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5 Tips for Networking as an Introvert


Kathy

Networking events are often extra challenging for those of us who recharge by spending time alone. A key distinction between extroverts and introverts is related to how we energize or recharge.

The difference between the two is significant. Extroverts recharge around people; introverts recharge in solitude. With this difference in mind, here are 5 tips to help introverts enjoy a successful networking event:

5 Tips for networking introverts:

1. Don’t try to meet the entire room. Often when we enter a networking event, it is easy to become overwhelmed by all the new faces and opportunities. Don’t let these opportunities leave you feel pressured to talk to everybody. Your time and energy is much better spent meeting and connecting deeply with a handful of individuals. Also, limiting starting new conversations will help you conserve your energy.

2. Ask open questions that keep the other person talking. Open questions require something more complete than a yes or no answer. Successful open-ended questions will relieve you of the pressure to keep the conversation going. These questions often start with who, what, when, where, how and why. For example, “what do you love about the work you do?”

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3. Remember networking is about relationships, not sales. Internal pressure to “hook” somebody on our business is out of place here. Focus on establishing your ability to assist this other person, rather than feeling obligated to “sell” them.

4. Take strategic breaks You are not obligated to stay for the entire length of a networking event.  Just because an event lasts from 3-5pm you do not have to undertake 120 minutes of networking. If your energy drops, feel free to head to the bathroom to regroup, excuse yourself from a conversation, or leave the event entirely. Since introverts do not gain energy from interactions with others, it is critical for us to protect our energy at a networking function.

5. Follow up to arrange a one-to-one meeting Many introverts find a large crowd draining, yet enjoy one-on-one communication with others. Use this preference to your advantage by following up with others you meet at networking events. The extra exposure in a more comfortable arena will help strengthen your connection to your new acquaintance.

Successful networking introverts – what other tips do you have? Please leave them in the comments below.

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About the Blogger: Hi, I'm Kathy G. Slaughter. Based on my personal experience and professional expertise, I believe "the un-examined life is not worth living." Un-examined patterns and beliefs hinder our ability to live rewarding and authentic lives. Our behavior, whether in or outside the workforce, consists of knee-jerk psychological reflexes. This reality limits our ability to be happy and productive in all areas of life. My passion lies in helping individuals and organizations identify patterns and beliefs that are limiting their ability to fulfill their role in an authentic and satisfying ways. My greatest goal is to connect with you and through our connection, transform how you perceive your life and your choices. Life is too short to live it un-examined.

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Sat, September 8 2012 » Career Planning and Goal Setting, Personal Organization, Self Development

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