Introverts, Burger Toppings and Business Networking?

Do you know anyone who loves so many toppings on their hamburger that there is actually more oozing out of the bun than into their mouth with each bite? One of my Canadian Joint Venture partners describes such messiness of a burger with: caramelized onions, BBQ sauce, pickles, ketchup, tomato and more that can top the burger and make any bite difficult to contain it all.

So, the question is how to eat the well-dressed burger to taste the deliciousness of each and every bite without finding most of it lost in the process. The same goes for networking: With each organization you join, each meeting you attend and every online venue you choose, you get to choose how to react to the messiness of it. Maybe more for introverts than extroverts, meeting people who you want to connect further with and meeting people who you may wish you hadn’t met at all takes some inner reflection. In those thinking times, consider that networking includes two types of energies:

Hot Potato Energy: For example, you go from event to event, collecting business cards, making connections and you plan or hope for the best from those efforts. You procrastinate in taking the necessary action steps to further the relationship. Why? Because it isn’t always worth holding on to a networking relationship but how do you know when to let go?

Warm Bun Energy: For instance, you keep moving forward in networking with people who you are both attracted to and who seem attracted to you. With a glimmer of some possibility – you meet at Starbucks, you make a telephone call – you nurture a warm bun effect with people who you decide to follow-up.

Introverts are much more competent and can hold their own to any extrovert with warm bun energy. Why would anyone choose the hot potato energy instead of the warm bun energy in networking? I promise you’ll hear my take on this but what’s yours?


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