Networking Dos and Don’ts: Check Your Mood at the Door

Be sure to check your mood at the door. There’s no one in the group who is going to listen to you go on and on about the drama in your life and then feel comfortable referring to you. If you show up and only want to talk about your children’s problems and how they’re taking you away from work, or how you can’t focus because you’re getting a divorce, or how you’re taking care of a sick family member and you’re taking time off to deal with that—why would anyone want to refer someone to you? And yet, people do just this all the time.

We had a member a couple years ago who represented a local dental office. She came to every meeting and bashed her employer the entire ninety minutes. After two or three meetings of this, I finally pulled her to the side and said, “Do you think there is anyone in this room who wants to send their family members or friends to your office for dental work when you’re bashing all of its business principles and questioning its integrity? Nobody’s going to refer to you. You’re wasting your time.” After another month or two of the same type of attitude, we replaced her.

Bringing drama into a meeting does not give people confidence to refer to you. It’s not a place to go to dump your problems and your attitudes on the other members. They’re there to learn about your business—and you. If you want others to refer to you, refrain from airing all of your or your company’s dirty laundry. Treat the opportunity professionally and check your drama at the door.

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