An Introverts Guide to Networking & Connecting
Learn to network as an introvert
What to say, Where and How to Not Miss an Opportunity
In 2 sentences: You think being an introvert makes you naturally bad at networking. The truth is: it makes you a thoughtful, intentional networker adding value to everyone you interact with.
What’s inside: Why introverts make great networkers and how to approach networking & connecting to really enjoy the process.
What could get in the way: This may feel uncomfortable for a minute…kind of like standing on the side of a pool not knowing what the temperature is. But once you know the water is warm, you’ll be jumping in.
I remember the first time I understood that I was an introvert. Scientific American did an interview with Susan Cain – here’s a link to the full article. This definition of Introverts helped clarify it for me: Introverts have a preference for quiet, minimally stimulating environments.
At first, this made me a little afraid. Wouldn’t I have to be an extrovert to be successful? And then I remembered that really important word above that I put in bold. Preference.
When someone who sees and understands themself as an introvert asks me questions about networking and reconnecting, here’s my advice:
First: Your preference for quiet and minimal stimulations can dictate the HOW MUCH of how you network.
Maybe your goal is to network and connect with 3 people. You accomplish this objective, and then you can be done.
Maybe your goal is to stay at the networking event for 20 minutes. You accomplish this, and then you leave without saying goodbye.
This may not be obvious but the work of identifying your HOW MUCH is a boundary. And a boundary is something that introverts can really benefit from because you know that when you’ve hit that goal you can exhale, it can be over and you can go recharge.
Second: Quality is better than quantity.
For some reason, networking seems like an episode of Super Market Sweep – one where we’re just running through the halls of LinkedIn or an Event to collect as many people as possible.
And guess what? That is SO wrong.
A small network you have deep relationships with that you can trust-fall into is SO much better than thousands of people in a mosh-pit.
Third: Grow with intention.
Here’s the very best way to grow: reconnect with a colleague, a person you met at an event long ago, or someone you heard on a podcast.
Send a LinkedIn message.
Here’s an example: “Hi! It’s been too long! How are you? You came top of mind because I’ve become really curious about beekeeping. I know you have a network full of interesting people. Anyone I should be connected with to learn from? Appreciate you! If you’d like to catch-up I’d really love that.”
Fourth: Consistent growth is better than one sprint
Growing your network doesn’t happen in 1 day. It’s little bit by little bit effort. Your consistent growth is going to create stronger connections, give you a chance to really get to know people, and approach your network building as a journey.
Being an introvert really is a superpower when it comes to you networking. Start to see it as that and you’re already on your way!