Don’t be a Trojan Horse when you are meeting with others

I’ll do my best to get this one right, but it is so fresh on my mind that a little emotion might seep through.  It is not often that I truncate conversations, but today was one of those occasions.

I had a call from an acquaintance recently who I know and respect for their knowledge and expertise in their field of endeavor.  (I’ll do my best to sanitize this story to protect the guilty.)  I enjoyed meeting with this person in the past and I agreed to the meeting earlier today.  The first red flag appeared about 24 hours in advance when there was an email announcing that they wanted to bring along a friend to share something with me.  Thanks to the power of the internet and social networks I had a pretty good idea about what was going to transpire when they walked in the door.

I do my best to limit my judgmental nature (high J in MBTI, so I come to a decision rather quickly, sometimes too quickly) when I am give a circumstance to navigate through.  My research told me that the friend was a relationship-multi level marketing person, something I vehemently object to and avoid like the plague.

When the three of us sat down I pre empted the prevention by asking if my assumptions were correct; was this going to be a relationship marketing discussion.  When they confirmed I was correct, I politely asked them if there was anything else I could help them with.  Seeing there was not we met for less than 5 minutes.

Most of you know what a Trojan Horse is.

During the Trojan War with the Greeks the Greeks constructed a wooden horse within which they hid a select force of fighting men.  They then gave the impression that they were sailing away from Troy.  That night the Greeks crept out of the horse and opened the gates to let the rest of the army in to destroy the city of Troy.

When you make the appearance of a Trojan Horse you prey upon the good will of another by giving the impression that you have one thing in mind when you really have something totally different in mind.

I would recommend that you never use the Trojan Horse strategy with someone you want to meet with.

Always be straightforward and honest about the purposes of your meeting and be understanding if they say no.

It is better to get a no today than to destroy the relationship and bar the door forever.

I am a person who typically does not hold long grudges, so I will give this person another chance.

At a time when relationships are the most valuable currency you can possess, take care in how you manage those you wish to work with.

Give much more than you will receive.  Be straightforward and honest in your intentions.

Be willing to take no for an answer.

Your integrity is of greater value than any short term sale or accomplishment.

Life can be a long journey.  Don’t burn bridges you may want to cross later.

Keep that Trojan Horse in the barn.