When it comes to online networking, keeping a non- biased profile is so important; although everyone’s opinions are valid, networking groups are not the place to be over sharing.
No one likes a person that shouts about their prejudiced opinions, especially when it’s judging the way other people run their business. Experienced networking individuals will spot these types of people a mile off and will avoid interacting with them. It’s best to keep a neutral profile in networking groups to avoid conflict and ruining the potential chance of building good beneficial relationships. The same can be said here for political views, or even sporting views to some degree.
When networking online, there is always a chance of someone becoming overly confident by hiding behind a screen and voicing unnecessary negative opinions towards other businesses. It can be common in online groups that people will digest the wrong perception of their purpose and therefore end up posting inappropriate content. Often in business networking groups some individuals will use this as an opportunity to attack their competitor. This type of behaviour will be quickly highlighted by fellow network professionals. This will have a negative impact on your profile and the amount of high quality connections you receive, leading to a decrease in possible leads and sales for your business and possibly damaging the reputation your company maintains.
Although networking is advertised as being very casual, it is, however this is not to be taken advantage of. You should still maintain the same amount of professionalism as you would attending work or a meeting. The word casual often gets abused in networking and people see it as an opportunity to purely make friends and talk about their personal life. This is a vital factor to avoid doing when networking both online and in person, you can give people a very miss lead perception of yourself by doing so.
Sharing your personal views on sensitive subjects is completely within our human rights to do so, however you must be careful with where you choose to voice these opinions. As obvious as it may be to some of you, a networking group is exactly where NOT to talk about these type of topics. If you were to do this when job seeking a job or even just conversing with business owners that could potential be business partners one day, you are destroying every chance of that ever happening. The people that attend a networking event or online group are only expecting small talk and business related conversations, so to address these people with personal opinions and issues will make them feel uncomfortable.
When being in a business environment that is relaxed, it’s often people get too comfortable and start gossiping about colleagues and people in the industry. When people tend to have a bit of alcohol the conversations will naturally become very casual, but you MUST still refrain from gossiping! Imagine talking about somebodies personal life that you somehow know about and it just so happens that the person you are gossiping too is their best mate? It’s a recipe for disaster. The people you interact with online or at networking events could very well play a role in your future career and where it is heading to. Highlighting the fact you should always remember why you are there in the first place, to converse and build positive business relationships that could possibly benefit you and your business in the near future.
If ever in doubt remember what Thumper said to Bambi; if you have nothin’ nice, don’t say nothin’ at all.
If you are still a bit confused about the does and dont’s of networking, make sure you check out the video below and the related videos on this topic!
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