I love meeting new people. It is always fun to sit down and connect, exploring how you can help one another.
But lately I ‘ve been inundated with introductions – people who think I just have to meet “Jane”; or folks who I’ve just met and want to expand on the discussion or new members who want to “pick my brain.”
While I would love, well most of the time, to meet everyone, there are just not enough hours in the day. Plus I live in the country so travel and the time to travel becomes an issue and a huge deterrent.
It is becoming harder and harder to manage these e-introductions. Oh I can quickly email back to say nice to meet you, but it’s the next step that gets cumbersome – they want to meet, Skype, chat with you on the phone – all of which is time.
When you run your own business, time is a precious commodity and I find it hard to dole it out to complete strangers. Sure some sound interesting, but with others you just don’t see the connection or if it is a male speaker, I feel like saying from the get-go “you know I don’t use male speakers, as I want the women to see role models of their own gender.” But how do you do all that, without seeming rude?
And that may be part of my problem, I was brought up to be polite, treat people with respect, etc… but then I also ask myself if these new “friends” are treating me with respect? Do they know how busy I am?
Yet, I have to say that through a series of connections, I met someone who is based in Vancouver and who is now speaking at my conference. So it does work. But then when I look back, part of it was that the ‘referral’ came from someone I know well and who I trust. The other intriguing factor that made me pick up the phone, was she has my maiden name – so it was like calling myselfJ
All of which goes to say, working out how to manage all these requests is challenging. One thing I have learned is that as soon as someone says she wants to “pick my brains” my antenna goes up. This is not going to be a quick call. In fact, if I were still a consultant, I’d want to be charging for my time.
So there you go, this is my dilemma. What do the rest of you do? I am sure I am not alone with the challenges of managing the “want to-get-to-know-you” people in your life. Send me some solutions. And don’t worry, we don’t have to meet, Skype or chat on the phone. Just add your comments.