Treat everyone in your network well. Never discount someone as unimportant. One of the foundational principles of business networking is respect. There are no exceptions to the rule. The fruit of respect is listening, hearing and learning. Respect is a platform to build strong relationships on and business is all about relationships and trust and respect. Respect and trust are the basis for just about everything.
Some might argue that at the core of all business problems is a lack of respect for each other. Decency is in short supply in the competitive world of business networking in some circles. While it should be common sense to show respect to others, some people need a constant reminder. We must be careful not to give off a negative impression to anyone. What you give out always comes back to you.
First, respect your networking group. If you don’t, move on to another one.
It is respectful to honor people’s time. If you say, “I only need five minutes of your time,” keep your word. Networking often gets a bad rap because people don’t respect the time of the person on the other end.
Here are some other thoughts to consider: Listen to others when they speak. Value other networker’s opinions. Never talk about people behind their backs. Be sensitive to other people’s feelings. Be on time for networking meetings. Make eye contact when someone is talking with you. Never ignore requests from other networkers hoping they will be forgotten. Respect others by noticing that they exist. You feel better when you treat others with respect. Respect is how to treat everyone, not just those you want to impress.
Remember, you don’t have to actually respect someone in order to treat that person with respect. Treating others with a certain amount of respect and manners has nothing to do with their actions; it has everything to do with how you have decided to live your life.
You want to be identified as respectful and polite at all times, and by everyone.
My friend, Desiree Rose Ford (Business Card Chronicles BLOG), tells of a situation that happened to her at a networking event:
“There he was, standing in the middle of a very crowded room. He was 6’4” tall, dark and handsome. Even if he wasn’t holding up a notepad with money symbols on it, you couldn’t help but notice him; he was far too good looking.
I stood up straight, fixed my dress, put on my best smile and walked over to him.
“That’s a great way to get people’s attention.” I said to him as I walked over to introduce my self. After telling him my name and shaking his hand, he went straight for the kill. “What is your business?”
A little thrown back by the immediate interrogation, I replied “Print and media branding for …” I didn’t get to finish my statement before he said “You don’t need my service” as he sneered at me, turned and walked away.”
Had that story happened to me, I would have been embarrassed for this jerk!
If you run into a Disrespectful Danny. . . first, calm yourself. second, refocus on your networking goal. And third. . . let it go.
In an 1879 address by West Point Commandant, John McAllister Schofield, he said, “He who feels the respect which is due to others cannot fail to inspire in them regard for himself, while he who feels, and hence manifests, disrespect towards others, especially his subordinates, cannot fail to inspire hatred against himself.”
Canadian icon Anne Murray has shared both the stage and friendships with many people of note. But the country’s legendary singer says she has always held fast to her parents’ urging to respect people no matter what race, religion or station in life. “Respect is treating everyone with dignity,” Murray said.
Don’t spend a lot of time and energy trying to make sure people like you. Instead, work hard on being the kind of person that others respect. Respect will take you a lot further. – Larry Winget
Commit yourself to genuine respect, and then make that commitment apparent. Make today the beginning of a journey back to respecting everyone you meet. Without showing respect to others in your network, proper networking would not be possible. People only want to help you if they know you, trust you, respect you.
Always treat yourself with the love and respect you deserve! Respect is reciprocal. Respect others and they will respect you.
I hope that when it is my time to go, my epitaph will read, “He treated everyone with respect!”
For another video about “respect,” click here!
Copyright © 2010 – Larry James. Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Coach. He presents networking seminars nationally and “Networking” coaching by telephone or one-on-one. His latest book is, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Visit ” Networking HQ!”
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