I ran across this article about networking sins a while back and have had it on my list to share. I think it’s an ok list, but based on what I see with networking on LinkedIn (my current tool of choice) I don’t see much abuse. The biggest thing that bothers me (and I’ve mentioned before) is the recommend me/I’ll recommend you thing, and that’s not intrusive to the parties involved, I’m just not sure it’s a good idea. I think I get one request for an introduction every 3 months. Maybe I don’t know the right people! The challenge there is that you can see that I’m linked to someone, but no idea of the strength of the relationship, which can put you in the odd position of knowing the requestor will enough, but not knowing the target of the introduction as well. Still, to me that falls well short of a sin.
But it got me thinking, what are the mistakes that everyone makes? I think most of us are fairly forgiving about networking mistakes – especially in person – but it would be nice to build the list and work on ways to avoid it. And not all mistakes are active, I’ve learned the hard way that being passive and just not actively participating in a group conversation can send the wrong impression.
So, I’ll start with that one, and hoping you’ll share your own mistakes (because it’s not nice to point out flaws in others!)
#1 – Standing with a group that is talking and not participating in the conversation reasonably actively