Being a business owner means one important task you’re doing on a daily basis is reaching out to people.
A lot us aren’t really fans of networking. It can be so awkward and strange, like you’re trying to force connections that aren’t really there. It can be nerve-wracking to meet new people (especially if you’re an introvert).
Meeting people online is no different. Whether the person is a cold or warm contact, it can be a little scary to just say hi and try to get to know them.
What if they don’t respond? What if I’m bothering them? What if they block me?
All of that is possible. But it’s not the end of the world.
But…what if they’re possibly unintentionally rude about connecting with you?
Have you ever tried to get to initially know someone online and asked if they had time to chat and get a hard brush off?
In a response to wanting to learn more about them and their business, I’ve heard things like I don’t schedule extra meetings or I only have time for client calls or other explanations that frankly are none of my business.
The message you’re conveying to the person interested in getting to know you is that you’re not important. And that may not be your intention, but it’s not the nicest message, is it?
Your idea of honesty isn’t necessarily a kind one.
Just because you’re harried does not mean you get to be a jerk (passive aggressive or otherwise) or that you need to over-explain your disinterest in scheduling a time to talk to someone.
We all know that our time is precious and invaluable. But especially in the age of COVID, kindness in your interactions with folks is key.
Remember: you’re talking to human beings, not pixels or bots.
So instead of coming across as overly entitled and/or self-important, you can still keep your healthy boundaries while respecting the person requesting your time. Here are four ways to do just that.
No matter what type of business you have, remember that people are at the center of it — specifically, healthy relationships. You can’t do that if you’re treating human beings like spam messages.
You may think that you’re keeping strong boundaries by being overt with them, but your boundaries are yours to keep.
If you’re not interested in getting to know someone further, let them know how you want to get to know them.
That last one is hard, especially for women, especially especially for white women. We don’t like directly asserting ourselves. I can get into all the societal reasons for that, but I’m sure you get why and how.
If you want to sugar coat it but still healthily maintain your boundaries, you can say that although you appreciate them reaching out, you don’t see the alignment. Thank them again for their time and then peace out!
It’s really not that hard to be kind.
Decorum matters because people matter. If you have good home training, then use it!
Stuck on how to connect with your clients? Let’s chat soon and see if I can be of help.
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