I have a confession to make. You are an introvert.
That’s fine, SO AM I, and in many ways we have an advantage over our more assertive colleagues.
You may feel that, despite all your knowledge of networking, you are too shy to network successfully. The idea that networking is only for people with outgoing personalities is really false. Introverts have strengths that they can use with strategies that blend well with their personalities. Here are some real advantages that introverts have for networking:
- Introverts are usually great listeners. They would rather let another person do the talking, and that shows respect toward their colleague.
- They remember details about their contacts, which others might miss. Since they are listening, they can take in more information about their contact.
- They focus on the person they are talking to, making that person feel significant.
- They build sound relationships and care for them because they are often helpful individuals who watch out for others.
- They find the right time to speak––never interrupting or asserting their opinions.
- They are helpful, which often makes others want to be helpful in return.
- They network very well in situations where they can use their skill to help others.
I’ve found that introverts are almost always passionate about a certain aspect of their business, industry, or product. They speak naturally with enthusiasm and conviction about the things that matter to them. Often, they’ve learned to overcome their shyness by discussing something they are passionate about. They become extremely effective when they have focus and a genuine reason to make a contact.
By building upon your strengths, Introverts, you will become effective networkers. Because you already listen well, help others when you can, and speak well when you are passionate about something, you have the skills to build and nurture strong relationships, which are the keys to great networking.