NETWORKING FOR THE SHY AND INTIMIDATED
Are you quite shy when it comes to approaching people you don’t know? Do you find yourself hesitant to meet people? Here are some tips for the introverted networker.
- Start your networking efforts in settings where you know other participants.
- When trying to make one-on-one connections, start with those you’ve been referred to by family members & close friends.
- The shy person can learn to get the most out of on-line discussion groups, web-based networking and chat rooms.
- Writing to people you’ve been referred to/ want to get in touch with is the best way to introduce yourself and break the ice.
- However you are eventually going to have to pick up the phone and call.
- If you do not meet people, you are not getting any where closer to an opportunity.
- Plan out what you will say when you make phone contacts. You may even want to have a script in front of you.
- When attending events where networking is likely to take place, arrive a little early and introduce yourself to the host/ organiser.
- Even if you’re feeling uneasy, try to smile and project enthusiasm and confidence. Sometimes you have to be a good actor.
- Making eye contact with people and smiling will encourage them to gravitate to you.
- Prepare some leading questions that will break the ice and get people to talk. Ask people lots of questions about themselves and their jobs.
- Many of us are shy about networking because we fear rejection. Ask yourself: What’s the worst thing that could happen?
- Whatever you do, don’t take it personally. Just tell yourself it’s no big deal and move on.
- If your biggest fear is not that others will react badly but that you will say or do something stupid, lighten up. Even the most polished professionals make silly and embarrassing mistakes.
- Set goals for yourself. Whether it’s making five phone calls a day, exchanging three business cards at an event, or adding one new person a day to your network, you will be more likely to rise above your shyness if you set and meet goals.
- Celebrate your successes. It’s almost a sure bet that you will have more successes than you expect and more successes than failures.
Well, I am sure this will contribute in some way or the other. Come back here and tell us about the before and after. I bet you’ll have something to say. You can also get in touch with me directly on email@example.com.