I struggle with people-relations at the best of times as I can be an abrasive bitch.
I like to think of it as frankness and not beating around the bush, however DH tells me that I can sometimes be just plain rude. [I just rudely escorted one of my staff from the office as he is on Valium and is shivering behind his desk trying to get some work done. I’m an abrasive, compassionate soul – who knew?]
At any rate, I recently bristled when I was sent an email, pretty much to the effect of:
I recall you know something about some topic. I have copied Fred in on this email, I’ll let you two discuss as they need some help.
The Introducing Party
Here’s a tip for people that are new at the networking game – don’t just drop a contact in my lap cold like that. We’re all busy, peoples! I am going to be more inclined to help your friend Fred if you:
1. Contact me first and check that I really know something about that topic [in this particular case it’s something that I was familiar with about 8 years ago, but have no current knowledge on the topic any more]
2. If I ask you questions, ask your friend – perhaps they can’t answer them all, in which case they can go do their homework without me needing to acquaint myself with a situation that you are obviously familiar with
3. Check if I have the time – dumping a contact in my lap in a busy month is going to make you look bad and me look like an even bigger bitch because I don’t have time to respond.
Netiquette and social networking is so much more than just introducing people – keep in mind that you are going to be intruding on my time, and I value it, even if you don’t!