I was at a tweetup this week, and engaged in a lively conversation with someone I had just met. We were getting to the juicy bit of the chat when suddenly a large lady plonked herself in front of us. Without any opening gambit, we suddenly found that we were now a collection of three people, and she was introducing herself with gusto and suddenly not just involved in our conversation but leading our conversation. I was so amazed at this apparently lack of respect for us, and frankly poor manners that I didn’t say a word. I’m guessing my face must have been a picture, as our uninvited guest stayed for 30 seconds and then ‘had to find her drink, but would be back’ – she never came back! The silly thing is, if she had made eye contact with either of us and asked permission to join the two of us, I would have welcomed her with open arms.
So, what are the lessons we need to learn from this little incident?
Firstly, there is the gold rule that if you are working the room and want to join a group, then always asks permission before you invade their conversation. Secondly, do not automatically assume that because a group is standing in an open formation that they are happy to accept new people into the group!
What faux pas have you seen when networking?