Net­work­ing Tips for In­tro­verts

Insurance - - CONTENTS - Text Hairul Hilmi Ram­lee, AMII | hairul@mii.org.my

“...there is

noth­ing wrong with

be­ing an in­tro­vert. Imag­ine if this world was full of extroverts!”

WHEN AN AC­QUAIN­TANCE FROM THE IN­DUS­TRY SHARED with me her chal­lenges with some agents that do not net­work with other fel­low par­tic­i­pants dur­ing cof­fee breaks at venues such as con­fer­ences, sem­i­nars or of­fi­cial gath­er­ings, it gave me the idea to write some­thing that could be in­ter­est­ing to some, hope­fully to the in­tro­verts. I was once a

hard­core in­tro­vert and am prob­a­bly still in my na­ture, but I like to be­lieve that I am very much im­proved now. My ca­reer in the fi­nan­cial ser­vices in­dus­try of more than 15 years has helped me with some es­sen­tial so­cial skills, and thanks to close friends who have been sin­cere in pro­vid­ing guid­ance and tips. First, let me make this very clear: there is noth­ing wrong with be­ing an in­tro­vert. Imag­ine if this world was full of extroverts! What is not quite right is when we al­low our na­ture to limit our po­ten­tial to grow and suc­ceed. Have you en­coun­tered these while at­tend­ing con­fer­ences or sem­i­nars? • Find rea­son to spend time in the rest room dur­ing cof­fee breaks, even though there is no need to do so • Busy on the mo­bile phone and tablet, check­ing for emails and mes­sages, even though there is no ur­gent mes­sage at all

• Mak­ing non ur­gent calls dur­ing cof­fee breaks

• Busy eat­ing and drink­ing by yourself • Busy vis­it­ing ex­hi­bi­tion booths, al­though it can be done dur­ing non-peak time • Be at a spot which is far away from the crowd or sit­ting alone at one cor­ner • Keep­ing close with your own group – never want­ing to be apart; even dur­ing lunch breaks, must sit side by side • Don’t go for cof­fee breaks, in­stead re­main in the room, pre­tend­ing to read im­por­tant ma­te­ri­als • Go up to your room dur­ing cof­fee breaks or skip­ping lunch Well, the list can be ex­haus­tive. The above could be among the many things that we do or ex­cuses that we make in or­der to avoid net­work­ing. If you hate net­work­ing, it is an is­sue that we can’t ad­dress in this ar­ti­cle. This ar­ti­cle is in­tended for those who want to net­work, but who are not quite suc­cess­ful in do­ing so. Some tips you can con­sider next time you are so­cial net­work­ing:

• Don’t pre­judge people too early

• Don’t as­so­ciate people with neg­a­tiv­ity quickly

• Face your fear fac­tor

• Don’t be in­fe­rior with yourself • Em­brace dif­fer­ences, i.e. race, na­tion­al­ity, life­style, lan­guage, etc. • Pre-set your mind with pos­i­tive tar­gets be­fore at­tend­ing the event • Al­ways keep your name card ready in your pocket and set tar­gets of how many busi­ness cards you want to ex­change dur­ing the event. Drop­ping your card in a lucky draw box does not count!

• Al­ways stay in the crowd • Stop find­ing rea­sons to stay away from cof­fee breaks In any change of man­age­ment, baby steps can lead to big­ger suc­cesses. Hence, choose a so­lu­tion that you think you can com­mit 100 per cent and just do it. In the next round, you can choose an­other set of so­lu­tions. The im­por­tant thing is that you want to change. When we want to change, we will do what­ever it takes to make things hap­pen.

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