Why People Hate Networking

Almost everyone has had bad experiences while networking. Donna Fisher, author of Power Networking, writes that “Networking is often given a bad reputation because some people use the concept in a way that is inconsiderate, inappropriate, unprofessional, or just shortsighted.” Yup – that about covers it.

Fisher lists some of the biggest networking mistakes people make. Here are my top three:

1. Coming on too strong: It’s obvious to everyone when your networking is all about you. Many people make the mistake of trying to sell, ask or push something too quickly. People do want to get to know you as a person first. That includes asking others we know and trust what they think about you. So if you come off as pushy a few times in a row, word will travel very quickly that you’re someone to duck at events or in social media. Fisher recommends taking a genuine interest in others first and asking questions. “Sell yourself first,” she says.

2. Being insincere. Everyone hates it when people promise things they can’t – or won’t – deliver. It’s much better to stay quiet than to promise something that makes you look like a star at the moment and a rat later when you don’t follow through. It’s also a reputation killer (see number one above.) Fisher says “…networking is not about immediate gratification, but building a long term support system. The quality of your network is directly related to [your] sincerity.”

3. Rudeness: There are a couple of forms of this. One is what I call the Scanner. She will shake your hand and spend two minutes with you, looking over your shoulder the whole time to see if anyone more interesting or important has come in. Another version is the “I thought you were somebody, but I was wrong” guy. He’ll spend just enough time to hear what you do, then drop you to go look for someone more useful to him. The counterpart to this is the Desperado. The Desperado will monopolize the conversation for a long time, ignoring your increasingly obvious body language signals that it’s time to move on.

Are you guilty of any of these? Do you have a networking horror story to share? Email me.

1 thought on “Why People Hate Networking

  1. […] written before about mistakes people make when networking, so it’s only fair that I also write about people who get it right.  One of the best things you […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: