As someone who has been getting busy in the world of modern business, it’s nearly impossible to overlook the value of networking, whether it’s as a practice, key to success, or necessity. Due to the way the modern business landscape has developed, the idea of success as a professional, company, or firm is deeply intertwined with having a vast network.
However, having a strong network boils down to interacting with the right people and keeping the communication line consistently flowing with valuable learning experiences and opportunities. And this also sheds light on doing the opposite: avoiding the worst types of connections that you can network with.
A flaw in networking (and the responsibility it bears)
Here’s a key reality of modern networking that anyone should know: not everyone you come across at a mixer, gathering, or event is someone that you should connect with. You see, the main inherent flaw of the practice in question is that some networking connections can be less-than-ideal to deal with because:
- They are difficult to work with
- They don’t help you grow or collaborate
- They bring more problems than solutions
- They can try to undercut you for valuable opportunities or ideas without you knowing
The worst types of connections that you need to avoid
Considering that anyone can start networking as long as they put their mind to it, those who rely on the practice to get the best results and make a difference must be vigilant enough to avoid duds of all kinds. Unfortunately, this means that the worst connections you can make are unavoidable, so you’ll need to watch out for them to avoid getting caught in the mix.
Let’s look at some of the worst types of connections you’ll encounter so that you can brush up on everything you need to know and how to deal with them professionally:
The Live Bomb
We’ll all run into a connection in the form of a friend or family member that doesn’t do well at their job or is tough to work with but still wants to link up asks you to help them out—this is what we call a “live bomb.”
Live bombs are networking connections that we end up struggling with but don’t want to pass onto anybody else for the sake of ruining our reputation and the hard work of others. Although unavoidable (because they are family or friends), these connections must be dealt with in the best way possible because they could affect your hard work and the way your connections see you.
The Newborn Baby
Another type of connection that you don’t want in your network is the Newborn Baby: a connection that keeps asking for help to the point where they’re needier than an actual infant.
Asking for help when it is needed is a perfectly acceptable situation, but there are some instances where a connection can be asking for way too much. While asking questions or tiny favours like follows and likes are perfectly acceptable, a Newborn Baby will often cross the line and make it seem like they only see you as a stepping stone by:
- Constantly asking to refer their business to various other connections in your network
- Begging you to send their resume to specific people in your connection list (even if they wouldn’t be the best fit)
- Wearing out their welcome by asking for inconvenient favours
While the field of connections you’re diving into is filled with different people that you won’t always share the same sentiments with, there are some with whom your ideas, politics, and morals clash above all else.
They are called the Anti-You––connections that are completely opposite from you in subjective-objective points to the point where they’d try to give you a hard time just because they see differently. Suppose you have a connection that shares opposing sentiments on strongly charged subjects, but you feel like you could have a mutually beneficial relationship on a business level. In that case, it’s best to avoid such topics!
Although you may want to welcome everyone because they bring many opportunities, there are some connections that can prove to be bad apples. Thankfully, keeping this guide in mind will help you effectively build your network and ensure that everyone you keep in touch with will help you keep the train of mutual benefit moving!
Are you looking to showcase your networking skills and start bridging connections but don’t know where to start? NRG Networking is one of the fastest-growing networking working groups ready to help take your business to the next level. Get in touch with us today to know more about business networking events in Perth, Australia!