Author Topic: Not inviting 'colleague' to networking lunch  (Read 4918 times)

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lilfox

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Not inviting 'colleague' to networking lunch
« on: August 06, 2010, 01:02:51 PM »
Here's the bg on the cast of characters:  http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=47895.0

Coworkers Fox, Cat, Dog, and Ferret are scheduling a lunch in a few weeks with lilfox's former mentor, Gandalf, a very well-known person in our field.  Cat, Dog, and Ferret have all worked with Gandalf in the past as well.  The purpose of the lunch is part social catching-up and part work discussions (Fox, Dog, and Ferret are currently collaborating with him).

Gandalf was also Mule's mentor.  I don't think they've kept in touch, and Mule hasn't exactly been a feather in Gandalf's cap (see bg).  Mule also works in a pretty isolated group and none of the others hear much from him (and prefer it to be so).

Mule is not currently invited to the lunch, because frankly, Fox forgot he existed when she organized the initial invitation list, and Gandalf hasn't asked after him in several years.  Ferret asked a few days later if Mule was invited but he might have been joking, and Cat strongly prefers that Mule not be invited.  Fox, however, is torn.  It seems unprofessional (or perhaps uncharitable) to exclude him primarily because we don't like or respect him, but on the other hand, it would change the tone of the lunch quite a bit if he came (which he definitely would because he would never pass up the chance to network with Gandalf).  He's not likely to find out about the lunch unless he receives an invitation because as mentioned, none of us chat with him informally or see him in a work-related capacity.

Is it rude to exclude him on the basis of "we'll be talking about work and he's not involved"?
For that matter, would it be rude to exclude him if it was just a social lunch?


Outdoor Girl

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Re: Not inviting 'colleague' to networking lunch
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2010, 01:07:01 PM »
IMO, it isn't rude to exclude him as you neither work with him nor socialize with him.  And, as you said, he would have no way of finding out about it, no harm no foul.
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Sabbyfrog2

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Re: Not inviting 'colleague' to networking lunch
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2010, 01:10:25 PM »
I agree. Not rude.

gramma dishes

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Re: Not inviting 'colleague' to networking lunch
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2010, 01:11:20 PM »
As long as the "work discussions" part of the luncheon do not involve Mule's work, I can see no reason for him to be invited.  It, however, that part of the discussion would be important for Mule to be involved in it's a lot iffier.

Lexophile

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Re: Not inviting 'colleague' to networking lunch
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2010, 02:26:59 PM »
If Mule was so interested in keeping in touch with Gandalf, why didn't he take the initiative to do it himself? You and your group are not responsible for keeping his social or professional connections going.
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SoCalVal

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Re: Not inviting 'colleague' to networking lunch
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2010, 03:18:34 PM »
Agreed; not rude.  It is up to Mule to keep up his own networking (and, frankly, consider how Gandalf might feel having to deal with Mule).



pierrotlunaire0

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Re: Not inviting 'colleague' to networking lunch
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2010, 03:44:28 PM »
From reading the background, it sounds as if everyone else is doing Mule's work for him, anyway.  And now it falls to everyone else to maintain Mule's contacts as well.

Um, no.  Mule needs to take some initiative, take care of himself, and in some way repay everyone else for all they have done for him.  No invitation for him.
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Balletmom

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Re: Not inviting 'colleague' to networking lunch
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2010, 10:38:36 PM »
If Mule hasn't made the effort to network with his current colleagues, he can't complain if he's not included in a luncheon they arrange.

He's probably not going to get this point, though, so I'd just make sure he didn't hear about it.

Hanna

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Re: Not inviting 'colleague' to networking lunch
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2010, 11:30:15 PM »
Not rude.

ShadesOfGrey

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Re: Not inviting 'colleague' to networking lunch
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2010, 11:43:10 AM »
you're approaching this socially - it's not a social occasion.  It's not professionally rude to notinvite someone if the discussion doesnt involve them.

Socially doesnt matter, as this isnt social. Even if it was, I think you know not everyone can expect a social invite at all times. 

:)
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lilfox

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Re: Not inviting 'colleague' to networking lunch
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2010, 12:59:43 PM »
Socially doesnt matter, as this isnt social. Even if it was, I think you know not everyone can expect a social invite at all times. 

:)

You're right - I was approaching this as a social thing, but I do think there's a social aspect to it, in that the group that is going maintains social contact outside of work.

But, the thing that really resonated with me is the bolded:

Agreed; not rude.  It is up to Mule to keep up his own networking (and, frankly, consider how Gandalf might feel having to deal with Mule).

I hadn't thought about it that way, but it's true - if Gandalf or Mule were interested in keeping up with each other, they would have done so.  (and the second part of that sentence is also likely accurate...)  So it's not my problem.   :)

Thanks everyone!

bah12

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Re: Not inviting 'colleague' to networking lunch
« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2010, 05:01:23 PM »
I'm going to be the voice of dissent here.  If the primary focus of this lunch is networking with Gandalf, then it is rude to exclude Mule simply because you don't like him.


Mule is not currently invited to the lunch, because frankly, Fox forgot he existed when she organized the initial invitation list, and Gandalf hasn't asked after him in several years.  Ferret asked a few days later if Mule was invited but he might have been joking, and Cat strongly prefers that Mule not be invited.  Fox, however, is torn.  It seems unprofessional (or perhaps uncharitable) to exclude him primarily because we don't like or respect him,


If the focus of this lunch is to talk about work that Mule is not a part of, then that is different.

  In a professional environment, Gandalf shouldn't have to ask the rest of the group about Mule in order for Mule to be invited.  Although it's not unheard of for a contact of mine to ask about a collegue, not asking me about him/her does not equate to my contact not having a working relationship with that person.  That by itself, cannot be the basis for not inviting Mule.

I also don't think that it's up to anyone else in the group to decide if Mule is someone that Gandalf can be proud of mentoring or not.  If Gandalf has mentioned that he's not proud of Mule, then, IMO, he's being extremely unprofessional.

Looking at this strictly from the perspective of a business meeting, then the criteria for inviting him is not based solely on whether or not having him there will make it enjoyable for all the other coworkers. 

Now, that being said, you could justify not inviting him if the lunch is a mentoring opportunity for your particular group and is focused on a project that Mule is not working on.  That way, he's not invited because the lunch is for your work group and his work group would have the opportunity to set up a separate mentoring session with Gandalf at a later date.

If, however, this meeting is simply networking for the groups at large, then it's wrong to purposely exclude Mule simply for not respecting him.  (The fact that someone asked about Mule to begin with makes be believe that this may be the case).

I think that for this meeting, you need to be very clear what it's purpose is and be prepared to defend that if/when Mule finds out he's been excluded.

lilfox

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Re: Not inviting 'colleague' to networking lunch
« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2010, 06:42:46 PM »
bah12, those are good points and that's why I was torn on the invite-don't invite question.  I expect the conversation to run the gamut from stories about kids and interesting travel to specific details about collaborative work projects.  So it can't really be categorized as a work meeting (as in, we're not charging the time) but it's not strictly social either.

Gandalf would never say he wasn't proud to have been Mule's mentor (precisely because he would never be that unprofessional and Mule did meet or exceed all the criteria while being mentored), and in fact was partially responsible for getting him hired.  The extended background is that Ferret hired Mule after getting a good review from Gandalf.  That said, Gandalf never had a personal friendly relationship with Mule that he had with other former mentees and does not ask after Mule in either a social or work aspect the way he does with other mentees.  And, Mule doesn't work for Ferret anymore, and his new work group has little or nothing to do with our work group.

  I think this has become the key thing for me:  The lunch isn't being used for general mentoring or for general networking (Gandalf has a few separate meetings planned for discussing future collaborations), the work aspect is specific to a project that Mule is not involved with and the social aspect is for those who have maintained a social relationship.

And now I'm going to have a hard time not picturing my coworkers as their animal namesakes or calling my mentor Gandalf (though I'm sure he'd take it well)!   ;)


ShadesOfGrey

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Re: Not inviting 'colleague' to networking lunch
« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2010, 08:48:42 PM »
I'm going to be the voice of dissent here.  If the primary focus of this lunch is networking with Gandalf, then it is rude to exclude Mule simply because you don't like him.

If, however, this meeting is simply networking for the groups at large, then it's wrong to purposely exclude Mule simply for not respecting him.  (The fact that someone asked about Mule to begin with makes be believe that this may be the case).

I think that for this meeting, you need to be very clear what it's purpose is and be prepared to defend that if/when Mule finds out he's been excluded.

This is just flat-out wrong, I'm sorry.  In a networking group is  *is* perfectly acceptable to not invite someone you dont like. It may not be business-smart, but it's not professionally rude.

In a business meeting, the people involved have a reason or need to be there, to be informed of what's going on. What is being discussed directly affects their work in a tangible way, and they need to be informed in order to dedicate time, resources, money, etc.  The same cannot be said of a networking meeting.  

Networking is merely the very smart thing people **choose** to do in order to keep their employement options open, their professional rel@tionships smoother, their business adventures more diverse and secure.  It is an additional, optional thing, not a mandatory nor an inclusive activity.  Smart business people network in order to strengthen the relationships they have with their colleagues and others. Nobody wants to to trengthen the relationship with Mule.  And that's not rude at all. Why would you invite someone to lunch that you dont want to strengthen your relationship with, whom you in fact want less of a relatinship with? It doesnt make any sense.     It's that simple.

OP, please feel no obligation to invite this person just because you worked with him at some point in the past.  That's not how networking works, really.  I hope you have a very productive meeting!
« Last Edit: August 09, 2010, 08:54:19 PM by DigitalPumpkin46 »
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bah12

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Re: Not inviting 'colleague' to networking lunch
« Reply #14 on: August 10, 2010, 08:37:55 AM »
I'm going to be the voice of dissent here.  If the primary focus of this lunch is networking with Gandalf, then it is rude to exclude Mule simply because you don't like him.

If, however, this meeting is simply networking for the groups at large, then it's wrong to purposely exclude Mule simply for not respecting him.  (The fact that someone asked about Mule to begin with makes be believe that this may be the case).

I think that for this meeting, you need to be very clear what it's purpose is and be prepared to defend that if/when Mule finds out he's been excluded.

This is just flat-out wrong, I'm sorry.  In a networking group is  *is* perfectly acceptable to not invite someone you dont like. It may not be business-smart, but it's not professionally rude.

In a business meeting, the people involved have a reason or need to be there, to be informed of what's going on. What is being discussed directly affects their work in a tangible way, and they need to be informed in order to dedicate time, resources, money, etc.  The same cannot be said of a networking meeting.  

Networking is merely the very smart thing people **choose** to do in order to keep their employement options open, their professional rel@tionships smoother, their business adventures more diverse and secure.  It is an additional, optional thing, not a mandatory nor an inclusive activity.  Smart business people network in order to strengthen the rel@tionships they have with their colleagues and others. Nobody wants to to trengthen the rel@tionship with Mule.  And that's not rude at all. Why would you invite someone to lunch that you dont want to strengthen your rel@tionship with, whom you in fact want less of a relatinship with? It doesnt make any sense.     It's that simple.

OP, please feel no obligation to invite this person just because you worked with him at some point in the past.  That's not how networking works, really.  I hope you have a very productive meeting!

You do not have to apologize for disagreeing with me, but I am not wrong.  Networking may be option, but it is a type of business meeting.  if company resources and time are being used to conduct this meeting, then the reasons for not informing certain employees must be justified.  If the meeting is set up specifically for a work group, then that is a justifiable reason not to invite Mule.  If it is set up as an opportunity say fo rall sales representatives and Mule is one of them, then he needs to be told that this is happening.  Simply saying that the person setting it up doesn't like him, is not a justifiable reason.  it's not smart professionally and it is professionally rude.
At least in my line of work, which is very business oriented.