This morning my daughter, Kaylie, and I stumbled downstairs, still in our pajamas a bit earlier than normal. She played happily with her stuffed Mickey Mouse while I tried to shake the sleep out of my brain. After I finally got myself awake, I called out to her, “Kaylie, would you like some breakfast?” She came running into the kitchen, “Breakfast!” Then she paused, with a look of concentration on her face and said,

“Daddy breakfast?”

I suddenly realized that she had made the cognitive leap that I was like her and that I might be hungry for breakfast, too. How remarkable!

Now, if only the average networker could understand the same thing. In general, I don’t know of anyone who likes to have business cards foisted upon them. No one really wants to listen to someone else drone on about the features and benefits of their product or service. Certainly I can’t imagine anyone who prefers to be treated as a potential sale instead of a person.

So, why do people do these things?

The Golden Rule doesn’t have a clause on it which exempts behavior having to do with business. “Do unto others…” applies to all relationships. If we can just remember that, networking would be a heck of a lot more fun…

…and probably more profitable, too.