I always like to think I am a fairly tolerant kind of guy, but I guess we all have our Achilles Heels. Even on-line I am irritated by people who constantly sell rather than engage. Of course we all have the ability to un-follow or block or simply ignore, depending through which medium we encounter them.
It is not always quite so easy with face-to-face networking. There is this chap I bump into now and again who goes on his merry way leaving in his wake rather bruised networkers he has battered with his sales talk and confused by his various business offerings. He doesn’t listen for a moment to what others have to say, and he doesn’t seem interested in what they have to offer or whether he could help them.
In fact this “networker” seems oblivious to other people feelings and to his surroundings. If he read this piece he wouldn’t recognise himself because he doesn’t stop to think. Of course he won’t read it anyway because he wouldn’t think it was about him, which it is. Yes, he is his favourite subject.
This gentleman (a term used loosely) is not even stupid in intellectual terms. He purports to offer complex legal services. One of his websites is well up the rankings in keywords which interest me. He may have a clever SEO person but I expect he does it himself. But being clever doesn’t mean he is sensitive to other people’s feelings or that he even cares. He seems to have no empathy.
I guess this serial networker (or even “cereal networker” since he likes breakfast meetings) doesn’t actually get much business from networking. That will be because he puts himself ahead of others as well as in front of them when they would dearly like to escape.
Have you met someone like this? How do we get him to reform when he doesn’t listen, or is it a lost cause? Shouldn’t we all show our fellow networkers a fair degree of respect?