I'm one of those people who has written many times about the values of networking. It's good for your career, for your job search, for your personal brand, blah, blah, blah.
For all I know, networking leads to better digestion and clearer skin.
But one thing I'm really tired of is rude networkers. You probably don't know who you are, so it's a good thing you're reading this blog, because I'm going to tell you that your behavior is driving the rest of us nuts. So, before we block you on Twitter, dump you on LinkedIn and run from you at a networking event, let's clear the air.
You may be a rude networker if you:
1. Set up an appointment to talk over the phone or in person, and then decide to multitask while communicating. No, I don't want to watch you text someone else while talking to me. No, I don't want to hear you whisper to someone else while you're on the phone with me. I also don't want to hear you shuffling papers, typing on your computer or doing anything else but giving me your undivided attention.
2. Stand me up. This has happened more times than I care to count. If your schedule is so full that you're going to squeeze me into a five-minute slot, perhaps it's best that we find another time. If chances are your meeting will run late, you'll get stuck in traffic or it's a lovely day and you'd rather be playing golf, then tell me. Just don't fail to let me know, because then you go on my sh*t list, and many people on this list will NEVER get off.
3. Don't make false promises. Networking is about honesty. Don't promise to help someone if you have no intention of doing so. I'm still smarting about a connection who promised to help me promote my book, then not only didn't help me -- but acted like I had some kind of nerve in even asking. She is at the top of my sh*t list. The tippy-top.
4. Avoid being a bobble head. This is a problem I have myself, because the journalist in me is always sniffing the air for what else is going on. But I've worked hard not to dart my eyes around when I'm speaking to a contact. I try to blot out anything else in the room and focus completely on my contact. It's nothing less than I want myself.
What other rude networking behavior drives you crazy?
If I didn't do point number one wouldn't get anything done.
I have to multitask. It's just how busy I am.
Numerous studies have shown how multitasking actually impedes your productivity and quality of work. And, if you lose a valuable networking contact, the damage could be even worse. For 10 minutes you can't give someone your undivided attention? That's something you should take a hard look at.
There are few things worse than when someone continues typing and looking at their computer screen--or smartphone--while I'm talking with them. If you can't devote your precious minute or two to me when I'm coming to tell you something that should be important for you, then "See ya'," I'm leaving and you can find out the information some other way.
There are few things worse than when someone continues typing and looking at their computer screen--or smartphone--while I'm talking with them. If you can't devote your precious minute or two to me when I'm coming to tell you something that should be important to you, then "See ya'," I'm leaving and you can find out the information some other way.
I think many of us feel the same!
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