We need to remember this in business.

When we forget our graciousness – we can end up upsetting everyone in our desire to promote ourselves.

I just finished a day long workshop in Ottawa and had two interesting experiences with what I’ll call ‘hijacking’.

What is hijacking?

Well, sure – your PC could be hijacked by some hacker. People can hijack an airplane.

But people can also hijack conversations and events to serve themselves with no regard to the impact on others.

It’s when people let you do the heavy lifting and then try to siphon off or get benefit without giving anything. Like a parasite – but more aggressive.

One lady had to leave my workshop early and asked me if it would be okay if she left two of her business cards on every table (two people per table). I told her ‘no. that would not be okay. You can talk with people and give them your cards if they seem interested.’ At dinner, I was told by some of the participants that she did it anyway.

What strikes me most about this (besides her breaking her agreement) is that what she did is useless. All of those business cards will be thrown out. It’s a waste of paper. All she’s done is given people something to recycle.

In a single move, she’s annoyed everyone in the room and myself. Not good marketing. Not building trust with people.

Says my friend Susan, “I’ve seen people do what you’ve described here, not think anything of it, and get snarky when it was pointed out that what they did was tacky.”

Then at the end of the day – right as I had finished wrapping up and good vibes hung in the air – another woman stood up and made a shameless plug for her sound healing concert coming up – and that if anyone wanted free tickets to give away to let her know. She didn’t even ask permission. But she took the most sensitive time of my event and used it for her self serving benefit.

Neither were very gracious (though sweet and well meaning).

I spent months promoting these events and getting ready for them. I invested a lot in making sure they all got welcome calls. I led the entire workshop – and they hijacked the space for their own benefit.

And that leads me to say: don’t do that.

Other ways people can hijack things:

Hijacking the table: Says my facebook friend, Nicholas Freer “people always want to leave brochures about rather un-related events at our Gaelic table at the Highland Games.” My friend Rob Helmer also finds this at his space The Inner Garden when he hosts events. People leave a stack of their cards or brochures at the table by the door. He already has some out where he promotes his friends – but then people assume it’s cool to leave theirs and then Rob has to clean them up and ultimately toss them.  Don’t hijack the table. Ask permission.

One of my friends shared her thoughts on this, “Yup, totally experienced this. Work my ass off pla


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