Skip to main content
BYDN podcastPodcasts

Why You Should Never Ask Someone to “Pick Their Brain”

By February 18, 2020July 3rd, 2020No Comments

Here’s a networking bad habit to end right now: sending enthusiastic “you two should know each other” emails or “pick your brain” invitations to meet potential contacts over coffee. Neither networking ask is a career compliment, and they definitely aren’t the best ways to build a strong connection. Kelly explains why in this episode and offers alternative approaches that are far more likely to succeed.

Key takeaways:

  • It is in your best interest to act in the best interest of the members of your network.
  • Examine your networking choices from multiple angles.

What to listen for:

  • 02:13 Be helpful, but with a healthy dose of self-interest: a personal networking story
  • 05:29 Dos and don’ts of networking
  • 06:38 Networking is a self-interested but what is best for you is doing what is best for others


“A good networking choice has to be a good networking decision for everyone else involved.” [05:00]

Need more on this networking topic? Check out these posts on the Build Your Dream blog (as Kelly clearly has a lot to say about it):

And this earlier Reputation Killers episode of the podcast.

And for more great career advice from Kelly and other experts, check out Boss Notes, a new email series from Penguin Random House providing step-by-step guidance for navigating common career challenges. Click here to sign up and start living your best work life now!

J. Kelly Hoey

Networking Expert + Career Transformation Coach + Author + Speaker, Kelly Hoey looks at "networking" through a new, modern, fresh lens, offering you (who are pursuing and perhaps struggling with your big ambitions), advice on how to connect for success in a hyper-connected world that is woefully short in its attention span. Her network-building advice is relatable, instilling confidence with actionable insights and practical information.