I always thought networking was about relationships and paying it forward w/o any strings attached. Our success is really dependent on the kindness of strangers and one's willingness to help others. There is a Rotary motto: service above self.
Recently, certain incidences have made me question the motives of others when networking. I want to get your thoughts. The first incident involves a networking group of executive healthcare professionals (~1000 members). This is led by a hospital manager and apparently an affable guy. I have helped this group several times with contacts and speakers. Finally, I asked the leader of this group for a referral at two local companies. He agreed and told me to me email him. Rather than providing me with the names, he sent me a solicitation for coaching services.
Frankly, I was insulted and stopped attending the meeting. Here is what he sent me:
Here are a few ideas as you gather information/advice about medical affair liaisons for diagnostics & clinical labs:
"Watch these two videos & write down 5-10 ideas you took away from these videos that will help you with WHY anyone would want to talk with you about this area of healthcare with rather than others with similar or extensive background experience in same:
a) http://99u.com/videos/7058/simon-sinek- ... d-business
b) Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action http://www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_ho ... ction.html
2) Answer the following questions for you (and our upcoming conversation next week) Know with certainty/confidence/conviction the answers to these questions first before you pursue meetings with others:
a) What do you call what you want to do?
b) What do you like doing (professionally)?
c) If you had a choice to do anything in your life as a career/job - what is it you would do?
d) Why do you want to do _________@_______? (not money - that is a result. Think your purpose, cause and belief about what you do want to do. People by why you do what you do)...."
He honestly believes their is some magical approach when someone is networking. My experience teaches me most people help others out of the kindness of their heart and others only care about an apparent quid pro quo. So you need angle with these folks. I also think the willingness of helping other professionally in an unconditional manner has gotten worst since the 2008 recession.
The next type of incident are former colleagues, not my direct supervisors, who through jealously or any other dysfunctional behaviors, want to intentionally provide misleading information or their opinions to prospective employers or former employers. An example of this conduct, which happened to a friend of mine many years ago, was a director of HR who calls the former employee's new supervisor to get him fired when the former employee leaves the company after 3 weeks and only gives a four days notice to his supervisor. The employee told his supervisor four days before he left; he couldn't work out the timing of two offers such that one employer wouldn't be unhappy if both offers came through. Most of these problems stem from non-supervisors, mostly coworkers, wanting to spread rumors only to have them disproven by the reference of my direct supervisor.
Any thoughts? Maybe I am networking with the wrong caliber of people.