Recently I attended a virtual networking event that had a speaker. It was interesting, thought-provoking, and motivational. Really, that’s not bad and I think we would all be happy if we gave such a presentation, and someone said that about it. However (and you knew that there was either a ‘however’ or a ‘but’, didn’t you?) throughout the talk he kept swearing. Not real Anglo-Saxon stuff but the speaker seemed not to know the word for “Rubbish” and used a much shorter word. So, part of the ‘thought-provoking’ was me wondering “When did swearing become acceptable in an obviously business environment?”.
I began to think it was me, and that it was because I’m no longer young, because I’d noticed similar usage on LinkedIn (patently a business platform) in newsletters and blogs etc. Each time I saw these words I stopped thinking about what was being said and I became distracted by the words being used. Now, let’s be clear—I can swear (and I think you need a flat vowel to be really able to swear) but, for me, in a business environment amongst people who you may not know very well or know at all, I think it is unacceptable.
Today I was with a Group of people all aged between 20 and 30 and so I used this as an opportunity to ask them what their thoughts were about swearing in general and in a business environment. They were also accepting of swearing in a personal social situation, but not in a business environment. They also differentiated between ‘mild’ swearing and full-on, as my Mam would say, “effing and jeffing”, and also when swearing is continuous and part of everyday conversations. Again, I agreed with these points.
In a business environment I am always representing my business, my brand and I work too hard to project that in a positive, professional way to undermine it all by swearing. Of course, I could be getting it wrong, and I am sure you will let me know.
Want some help with your networking? Here is my gift to you: my Top 20 networking tips just follow this link: ebn.uk.com and complete the form to receive your copy.
Recently I ventured out and started to return to face-to-face networking with people other than my ebn Groups. I am wary because, at the moment, I’m a bit unsure about meeting people I don’t know well. So, a few weeks ago I went to an exhibition for an hour, wore my mask and kept my distance, particularly from those people who wanted to stand very, very close to me. Then last week I went to a small networking event, and it was great. I took my mask with me, just in case I felt the need and I tried to remain mindful of distance. It all seemed familiar but a bit strange, then I realised that it was all about respect for others and that has never changed.
So what has stayed the same? Previous to all the malarkey we have been going through we didn’t crowd each other, we to a certain extent took our lead from others and wanted to be respectful of others. I have experienced instances where that respect has been in evidence and some where it has not! So, let’s look at some of these latter occasions, and all of them have happened to me:
People charging into a conversation, pushing cards, or leaflets in everyone’s hand and then moving on to their next ‘contact’,
Spraying bits of food around as people tried to eat and talk at the same time. (Worst case was the person I call ‘vol-au-vent man’),
People using inappropriate language, perhaps thinking they were with mates rather than contacts,
People looking at their phones while talking to you and—my particular favourite (not)—people who look around rather than at you when they are talking to you.
So, times may be different but respect for others has not changed. So, let’s all just be aware and build our future by making and maintaining new contacts.
In order to start or develop our relationship I offer you a gift: my Top 20 networking tips by following this link: ebn.uk.com and complete the form to download your copy.
I come from Salford and I lived in Salford and surrounding areas for about 32 years, then I came on a training course in London, met my beloved and 2 years later I moved down South. I saw all this as a new adventure, but my dad never quite got over me moving passed Watford Gap and staying! I learnt what colloquialisms not to use (ask me when you see me), I learnt to talk slower and slowly my accent changed to the point where, as my beloved says: “I’ve got all the flat vowels I’m ever going to need but the edges have been knocked off”. When I went ‘home’ people would ask where I had got the daft accent. Years passed and slowly the number of people I kept in touch with reduced to the point where I hadn’t gone back for about 10 years.
Then, a couple of weeks ago, my beloved was at a conference in Manchester and I decided to go along and meet some Christmas card people, all of whom I hadn’t met for about 40 years. I also planned to visit some of the houses I had lived in, and go to Bury (said with a flat vowel please) and buy the best black puddings in the world, proper link black puddings. I went to one of my past homes and didn’t recognise any of the areas and spent most of my travelling time thinking “Where am I?”.
I had a lovely couple of afternoons catching up with my contacts. We spent quite a lot of time doing that “Whatever happened to…” and “Do you remember when…” All in all, however, I came away feeling slightly sad, because I realised that I no longer fitted into the place I had known so well. Coincidentally, a couple of days after I got back, I had to drive into central London and I suddenly realised that I knew that area well, I knew shortcuts, found ways round traffic jams, and knew where there were parking places. In fact, it all felt comfortable, familiar and like home. My home is here, my friends and contacts are here and my life is here.
I think it is true to say that cut me in half and I’ll have Made in Salford at my core. That being said I have come to the conclusion that I may now be a Southerner, so I’m off to buy some vests. There might be a cold snap this winter and I might start being less hardy. I’m not prepared to chance it. BTW I also now have half a freezer of link Black puddings if anyone wants to try one cooked the correct way i.e. boiled.
So where were you born and, if you moved as an adult, where do you call home?
Since networking is about building relationships, please accept my gift of Top 20 networking tips by following this link: ebn.uk.com and complete the form to download your copy.