False Positive

Its not drugs.

Or is it?

Last week I attended another professional conference with several hundred participants and ran into some of the same archetypes that give our profession – maybe all professions – a bad name.

The false positive.

Having been in business for three decades now I’ve bought and sold my share of services and supplies so I understand a certain amount of social intercourse is the norm. The stereotype of the glad-handing blabber mouth as salesperson is just that however, a stereotype.

As my friend Chris (no, not me) puts it a good saleperson is one who knows how to listen. So its not salespeople I resist.

Its the fawning, over-the-top, self-promoting, we-must-get-together (but never will) type that I can do without.

I’ve written about these people before (Flake Factor) but maybe since its conference season its time for some gentle reminders.

  • If you haven’t seen me since last year’s conference, we’re probably not going to “hang out”
  • Don’t have my number? We don’t know each other – its all over my email and websites
  • Never broke bread with me? Odd: I’ll meet anyone once
  • Haven’t had a real conversation with me? Don’t start now – I’m serious about my work

I don’t really know what compels people to pretend they are close friends, tight associates or in general just miss someone else when they run across them at a professional session although I suspect its simply a lack of self-confidence. The over familiar posing is as fake as a blue rose.

I understand cordial behavior – I live in the Deep South where we invented it. We also though are pretty good at sniffing out bullshit and knowing where to step so we’re not caught up in it. So maybe there’s a reason we don’t connect anywhere else.

I’m watching my step.

I love collaborating with people on business and social issues: I’ve worked across a wide range of disparate contacts, much like you, and I enjoy the richness this diversity gives my life. But false positives drain me of desire and energy because we miss connecting on a human level.

Reach out without the pretense and the posing and we’re going to find a connection. Come at me with a false positive and I’m sending you back for a re-test.

Keep it real folks.




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