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Build your confidence: Six holiday networking tips for introverts

Build your confidence: Six holiday networking tips for introverts

Build your confidence: Six holiday networking tips for introverts
November 30
22:39 2017


For those who tend to live on the shy side of meeting and greeting people, the Holidays can be energy draining. Introverts know how to network, but their comfort zone is usually carrying on a conversation one-on-one whereas Holiday gatherings are full of people.

We all know that career growth is built on relationships and developing rapport is part of the process, but it doesn’t have to be as painful as some would imagine. The best time to meet people is when everyone is gathered sharing a common interest combined with an atmosphere of joy.

The Holidays can be a great time of year to practice meeting people and getting comfortable with starting conversations.  Yet it would help introverts if they overcame some of the misconceptions attached to networking such as “schmoozing”.

Schmoozing is typically defined as chatting in a friendly way as to gain favor, business or connections.  One of the reasons why you might dread networking is the notion you need to meet people in case you lose your job, or you need one.

To an introvert, telling them to schmooze is like pouring water on a fire, it takes away every ounce of motivation and keeps them from reaching out. Very few people enjoy being sought after with a “what can I get from you” attitude. The good news for introverts is that schmoozing is the opposite of networking really is rather it’s a one-sided point of view. Networking is a shared combination of needs and wants.

If you are introverted here are six tips to help you build confidence and courage when meeting people, this Holiday season.

  1. Baby step your way into networking, don’t try to be someone else. Introverts often put a great deal of pressure on themselves by expecting to instantly become an active networker. Talk to someone you know first to build momentum for the next one. Ask people you know to help introduce you, it will help break down the reluctance of meeting new people.
  2. Lose the “I am bothering people” mindset. One of the secret worries that introverts carry around is the notion they are bothering others when they don’t really need something. Practice connecting with people through small talk and build common interests.
  3. Practice starting a conversation before the event. The fear of becoming tongue-tied can add to the anxiety of meeting new people, knowing some conversation starters will help get the rapport established.
  4. Listening skills are as important as the gift of gab. Introverts excel at listening, just be aware of keeping things in balance. If you do all the listening, you’ll likely come away knowing more about the other person rather than sharing what you do as well.
  5. Be mindful that you have what it takes to be a great networker. Focus on helping put others at ease rather than getting caught up in your uncomfortableness.
  6. Build upon your conversations by following up with people. While everyone has their own style of networking, the most successful networkers share one thing in common, they follow up once they have made a good connection. They don’t let their efforts go by the wayside. Stay connected, such as using LinkedIn and sending information of interest.

 

If you are introverted, how do you network throughout the Holidays?   

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