How to Get Your Networking Partners to Take Action

Can’t Do or Won’t Do?

People often ask me how they can get someone in their networking group to take action and participate at a higher level in the group.  I love this question and I have the perfect answer for this . . .

Have someone in a leadership position within the networking group go to the person and ask them: “How can we help you do XYZ more effectively?” Then – listen to their answer.  Their answer will almost always be either a “can’t do” answer or a “won’t do” answer.  The person will either explain why they are having difficulty with the situation because they “don’t know how to” address it effectively, or they will give an answer that illustrates that they “don’t really want to” do this for some reason or another.

The “can’t do” people – you should help. We have all  been a “can’t do” at one time or another.  I didn’t know how to network before I started in this field.  I had to learn how to network.  It’s our job in a networking organization to teach people who want to learn but don’t know how.

It’s the “won’t do” people that are the real problem. They understand that they are not performing – they just have excuses about why they aren’t willing to do what needs to be done.  Frankly, these are the people that need to be removed from a networking group.

Have you seen “can’t do” and/or “won’t do” people in networking groups before?  How did you handle them?  Leave a comment and note that protecting yourself by changing the names of the guilty is always a good idea. 😉

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7 thoughts on “Can’t Do or Won’t Do?

  1. Having earned several perfect attendance awards over my years in BNI, what I see as a big problem is the number of absences at a meeting without subs. We are into the 4th month of this new term and already we have several people that have missed 3 meetings without subs. Sure, I can understand a car can break down, you can get into an accident, a sick child, etc, but these same people have also missed meetings and have sent a sub in this same period. That is why the rule is in place.

    Sometimes they text leadership about the situation, as if that will get them off the ‘hook”.

    I’ve been a member for many years and every time I have to go out of town I either arrange to be back in town the night before my meeting or line up a sub for it. The sub actually showing up, that can be a different story. In fact the only time I did not go to a meeting, that I remember, and not have a sub instead, was the week my oldest boy was killed in an accident.

    It is not that difficult to plan around the meeting date and time. So I think its not that people can’t, it’s just that they don’t or won’t.

    I had to laugh (really cry) a couple of weeks ago, one of the oldest members of our chapter sent an email that he could not make the meeting becuase he was too busy taking care of some orders that came from a BNI referral. 90 minutes from 7:30 – 9:00 AM, I wonder what he really got done in that time period that he missed the meeting for. . . .

  2. Both frankly drive me crazy! Both require coaching…or better still a positive example of “what to do”. I agree with the poster about absences. If I could remedy one thing during my term as president…I would remedy the amount of absences of our members w/o a sub. I just celebrated my second year in BNI and I have perfect attendance. I will miss my first meeting in two weeks (and I am sick about it). You gotta show up!

  3. If you work the system, the system works for you. It’s really that simple.
    Attendance, not knowing how to do something, passing and getting referrals…

    If you work the system….

  4. if it’s can’t do then teach them. If they won’d do then it’s an entitlement mentality so remind them that their membership is a privilege than can be taken away.

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