Do You Deserve Your Networking Guilt?

“Negative emotions like loneliness, envy, and guilt have an important role to play in a happy life; they’re big, flashing signs that something needs to change.”
~ Gretchen Rubin

In the past we’ve talked about re-connecting with members of our network whom we haven’t seen in a while. I’ve always maintained that your feeling guilty about not having been in touch shouldn’t be an excuse for not contacting them. You really have no reason to feel guilty. After all, they haven’t contacted you, either.

That being said, there is a point at which you should feel rightfully guilty. That’s when the last time you spoke with the person in question, you promised to do something for them…

…and you didn’t do it.

In this situation, it’s completely understandable that you would feel uncomfortable talking with them. After all,  who really wants to have their failures thrown in their face? And, guess what?

You have to contact them anyway.

In networking, your reputation is everything. If you don’t get in touch with that person and follow up like you said you were going to then that person can’t trust you with anything more important — like their own reputation. That would basically remove one of the major reasons for networking, right?

So, here’s what you are going to do:

  1. Contact them.
  2. Apologize.
  3. Tell them how and what you are doing in order to make things right.

Believe it or not, admitting you are in the wrong is fairly easy and painless. You might even make more “points” for whatever it was that you promised than if you had done it right away from the start (not that I’m advising screwing up intentionally).

Bottom line? If you are in the wrong, suck it up, admit it, and make it right. The strength of your network will thank you for it.

Photo credit: Pixabay user Lydia89

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About Greg Peters

Greg Peters, president and founder of The Reluctant Networker, LLC, is a business networking specialist. He works with trade associations on both the local and national level to create a culture of better connections and greater opportunity. Find out more at www.TheReluctantNetworker.com or gpeters@thereluctantnetworker.com.

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