Networking as an introvert impacts energy levels differently, so how can you make your introversion your secret weapon when it comes to networking?
I’ve been in learning and development for over 20 years and have learned how to both authentically turn up my extraversion and nurture my introverted side in equal measures. It serves me well and helps me to build seriously deep relationships with people.
Let’s be clear. Introversion is different to the cultural labels that we often associate with it.
It’s not about being meek or mild or shy. Most of us know by now that it’s about where we get our energy from – the good old solar powered Vs. battery powered analogy when it comes to interacting with people.
So with that in mind, an introvert like me can still go to a networking event and make a load of new and meaningful connections with people. In fact, you could argue that these connections will have a much deeper foundation than those of, dare I say, my extraverted counterparts.
I’m on my own cheesy X-Factor ‘journey’ when it comes to networking. I do lots of it hiding from behind my computer and phone screens. I know that I need to push myself to do it more IRL, and that’s what I’ve been doing over the last 12 months.
Here’s what I’ve learned so far:
Make sure your battery is 100% charged up beforehand
Do some homework on picking the right event for you
Be ready to turn up your extraversion a little
Stop worrying about delivering the perfect one minute introduction
Challenge yourself with a target
People remember authentic conversations
It might feel hideous beforehand.
Yep, the easiest thing in the world would be to not bother.
Listen to your physiology and what your body is trying to tell you.
If you’re anything like me, it can be a challenge to stop thinking of it as a game made only for extraverts.
It’s not always easy, yet it’s powerful when we discover the true power of introversion in networking.
You’ve got this…go forth and network fellow introverts!