In keeping with the spirit of networking that makes The FENG a remarkable organization, it is appropriate that we share our contact information. And, when other members reach out to you, it is EXPECTED that you will take the time to respond. (Yes, I know you are busy, but so am I and I need your help. It is one of those “many hands make light work” things. Besides, I am not always the right person to contact.)
What makes this obligation a joy to fulfill is that most members pick and choose whom to contact and are genuinely interested in creating mutually beneficial long term relationships.
However, from time to time I find members sending out what appear to be indiscriminant mailings. Even if they did take the time to pick and choose individual members with whom they might have some background connection, they don’t take the time to customize each message in some way.
Their messages typically began “Dear FENG member.” (I don’t know about you, but I like to feel special, and “Dear FENG member” just doesn’t do it for me.) You can tell you aren’t the only one they are contacting by the number of addresses in the “To” box.
The purpose of our membership directory listings is to facilitate easy communication and they are provided for your information and PERSONAL use. I hope you will use them. That is why our staff spends so much time producing them and updating them.
Any time you receive a message from a fellow member that clearly has been distributed to many other members, I hope you will take the time to inform me or inform the sender that this is not how we treat one another. I would encourage you to act on my behalf in this matter. What needs to happen is for this offending member to be made aware of our “rules of engagement.”
The truth is that anyone who has to take the time to craft a personalized message will tend to be more discriminating in whom they write to. And, they are more likely to get the kind of help they need because they also more likely to be communicating a specific need.
While blasting the same message out to many members works for the sender in the same manner as mass mail does for those who send out those annoying envelopes we all throw out, it doesn’t work for the recipient. Think how you would feel if everyone was doing it to you.
If you want your fellow members of The FENG to make themselves available to you, you need to treat each of them with great respect. Let them know that you have taken the time to analyze who they are and how a relationship with them might benefit both parties.
I suppose I am only communicating a variation on the “Golden Rule,” but then I’m just a simple guy.