It is a myth that just because some people are ‘born networkers’, others are doomed to fail at networking. In my work with hundreds of people, all of whom are individuals with different strengths, challenges, tastes and fears… I have seen that building quality relationships to benefit your business or career is important to and attainable for everyone!
My personal journey in learning to ‘network’
I don’t much like neat little labels, but if I had to describe my personality, I would say that I am an ‘extroverted introvert’ – that is, while I like being social and meeting new people, at my foundation I am someone who needs lots of alone time and who often feels drained after being with people, even if I have enjoyed the interaction. I am better at having an in-depth conversation with someone about an interesting topic, rather than trying to make light chit-chat with a bunch of strangers. I have been told I am ‘direct’ and ‘down to business’ and that I don’t always remember the details about people’s personal lives! Growing up, I was a very shy little girl who had to learn to come out of her shell in order to achieve the things she wanted to… and sometimes it still feels like that.
Networking has been instrumental to my ability to succeed in changing careers and building two businesses. I had to learn how to make it work for me, and now I am very clear about the choices I make and the actions I take before, during and after networking, to make it impactful and enjoyable.
I don’t think others would be able to tell from my networking style that I once found it scary and hard. That’s why I’m passionate about sharing solutions with so many others who have found networking to be a challenge. This is also one of my very favourite speaking topics… I love to share this story and to chat about why we often find networking so ‘icky’!
Below: 3 key things you need to know as an ‘introverted’ networker…