By now you've probably discovered that the LinkedIn messaging system received a significant overhaul last fallOverhaul Modernization concept on the gearwheels--and most people appear to be unhappy about the change.

In the past, when LinkedIn has heard the clamor of the crowd, they've sometimes chosen to abandon the new and revert back to the "old way." So far that hasn't happened with the messaging system, but I'm hoping they'll eventually see the light on this one.

Are you making this costly mistake with the new system?

I used to love messaging up to 50 connections at the same time, but these days bulk messaging can result in embarrassment, hard feelings, or a seriously cluttered inbox for the sender and the recipient.

In the past recipients were unaware of who, if anyone else, received your bulk message, and responses would come directly to you and you alone. Now all recipients can see the full list of addressees, and all responses can be seen by the entire group.

The problem arises when recipients don't realize that LinkedIn has changed the rules and they still think you're the only one who will see their response. Do you want to risk Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 7.40.40 AMthe whole group seeing comments like "Does your boss know you're interviewing with a competitor?" or "Have any of your employees found out that you're trying to sell the company?"

If you want to play it safe, grab someone's email address from his or her LinkedIn profile (click the Contact info tab) and send an email.

How to avoid seeing other people's responses

If you're the recipient of bulk messages and you're tired of the ongoing dialog cluttering your LinkedIn inbox, there are simple ways to stop the madness.

First, you can mute the conversation. This means LinkedIn will no longer notify you when someone has added to the conversation. It does not delete it from your LinkedIn message feed, and you can find it in the future.

Second, you can delete it forever. This removes it from the messaging system, and you will not be able to view it in the future. In addition, you will not be notified of any future Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 3.12.07 PMadditions to the conversation. Gone means gone, at least under LinkedIn's current rules.

To mute or delete, simply click the three dots on the top right of a message and choose Mute conversation or Delete conversation.

I'm still a firm believer that LinkedIn is the world's best place to find and connect with people who can help you advance your business and career. However, when it comes to conversations with your network, I suggest you send a direct message on LinkedIn or use email, phone or face-to-face meetings.