Networking for Introverts

I don’t know about you, but when I’m in a social event, the only thing i want to do is to evaporate or run away… i’m probably one of the 13% mentioned in the video below that has social anxiety disorder… =P  in the current world of "networking is king"…. i’m suffering miserably….. so here’s a video to share w/ my fellow introvert/shy friends…

http://dailyidea.tv/2007/09/04/social/how-to-not-suck-at-socializing/

The girl in the video is pretty cheezy.. but her tips are not bad…

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Any one interested in practicing "networking" w/ me?? lol.. i know that’s very lame.. but… hehe… one’s gotta learn how to survive… my plan is we pick an social event to go to together.. then we can maybe start out meeting people together.. when we feel more comfortable.. we can go separate ways.. and try to talk to someone and find out more about them.. and then try to introduce each other to one person that we find interesting?… or something like that??
*******note*****
For those of you who wonder why my blog is so sparse on msn live spaces, it’s because i blog on Xanga… Open-mouthed  hehe.. (more advertising: if you’re bored, visit me at www.xanga.com/soaringwithdragonwings  Tongue out ) I keep telling people I want to come up with something that you can type once, and it will post to multiple blogs, but i haven’t gotten started at all… but I’ll keep tellling people that I will, just to keep it on my mind… as to when I will start on it (lets not even talk about finishing at this point), maybe months, years, decades… lol… we’ll see… lol

********More Tips for those that hate networking***********

1. Take baby steps.

Don’t try to become a master networker overnight. A common mistake introverts make is to wake up one day and announce, "Today, I’m going to become an active networker!" That proclamation is, unfortunately, about as likely to succeed as announcing that you’re going to lose weight or quit smoking once and for all.

2. Don’t assume you’re being a pest.

Introverts tend to assume they’ll be bothering the people they contact. They may be projecting their own feelings onto others. Introverts often prefer to be left alone–to do their work without interruptions or having their "own little world" invaded. Before you assume you’re going to be a pest if you try to make contact with someone, think twice. Most people will be glad to hear from you.

3. Rely on your supporters.

People you know well and who are accessible can provide emotional support when the going gets tough, encouragement on the way up and a kick in the pants when you’re slacking off. Networking invariably brings challenges that result in less than positive feelings. Supporters can offer encouragement and empathy along the way.

4. Get the competitive juices flowing.

Try to remember lots of people, who aren’t half as capable, qualified, talented and nice as you are advancing simply because they connect with others and make themselves visible. Even people who aren’t competitive by nature usually can muster some competitive drive when they see how unfair it is that less-qualified colleagues are getting ahead.

5. Rest on your laurels.

Remember the times you’ve been successful in group endeavors or one-on-one interactions with others. These recollections will give you courage to face the next networking situation.

6. Be a leader.

An advantage of any type of leadership position is it gives you a built-in excuse for connecting with people. Introverts don’t always seek leadership roles because these positions inevitably require such dreaded tasks as committee meetings and team projects. More behind-the-scenes leadership roles such as being a newsletter editor or secretary for a professional organization can play to your strengths without forcing you to be too outgoing or political.

7. Enlist a spokesperson.

If you’re hesitant to contact someone you don’t know, consider having another person act as a go-between for you. If someone in your network has given you the name of a colleague, ask your contact to call the person first for you to "warn them" that you’ll be calling. Most people are willing to do this.

8. Don’t underestimate the power of listening.

Those who don’t have the gift of gab shouldn’t despair. Listening is just as important as talking when it comes to establishing good relationships with others. There’s nothing extroverts like better than having someone listen to them talk.

9. Don’t sweat the small talk.

Small talk is just what it sounds like: small. A sense of humor or some profound insight is nice, but there’s nothing wrong with a mundane comment to break the ice like, "Large turnout, isn’t it?" or "This is great dip." Asking a question is often a great way to initiate a conversation.

10. Like birds of a feather, flock together.

If you find group interaction difficult, look for other people who seem uncomfortable and approach them. It’s easier to start with other introverts than with the intimidating woman in red who’s surrounded by a phalanx of fans in the center of the room. But don’t get stuck with the introverts. At some point you have to leave the nest.

11. Make the most of what you know.

What you know is just as important as who you know when it comes to networking. Unlike extroverts, introverts are likely to be the ones who take the time to read the industry newsletters cover-to-cover. Let people know you as the person they can call for the latest information on whatever’s relevant to your field. Take the initiative to pick up the phone and share your findings with others.

12. Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse.

It’s likely you’ll find yourself having the same sort of conversations repeatedly. If you tend to get tongue-tied when meeting someone new, try practicing what you’re going to say. If you freeze up or babble incoherently when leaving messages, get in the habit of taking time before picking up the phone to plan what you’ll say if the person doesn’t answer.

13. Don’t keep it to yourself.

Introverts worry they’ll bother people, so they tend to reach out to others only when they’re really worried or excited about something. Instead, try to get in the habit of connecting with people over small things–not just the big ones. Doing so enables you to develop ongoing relationships and ensures that contacts are there for you when you need to share the big stuff.

14. Attend events that have a purpose.

If you’re uncomfortable or nervous at events that are solely networking opportunities, try to attend gatherings that have a purpose, such as educational or cultural seminars. Interactive classes and workshops are good bets because they have a built-in agenda that involves structured networking.

15. Write often.

If you can’t get yourself to pick up the phone and make a cold call, or even a cool call, then consider writing. A letter of introduction can make the follow-up phone call less nerve-racking.

16. Get out among them.

Do you tend to hole up in your office or other workplace? Just getting out of the house or office to be among people helps. Although walking isn’t direct networking, it propels you out of your own little world and brings about a powerful mindset change that can lead you into networking.

17. Be positive.

Before you declare that it’s not going to be worth your time to talk to Joe Shmoe or to attend a particular event, stop and think. Do you have rational proof that your prospects are dim or are you just afraid? Almost all encounters are worthwhile, if for no other reason than for the practice.

18. Consider seeking professional help.

If you think your shyness or introversion is more than just a mild nuisance, you might need to consult a psychologist, therapist or other mental health counselor. Shyness that seriously hinders social interactions can keep you from doing what you need to do, and you may benefit from professional treatment.

19. Be comfortable in your own skin.

Sometimes reluctance to network results from insecurity about your appearance. While physical attractiveness is by no means a prerequisite for being a successful networker, the "package" you present to others is important. If something about your outward image is undermining your confidence, consider fixing what’s fixable and learn to make the most of what’s not.

20. Just do it.

You never know where a job, lead or some good advice is going to turn up. Sure, networking can be difficult, anxiety-provoking and a pain in the neck, but at some point you have to abandon all the excuses, take a deep breath and just do it.

***********conversation starters************************

  • What kind of work do you do?
  • How did you get into that field?
  • What do you like most about it?
  • What do you find most challenging?
  • What would make your job easier?
  • What are the big challenges facing your company in the next two years?
 

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About m0untainmist

I'm awesome ;-) j/k...
This entry was posted in English, life lessons, ZT/reposts. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Networking for Introverts

  1. Lan says:

    没有人理我… T.T

  2. Michael says:

    well it’s like you said, you blog more in Xanga, so noone really realized that you put things in here.

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