When it comes to building connections in the business world, I know a thing or two. So, read along as I share my tips and tricks for all you introverts’ out there!
For those of us that have a tendency to be a bit of an introvert, this day and age is perfect for networking. Many people conduct business strictly on the web, and that is one of the many great perks of living in the 21st century. But, regardless of your industry, at some point you’ll probably have to take part in one of those dreaded (and sometimes flat-out awkward) social gatherings. While it can be overwhelming at first, it doesn’t need to be a bad experience at all! Take a few of these suggestions to make networking a breeze!
Cater to Your Strengths
First off, some people are just more comfortable in the spotlight than others, and that’s okay–we can’t all be social butterflies! Besides, being a person of few words can definitely help with asserting yourself and making a great, long-lasting impression. Choose your words wisely, use them sparingly, and they can be that much more effective when you need to be heard! In doing so, people will value your opinion, and you can use being quiet to your advantage.
“Choose your words wisely, use them sparingly, and they can be that much more effective when you need to be heard!”
Be Curious and Find Common Ground
We as humans are all pretty similar, so it shouldn’t be like pulling teeth to find something in common to talk about. Small talk can go way beyond just the weather. A good trick for shaking off those jitters and getting to know someone is to simply ask a few probing questions about them–everyone likes to talk about themselves! Being a good listener can be just as valuable of a communication skill as being endowed with the gift of the gab.
Not to say that you shouldn’t always be yourself, but it doesn’t hurt to be a “social chameleon” in some ways. In the past, I’ve been an analyst at a chemistry lab, a microbiologist a food plant, and am now an entrepreneur. As you might imagine, my colleagues at each of those positions would probably have a different idea of who I am, but would also probably describe me in the same way where it counts. My advice is to highlight the aspects of your personality that will help you relate in the particular social situation you find yourself in.
Ultimately, it’s important to stay true to yourself. Be calm, be confident, and give people your perspective. Everyone is different, and that’s what makes us special, and that’s part of your appeal! While it is important to blend in, you also want to stand out, and the easiest way to do that is by being you!
What are some of your favorite tips for networking and building relationships in the workplace? Let us know in the comments below! Also, if you’re looking for a place to network with female biz owners, and creative entrepreneurs, join the Members’ Club!