Margaret Morford published an excellent piece in the New York Times about how people can avoid becoming what she calls “networking parasites“. She picks up on a number of things that would-be networkers should be careful to avoid. A few others that she didn’t mention are:
The ‘I’d like to pick your brain’ request
Not that this is bad, after all, a lot of us are in the knowledge dissemination business. But please, before asking to ‘pick my brain’ could you read my books? Or review my articles? Or at least visit my blog? I’m totally cool with conversations with like-minded thinkers who want to advance the conversation. I am not enthusiastic about reviewing material that I’ve already published with people who don’t take the trouble to prepare themselves.
The ‘please introduce me to your CEO network’ request
When it works, it’s fabulous – I get to meet a really cool person who can be helpful to a client or contact. I really like those meetings. The ones I’m not so enthusiastic about are the out-of-the-blue requests to meet someone important or famous with very little to offer in exchange.