Monday, August 22, 2011

Sorry, I Am Protecting My Time

"Sorry, I am protecting my time".  This is what I heard from someone I invited to meet me for coffee.

This person had sent me a LinkedIn request, and in keeping my policy of not linking to strangers when there is no foundation of a relationship, I requested we meet in person

(I enacted the "Coffee, Meal or Beer Rule" several years ago, which just means I want a conversation...could be by phone... with people before adding them to LinkedIn and Facebook.  I also allow for the "digital equivalent", as sometimes you get to know someone online and via short meetings at networking events, which is similar to sitting down for coffee).  

She was offended that I would not accept a LinkedIn connection from a total stranger.  She said I did not understand networking (ummmm???? okay).

I was offended that she told me she was "protecting" her time.  It sounded like I was some kind of time-sucking barbarian.

Stale-mate.  Oh well.

Have A Great Day.



cryptic_philosopher said...

Doesn't sound like a big loss.

Harwick Family said...

She was another "collector of contacts".

Anonymous said...

You make yourself available when people call you, but you make them come to you at an early hour. We met last year when I cold-called you, but you made me meet you at 7:30 AM near your home (I live across town). At first I was offended, but then I realized why you did it. I now see that if I make the ask to meet I need to be flexible to what works for the other person.

Neen said...

I love your Coffee, Meal or Beer rule - it is genius and also speaks to the quality of person you are.

You my friend are one of the best time investments anyone can make and I am always delighted and honored when I get to be in your brilliant networking presence.

She doesn't understand productivity is not only about how you spend your time, but were you focus your attention and how you manage you energy. Her loss!

Steven Tylock said...

Interesting - I don't often see people that both want to protect themselves and want to connect indiscriminately...

I love the generalization of your connection rule. It's easy to remember, and perhaps not as strict as my "know and trust" rule.

But it's the same intent - If you don't know the other person well enough to trust them at some level, how can you share your little black book with them? Because that's what connecting does, doesn't it? You're sharing the fact that you know these 287 other VIPs, and if one of them asks you to introduce them to another, you can vouch for each.

The person that wants to connect, but isn't interest in knowing you - how can you vouch for them? "Hi Mrs. VIP - I'd like you to meet 'Some Stranger' that randomly connected with me on this social site. I’d like to tell you about this stranger, but I don’t really know them. I hope things go well for you!"

Right - that's going to happen...

Steven Tylock
The LinkedIn Personal Trainer

Beth Bridges said...

The whole experience goes to show you that your system works exactly the way it should have.

YOU were protecting *your* time (in a perfectly reasonable, looking at the long-term way) by asking for a small investment of her time. It's a clear indicator of the value they place on the "relationship" over all.

Thank you for sharing this story. Rueful smiles all around from those who've "met" this person!

Mark Trice said...

I have used this rule several times since you shared this with me years ago. Most people get the suggestion and either make an effort to interact with me or disappear.

The ironic thing here is that with this rule you were actually protecting her time as well as your own time...from an unproductive and not so mutually beneficial networking relationship. One has to make an attempt to interact beyond clicking a few buttons.

Thanks for helping us keep networking Real!

Brian R. said...

People invent reasons to feel more important than their actual reality. Those who announce they "protect their time" are pre-judging everyone and putting themselves out as more important. We need serendipity in networking. I do like your 7 AM coffees mentioned in another comment, as that would knock out most selfish folks.

Ben Neiburger said...

At times you do kinda look like a barbarian

Dr. Rus Jeffrey said...

After having you on my talk show a number of times and hearing you quote this rule I actually went through some of my social networks and started "removing" people I didn't really know. The best thing I ever did as it certainly cut down on the "noise" in my various feed streams.

Keep up the great work!
Dr. Rus

Thom Singer said...

Ben, I look more like Conan O'Brien than Conan the Barbarian ;-)

Eugene Sepulveda said...

please publish the name of that woman! :)