If you’re going to succeed at networking, you need to play well with others. Just as you couldn’t always choose who came to the playground when you were a child, you don’t always get a say in who your fellow BNI members are. You don’t have to like everybody in BNI. Almost every chapter contains a “jerk,” but that’s not a reason to leave. Don’t let other people control your success.
Tolerance is a highly-used word and an under-used practice. Here are 5 things to consider when you’re talking to someone you think is a jerk. (We’ll call him or her “J” for short.)
- Listen without arguing.
- Ask questions that will give you more insight.
- Show interest in their point of view. You don’t have to agree in order to show interest.
- If you can, get them to focus on solutions. Problems are easy. It takes real smarts to identify realistic solutions.
- Clear, open, and honest communication is the best way to deal with “J.”
Here are 6 things to be aware of when there’s a “J” in your group:
- Make yourself invaluable to the group by focusing on solutions.
- Stay clear of chapter drama and rise above the situation.
- Don’t complain; be positive.
- Stay aware of your emotions.
- Use your support team.
- Be a leader, not a leaver.
Dysfunctional people are really challenging. Dr. Misner recommends reading The Triangle of Truth: The Surprisingly Simple Secret to Resolving Conflicts Large and Small by Lisa Earle McLeod. Lisa explains the secret to dealing with crazy people without letting them make you crazy.
Don’t just walk away because somebody else is a “J”. This is your group and your success.
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