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Pardon Me While I Rant

Think of this as a PSA on how to improve your chances of getting more out of people you need help from, instead of what it really is: me feeling frustrated with the state of my inbox.
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Bob Goyetche's profile photoannie bodnar's profile photoJason Nunnelley's profile photoSivananda Ishaya's profile photo
57 comments
 
Some people have never heard or understand the power of Givers Gain.
 
Amen! "Me first" will always come through.

The degree to which we desire to receive is best when it's second to our desire to give.

Keep it up +Chris Brogan

Edit:
Oh, and I forgot:

Our systems are specifically designed to produce the results we're getting.

So, if those people who do that do you don't like the results, they're best of time would be to change their "system."
 
Me, too +Allison Redunicornmedia. This has happened to me three times in the last two weeks! The last time on LinkedIn. I love "You need to at least pretend you care about someone..." Right, Chris. The Sun doesn't thank the Moon for coming up at night! It's not magic. It's not good. Remember the protocol.

Men hate it when we women say they are adorable...but you are adorable and you are great on camera. And this is great!
 
Hey Chris. Do me a favor. Tell me if my tagline works.

I mean, I posted a comment just a few minutes ago. So, reconnection and care pretense checked off. :) Ah, crap. What could I have done for you first?
 
It's not really complicated, Chris, it about having empathy & consideration. Well said.
 
give and you will be given.... i am no christ, but wasnt there something like this?
 
Every day people forget basic manners. Amen on the rant!
 
Chris - this is GREAT! You are absolutely correct on this & I love that you made a video telling people how they should conduct themselves if they are your friend! Excellent rant...
 
+Jason Nunnelley - so I've known you for MONTHS online and I think we even met once offline (but I'm not 100% sure - might be confusing you with someone else), but I had no idea until I hovered over your name. As I might be in the market for site software shortly to do a database functionality, I now know to consider bothering you with this.

Would you say that it worked? : )
 
After re-reading the blurb under the video, it occurred to me that maybe people shouldn't "re"start but rather, start fresh. Lots of room for inappropriate expectations with a re-
 
Great Video. Good advice! If someone you never hear from, decided to tweet for help or ask a favour, I'd consider that offensive.
 
I have to admit that I've been guilty of this a time or two. A good reminder; thanks, +Chris Brogan.

I do have a minor quibble with your comment about emergencies, however. They are not always a matter of poor planning. Even the most judicious cannot anticipate all possible outcomes; the unexpected does occur. That has usually been the case the few times I have neglected the "reconnect first" step...
 
I feel like all of us are guilty fo this at some point in time. Sometimes, we get so excited about what we're doing that we do indeed miss that all important middle step. Patience is a virtue, but also a tough thing to keep in mind. This is good advice for everyone...
 
It's manners 101, really. Even when hubby calls to say "Hey, just thinking about you, how's it going? And oh, by the way, would you Tivo the Westminster Dog Show? Hounds are on tonight." :)
 
On a separate but related topic, I was having a similar rant with my 26-yr old son today via the FaceTime and he asked me if kids getting out of college really need to be told some of this basic common sense human relationship stuff? And sadly, my answer is "yes, they do!" I should have sheltered him more :-)

+Suzanne Doughty c'mon, its hounds. Does he even really need to pause for an answer between the the "how's it going" and "TiVo the show?" No, no he doesn't :-)
 
Hahahah! Another round of awesome. This is SO true.

Give and give and give some more. Give until it hurts, if you have to.

What goes around comes around.
 
Highly convicting. Thank you for the good word.
 
We live in a Go, Get, Grab, society. So it's actually quite easy to stand out with just a wee dram of thoughtfulness. Effective rant!
 
<rant>Maybe I've just had a really long day and I'm grumpy, but let's not sugar coat this. This is about people being selfish. And in some cases, lazy. "Hey - I'll just ask this person to solve all my problems for me. That will be way easier than figuring it out myself."

Give more than you get. Get off your ass and do the work. Then give more than you get some more. And stop relying on other people to do the hard stuff for you.

And frankly, if you contact me with a "hey howareya" after a year of no contact, then a few weeks later decide you've done enough to make the ask? That still reeks of insincerity to me. </rant>

</rant>
 
I've been guilty of this. Okay. You're right. By the way, I've got this thing I could really use your help on...
 
good reminder of a sound principle: Give before you Get
 
Hey Chris, this is exactly how I used to feel at work. So glad I'm not with that company anymore. Loved your vid.
 
+Ed Shahzade - should I have said more. Brevity is quite powerful. And hidden here, it shows the power of the outposts to move information. : )
 
Solid rant, Chris. Couldn't agree more, though admittedly I'm sure I've slipped up here at least a few times with timing and/or wording.

If you're being asked out of the blue for a very one-sided favor, that's certainly a fail, but if the outreach involves a clear mutual benefit, does that still count? It can be a fine line. Interested in your thoughts. Thx.
 
Well, I actually saw your tweet, and you made this point well, without belaboring it.
What I should have said is that there is a cluster of related points that need air :)
 
+Chris Brogan Good rant. If you give a gift in return for receiving one you have just diminished the value of gift you received. Think of paying forward and not expecting anything in return. You hit it Chris with conversation that can lead into a request later on not hinged on the fact that someone did something nice for you in the past and repayment is due. Thanks.
 
Hey man, we haven't connected in a while. Can you go ahead and promote the hell out of my meaningless site. Thanks bro!
 
Dude, welcome to my world. It happens on a regular basis. No relationship. My delete key is worn out.
 
Some people here seem to think sending the preliminary 'how are you' email is giving. It's not - it's just a more tactical approach.
 
I'd like to say that this is so obvious that the rant was a waste of time.

Sadly, it's not at all obvious to many. Rant on.
 
Yes, this. And on that last part you mentioned, about being pressed for time? Your network is a human resource, emphasis on the human part. That's why you keep relationships cultivated, so that you have the resources necessary to get you out of crunch times.

And more than that, your network should be people you admire and respect, not just those you think can do you favors. If you don't admire them, why should the people you want to influence through them take them seriously?
 
Open words to SOME people. I think we all prefer those ones he is not talking about :-)
 
Nice example of shameless versus shameful self-promotion. It is a balance.

In most seemingly altruistic actions there's an intrinsic whats-in-it-for-me motive - that's just part of being an ego-driven human. I do things for others, I feel good. That's what's in it for me.

Electronically it's easy to send off something on a wing and a prayer. "They turn me down... no big deal." Upside is they happen to say yes. It's natural for people to want the largest return with the least amount of work.

I'll admit I've been guilty of this just recently, reaching out to someone for a blurb for a self-published book. They responded but wished me luck and thanked me for the email and flattering words. So I learned from that.

It's just a nature of this online space. But I will admit I've gotten more request for quest posts, projects, etc. by just adding value where I can and building relationships.

With many of the large influencers, it feels sometimes like playing my guitar in the corner of the parking lot while the Foo Fighters are inside playing to thousands. If I just keep playing good music, maybe someone will notice. No matter how long I keep at it, if the music sucks it's probably not going to work.
 
Wow! nicely done. We can all learn from this wisdom. Thanks for putting this out there, Chris.
 
This exact issue came up on a Skype call that I was on yesterday. You are right...it is complicated - but the reality is that it all comes down to the need to build and contribute to relationships on an ongoing basis - not just when WE need them. Give, give and give again. What goes around comes around. Be helpful, generous and caring. You really can never do enough of it The pay backs - personally and professionally are deeper then we can ever envision. If you have not been taking this approach, then don't EXPECT others to give back just because you asked. So take the time...reach out to someone today....and every day.
 
"I never did mind about the little things"
 
Chris, I 100 percent agree with your premise -- that it's just selfish and rude to appear out of nowhere and ask a favor. But I think rather than someone warming me up with time-wasting small talk, I'd prefer to hear that they'd thought about the reciprocity. Is what you're asking for good for me in some way? Is there also a second reason you got in touch, because you wanted to pass along an article you'd read, or a contact you thought I should have, or even a funny story you heard you thought I'd appreciate? I think the takeaway for me is no one likes to feel used, and I'd rather feel some genuine mutual reason for us to help each other than a phony "Hey how are you?" while the other person just waits to spring a favor.
 
Interesting food for thought Chris/Colleen, Can you really standardize this type of thing? What about the history of the relationship?
 
True, Noelle - every relationship is unique and if you go way back with someone, maybe it's different. Even so, if someone I love has disappeared, then reappears to ask a favor, it seems at least you could say "so sorry to have been mia, my job has been crushing me" or better yet, "sorry to have been out of touch - can I buy you a drink next week to catch up?" Show you care about me, not just what I can do for you. 
 
to me a friend is a friend - and that relationship, once established, is unconditional. A business or networking relationship is different, and a request is an opportunity - but it's up to you to figure out how
 
+Chris Brogan, love you, your stuff is great, but in this case I couldn't agree less. Given, I don't get as many requests as you do, but just like anyone, I get requests out of the blue.

If you are going to make a request, yes, use the protocol and start out by saying "How are you doing?" or "It's been a long time since we spoke." Do that in the same mail as the ask. If you want me to link you to someone I know, just tell me. Don't ask me to waste my time and yours answering you about how business is going great, kids are fine, blah blah blah, when what you want is for me to "+1" your post. It's a waste of my time and yours.

You don't have to pretend to like me for two reasons. 1 -- If you contacted me, I assume you like me. I like you, too. Thanks for thinking of me. 2 -- As you remind us repeatedly, Chris, networking is about giving. You're asking me for a favor? GREAT! I get the opportunity to put some Karma into the Karma pot. If you are a total stranger, also great. I will be honest about what I can and can't do for you. I can't recommend you if I don't know you, but please, skip the formality and make the ask. In other words, every time I get asked for a favor, I see it as an opportunity to help a fellow human being on this planet.

To me, it's more important that you get straight to the point. Make the request totally clear. Don't say "I have a business opportunity" if you want me to join your MLM. Don't say "I'm considering a career change" if you want to know about openings in my company. Just make the ask, please. Also, don't just drop me a line from time to time so that one day you can make an ask. That's a waste of your time. If you see something I'd like, by all means. If you just miss me, by all means. It's not that I don't have time to chat with my friends. I always have time to chat with my friends and usually with strangers too. If you want to chat, say, "I want to chat." Cool, I'm in.

The best business deals I've done typically come from a gratuitous ask with no conditions. "Hey, I had some idea, do you have time for coffee?" "Hey, you're going my way, can I get a ride?" "Hey, I want to get into your field of work, can you give me some advice on what course to take?" You would not believe how much business comes in this way.

+Colleen Newvine , agree, nobody wants to feel used and taken advantage of. That means you have to set boundaries and say "No". Sleazy people will keep asking for stuff. That's life. But the bottom line truth is that we can't do much of anything worthwhile alone. We just can't. We need each other, and every contact, whether a request or an offer, is an opportunity.
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