Networking Tips: Networking for Introverts – Event, Process or Part of Life

On a recent teleclass where I answer introvert and shy in business and sales questions, a gentleman observed that my focus for business building seemed to be slanted toward networking. His take was networking are events. I’ve found as an introvert I’ve just thought of networking differently than maybe some extroverts. When I try it the extroverted way, I usually regret it. In all situations, networking is like open-heart surgery: it takes time. Rush it and you may as well have never started it because you can do more damage than good.

Networking groups. A group meets for a purpose and intention of networking, it may have some structure, people say they are committed and members have a similar audience they want to reach. All good ingredients that can get results but the mindset that treats this like an event or process doesn’t find those results.

Networking events. These can be either business or social: Chamber of Commerce, professional organizations monthly or weekly meetings, and specific celebratory events like anniversaries shared with others. When they lean toward business, you often find a mentality in action, “He who leaves with the most business cards wins.” That’s exhausting for an introvert. Really, what is the purpose if you haven’t met someone you want to continue to get to know?

Networking at events with other purposes. Conferences or seminars have networking, but it happens naturally as you move from one activity on the agenda to another. This is a bit more controllable in terms of savoring your energy before, during and after if you are more introverted.

Networking with your current connections. This is where the results are from all of the above, and your life events. Talking with Ms. Amos at church who happens to have a niece in the financial planning business. Ms. Amos says her daughter is considering changing work field. Do you ask yourself, “How can I help with that?” and then if you find you can, do you suggest to Ms. Amos to have her daughter call you?

If someone had a diet that worked, would you ignore it? Then why would you not listen to every conversation, at every path in your life and ask yourself, “How can I be of help? What can I offer to the situation?” Then act on this. Networking is part of life. And don’t rush the surgeon. Perfect for the introvert? With our innate skill set and some strategizing.

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  1. LOL. Love open-heart surgery analogy. Thanks 4 the tips.

  2. I never thought of networking for introverts as open heart surgery. I like what you said about networking taking time. Guess I always saw networking as relationship building and you can’t rush a relationship.

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