Business Networking and Sex

No politics, no religion, and no sex. That’s a networking rule I was taught early on. This is a rule to live by if you want your business networking to be effective, productive, and profitable.

Just before the recent 2010 mid-term election there was an awful lot of politicking being done on the old Facebook. There was a series of posts from a supposedly neutral “civic leader” badmouthing the current President, day after day, without offering anything constructive or enlightening as an alternative. Then there’s the flip side… with certain people finding nothing nice to say (day after day) about a certain former Alaskan governor.

Imagine being asked to listen to political ravings from someone each time you showed up at a traditional 3-D networking event. Even if you liked the person, you would probably run and hide when you saw him coming. You’d want him detained, restrained, or at least given a talking to by the Networking Police.

Now, as a fellow business networker and your Facebook friend, I do care about and respect your beliefs and your right to express them. But, that doesn’t mean I want or need to know the details… especially when it comes to politics, religion, and sex.

Just last week one of my friends on Facebook, someone I’m also friends with on a personal level, decided to go ballistic in one of his posts. It was a real rant and, bottom line, really unsuitable. He wins a dubious honor by managing to violate two of the components of appropriate networking at one time.

I was blown away. First, because he said what he said. Second, he said it on Facebook.

You have to remember that what you say on Facebook, as well as most other social networking sites, stays in cyberspace forever, a kind of ghost, following you around. Someday it could come back to haunt you.

As rules go… the idea of no political, religious, or sex conversations in a networking environment seems fitting. Or, maybe I’m just getting old?

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