We all have words that we hate. I have one friend who is unable to say the word “pamphlet” without grimacing, and another who loathes “gusset”. Personally I have two lexicographical pet peeves (yes, that’s me: always spoilt and demanding more). The first is *steadies nerve and prepares to type with eyes closed* “moist”. I can’t bear it. If we have a particularly good piece of cake, for instance, my husband knows to comment only on it being “rather m and tasty”. And the second is “networking”.
I’m not against the concept, you understand – just the word. In fact, I’m against the word because it is so unnecessary: it takes an activity that already exists, and makes it sound difficult and (even worse) calculating. “Networking” is simply being nice to people and sharing your thoughts and ideas generously with them, on the (instinctive) principle that what goes around comes around – if you are kind to others and magnanimous with your expertise and time, they will be kind and magnanimous to you. “Networking” makes it all sound like a ghastly trap into which we lure the unwary with our faux friendship.
I was reminded the other day of the true beauty and usefulness of genuine, natural and unforced sharing. It was the day of my workshop for experienced MLROs in Guernsey – one of the absolute highlights of my year – and during a break three people from different insurance companies were discussing the difficulties they are having with the AML requirements for general as opposed to other insurance (a bit tricky under the Guernsey regime). And in ten minutes, over a rather m slice of carrot cake, they had decided to (a) have a proper meeting with some other colleagues to decide on their ideal way forward, and (b) take that proposal to the GFSC. Each had been struggling alone with the complexities of the situation for months, and a ten-minute chat led naturally to the realisation that co-operation would pay dividends. Chatting, sharing, and cake – that’s all it takes.