The “Card Dealer”
This is probably the most common form of desperation that I’ve seen over the years. The Card Dealer is a person who darts around the room passing out cards like he’s at a poker table. He doesn’t spend time really getting to know anyone (unless he thinks he can get something from them). To the Card Dealer, networking is mostly a numbers game. The more people he can pass his cards to, the better he’s doing (or so he thinks). Card Dealers tend to have a network that is a mile wide but an inch deep because they don’t spend time building relationships. It never works in the long run and they just look inexperienced, frazzled and yes — desperate.
The Space Violator
Here’s the guy who thinks the closer he gets when he’s talking to you, the more you’ll be interested in what he’s saying. Nope. Not true. In fact, it has the opposite effect (especially if his breath has the aroma of a smelly camel). So, what’s the right distance to stand from someone without getting into his personal space? The answer to this question varies based on the cultural standards of the country you are in. In North America, it’s fairly common to have conversations at roughly “arm’s length” for people that you meet at a networking event. From my experience, that distance is definitely less in some countries around the world. What’s also interesting is the issue of gender and personal space or “proxemics.” According to a Universal Journal of Psychology article, “Male-male pairs reportedly tend to interact at greater personal distances … whereas female-female pairs tend to stay closer ….”