Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Watch Out Who You Meet In Networking

I had a wonderful morning yesterday while attending my Masterminds Roundtable event. I talked with wonderful, successful people, met new people, and sold five copies of my newest book, The Confident Butterfly. Three of those copies were sold to people who didn’t even know me.

After the meeting, a few people came up and spoke with me and we shared information about subjects. I congratulated one individual for his drug and alcohol recovery and made a connection with him. Then I shared information with someone else who wanted to publish their own book.

You can say I was feeling like a Confident Butterfly! That was until the last person found me.

When coaching or speaking to a person about who they are, word choices are extremely important. You ALWAYS want to leave the person you’ve spoken with feeling good about who they are and what they’re doing. You can criticize or give constructive comments. I choose constructive comments with positive words.

The person and I sat down and he began to tell me my self-image was pathetic and then proceeded to make fun of me. I was shocked to say the least! I had no idea how to respond. Quite frankly I was ready to get up and tell him where he could stuff his opinion and meet my nickname, Pit Bull, full on.

However, I stopped myself. Maybe he wanted to give me some pointers, but just chose his words badly. Wait and see how he follows up, I thought to myself as I bit my tongue. People believe I’m 10-15 years younger than what my actual age is and it gets annoying when you’re trying to run a life coaching business. I’m sorry my family found the Fountain of Youth and hid it from the rest of the world.

He finally did come back with powerful words to describe me. But I was still stuck on “Your image is pathetic.” I’m still angry at the word choice and the fact he was making fun of me. My mind was flooded with past memories of Jr. High, and it hurt.

He proceeded to tell me that I needed to TAKE power away from people to be taken seriously. That statement hit my heart as it goes against everything I believe in. As a person and a coach, I GIVE power.

Turns out this situation got worse. When I was with him after the meeting, he started playing this 'creepy' role-laying game with me and I felt uncomfortable. To make matters worse, we had moved out of the cafe to my car to finish talking to give the small cafe back their space for customers. In order to get rid of him, I told him I had an appointment and needed to go. I did have an appointment, later that day, but I needed to process what just happened. Somehow I got lured into his decietful web without knowing until it was too late.

Then it seemed he began stalking me. I'm not kidding! He called me later that day, I didn't realize it was him when I answered the phone, and he started the 'creepy roll-playing game again. I told him my husband was home and I had to go. How creepy was the role-playing? He was using me as his verbal dominatrix. Yes. It was that bad! He kept wanting me to say he was weak and pathetic and he was actually getting off on it!

At this point I sent him an e-mail to let him know how I felt about the way he approached me and how I wasn't going to put up with it.

I had befriended him on Facebook, through others in our network, before this all happened. Now he started instant messaging me the following day on Facebook. I deleted him.

Networking or not, be careful of weird people out there! It was a lessen learned for me that not everyone is out there with good intentions. I still have to attend meetings with this guy, but so far, he's left me alone. I also told our facilitator about the encounter and he's done it to other people, including my new friend in the group. She, however, told him off immediately and that was the end. It was nice to have someone to talk to about it.

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