Networking Tips for Introverts
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.