Last week, I discussed the value of building a network. This week, I’m going to talk about the things people do that destroy relationships and end up killing the network’s benefit for themselves and others. If you find yourself doing any of these, it’s time to reconsider and re-ignite your game.
You just don’t show up. You sign up, but you don’t attend. You tell yourself it’s not that big a deal. After all, someone else will show up. However, a network is a lot like an electronic circuit. Your absence is a dead spot in that chain. It prevents the energy from being passed through you to the next person. Nobody can benefit from what you have to offer when you don’t show up.
You show up, but you bring no energy with you. You don’t care about the group and you don’t care in general. That energy drains the room of enthusiasm. Your apathy acts like a virus, spreading to other members.
You are like a sponge, soaking up all the benefits without giving anything back to the people in your network. You not only don’t give back; you don’ t even thank the people who worked hard to create the programs you enjoyed in the first place. Or worse, you do nothing but complain. It kills the motivation of others to step forward and offer something of value out of fear they’ll receive the same kind of treatment.
You don’t take care of the relationships you’ve formed. You don’t follow up or follow through with the things you say you ‘re going to do. You neglect to nurture your connections. That ends up damaging those relationships, and the hurt feelings from that neglect leads people to do the same.
You show up but you never speak up. You never contribute ideas or thoughts to the group. You never have an impact on the group. Unfortunately, your silence not only means that people miss out on getting to know you, it also contributes to the ongoing silence of the group. The more people are silent, the more silence grows.
You bring your emotional baggage with you everywhere you go and you dump it on the people around you. If you share, it’s only to share the negative things. You don’t offer any positive wisdom to go with it. You are like that one rain cloud that stops the sun from shining on an otherwise beautiful day. People not only don’t like being around you, when they are around you, the negativity makes them feel worse about their life and their circumstances than they would otherwise. And you bring the whole network down with you.
Nobody knows if, or when, you’re going to show up. When you do show up, they don’t know what to expect from you. They can’t rely on you to deliver, and they aren’t able to get to know you because they hardly ever see you.
Troubleshooting the Issues
If you’ve noticed these habits in yourself or in others in your network, fear not. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be diving into why these things happen and how you can reverse the situation once you notice it. My goal, by the end of this, is to help you be prepared to get the most out of your network.
Retreats Can Jump Start Network Connections
As fun as online groups can be, nothing bonds you quite like direct interpersonal relationships. That’s why I’m planning to host a retreat in the next few months. We’ll be working on preparing a comprehensive writing plan for your next book during the retreat and helping you to get ready to start your new year with a new book.
Questions about Networking?
Just ask in the comments below. I’ll be happy to answer. If you have experiences you’d like to share, we’d love to hear those, too.