5 "Networking Personalities" that make you a complete JERK
So you've planned on going to an event with the intention of meeting new people and if possible generating some new business leads. Usually you'll find that some people love being in a room full of strangers, because they genuinely enjoy getting to know people and discovering ways in which they can connect with them. Others are scared to death of this environment and couldn't think of anything worse than being trapped in a room full of forced conversation, but they give it their best shot because its part of their job description. That leaves us with the other group... the, how do I put this, slightly annoying folk who for some reason despite their best efforts just 'don't seem to get it'.
Please, don't be one of these people.
#1 THE BUSINESS CARD CLOWN
You've only just gotten to the second syllable of your name and WHOOSH, the business cards are out. Yes, that's right, you've just met the business card clown. Maybe it's a weird hoarding fetish or perhaps they think it's some kind of new card game, who knows. Either way, one thing is for certain, the prospect of having a business card thrusted at you before any meaningful conversation has taken place is just plain annoying. No thank you Business Card Clown, no thank you.
#2 THE IGNORAMUS
If you can't already tell by the fake smile, then the wandering eyes are a dead giveaway. This person doesn't care about you or anything you have to say because they've already decided you aren't worth their time. If you are unfortunate enough to come across one of these individuals, its probably best to just thank them for their time and move on. There's a difference being momentarily distracted when seeing a friend in the distance and being rude. You'll get the picture.
#3 THE COLLABORATOR
You know how you're always taught to make a personal connection with someone before trying to prospect them? Well this person doesn't quite grasp that concept. After asking about what you do the cage door is slammed shut and you are trapped. It begins. This person has realized that you are PERFECT as a prospect and they don't want to let you get away, so they will repeat themselves time and time again about the potential to collaborate on a project. ZzzZZzz.
#4 THE 'SUPER IMPORTANT VIP'
God forbid you try and talk about yourself with this person. The most you'll get in is your name, maybe your company, but don't even THINK about even starting to talk about what you do. You see this person is all about them. They are loud, they are kind of rude and they are definitely obnoxious. If there is food at this event, now is the time to fill your plate and stuff your face, because you won't be talking for a while.
#5 THE EXCLUDER
We all know from experience just how awkward it can be approaching a random group of people to initiate a conversation. For those who haven't quite mastered this skill yet, the 'Excluder' is your worst nightmare. Now before I go into more detail, I want to clear something up. There is a difference between an Excluder and two/three people who just happen to be engaged in deep conversation and unaware of their surroundings. You see, the Excluder knows you are there, they know that you are trying to gain entry to the circle and they will purposefully ignore you or even go out of their way to exclude you from the group. These types of people are nasty, they are usually quite stuck up, overly opinionated and will usually talk over people whenever they wish to have the last word. Hang around with people like this and you will see your mutual connections dwindling. As 'Sweet Brown' on KFOR News once said: "Ain't Nobody Got Time For That".
Moral of the story here is treat people how you would like to be treated. Connecting with others is both a natural skill as well as a little bit of an art. Stay tuned for an article telling you WHAT TO DO in the near future.
Until next time! :)