Why Your Network Thinks You Suck
“Hey I know we haven’t talked in like two years but I saw on LinkedIn you are connected to (enter name) the CEO of XYZ Inc.. I was wondering, could you do me a solid and connect me?”
Hmm yeah sure, let me get right on that. Not!
I know, I know, not very Ripply right?
Who do you think you are though? Hitting me up and making such a request? I mean you haven’t called, you haven’t written, hell you haven’t even bought me flowers in forever. Yet you somehow have the audacity to think you are entitled to a favor? Seriously? Man you suck!
Now clearly that conversation isn’t actually happening between you and me so please do not take offense. But situations like this happen all the time across lots of people’s networks. Heck I bet you have some similar requests sitting in your LinkedIn inbox right now; some distant contact asking for a quick favor when you and I both know they don’t have the right to be asking for one.
Here’s the problem, most of us have no idea how to respond to such a request. In fact it feels so awkward that many of us just blindly obey and fulfill these random requests out a sense of obligation.
Here’s a thought: Grow a spine and say HELL NO.
Who do these people think they are hitting you up for a favor when they haven’t done one thing to maintain the relationship with you? I mean seriously how disengaged can one be?
What? You’ve found yourself doing this exact same thing from time to time? Trying to leverage your network for a favor when you had no business or more to the point…RIGHT…to ask for one?
Well isn’t this awkward. I mean I had no idea. How could you! Haven’t I trained you better than this?
I guess that is why your network thinks you suck.
You my friend are what we like to call a network abuser. You use your network when it’s convenient for you and you have an immediate need but the rest of the time you simply ignore your it. And yes, that makes you the suckiest of sucky people.
Think about it. In the last year, how many favors have you been asked to perform by people you barely know in your network? How many favors did you ask for from people you barely know?
Sucky networking practices like this must stop.
Be engaged with your network to the point that real relationships are developed and maintained by both you and the people you are connected to. It has to be a two way street. One way networking simply doesn’t work.
Build mutually beneficial relationships in your network and no one will will ever think you suck my friend. Ever!
Do that and then you never have to worry about asking for a favor from the people in your network and they of you.
But what if the people in your network aren’t willing to reciprocate with your desire to build real relationships with them you ask? Well maybe they shouldn’t be in your network in the first place. I mean they suck.