CEOs and Best-Selling Authors who are aware enough to give attention to every request. This may be based on the fact that they believe I can assist them, more likely though, they just have a pedigree for personal attention.
There are others who seem to have an automated Twitter account. What a sham!
Some job seekers take 4 weeks to respond to a request (and they wonder why they are still unemployed).
...and there are those who simply don't think I will add any value to their network...so they don't respond to my support for their work. Which doesn't necessarily mean I will stop supporting them.
In his book, "Who's Got Your Back", the great Keith Ferrazzi sights Generosity as the key metric for building a quality network. This is a key differentiator!
I attend and present at business forums a couple times a month. Through the years, I have developed an instinct for spotting generosity. Usually those with the most to say, say very little. This is the art of networking; allowing someone to understand that their goals are as important as yours. Putting your audience first is essential. If someone gives you a business card and tells you what they want from you, they are probably not a trusted resource. If someone emails you once with a variety of ways in which they will help you, but never follow up, they are probably full of hot air.
The problem is that we walk into a networking event with our hand out. Then, we chalk it up to a waste of time because we got no leads out of the event.
It is better to go into an event expecting nothing other than to help someone.
You have to diagnose before you prescribe. Therefore, it would make great sense to fully understand a person's goals before you explain yours.
Golden Rule: the good lord gave you 2 ears and 1 mouth so you can listen twice as much as you talk.
Ease your way in, understand your audience, and assess the viability of spending time with someone you meet.
The great Rodd Wagner has stated that the greatest qualifier of an organizational culture is reciprocity. In essence, we get back what we create. Any company can be amazing or defeating despite their products or work purpose. Culture is created by the degree of acceptance of reciprocation.
If we defuse negativity at the source, it will no longer exist.
If we seek action planning from each interaction, excuses will turn into action items.
If we value participation by rewarding effort, people will participate.
It is incredibly difficult to tell people their approach is ineffective. Most of us will shy away from a bully and allow them to determine their own fate. This doesn't help said person adjust, adapt and/or improve.
We can make a difference by advising rather than admonishing.
It takes courage to risk rubbing people the wrong way. None of us want to volunteer our time to be lectured. Reinforcement is easier to accept than suggested alternatives.
I know what I suck at.....if you can help me look at it from a pro-active direction, I might actually make an effort to change.
If you are insecure about attending a networking event allow yourself to be vulnerable instead of pretending to know everything. If you need help, ask for it.
Newsflash: we can all use a little help!
I became a far better presenter when I adapted my approach in consideration of helping without the expectation of direct return. Connecting people with things that matter to them is far more important than building a network by numbers.
Showing up and being present are two very different concepts.
Don't Forget to Remember!