51 Ways To Be a Weak Networker 5

“A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly…

– Proverbs 18:24

Building a strong network of professional friends is crucial to a successful career in the 21st century.  However, networking successfully is not as simple as it may at first seem.

As you go about your networking plans, remember to avoid making these fifty-one common mistakes.

  1. Interrupt conversations
  2. Fail to introduce yourself to a new contact
  3. Fail to make eye contact
  4. Fail to give a good handshake
  5. Dress inappropriately
  6. Forget your business cards
  7. Be too busy to help you friends
  8. Try to take more than you give
  9. Position yourself over your coworkers
  10. Maintain poor posture
  11. Talk too much
  12. Listen too little
  13. Forget people names
  14. Forget people’s backgrounds
  15. Ignore people’s feelings
  16. Be a know-it-all
  17. Toot your own horn
  18. Dwell on your own achievements
  19. Turn the conversation to your interests
  20. Choose quantity over quality
  21. Rarely talk with your networks
  22. Never do anything that does not directly help you
  23. Take too much time
  24. Tell long-winded stories that don’t interest your contacts
  25. Only befriend people who can directly help you
  26. Rarely compliment your friends
  27. Never connect two friends who might help each other
  28. Talk behind people’s backs
  29. Complain to your contacts
  30. Promise more than you actually can do
  31. Overextend yourself
  32. Never create an elevator speech
  33. Be late to everything
  34. Rarely smile
  35. Never have a long-term plan
  36. Avoid focusing on your friends
  37. Treat your network as a secondary issue
  38. Answer your phone while talking with a friend
  39. Write text messages while talking with a friend
  40. Check your Twitter stream while talking with a friend
  41. Try to sell something to your friends
  42. Give advice… even when it is not wanted
  43. Forget to follow up on new contacts
  44. Do not use any social networking site
  45. Rarely update your resume
  46. Forget to build a personal website (i.e., www.YourName.com)
  47. Never talk anything but business
  48. Avoid attending meet-ups and gatherings because “they take so much time”
  49. Never ask questions that might make you look dumb
  50. Lose touch with your friends
  51. Desert old friends in favor of new contacts

What networking mistakes have you made?

5 thoughts on “51 Ways To Be a Weak Networker

  1. Reply Naquan Apr 16,2010 10:04 PM

    Great post. It forces you to examine yourself (which is a good thing). God bless you.

  2. Reply Peter Apr 17,2010 12:49 AM

    I have a terrible, terrible memory for names. About the only way I’ve come up with to deal with it is to apologise in advance when meeting new people.

  3. Reply Nate Desmond Apr 17,2010 7:19 AM

    @Naquan – I’m glad you enjoyed it!

    @Peter – I struggle with the same thing. On the other hand, I have a friend who, at ten years old. remembers everyone’s name. I wish I had his memory!

  4. Reply Stormbringer Apr 17,2010 10:12 AM

    Being Helpy Helperton, giving helpful suggestions that were not requested (even if I really would have improved the situation).

  5. Reply Nate Desmond Apr 17,2010 10:41 AM

    @ Stormbringer – That is a great point! I have been learning that myself recently.

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