I've made great discoveries in life about human behavior while out networking. Do you want to hear my infinite wisdom and completely unimportant thoughts this morning? Okay, here it goes. Here are things I learned about human nature from observing various "tribal" behaviors while out networking:
People don't listen. Yes, it appears that no matter how you spell some things out, some people have so much wax build-up in their ears, they don't understand a thing you've said. I swear some people you can repeat what you've said two dozen times -- and they still scratch their heads in complete confusion, because they weren't listening. Want to know what they were doing instead? Let me tell. They were either a. planning out what they wanted to say no matter what you said or b. trying to think of something clever to say that would make a wonderful argument to what you just said. Or more importantly when networking, they're only concerned if they can sell you something.
People don't follow instructions. Why do some people decide to make their own rules -- and get this, it's no even their game. I love it when I have to repeat the rules of the game like five times, and the person is still committed to the idea that goes like this: I'm going to do what I'm going to do. I don't care what you just said. I'm going to do it anyway. I've watched networkers at functions just go off into their own La La Land and ignore what the moderator told them to do. Remember, when in a group activity in business, others are watching you and assessing whether or not they want to do business with you. If you're so obsessed with your own agenda, it comes across very negatively.
It's all about me. You know that networking is about relationship building, which means exactly how it sounds. The best way to build relationships is to give first and then if you get in return, wonderful. But focus on the relationship and not what you're trying to get out of the person. I know that sounds contrary to the idea that you're networking to build business; but the truth is, you're networking to build relationships, which lead to business ... see the difference.