Don't Do These 5 Things When You Meet People

As an entrepreneur and business owner, meeting new people usually comes easily.  You know how to connect and engage with potential clients or partners, and you have done it enough that it becomes second nature.

However, as an entrepreneur and business owner, are you always in the process of learning and growing? Could it be that there are a few tweaks that you could make so that your engagement is productive, pleasant and leaves a positive impression?



DON’T do these 5 things when you meet people:

  • Look away as you are giving a limp handshake. Lack of eye contact can raise suspicion, shows a lack of confidence and a limpy handshake communicates not good things. Plus it feels icky. Yuck.


  • Making fun or making a joke of their first and last name even if it sounds humorous.People are important and every person you meet is your superior in some way or another. You don’t know what you can learn from who you meet, no matter where they come from. Everyone is important and names are important.


  • Showing up and throwing up. People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care. Ask the person you meet questions about THEM, not trying to impress them and monopolizing the conversation about all your accomplishments, etc.


  • Assuming that the person you meet is of a certain cultural buy cipro ciprofloxacin ethnicity and asking them if they are, even if they have the characteristics of that cultural ethnicity. For example, asking an Asian, “Are you Korean?” and that person replies, “No, I am not, I am Japanese.” And your smart answer is, “Oh, well you look Korean.” Can you say offensive? Better question: “What is your cultural background?” or even simply “Where are you or your family from?” Much less offensive! Just because all the Asian people you might know are Korean, does not make every Asian person you meet Korean. Enough said.


  • BONUS TIP: Even if a woman is obviously pregnant, NEVER ask when she is is due!  Let her tell you that when her bundle of joy is arriving!


  • Ending the conversation without offering to be of help in some way. Leave your business card and let them know if you can help them in some capacity, to contact you.  Even if they don’t contact you, you will have left them on a positive note as someone who was genuinely interested in adding value.

Don’t do these 5 things when you meet people and watch the quality of your interactions improve.

What other “do not do”  tips would you say are important when you meet new people who could potentially be clients or business partners?

I would love to hear your comments.  

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  1. Illie on May 4, 2013 at 10:22 PM

    I love this post. I recently had an in depth conversation with a male at my work about ethnic backgrounds. He groups Asians all together and said, “Asians are all the same.” I told him that I categorized myself as Asian/Pacific Islander. So we go back and forth about the differences and how I’m very proud to be different. He’s a black guy from Louisiana and I mentioned that if I was not culturally sensitive, I would’ve asked if he was Nigerian or Jamaican, based on what I assumed. He understood my point of view.

    It never fails though, many people assume and even start speaking in the language they “think” I am. These rules should be taught in school. LOL

    • Annett Bone on May 6, 2013 at 4:07 PM

      Sounds like it was an interesting conversation! I am encouraged that he understood your viewpoint and great for you that you were able to relate it to him on a personal level. I think it initially starts with the parental or authority figures modeling and teaching the appropriate behavior.

  2. Roxanne on May 9, 2013 at 4:56 PM

    As an Asian Pacific Islander, I often get lumped into several different ethnicities whenever I travel. It used to frustrate me to the point that it would make me angry because I was insulted at their assumptions. However, I learned that to many who have not traveled outside their cities, states, island, or country; perhaps they just didn’t know any better. I observed this from just working in the rural areas of Hawaii with our young adults with disabilities. When we would take them on excursions outside of their communities, it was interesting to hear their perceptions about other people. The island of Oahu is really not that big, and yet there are many who do not travel outside their communities. For example, if you lived on the North Shore, it was more than likely that you did not travel to the West side of Oahu like Makaha or even down to a tourist area like Waikiki. You would just live on the North Shore and relate to your family and friends that you grew up with. Because of my work, I travel all over the island and am pretty familiar with all the communities. I have been mistakenly accused of being all the following: Caucasian (or White, which was the term actually used while I visited Chicago), Filipino (by many Filipinos here and on the mainland), Vietnamese (while in Washington, D.C.), Chinese (while heading to Japan with my Sensei during high school by the Japanese Flight Attendant and then again while at a business conference in Salt Lake, Utah), Hawaiian (by many of the locals here and while on a business trip to New York and Lousiana), Korean (by many Koreans here and while on a business trip in Sacramento, CA), Mexican (by Mexicans while in CA as well as Caucasians while at Disneyland) Micronesians (by some of my fellow Chamorros growing up and some of the Hawaiians) African American (by African Americans while in Chicago). I now just smile to myself and say it is great that many people want to identify with me or see how I can be many ethnicities. With our world changing in its ethnic composition, I no longer find it insulting, but complimentary. I guess this means that I can fit just about anywhere and with so many different ethnic groups.

    • Annett Bone on May 15, 2013 at 2:43 PM

      What a positive way to look at this. Thank you for your input. I especially appreciated your last comment about fitting in where you are. You’re right, people are looking for that common thread, whether it be, culture, common interest, etc.

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