Does your chapter have a code of conduct that you expect your members to adhere to? Many chapters have dress codes and standards that they expect their members to follow regarding participation.
BNI has a set Code of Ethics that we teach to each new member upon being accepted into the organization.
BNI Networking Code of Ethics
- I will provide the quality of services at the price I have quoted.
- I will be truthful with the members and their referrals.
- I will build goodwill and trust among members and their referrals.
- I will take responsibility for following up on the referrals I receive.
- I will display a positive and supportive attitude.
- I will live up to the ethical standards of my profession.
(Professional standards outlined in a formal code of conduct for any profession supersede the above standards.)
Quite often our members and chapter forget that all members are expected to live by the BNI Code of Ethics and repeated violation of this code could create a situation where members can lose their position in the chapter.
I often tease the members when I am speaking at one of the chapters and remind them that they are required to have a positive and supportive attitude even when their favorite team lost the game the night before.
Our code of ethics sets us apart from other organizations and it is important that the chapter membership committees make sure each member lives up to the standard. It is our code of conduct, it is how we expect our members to behave in the chapter and out of the chapter with our referrals.
The most violated code of ethics is often number 4, people repeatedly forget to follow up on the referrals they receive. I cannot tell you how many times I have given a referral to a member only to find out a week later they still have not followed up, making me and themselves look bad. We need to remind the members consistently that this is important enough that we made it part of our code.
So take the time, review the code of ethics and remember that this is your code of conduct, violating it will damage your credibility and it will become impossible to give you a referral. People want to do business with people they can trust to make them look good.
If you would like to learn more about BNI take a look at our website and visit a chapter.