A - Z 2021: Networking is an enrichment program, not an entitlement program

Photo by Proxyclick Visitor Management System on Unsplash

Welcome back to 2021 A - Z! Yesterday we were crying over spilled milk. 

N is for

Networking is an enrichment program, 

not an entitlement program

Another phrase I have never heard of before but was immediately able to relate to. It's from Susan RoAne. 

Entitled and arrogant behavior is a huge pet peeve of mine. Especially from people who have absolutely no reason to think they are better than anybody else.

In my book, if you want special treatment, respect and admiration, you have to work hard and produce success. And frankly, even if you've worked exceptionally hard and achieved unbelievable results, it still doesn't mean you can treat people badly and make crazy demands. 

Our (as in Swiss) poster boy in terms of hard work and great success is Roger Federer.

Have you ever heard that he expects people to kiss the ground he walks on? 

Absolutely not. Quite the contrary. He'll stay humble, polite and respectful in defeats and wins, and more importantly off the tennis court.

Photo by Zoë Reeve on Unsplash

But I'm supposed to talk about networking, not tennis. Even though I'm sure there's a lot of networking going on within the tennis business.

Either way, networking is all about people, and I like to believe that there are two kinds of people:

  1. People who like people
  2. People who use people

Both categories engage in networking. I dare to imply they do so for different reasons and use a different approach: 

People who like people thoroughly enjoy meeting a variety of individuals because they are interested in hearing about their journeys and stories, which they will attentively listen to and  later on remember. They love to play matchmaker and will be happy to make a call or a recommendation for somebody else.

People who use people will limit their precious time to preferably meet "A-list people" who may be of service in the future, and if not, at least they were seen with them by others, which will boost their ego. 

They won't memorize unimportant people's names, but are quick to demand their services and intel. Sometimes they don't even have the decency to ask them directly but tell their assistant to get them what they need.

Do they ever thank, praise or support them? Return a favour? Of course not. 

Rant over. I found a helpful article focussing on Five Ways to deal with entitled People

The one tip that probably works best for me (even though I will have a hard time not to keep my tone neutral) is to use wish fulfillments to set limits and go "I wish I could be on standby to help you on a moment's notice, but I have other clients who already have an appointment with me. Next time check in with me a few days in advance."

Which of course is polite code for "get in line, and more importantly get the h*** out of my face."

And now let's enjoy a few laughs about entitled people who got put in their place.

Do you agree with me on liking vs using people? What encounters have you had with entitled people? 

Let me know below, and please include the direct link to your post for an easy visit.

Tomorrow I will need your help to beat the Odds - because they're One in a Million


  1. Hey T, this is so true and I am so in tune with you. We offered to give away a car to one of hubby's co-workers. It needed some work and the person we were giving it to likes to work on cars.... you know what he said? "Can you deliver it?" Sure, no problem. Why are people like that? I find it hard not to fall into that "use" category because I get it from so many people and it just makes me not want to just "like" anymore... if you know what I mean. Some days I just want to keep my distance, do what I do and forget networking. Totally not realistic. Now you have got my panties in a bunch just thinking of all the times when people take advantage of something nice. Now I'm off on a rant...sorry about that. Maybe you want to take a stroll on over and see about some Needful Things or useless clutter.


  2. I often refer to your poster boy Roger as an example of how a true champion should act - he's always been the same no matter how famous he became.
    I'm not very good at networking at conferences, purely because I've spoken to too many people who as soon as they realise you aren't important you can see them tuning out and looking for someone better to talk to. It's one of the reasons I've enjoyed zoom over the last year, during breaks I can go for a walk around my house or choose to talk in the breakout rooms, it's totally up to me.

  3. People who like people
    People who use people
    Only the understanding comes wrote too late for many of us.

  4. Once had someone tell me they deserved respect because of their age. Um, no. Respect is earnt regardless of your age.

  5. LOL half off the asking price is great. I have no time for the "users."

    Janet’s Smiles

  6. Respect goes both ways and some expect but don't deserve is

  7. Networking feels like another lifetime ago. I'm an extrovert and do get energy from being around people but always found networking a little awkward. I think it's the forced nature of those type of events. You definitely see people of the two types that you describe. Fortunately, it's often usually clear which type they are so easy enough to stay away from those who aren't in it for the right reasons. Weekends In Maine

  8. THANK YOU for quoting and acknowledging my tenet (one of three) of networking from my book The Secrets of SAVVY Networking. You nailed the difference: people who LIKE people vs. people who are Users. Well- done! Susan RoAne @SusanRoAne on Twitter


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