Good News, Bad News

What color is the sky in your
conversational world?

While I don’t believe that it is the be-all and end-all of networking, Facebook does have its uses, so I tend to spend fifteen minutes or so each evening checking up on friends who hang out there. Recently I’ve noticed something interesting about the interactions between different folks and it has to do with the general focus of the initial posting.

In general, a status message with what would be considered “good news” tends to garner more response than that which others would find to be “bad news”. Maybe this is different in your neck of the woods, but it’s easy enough to do some testing. Just look through your friends for people who post both types of information and see which status message tend to receive the most attention.

In networking, I think we would see the same thing. People tend to want to associate with folks who have a positive, upbeat outlook. Those who only lament about the various trials and tribulation which they’ve encountered since breakfast make others want to shy away.

Have you ever met someone like this? Oh, I don’t mean someone who’s had a rough day — we all run into that from time to time. I’m talking about people who are so relentlessly grim that if they ever won the lottery, they would only complain about how much it was going to raise their taxes. Do you enjoy being in their company? Do you avoid the question “How are you?” whenever you run into them?

Now we have to be brutally honest with ourselves: Are we that person??

Please understand, I am not talking about ignoring the difficulties we experience in life. One of the benefits of having a great network is having people we can call on when we are in serious difficulties. It’s OK to talk about these things with trusted advisors, but to dwell on them with every single soul we meet would put a serious damper on anyone really wanting to be in our presence long enough to become a part of our network.

So, Acknowledge the bad news, but be sure that the good stuff outweighs it in any conversation you might be having. You’ll end up with a larger and stronger network — which might mean that you’ll also end up with fewer insurmountable problems in the long run.

Photo credit: Sebastian Fissore

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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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