Networking is a tried and true benefit to your career in nearly all instances, but it does not come naturally to everyone. Even the most polished salesperson can shy away from the dreaded networking event, finding it hard to excel at the elevator pitch or fumble awkwardly when attempting to make connections with other humans are worthwhile. Networking is especially challenging for the introverts among us, aka those who are shy, not comfortable in social settings and reticent to talk about themselves. To the introvert, networking may seem to go against everything they stand for or their very essence. There is good news. Introverts can actually take their networking game to new heights (or get it off the ground) with some easy-to-master tips.
3 Way Introverts Can Achieve Networking Mastery
Preparation provides comfort. What do you do? You may have been in your role for years, but still fumble, stumble and mumble through that question. It should be a softball question, a no-brainer. It’s definitely the most asked networking question. So, make your life easier by doing your homework. Know what you are going to say when someone asks you what you do – just a couple succinct sentences that describe your career, your business, your skillset. In addition to having a prepared elevator pitch, have a couple questions you might ask of another in mind. These conversations starters can help you avoid awkward silences and help facilitate real, engaging interactions.
Set a goal for yourself. Like most things in business and in life, setting a goal is the key to success. Set a respectable but attainable for your networking efforts. These metrics might look like the following:
- Hand out ten business cards.
- Set two networking meetings each month.
- Reach out via social media to grow your network.
- These measurable and bite-size goals can help you get closer to your networking success as well as help you practice the networking muscle, so you get stronger (and better) at it.
Be a disrupter. As an introvert, the idea of working the room at a convention center or hotel bar networking mixer may leave you feeling ill, but that is not the only kind of networking that is effective. You can take networking and flip it around until it works for your personality style and plays to your strengths. Often, introverts are better in small groups or one-to-one settings, and, let’s face it; those types of settings can be far more productive than the large alcohol-infused crowd. Here are some ways to create a networking schedule that works for your style of communicating and connecting:
Create a 1-to-1 connection. Ask some close co-workers, friends, family for a connection-suggestion, someone you have aligned career paths with. Meet that person for coffee, juice or lunch.
Reach out to aligned people on LinkedIn. Even if they are not local, set up a remote conference call with video and explore affinities.
Join a mastermind (or create one). Introverts don’t like big crowds, true, but they can excel in small group settings – especially among like-minded peers. The collaboration and support received in a mastermind group can be invaluable to your career growth.
To some, networking is easy, something that comes naturally. To introverts, it is an uncomfortable and even anxiety-inducing exercise. Networking, however unnerving, is an invaluable way to tap into a bevy of authentic opportunities for your career, your business and your personal growth. Introverts can still win at the networking game, they just might have to work a little harder than their extroverted counterparts and/or get creative in their style of networking.
If you are looking for a place to hold a networking event, Crown Center Executive Suites, located in Fort Lauderdale is standing by with a suite of flexible options to meet your needs, including meeting rooms, virtual offices and shared spaces. You’ll find everything you need from large screen TVs, conference phones, whiteboards and so much more. Step up your networking game today with the help of Crown Center Executive Suites.