: This question is usually in regards to a LinkedIn connection that you have never even begun developing the relationship with, and has no idea how you may be able to help them. Think of it this way… would you refer any professional out there that you have never met, spoken with, or engaged in any activity outside of being connected on LinkedIn?

Q: You never know where business will come from, so why would I disconnect?

A: See above… otherwise you wouldn’t be considering the disconnect!

Why would you ever want to disconnect? Well, our belief is that quality is much more effective than quantity in most cases… especially for business development purposes. Cleaning up your network provides you with the opportunity to do the following:

  1. Declutter your Home Page news feed. You will see more content from the people and companies that matter most if you remove all the white noise.
  2. Prospect. (Click here to view Part 2 -Disconnect from the White Noise on LinkedIn…and Prospect at the Same Time?  Part 2)
  3. Segment your network by category. (Click here to view Part 2 -Disconnect from the White Noise on LinkedIn…and Prospect at the Same Time?  Part 3)

Today we are focusing on the actual process of disconnecting. So how do you disconnect? There are 2 ways:

Disconnect #1: Disconnect directly from their LinkedIn Profile

Simply hover over the drop down arrow to the right of the button ‘Send a Message’. Then choose ‘Remove Connection’.

Disconnecting this way is less “stealthy” since you will populate on their “Who’s Viewed Your Profile” page as a 2nd degree connection. But if you are disconnecting from them… does that really matter to you?

Disconnect #2: Disconnect from the ‘Connections’ or ‘My Network’ tab.

  1. Click on the ‘Connections/ My Network’ Tab. If your tab reads ‘My Network’ you will have to hover over it, then click ‘Connections’ from the drop down.
  2. Scroll down past the notifications for birthdays, anniversaries, and new jobs. You will then see a list of your contacts and/or LinkedIn connections.

Best Practice: Click the drop downs, and sort alphabetically and filter by ‘Connections Only’. This will allow you to go through your list alphabetically and over time, and also only provide a list of your 1st Degree Connections on LinkedIn ONLY (you may have pulled in contact info from other sources, which is reflected if you do not filter by connections only.


  1. Once you have sorted alphabetically, set a goal of cleaning up a portion of the alphabet at this sitting… perhaps A through C today, D through F the next time, and so forth.
  2. Hover over the “information box” of the professional you wish to disconnect from and you will see 3 hyperlinks appear across the bottom which include ‘tag’, ‘message’, and ‘more’.
  3. Click ‘More’. Then choose ‘Remove Connection’Not to worry – no notification will be sent to the professional you are disconnecting from… the only way that they will know is if they go to your profile and see you as a 2nd degree connection.

    I hope this helps you “clarify your network”, remove the “white noise”, and focus on the people that matter most in your professional world. Stay tuned for the follow-up blogs to this for ‘Decluttering and Eliminating White Noise”, and ‘Prospecting’ through disconnecting. If you have any additional best practices please comment for everyone below!


    • Be the first to give to your new business relationships
    • Always pay it forward
    • Network with purpose.

    Good luck and good networking! Remember… It’s All About Leverage.

    Contact Bobbie for more information on Social Selling training.  Don’t forget to check out our website for our suite of services! 


About Bobbie

Bobbie specializes in helping executives as well as sales & marketing teams maximize client acquisition through the intersection of face-to-face networking combined with social selling techniques. Her customized programs and processes not only help in building the right network of prospects, clients, referral partners, and centers of influence, but also provide techniques to become thought leaders in their industry and stay top of mind with their targets.

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