But I will call you. I will stop in your office, and I’ll force myself to attend yet another chamber of commerce event.
I have to. It’s my job.”
Ever feel this way at a networking event? Well, you’re not alone.
This was actually the opening of an article entitled “Here’s How Introverts Can Survive and Thrive While Networking” from the Duluth News Tribune. The author was describing how he, an introvert, often viewed networking.
Frankly, I don’t think you have to be an introvert to feel this way. I’ve sometimes felt like a “reluctant networker” – perhaps I wasn’t “in the mood” to be social or I didn’t particularly enjoy being away from my family for another evening. Whatever the reason, the desire to network just wasn’t there.
So, what are some tips for “surviving” and “thriving” while networking?
Patrick Garmoe, the author of the article, summarized some of the advice from 3 experts at a local Networking for Introverts seminar.
1. Arrive early. You can stand by the nametag table and greet people as they come in by being in the natural flow of “people traffic.”
2. Have a specific goal. Before attending an event, set a goal for how many people you want to meet. This will give you a sense of control over the situation.
3. Use Facebook and LinkedIn. By interacting with people often online, you create relationships and rapport before meeting face to face.
One last bit of advice was to use speed networking to your advantage. You can get more out of it for the time and effort you put in because you’ll meet more people in a very structured environment. The author refers to this as “an assembly line for meeting people.”
How about you? Do you have a tip for making networking more “bearable” for introverts? Share it by clicking on “Comment” below this post. Thanks!