Ironically, both “white hat” and “black hat” networkers have similar mindsets. They both think like wolves. Wolves, when hunting, target the weak, and sick members of the herds. Networkers look at the attendees at networking events in the same way.
OK, they aren’t targeting the sick and weak, but they do look for those people who are standing or sitting off by themselves. Usually these are inexperienced and/or socially unskilled networkers. The “white hat” folks will seek them out in order to make them feel comfortable and to help them be more successful in their networking. The “black hat” variety try to go after that same group in order to sell to them. After all, this group usually includes people who haven’t developed any defenses against predatory networkers.
Unfortunately, if a networking neophyte runs afoul of the more unscrupulous networkers, they can end up developing a bad impression of what networking can be. On the other hand, an encounter with a good networker can help them learn to appreciate the power of developing great connections. If we want to help out the cause of good networking, maybe, in addition to other goals we might have, we should add “rescue a newbie” to the list.
It really doesn’t take that much effort, and the relationship return might well be worth your time.
Photo credit: stock.xchng user echiax