Networking-For Introverts and Extraverts!ARTICLE BY DEBORAH JOHNSON
Networking-For Introverts and Extraverts!
Networking-For Introverts and Extraverts! Some people are petrified of networking. They may be an introvert or maybe have had a previous bad experience at a network event. Some just feel like it’s a waste of time and energy. There are only so many people you can keep in your close circle of contacts and they feel time is best used in other areas.
It also takes work to network. It seems as if the more events you attend, the more mailing lists you get on with announcements and promotional products. Picking and choosing events can get overwhelming. Many creative types are introverts, like myself. I’m outgoing when I attend events and when I’m in front of most any audience, but I’m actually one of those computer nerds who can sit for hours behind a screen and work, all by myself!
What will help Introverts
1.FOCUS ON THE OTHER PERSON. Most people like to talk about themselves so much that if you ask them a couple questions, you may not have to say a thing!
2.GET A NETWORK BUDDY FOR NETWORKING EVENTS. Get a network buddy-a friend to go with. They may even suggest activities and that will help you!
3.PUT AN EVENT ON YOUR CALENDAR OR SAVE THE LINK TO AN EVITE. I’ve actually gone to events because I’ve accidentally pushed the going button on a Facebook Invite and had a great time!
Are You an Extravert?
Some people are great at networking. They meet and greet people easily, then effortlessly carry on conversations. However for you extraverts, the temptation is to dominate a conversation with excessive information about yourself, your accomplishments, your amazing family and even the last bucket-list trip you took to the ice hotel in Antarctica.
Meanwhile, your listener(s) have their own thoughts. They’re wondering why they haven’t been able to take amazing trips like you. But more importantly, their mind is racing with creative ideas of how to get out of the conversation with you. Compared to all your accomplishments, they feel like the earthworm looking to dig a way through hard dirt.
It is a gift to be an extravert. However, it can sometimes come back to bite you. Before spouting off all your accomplishments and awards, focus on the other person and be genuinely interested!
What will help Extraverts?
1. FOCUS ON THE OTHER PERSON FIRST. Genuinely focus on the other person. This means to be actually interested in what they’re doing!
2. FIND GROUP(S) THAT ARE A GOOD FIT FOR YOU. If you feel the people you are meeting at networking events are not a fit for you, (maybe TOO many introverts!), research other groups that will be a fit. There are groups for CEOs, for Small Businesses, for Entrepreneurs and many others in varied gatherings all over the world.
3. DEVELOP ONLINE NETWORKING. Nothing totally takes the place of face to face contact, but groups on LinkedIn and other online platforms may hold other viable sources for you. Evaluate your approach to networking and if you feel you’re too self-focused, craft questions you can use to put the focus on the other person first.