One of my Facebook followers asked me to do this post, and I thought it would be fun. Here are mine, but I’m sure many of you can add to the list.
5. Asking to connect to me on LinkedIn by saying you’re a “Friend”
Obviously this is fine if you’re an actual friend, but if I met you once at a networking event, or if I was teaching a seminar, and you were in the audience, sorry. You’re not a friend, so please don’t use that as a shortcut on LinkedIn. Friday, I’m going to do a post on the right ways to request connections on LinkedIn.
4. Handing me a brochure at a networking event without talking to me first
Confession time. I almost never keep brochures, even if I really like you. I just don’t keep much paper in my office. But if I don’t know you at all, what’s the point of handing me a piece of paper? If I like you, I’ll wait until I get home to toss it. If I don’t know you, I’ll do it on my way out of the event, or even earlier if it’s a pain to carry around.
3. A boring elevator speech
I really do listen to them. I even take notes. Unless you bore me. Then you’re just wasting your time and mine. And the height of boring is a long list of products or services that I won’t remember two seconds after you say them. By the way, I give people who are really trying a break. So, if you’re nervous and trying out a speech for the first time and kind of flub it, no worries. That’s not boring. I’ll cheer you on and be more likely to help you than if you smoothly deliver the afore-mentioned laundry list.
2. Taking my call to tell me you can’t take my call
This was the Facebook post that prompted this article. Really. It’s okay. If you’re in a meeting and can’t answer a call, just let it go to voice mail. Taking a call to tell me you can’t take it just pisses off me and the person/people you’re in the meeting with. The one exception is if you’ve been playing phone tag. Then I’m okay with a quick answer to set up a real time to call.
1. Cancelling a meeting via email 5 minutes before the start time
This is so bad on so many levels. In the DC Metro area, I may have just driven or ridden Metro for 45 minutes (or more) to get to the meeting. 5 minutes isn’t nearly enough notice. And some of us don’t have emails pushed to our phone (because we like to pay attention to people instead of a phone), so I might not even get it until I’ve cooled my heels for 15 minutes wondering if I was in the wrong place. Not good. Never cancel a meeting with 5 minutes notice, but if you do have to cancel on a tight schedule, call. Text messages are also acceptable if you know in advance that the person accepts them. (I do, by the way.)
Those are mine. I’m sure you have more to share, so let’s have them in the comments!