Introduction of Networking Tips for 2020
Is one of your goals this New Year to create connections through networking? There’s no downside to increasing the size of your professional network. Unless you are an introvert and the idea of walking into a room of people you don’t know and making small talk gives you anxiety.
I understand. I am an introverted, highly sensitive, entrepreneur and leader, of a women’s networking group in my community (Eagan, MN) called FemCity.
FemCity is a global community offering programs for diverse groups of women and entrepreneurs who are looking to make strategic connections to strengthen their business and social circles.
Over the past six years, I have developed an understanding of why I make a good leader and how to get past my nervousness to network with others. When attending or leading an event I focus on the positives of being an introvert; we are good listeners, observant, trustworthy, approachable, and focused.
I approach someone that is sitting alone or off by themselves because they are often introverts, too. I enjoy holding space for others, introducing people, and navigating the room. It does take me time to recover from the energy of the day though. If you can get past your shyness to network with people, then you’re unstoppable.
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Here are 6 tips for the introverted networker:
If you’re preparing to go to an enormous occasion and end up in a frenzy at its unimportant idea, at that point change your reasoning. Focus on something smaller, not a large room of people. Concentrate on your objectives and what you might want to achieve at the occasion. Don’t overstay either. It’s alright to dodge out early once you have made your significant associations.
2. Set yourself up ahead of time
Know who will be at the occasion and make sense of who you’d prefer to interface with. You can email that person in advance and let them know that you’d like to connect with them and why. Do a little research on their inclinations also to give you some ideas when you do meet.
3. Work the occasion
See on the off chance that you can help plan or set up the occasion. This will assist you with knowing who the key players are ahead of time. You can always be the one who picks up someone from the airport to bring to the event so that you can have a little one-on-one face time in a less intimidating environment.
4. Use your shyness as a strength
Introverts make great listeners, and this is a really great way to get people interested in you. On the off chance that you can summon up the mental fortitude, to begin with, an ice breaker question (like soliciting what somebody thought from the speaker) and afterward simply do what comes normally to you and tune in, at that point you have stamped yourself as somebody who can be depended on.
5. Careful discipline brings about promising results
Part of what can make you anxious as a loner is dread of the obscure. The more events you attend and the more people you share your elevator pitch with, the easier it will become. If you know that you have an important event coming up, then try attending a few other events in advance to try out your talk with others first. Along these lines, you can get it under control for the minute when it truly matters.
6. Wrap it up
As the conversation ends, make sure that you get a plan in the books to meet again. Exchange business cards and jot some notes down on their cards about what you discussed. The next day, send a follow-up email thanking them for the conversation about x, y, and z and then firm up your plans for coffee and an opportunity to talk more.
I look at networking as relationship building and not pushing my business card onto others. I have allowed myself to be open and create a strong network, which in turn has allowed for new friendships and collaborations. These new relationships you create could impact your future or theirs in ways you can’t begin to imagine. I wish you happy networking!