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Top 5 Networking Tips for Introverts

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networking for introverts

There she is. The most confident business women you’ve ever seen.

She’s owning the room. Gliding from one person to the next with a wide smile and a look that says, “I’m open for business.”

She must have been born that way, right?

Probably not. A lot of us have to learn to be confident in business… yes, learn.

Whether you want to start your own business or simply need more confidence to land that promotion, you will need to make great connections with people. So here are some ways to gain confidence when it comes to networking.

1. Never forget: You’re the best!

Ever wonder why top athletes accomplish amazing results? Because they program their mind to focus on achieving their goals. They have a talent, and they truly believe they can succeed.

You, too, have amazing talents; you just have to believe in them. This belief will instil a type of confidence that you have never before experienced.

So consider your skills and talents. Think about how you know you are the most organized, the most knowledgeable on a certain topic, great with your budgets, excellent on deadlines… There’s no doubt you’re good at something.

Keep these in the forefront of your mind at all times, and believe in your abilities. This will help you connect more confidently when networking, no matter your situation.

2. Open your eyes and observe

Focus on observing and mimicking confident people. Watch those around you and take note on how they behave. Don’t stalk them or freak them out by staring, but notice their behaviour and attributes.

You’ll likely see that confident people walk tall, offer a welcoming look and smile a lot. These are simple attributes that you can mimic.

I’m not saying copy the most flamboyant peer in the office to a tee. That would be career suicide! But take note on how they use their confidence to project the extrovert in them.

3. Be comfortable in your own skin

No matter who you are, learn to feel comfortable with yourself.

In every situation, whether at the office, at speed or other networking events or even at the bar for after-work drinks, you stand tall, sister.

What you wear can have a big impact on how you feel. So don’t wear a low-cut top and over-the-knee boots to a business conference; leave that for the pub. If the dress code for your event is smart casual, don’t wear jeans; go for your professional look.

Dressing the part will help you stand out, but for the right reasons.

4. Look people in the eye

This is an important point often overlooked by introverts. I’ve been at meetings where experienced managers look at the floor. I understand it’s hard to be something you’re not, but start with small exercises, whether networking or in meetings.

Look people in the eye and give a welcoming smile when you walk into the room. When starting a conversation in a networking situation, put out your hand confidently, introduce yourself with your name and workplace, and do your best to make eye contact.

5. Communicate with clarity and warmth

So you’re really enthusiastic about making a connection with a particular person? If that’s the case, help them feel that enthusiasm.

The more you communicate with clarity and have warmth in your tone, the more your genuine interest will come across. You want them as a contact, right? They’re not psychic. Let them know and make an impact during your first meeting, because you might not get another chance.

These behaviours may not come naturally, I know. So practice. Practice your tone out loud in front of the mirror or with a good friend. Practice looking people in the eye, even when you’re buying your morning coffee. Practice your firm handshake, your smile, walking tall and standing tall on the underground or on the bus. Keep at it and you’re sure to see results.

Elaine Knowles writes at Working Sirens, a career advice blog for ambitious 18-to-34-year-olds.

Brazen powers real-time, online events for leading organizations around the world. Our lifestyle and career blog, Brazen Life, offers fun and edgy ideas for ambitious professionals navigating the changing world of work.

  • rosieroo

    put these points on a card and keep them in your wallet – good tips!

  • Joyce Akiko Hayden

    This post comes at the perfect time– I just started a blog as an introverted entrepreneur whose world now revolves around networking! I will have to link to this post.

    http://www.introvertedblog.com

  • http://faxauthority.com/ Fax Authority

    Good list, one more to add: ask people about themselves and make friends.

    Most introverts are shy, but then again deep down inside most people are as well. The thing that people like to talk about the most is themselves and what they’re up to. Getting interested about someone else and what they’re up to without sucking up is one of the best ways to make friends in a networking environment.

  • http://www.endlessrise.com/white-label-seo.html White Label SEO

    These are actually good points on how a person is going to give a good first impression. This is going to be good for both the introverts and the extroverts in such a way that this list would be a good reminder of how exactly they’re going to communicate with other people. That being said, it’s also a good reminder that there’s still some hint of shyness in every person, even if they say they don’t have any, just like what Fax Authority mentioned.

    = Gerald Martin =

  • Bjtiernan

    Some great tips thanks!

  • Alex

    A lot of rah-rah stuff here, but where are the lists of introvert networking groups?

  • Workingsirens

    Alex would anyone go to a room full of introverts….. That would be a tough networking gig!!

  • Jrandom42

    Lots of fluff, but no real concrete advice for introverts on dealing with feeling like a hemophiliac at a vampire convention, when attempting to network.

  • Lkeegan

    Great tips for any professional in the work place. I especially like no 1 and think that most of us are guilty of not believing ‘we are the best’. I will be keeping these tips to hand for my next big gig. Thanks

  • Jrandom42

    Comment on Number one: “Am I really that good, or am I just a legend in my own mind?”

  • Mmcenroe

    Great tips especially if you have just started a new job and want to make a good first impression!
    Thanks

  • http://www.wbsonline.com/ Sean

    Great tips! I’ve found that looking the part (numbers 2, 3 and 4) can be a huge confidence booster. If people perceive you be “the guy”, then they tend to treat you like “the guy” and it makes it easier to come out of your shell.

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