I’ve been doing some reading on a variety of topics. In so
doing it struck me that many of our chamber events, particularly networking are
really more geared to individuals who may be higher on the scale of extrovert.
We are all on a continuum between 100% introvert and 100%
extrovert. If you are fairly balanced between the two, then you might be an
Really the classification of whether you are an introvert
has to do with how you recharge.
Do you get your energy from being with a group of people and
feeding off that energy and that charges you? – You are likely higher on the continuum
Does being with large groups of people actually pull energy
from you and you get your energy from things like alone time, time spent with
maybe 1 or 2 people, doing something, creative, active, etc? – Then you are on
the other end of the continuum moving towards introvert. If you are kind of in the middle with some
characteristics of both you may be an ambivert.
It isn’t that introverts can’t connect, network and
participate in large group settings, its just that particular activity doesn’t
recharge their batteries. So if you a
reading this and saying, that is so me, then here are some tips for navigating
business networking and making it work for you, while being true to yourself.
Networking Looks like to You – Let’s call it Connecting, Building Relationships,
don’t feel like you have to be this big outgoing personality. Leverage your strengths, listen, be
empathetic, ask a couple of key questions. Figure out your purpose for being
there, like I am trying to hire people and ask if they know someone that can
help. Ask what they are trying to achieve,
see how you can help.
Don’t Try to Work the
Whole Room – Isn’t that a Relief!:)
Try to find kindred spirits, those more on the periphery, find people
you truly connect with and go deeper with fewer more meaningful conversations. Try for at least two. Who knows where that might lead.
Focus on Asking Good
Questions – Give it some thought, and then lean in and listen. Ask questions
that can help you figure out how to be of use in building the
relationship. What excites you, what is
the biggest challenge you are facing, where do you hope to take your business…..
Bring a Wing Man
if that makes you feel better. There is
strength and comfort in numbers and at least you know one person there.
Don’t arrive late
after everyone is connected and talking, it makes it harder and more
intimidating to break in on a conversation.
Volunteering to Work the Event – Gives you something to do, and and easy
way of being introduced.
Ask your chamber
staff or ambassadors for an introduction either in person or
digitally. State what you are looking
for. We all need help achieving our
goals and our chamber is built on that belief among the members.
Hope you enjoyed this article and find it useful. Stay tuned for more tips on leveraging the
strengths you bring to the table as an introvert in building relationships for