Networking For Introverts – 3 Steps to Doing it Naturally
Someone once said: “You do a very good impression of yourself”. Now, here are 3 simple steps for making the best possible first and lasting impression, as you network naturally — whether or not you are an introverted, shy or reserved networker.
Step 1 – Let your mouth do the talking: Firstly, make peace with the idea that you will need to actively and regularly tell people about your accomplishments. You cannot depend on others to read your mind or ask you about your accomplishments. These accomplishments could be: testimonials received or results experienced from your clients, your newest promotions and/or other relevant news.
For instance, lately, sometimes I share with fellow networkers the fact that I attract and work with many introverted, shy and reserved entrepreneur clients. Amazingly, the response I receive from others is often: “I am an introvert!”. The Universe is certainly reliable: You can count on it to do its job of pulling together like-minded people.
What you may perceive as bragging, others around you will often see as, “I am so glad you told me about this; I never would have known that you work with people like me!” Why? Because the reality is, few people pay full attention to what is being expressed and instead, worry more about themselves.
Step 2 – Let your fingers do the talking: After collecting the business cards of people you enjoyed speaking to, prepare and e-mail a follow-up note or mail them a greeting card. (Introverts usually make more compelling and persuasive writers than oral communicators.) This way you can be sure of communicating exactly what you want to say.
Step 3 – Walk the talk: Also, although self-promotion is key for attracting more success into your life, it can never act as a substitute for doing good work that sells itself. According to Marshall Goldsmit, author of What Got You Here Won’t Get You There, “Being smart turns people on. Announcing how smart you are turns people off.” When your work or alignment is in alignment with your natural working style, self-promotion becomes that much easier.
According to Donna Dunning, author of What’s Your Type of Career, introverts fall into these four main categories of working styles:
(1) Analyzers: They prefer working alone — assimilating and analyzing information, solving problems and working independently. Examples: computer technicians, economists, engineers, investigators, and programmers.
(2) Assimilators: They prefer having a stable structure — adhering to procedures, plus processing and categorizing detailed information. Examples: administrators, health care workers, librarians, supervisors, and veterinarians.
(3) Enhancers: They are behind-the-scenes workers, who typically avoid promoting themselves and love forming personal relationships and making things work for groups. Examples: administrative assistants, nutritionists, personal coaches, social workers, and therapists.
(4) Visionaries: They are big-picture planners, who enjoy integrating ideas and developing mental models to interpret experiences. Examples: architects, attorneys, consultants, designers, physicians, researchers, and strategic planners.
Which one best describes you? Are you in the right context and career for your natural working style? Also, even though recognizing and understanding your introvert tendencies is important, you can still be happy and successful in traditionally extroverted careers, like sales and teaching.
In summary, Talk, Write, Act.