The introvert’s way to networking

Apr 15, 2008 by

20080415_networking.jpgDoes introversion label you?

One thing I want to consult you. I’m an introvert like you. I found that sometimes it is really hard for me to make friend with others or we usually call it “networking”. Do you have any suggestion for me?

The question was asked by one of my readers, Harrison from Finandom.com. He blogs on pursuing financial freedom, and I believe that networking is extremely important to achieve them as well. Why does introvert think that making friends or “networking” sometimes difficult?

I have ever posted a short post on networking for introvert before. It was inspired by an article from BusinessPundit.com: Networking for introvert.
I found the article when I google for some tips on networking that I am about to do at that time. The article has a good position on the search engine. The author and the former owner of the blog, Rob May, even admit that the article is the most popular article of all time on BusinessPundit.com. That really shows how introverts really struggle and need helps on networking.

Before I’m sharing my answers and insights on networking, I will share with you some tips from my friend cum financial advisor, Lim Chih-Yang.

In our last meeting, I shared about my blog to him. His reply surprised me, he confessed that he is also an introvert. It was hard to believe that. He is a full-time financial advisor and practically his work is all about networking, meeting up new people and building relationship with them. I believe that he must have challenge to decide on taking this career path, but the courage is inspiring. He is one of the persons that come to my mind when it talks about networking for introvert. He is an introvert and he is full-time networker. So… I’ll pass the mike keyboard to him… and here are the tips from him…

Networking for introvert by Lim Chih-Yang

I am a introvert by nature. In a group, I am no given to speaking out much nor do I naturally sidle up to people and chat with them. So how then do an introvert network with people?

1) Focus on your strength and not your weakness.

It is important that all of us have strengths and weakness. In a networking, people are looking for other people to expand their circle of friends. It is not a business situation where party hopes to make a sale or cut a business deal but more of a situation where people desire to know more people. As such, all introvert need to focus on their strength when networking. NEVER pretend to be someone else other than yourself but be open to speak about your hobbies, interests, opinions and expertise. People are drawn to people who are themselves. This applies to Networking!

2) Be a good good listener!

The introvert’s strength is that he/she is a good listener. When ever I am in a networking function, party, seminar..etc. I will always make the effort to compliment. Allow the other party to talk. People love to talk about their struggles, job, achievements…etc. so allow others to talk and they will warm up to you, allowing the introvert to overcome their weakness.

3) Focus on a few people

As an introvert, during a networking, it tends to be a stressful environment. As such, an introvert should focus on networking only with a few people during the function. This will allow them to gain quality network experience rather than quantity.

4) Be interested in people

An introvert can be a better networking individual when he/she is genuinely interested in the other party. An empathy for people can allow an introvert to gain a special place in other people’s heart. 😀

Concluding thoughts by Robert

Reading his tips, I find that networking is not as difficult as I thought it was. What many introverts thought to be difficult, turned out to be much easier. Isn’t that the perceived weaknesses that we often have? Chih-Yang really inspire me on how his passion has transcended his personality. An introvert that most people think as not good enough in networking, have taken the career path where it is needed extensively.

I came across an article from Scott H. Young titled “Should you work on your strengths or weaknesses?“. Scott agreed that people tend to like the things they succeed in, and they tend to dislike things they struggle with. That is the strength-based philosophy that a lot of philosophers emphasize. Instead of following with the flow, Scott shared his opinion on the strength-based philosophy below…

The biggest flaw of a strength-based philosophy, in my opinion, is that it labels you. Instead of leaving yourself the possibility of being good at many things, you stick with what you know.
~Scott H. Young (Should you work on your strengths or weaknesses?)

So… what should you do? It was more than talent. On the article, Scott shares how when he was young, he was labeled as shy and introverted. But now, he has got two designations on Toastmasters, and even won many awards on public speaking. People label him as outgoing and extroverted person now. That will not happen if he keep on working on his perceived strength, his introverted skill. Here is his opinion on what matters more…

I believe a better focus is to keep strengths in mind, but put far more weight on your passions. Before you ask yourself, “Am I good at this?” ask yourself whether you actually give a damn about it. And if you do care, that follow-up question should be a lot less important.
~Scott H. Young (Should you work on your strengths or weaknesses?)

In conclusion, don’t let your introversion labels you! You have much greater potential than what you think right now!

I’m preparing some tips on networking for introverts as well. The article will be much focused on the issue of the heart. How you can have a networking heart? Subscribe to my email or RSS not to miss it.

Appreciate your input on networking on the comments as well.

For your success,
Robert

PS: I have just added Askablogr widget on my sidebar. Please feel free to use it to ask me question. I will try to response to them, either personally or via a blog post.

Related Posts

Tags

Share This

4 Comments

  1. Because introverts often have to work on relating to people, they often end up better at it than extraverts. (Our skills and our preferences are different things.)

    I very much agree with Scott Young – a satisfying life comes from focusing on our passions.

    Evan’s last blog post..“Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow”?

  2. Robert A.

    Hi Evan, thanks for your comment. You have an interesting insight there…, it might be the same reason why hunger for growth is a good thing.
    The enemies of the best is the good one, if people are satisfied with their current skill, often they will miss out the better one.
    Thanks, Evan!

  3. Hi Robert,

    You’ve been tagged!

    Please check my blog to learn the rules and answer the questions – I would really love to read your answers.

    Cheryl’s last blog post..Suzy Orman – Many Ways To Get Set For Retirement

  4. I am really impress with your this post, Thanks for this post just keep posting.
    .-= wall tiles – tile ´s last blog ..Ceramic Glazed Tiles =-.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Five reasons why you need networking break : Reason-4-Smile Weblog - [...] Because introverts often have to work on relating to people, they often end up better at it than extraverts.…
  2. Ten reasons why introverts fail at networking : Reason-4-Smile Weblog - [...] last part of the networking for introvert series. There have been 2 articles from the experts, the first one…

Leave a Comment

This blog is kept spam free by WP-SpamFree.