WTF is Ethical Networking?
Updated: Mar 14
Here at Networking Gone Wrong we hear from many people who just don’t like networking. Many find it hard, awkward and too 'salesy'.
But it doesn’t have to be this way, if more of us consider ethical networking. What does that mean?
The main principles are:
1. Redefining goals
Let’s go from:
- How can I sell to this person,
- How can I use them,
- How can I help
- What can I learn (and every single person we meet has something to teach us!)
- How can I add value.
Ethical networking also means never misrepresenting your product/service and using misleading sales tactics.
Needless to say, being known as an honest, considerate and helpful person builds meaningful trusting connections.
2. Championing inclusion
The world of networking is not known for being very inclusive. Every one of us who spends time networking can do things to change that.
Ask about access to the venue/whether the event advertising is accessible. The organisers could be missing out on talent from people with disabilities and you could be missing out on new valuable connections.
Invite people from disadvantaged backgrounds to events with you and introduce them to people. Networking events are full of opportunity – it’s up to all of us to open them to more people. It’s also nice to be seen as someone who is lifting up others !
If you notice that an event or a panel is not very diverse, raise it as an issue.
3. Not causing offence
I know we never mean to! Yet, you wouldn’t believe the stories we hear.
It could be because our unconscious bias betrays us, or because we are not up-to-date with modern online/offline etiquette. Here at Networking Gone Wrong we gather knowledge and provide training on both.
We often hear that people dread networking, but if we are mindful about networking ethically, we can make the experience easier and more pleasant for everyone. We can also make sure that we promote our companies or our causes in a truly positive light.
If you have a story to share about ethical/unethical networking, or would like to learn more about it, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org - we would love to hear from you!