little bit about myself, along with learning a bit about others and their businesses. The chance to speak about my company and what I do is invaluable. Plus there is, typically, good food and we mustn't forget door prizes, right?
I attend a Tuesday luncheon every week. I have made some key business contacts and some good friends. But I recently ran into a bit of a situation with a fellow member who, if I were his colleague and we worked together for the same organization, would probably be fired for creating a hostile work environment due to sexual harassment. And he seemed like such a polite and innocent guy - someone who has really worked hard over the last couple of years to gain some business savvy and public speaking skills.
How can you trust authenticity? It always surprises me when I learn that I have been duped or played. I guess I just expect that people will be decent, that they are decent. That they will play by the rules because it is the right thing to do. Often, business professionals are far from being professional and it really shouldn't come as such a shock to me. I hate to ask it, but is there such a thing as being trustworthy anymore? Is there such a thing as decency anymore? Is anyone really a lady or a gentleman? Does anybody really know what time it is? (sorry, couldn't help myself)
I guess how we react will determine our own level of decorousness. Following my gut has aided me in the past, so I will continue to heed my innards. But I will approach this guy with a little more care. I will be less likely to refer business his way - who am I kidding? I will probably refrain from ever referring anyone to him, ever again. And that is the saddest thing of all, don't you think? We attend these events to expand our circle of influence, to increase our revenue, and further develop potential business relationships. And to think, there are so many warnings regarding online predators.
Working in human resources and recruiting requires that we work closely and speak often with "people." Trust is requisite to our livelihoods. My question: how do you manage when that trust has been broken or violated? Do you let it color your vision or alter perceptions? I don't see how it cannot, for we take it personally, don't we? We rely on the information we personally filter. We hold in confidence that our gut is right and we hope that all is well. And reliance shouldn't make us weak, but somehow, taking advantage of it does. Care, confidence, trust, reliability... what do they really mean?
at do not fall into that category. Either co-workers stepped on my toes, literally and figuratively, or the presentations were out-dated or redundant, or conference attendance was so low and the prospects so few that the cost of exhibiting or merely attending lacked real value…
Conferences I ventured off to over the last couple months didn’t fall into any of the categories above. The information shared was credible, valuable, and current. Additionally, attendance was up – this is a very good sign… But I did notice an interesting trend. Fewer and fewer people are carrying business cards. And if they did have them, they only had a few and were rationing them very carefully. Saving them for the best dance partner, I guess.
As an exhibitor, many times, I felt like a second-rate belle of the ball, as attendee after attendee just asked if I could just scan the code off their conference ID. Biz cards seem to be prehistoric, less valuable, but what I noticed all around me were connections lost. The little piece of cardstock in my hand, tucked inside my brief case, in my planner, represented a meaningful conversation with a new acquaintance and I missed the sometimes frantic trading of cards. Even vendors shared fewer pieces of tangible information.
Details that identify who I am, what business I work for, and various ways to reach me are important to me. I will always carry a business card. I will always offer it first. I will always be willing to share specifics about who I am and how I might be able to help you. I think with the onset of multiple social media sites that individuals may think that a small indentifying piece of paper might be unnecessary now. Untrue.
The people I remember are those ones who pressed a card into my palm. That connection is every bit as real as a handshake, if not more so, for it is tagged and you take that tag with you. A business card makes you more searchable on a desktop, on an actual desktop - not a virtual one. So..., if that is how I feel, others may feel the same. That conversation with Rayanne was more memorable because she shared details of how to reach her and the deets were etched in a card that included multiple ways to connect.
There was no "facebook me" or "find me on LinekdIn" or "follow me on Twitter." That was left in the receiver's hands, literally. My card is on a couple desks out there. Exactly where it is supposed to be.
by rayannethorn …