Here is a compilation of ideas and suggestions on how to avoid beinga networking "sleaze," as well as how to identify one. You may have more to add.
Don't equate the process of networking to a science -- it is an art.
Don't misconstrue networking to be a sales plan.
Don't be blinded by goals, only guided by them.
Don't be so quick to make judgments about others.
Don't use a name to gain access without permission of that person. (from Becky Gordon)
Don't foist your business cards on people or deal them out to othersbefore a conversation occurs.
Don't offer unsolicited opinions for the benefit of those who never asked.
Don't talk about the monetary terms of your last deal; most of us know to divide that figure in half.
Don't ask for more than people can give.
Don't take credit for ideas, concepts, or words of others (it's calledplagiarism, violation of copyright, or stealing).
Don't blame others for your missed deadlines or unfulfilled promises.
Don't be invasive or ask too many questions.
Don't hesitate to contribute to conversations.
Don't forget to think before speaking. Pregnant pauses are sweet silences.
Don't ignore signals -- body language, gestures, words, tone.
Don't use disparaging humor.
Don't overstay your welcome.
Don't be touchy-feely -- keep your lips, hands, and arms to yourself. "Friendly" pinches, squeezes, hugs, and kisses may not be considered so by the recipient.
Don't use suggestive language.
Don't be an opportunistic glad-hander. Be "in the moment" with people.
Don't misrepresent a sales event as a social party. (from Miss Manners)
Don't pursue, pester, or push people.
Don't bad-mouth people. One never knows what can come back to haunt you. A localcity supervisor gave his annual holiday party. Upon being introduced to his assistant, shementioned her former employment. I smiled and shared the name of my buddy who usedto work with her. Her disparaging remark about my friend revealed her lack of politicalsavvy and sense.
Don't send unsolicited résumés to people who don't know you, and don't expect toreceive them. Effective communicators let people know ahead of time.
Don't forget to do your homework.
Don't deflect compliments; they are gifts. Acknowledge the giver by saying "Thank you."
Don't get discouraged; the process works if you understand it.
Don't forget to say "I'm sorry" when you have erred, as well as "I don't know, "please"and "thank you."
Don't lead people on; tell the truth.
Don't compromise ethics for a quick buck. (from Chris Bigelow)
Don't be afraid to be afraid. (from Doug Sharpe)
Don't be afraid to try something new; you can always return to the old way. (from ChrisBigelow)
Don't drop a colleague, client, or customer because his/her timing is different from yours.This month's turndown could be next year's megacontract.
Don't discriminate against people; be discriminating among them.
Don't complicate the concept of expanding and overlapping circles with petty powerplays.
Don't forget that cross-gender networking is affected by the differences in conversationalstyles of men and women.
Susan RoAne, a nationally recognized speaker on topics including networking and conversation strategies, is the best-selling author of How to Work a Room: The Secrets of Savvy Networking and What Do I Say Next? Susan RoAne and the RoAne Group may be contacted at 415-239-2224 or via www.susanroane.com.