This podcast is based on an interaction I had recently, over email, with a student. The student made critical mistakes in handling the interaction. By listening to this podcast you can avoid them and network better with partners.

This is a great example of how to not ask a partner for help. The reality is that if he were simply less pushy, more attentive and respectful, I would have certainly have helped him.



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5 responses to How to not ask a partner for help!

  1. Hi Michael and thanks for this interesting podcast. It’s always a difficult task to find the right pace on the what to do android don’t dealing with our own curiosity and willingness to learn from more experienced people without being too intrusive.
    Thanks again.
    Best regards,


  2. Hello AM,

    Good question and definitely worthy of a new podcast.


  3. Thank you once again Michael for putting out such eye-opening content. As someone who’s been a partner at two of the Big 3 consulting firms, is there a story that you can share about the most exemplary first-networking call/email message that you personally received?

  4. Hello Femi,

    That is a great example you provided. I like it.

    My point has one nuance which I may not have properly conveyed. When you edit an interaction to one line, you had better be sure you know what you are saying since all the context etc., must be baked into that point.

    This student did not accomplish that goal. He went with a one liner, which was not the problem, but he was clearly not reading my emails, or ignoring them, which was the problem.


  5. Hi Michael,

    This is very short, to the point and helpful!

    For some reason, I have always found the one-liner emails “awkward.” I do not like to receive them and I figured others won’t. Even when I write my friends, I start with the salutation, put a space, write the body of the email etc. such that while we were in medical school, my colleagues would “mock” me and call me “prim and proper.” For me it was a simple issue: I learnt very early in life that people appreciate it when you treat them well particularly in the seeming pedestrian issues of life.

    Last October, an elderly woman held the door for me and in response, I hurriedly reached for the door, took it from her and said “Thank you!” To my surprise, this old lady turned around and said to me “This is the first time in my life that I would hold the door for someone coming after me and they would thank me. Where are you from?” It’s simple, I hold the door for others and they walk through the door without taking it from me, talk more saying “Thank you!” and I don’t like it and I figured I should never do it to others. I don’t need the gratitude of others and the old lady didn’t need mine but human beings want to be treated humanely.

    More importantly, an email is a letter and people should never forget that. A letter, by definition, has parts – salutation, body, closing, signature. Of course, depending on your status (for example, in an organization) and the level of familiarity with the person you are writing to, you might get away with neglecting this structure. But, it is clear this person is not your family or close friend and certainly not your boss and should have erred on the side of caution. These days, we easily throw caution to the wind. Better to be safe than sorry!

    Thanks for sharing.


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