Insert Into Your Project
Ever have one of these times when you wonder what just happened? You’re trying to make a deeper business connection. To that end, you meet someone for a meal or coffee or you have a conference call. During the coffee, it begins to feel your acquaintance has a different agenda than was originally discussed. “Wait, did I miss something?”
It’s not the face-to-face when your coffee partner offers unsolicited advice, like here: https://susangoldbergleadership.com/excuse-me-youre-stepping-on-my-ego/ Instead, this is when the person you are speaking with, believes they are helping you by inserting themselves into your client engagements. “If you are looking for guidance around such and such topic, you can bring me in as the expert.” This would be okay, if they were offering to do the same for you; they are not offering. Could these people possibly think they are benefiting you, when it’s all about them?
You might expect this from a young professional. They may not have enough experience to know any better. In those cases, I’ve simply shared how they could in turn help me. Often conscientious, they take notes about my response. All is good and you hope to be able to create situations when you can support each other.
From someone with more experience, however, they either don’t understand the concept of networking, are not socially aware of their behavior, or truly think billing your client -riding on the coattails of your work- helps you.
So, what do you do? Do you explain the offer isn’t beneficial for you? Ask for what you want from them and see how attentive they are? Cut the conversation short?
Recently, a public speaker contacted me through linkedin. Our original connection was through a networking event. We scheduled a conversation in which he offered the one-sided bargain, not asking how he could help me. I offered up the information anyway sharing what I needed from him. He didn’t ask further questions. I cut the call short.
Don’t waste your time with a one-sided offer. Nor is it incumbent upon you to teach someone what they should, but don’t understand. Next time this happens, see how they react to your request after they have offered theirs. Continue the conversation if they demonstrate interest and curiosity about you and your business in the conversation and a sense of reciprocity, otherwise, end the conversation. You are valuable. Your time is valuable.
Leadership is being both self-aware and aware of those you work with. If scheduling a one-time workshop is your answer to leadership training but your young talent is still showing signs of frustration, a workshop is not the answer. Developing emerging leadership is my life’s mission. If you’d like to create a more complete plan that offers better results with increased productivity, more satisfied team members and increased retention, let’s talk. Contact me at Susan@SusanGoldbergLeadership.com