How to Network If You're an Introvert
If you're an introvert, don't think that successful networking is out of the question. Knowing how to network if you're an introvert first requires you to be aware of your natural strengths that contribute to effective networking.
Introversion is simply a style for how you function, including how you network. For example, introverts
Think things through before speaking, so they come across as thoughtful, prepared, and focused.
Dislike too much stimulation and are drawn to their inner nature, so they often exhibit a highly developed ability to concentrate and focus on one thing at a time — including the person they're talking to.
Can tap into their intuition in order to know how to best respond to people and circumstances.
Are good listeners because they don’t feel like they have to talk in order to connect with other people.
Observe people and situations prior to making decisions and thus gather valuable information.
Are sensitive to outer stimuli, so they can pick up on and relate to others’ needs, desires, and feelings.
Have no need to be overly gregarious and therefore are less likely to be too energetic or enthusiastic.
Give thought to what people tell them, which shows up as attentiveness and interest.
Introverts have some challenges in networking. For example,
Introverts at times withdraw from people in order to have time to themselves.
Because they like to think through decisions rather than jump on opportunities, they may be too late with their responses.
Introverts tend to gravitate to the people they already know because it’s comfortable and doesn’t require as much energy as meeting and interacting with new people.
They often appear shy and quiet because they sometimes take a backseat to others during a conversation.
Because they are sensitive to outer stimuli, they may respond strongly to interruptions and distractions.
If you're an introvert, here are some specific areas to focus on to improve your effectiveness as a networker:
Develop a willingness to include others in your life.
Prepare for interactions.
Interact with people in a one-on-one environment.
Realize that it’s understandable to feel awkward at times and that you can choose to participate even you feel awkward.
Develop a methodology for connecting with people.
Do something to help you relax.
Be willing to make your ideas known and your resources shared.
Remember that events are moments in time.