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Submitted by tlhausmann on


BLUF: When should you ask to be removed from someone's network (or, start removing people from *your* lists?)

My understanding from the networking podcast was never.

However, whilst browsing another site I happened upon [url=] this column [/url] by Liz Ryan.

stephenbooth_uk's picture

From what I understand that article to be saying and the MT networking model, I think they're talking about different things. The article seems to be about pruning out those people who you haven't had contact with for some time. If you've been following the MT model you will have been keeping in touch with people in your network on a regular basis so it doesn't apply.

The article seems to be aimed at those people who have a folder full of business cards they picked up at trade shows or 500+ contacts on LinkedIn, most of whom they've never met or even spoken to or emailed with (other than the initial setting up of the link) and call that their network.

As for pruning people out of your network. If someone asks you not to contact them any more then you should certainly respect their wishes. I suppose if it becomes obvious that someone is only in it for themselves (asking for help but when asked refusing to reciprocate, on a regular basis) then you may decide to discreetly stop contacting them and put a note next to their name to not refer anyone to them. You never know when someone in your network might be useful, even if they can just make up a 4 for golf when someone drops out at short notice!


HMac's picture

This thread has made me question one of my assumptions about networking - one that I've held since the great M-T networking podcast...

I've made a distinction among those contacts with whom I "actively" network with some degree of frequency (whether once a quarter, twice a year, once a year), and with those who are in my network....umm...just because (just because I don't want to lose track with them? Just because I don't want to delete them?).

Picking up on stephen's post, it seems to be sensible to make a distinction between all those names you've gathered in your contact database, and that subset with who you try to actively stay in touch. Otherwise, you're limited to only those with whom you "network" - and no matter how efficient you are about it, there's a top end to how much time you can spend on it.

It seems logical that you'll always have some portion of your contact database that you keep, even though they're not your "network" and you're not actively keeping in touch with them.

I'd be interested in hearing from others about how they're trying to find this balance...


jhack's picture

Liz Ryan's column included things like unsubscribing to email lists. That's not pruning one's network.

And the analogy to rosebushes is misguided. Networks do not regenerate on their own, stronger, when pruned.

My challenge is to maintain my network, not prune it. I want to contact more folks, not fewer. So the decision (based on time and priorities) as to who gets contacted and who doesn't might qualify as pruning de facto.