Last year, I published a list of networking tips for introverts. With up to 50% of the population being classified as introverts and the fact that much of our success is driven by our network (it’s not what you know, it’s who you know), I think it’s important for introverts to understand how to succeed at networking. It’s not about changing who you are. Instead, it’s about capitalizing on who you are so you can be a better networker.
Believe it or not, being introverted can actually offer you some advantages when it comes to networking. Here are 3 advantages the introvert can have at an actual networking event.
- Introverts are good listeners — Many introverts are great listeners. And guess what? Networking is really all about listening. Just truly listen to what the other person is saying and ask the right questions to keep the conversation going. You’ll be just fine.
- Introverts can focus on quality conversations rather than quantity — Many people mistakenly believe that networking events are about meeting as many people as you can. While that might get you a lot of business cards, it won’t get you much in the way of meaningful relationships. While extroverts will be shaking as many hands as they can, introverts can focus on having a small number of deeper conversations. It’s much easier for an introvert to meet a couple of new people than to meet dozens of them.
- Introverts are less likely to say something stupid — Let’s be honest, the more you like to talk, the more likely it is that you’ll stick your foot in your mouth. This is especially true if the drinks are flowing at the networking event you attend. Being an introvert can help you avoid being one of those ridiculous people you meet at networking events who never stops babbling and who is constantly spewing idiotic statements. Oh, and did I mention that introversion tends to increase with intelligence? In other words, many introverts are highly intelligent, making it even less likely that they will say something stupid. Bonus!
Can you think of any other advantages introverts might have at networking events?
This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in press release writing and distribution. Download the free whitepaper LinkedIn for Business here: http://www.ereleases.com/insider/linkedin.html