With everything that is happening in the world, the focus is on how to get the most out of your network. This is the right question to ask but if you stretch it a bit you might “overwork” your network and cause trouble for yourself. Here are ten ideas about “how NOT to overwork your network.”
(The ideas are not in any order)
1. Don’t add people in your network to mailing lists without asking their permission. Just because you have their card does not mean that they want to hear from you via newsletters.
2. Don’t introduce new people to anyone without asking permission from both parties. Typically one person wants to meet the other because they want to get something from the other person and the other person may not have the bandwidth to give that “something.”
3. Don’t have unreasonable expectations of your network
4. Don’t expect to receive first.
4. Don’t introduce more noise in your network. People don’t have time to deal with new noise.
5. Don’t take your network for granted.
6. Remember the golden rule: You knowing someone is not the same as they knowing you.
7. Put yourself in their shoes before making any request.
8. Think about this: “Why would fulfilling your request be meaningful to them?” If you can’t come up with a good answer, it might be time to go back to the drawing board and re-design your request for help.
9. Don’t play games with your network. Sooner than later, your network will know your true intent. And, it better be GOOD.
Lastly, remember that you get license to make a request in the “short-term,” if you have built a relationship over the long-term.