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How to Network If You're an Extrovert

If you're an extrovert, networking may seem like a snap, but the extroverted networker does need to watch out for certain pitfalls that could damage relationships with business contacts and colleagues.

Extroverts typically have the following qualities that make them good networkers:

  • They can initiate and carry on conversations with people in any situation. They are at ease with small talk and chitchat.

  • They are social creatures who enjoy being around people.

  • They tend to think out loud, which means that people know what’s going on with them and thus have a greater ability to support their needs and desires.

  • They tend to be assertive, which means that they usually speak up and ask for what they want and need and expect people to respond.

  • Because they are energized by outer stimuli, they have the energy to be around people and stay involved in activities for a long period.

Although the extrovert personality style is a naturally outgoing one, extroverts do have some challenges in networking:

  • Their tendency to speak without thinking sometimes leads them to say things that they obviously haven’t thought through.

  • They can be so stimulated by interactions that they may ramble or take over a conversation. They may so enjoy being social that they don’t really use the social opportunities to network.

  • Because they make quick decisions, extroverts at times forget to include others in the decision-making process. It can appear that they don’t consider others’ thoughts, ideas, and feelings.

  • They may come across as intimidating and aggressive to people who are quiet, shy, and less assertive.

If you're an extrovert, here are some ways to ensure that you are being as effective as possible as you network:

  • Give your attention to others. Create more dialogues than monologues.

  • Find out what others want to talk about.

  • Follow through on your conversations. Don’t just enjoy the conversation for conversation’s sake.

  • Show an interest by asking questions.

  • Be aware of others’ wants and needs.

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