Well this is a funny one isn’t it… The word in isolation can be used in some many different ways, in fact the dictionary notes 14 explanations and uses for the word respect.
But in the context of what I’m talking about, it’s really… Being respectful. As I’m sure you would assume anyway when reading the title.
Interestingly, I had an instance earlier this month that prompted me to write this…
The story starts at a breakfast meeting on a Wednesday morning, where I was attending as a guest of a former colleague. I was familiar with the format of the group in question which was a chapter of the world’s largest networking organisation.
Now before I continue, I must say that on the whole it was a very well put together event and I should also mention that I’m an advocate of the structured format to which they adhere.
However, during the informal part of the meeting, I found myself perplexed with some of the actions of the persons in attendance, which, at one point… did venture on the verge of being disrespectful. The thing is, with structure comes systems & process’ – understandably so. Unfortunately, when you apply systems and process to human interaction it seems the brain can end up becoming task orientated and forget what it is to actually be a human!
OK so what happened…
I found myself engaged in conversation with a gentleman that deals in the property industry with whom I’d found a synergy and a reason to discuss further our respective business’. About 5 minutes into our conversation I’m approached by a gentleman I had already been introduced to who – without any rhyme or reason says…. “Have you met so and so…”
Now, I totally appreciate that this is our raison d’etre when it comes to networking… But… Taking ourselves out of the “Networking” Environment – would you really walk up too little less than a stranger and thrust upon them another stranger…? I would suggest not.
And herein lies the learning, by all means I would encourage each of you to be accepting and considerate of all the various structured formats that exist in the modern world of networking, but maintaining respect for one another as human beings, and ensuring that is the overriding thought, and not that of systems and process is the key to becoming a Network Ninja.
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