The vast majority of individuals who you’ll meet through networking are inherently good. They understand that the process of networking is a give and take and that when it is successful, everyone benefits.
However, almost every group has a rotten apple who is disruptive, unappreciative, lazy, or just downright rude. Let’s refer to these gadflies as the “networking nasties”. You’re wise to realize that they do exist and that you need to avoid them at all costs. They can skew your view of networking and sabotage your efforts.
Unfortunately, the networking nasties aren’t always easy to quickly identify. They oftentimes initially appear to be generous, well-connected, and friendly. Though, scratch their surface, and you’ll discover behavior that’s shocking and downright obnoxious. Here are the hallmark traits of the networking nasties to watch out for as you navigate through the process of making new connections.
They Don’t Say Thank You
Networking nasties are notoriously unappreciative. You send them email introductions. You introduce them to your acquaintances at events. You even extend invites to them for exclusive groups and get-togethers, and you never get a thank you in return. If you’ve experienced no recognition more than once, you’re most likely dealing with someone who is not worth the effort.
They Don’t Keep You in the Loop
This is somewhat more subtle than not receiving a thank you, but it’s equally as rude. If you’ve made an introduction, you should expect to receive updates on the progress of the connection. If you’ve taken the time to make an introduction and they can’t be bothered to keep you updated, it’s a clear indicator that they don’t value their relationship with you.
If you’ve gone out of your way to make an introduction and the individual hasn’t bothered to follow through, they’re wasting their time, as well as yours. Sure, people get busy. But, if weeks pass by and they still haven’t attempted to make the connection, you definitely have a networking nasty on your hands. Cease making future introductions. There are far too many others out there who would appreciate your efforts.
They Don’t Reciprocate
Giving back never crosses the mind of a networking nasty. They’re laser focused on getting as much as they can from networking and could care less about helping others. Once they’ve depleted the efforts of one acquaintance, they’ll just move on to someone else. Don’t get sucked into helping someone who isn’t offering anything in return.
They Think They’re Better than Who You Recommend
Networking nasties think quite highly of themselves. Why not? The world revolves around them. Unless you’re introducing them to Fortune 500 C-level executives, they probably will be disappointed with your introductions. Stick to dealing with fellow networkers who have their egos firmly in check.