Do you find yourself hesitating to accept invitations to social gatherings and networking events? Are you always coming up with excuses to avoid having to interact with others?
Have you always wanted to be able to socialise and network with ease like your extroverted counterparts but have no idea where and how to start?
If your answer is “Yes” to any of the questions above, then you might be an introvert who has challenges at networking. Fret not, as we have some tips that may help you become the confident networker that you have always wanted to be.
The Importance of Networking
Perhaps you might already know the importance of networking but still struggle when you attend networking events. If you do not really appreciate the importance of networking for your career, it’s not too late to begin learning about it today!
Networking is an essential skill that will prove to be important at any stage of your life or career. Equipping yourself with these skills will help you connect with others and build a dependable and sustainable relationship.
Having a wide and diverse network will put you in a position of opportunities and referrals. However, all these can only happen if you network purposefully with the right mindset and know-how!
Empowered Networking for Introverts
For the majority of us, we are not born networkers. Networking is a learned behaviour, very much like learning to swim or cycle. It is a skill that we had to pick up. With practice, we progressively become better and more confident.
One of our strengths as introverts is being active listeners. We listen to the speaker attentively and give them all our total focus. In addition to listening attentively, we are more observant so we tend to capture more details from the speaker during the conversation. This will give us information that we can use to strike conversations when we meet the same individual again. That is the first step of establishing a relationship and building your network.
Your introversion is your strength so use it to your advantage when networking. Introverts actually do make good networkers because we are good listeners. As compared to a more outspoken individual who only speaks about themselves, the introvert is easier to talk to because we tend to listen more than we speak.
As introverts, we may be intimidated by the thought of having to socialise and interact with large groups of people. We may feel shy, nervous and even overwhelmed by the entireprocess of networking. This often leads us to shun away from any networking opportunities for the fact that we do not know how to go about it.
If large groups of people overwhelm you, try finding smaller networking groups that you can join. By doing so, you feel more comfortable and it becomes easier for you to practice your networking skills.
From A Reluctant Networker To A Confident Connector
Remember, networking is not a skill that we can master overnight. It takes countless hours of practice and actively adapting to the different individuals and scenarios that we might encounter. But networking is definitely a skill that you should add into your arsenal. Use your introverted traits to your advantage and do not let it hold you back.
Introverts can make great networkers too! All you have to do is to take the first step out and watch yourself transform from a reluctant networker into a confident connector.