I hear and read a lot about bullying. Bullying in school, on the bus and playground, online (of course) and most of the time it seems as if the abused and abuser are kids or young adults. I know bullying also occurs to a lesser degree in the workplace and surely in marriages but lately I’ve been become more aware about the type of bullying that happens in those loose communities we call “networking groups.”
What am I talking about? Well, here are some examples:
- A fellow networker doesn’t pick up on subtle signals, or even not-so-subtle ones, and continues to harass a fellow member with requests for a meeting.
- A networker aggressively pushes their product or service on another member even after the other person has made it clear that they aren’t interested in the product or service.
- A members takes follow-up to an entirely new level making their prospect (fellow networker) feel as if they are being stalked.
- A networker uses a public communications tool (linkedin, listserv, facebook group) to publicly trounce, berate or insult another member for something that they feel is wrong versus going to the individual and dealing with their ire on a one-to-one basis.
- Taking the phrase “networking reciprocity” to a new extreme, a networker applies highly aggressive tactics to ensure that “what goes around comes around.”
You might know some of these folks and if not, lucky you for they are out there and most of the time, undermine the effectiveness of the community and damage all of the good will that has been developed.