IN THIS SUMMARY
People who are introverts often hate to network. While extroverts, socially-oriented people who excel in group situations, are typically right at home at networking events, introverts, reflective and reclusive people, dread group interactions. However, in Networking for People Who Hate Networking, Devora Zack sets out to demonstrate that, by virtue of their innate strengths, introverts can become masterful networkers. Introverts’ talent for focusing and asking thoughtful questions heightens their ability to make meaningful connections with others. By developing a strong, enduring, yet small group of professional ties, introverts can network effectively; and by remaining true to self, the introvert can master networking for lasting, beneficial connections.
NETWORKING FOR PEOPLE WHO HATE NETWORKING A Field Guide for Introverts, the Overwhelmed, and the Underconnected AUTHOR: Devora Zack PUBLISHER: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc. DATE OF PUBLICATION: 2010 156 pages
FEATURES OF THE BOOK Networking for People Who Hate Networking takes a lighthearted approach to the dilemma of an introvert who faces the necessity of establishing a professional network. Using her own life as a business consultant as a prime example, the author demonstrates that introverts such as herself have the skills to excel at networking. By adopting strategies that optimize their best assets, introverts can form compact, strong and lasting networks that enhance professional success.
THE BIG IDEA In Networking for People Who Hate Networking , Devora Zack provides advice for introverted people who must build professional connections with others in order to build an enduring network.
INTRODUCTION In Networking for People Who Hate Networking , Devora Zack defines extroverts as verbal, expansive, and socially-oriented people who excel in group situations. Introverts, in contrast, are people who are reflective, focused, and self-reliant. They typically dread group interactions. However, by making the most of their innate qualities, introverts can network just as successfully as extroverts.
THE DESTRUCTION OF STEREOTYPES While no two introverts are alike, characteristics often shared by those from “Introville“ include the desire to be alone, contemplativeness, and deep concentration. “Extroville” natives, in contrast, like company, freely share their thoughts, frequently pursue new interests, and make friends easily. Both personality types coexist in societies and even within families, with about a 50/50 mix. Neither personality type is pathological.
THE DESTRUCTION OF STEREOTYPES Principle One Introverts think things through and often write down their impressions and observations; extroverts process things verbally. Introverts think through their responses before answering questions; extroverts reply without thinking. The first principle of networking for introverts is thinking to talk, and the first guiding technique is pausing before initiating interactions with potential contacts.
THE DESTRUCTION OF STEREOTYPES Principle Two An introvert’s comfort zone is private. Highly selective in choosing friends, the introvert focuses deeply on developing a few relationships. Introverts do not like to be interrupted during focused thought sessions. The second principle for introverts is to stay within comfortable boundaries while networking, focusing on the cultivation of a few, in-depth connections rather than trying to make friends with everyone in the room. By processing a situation prior to joining in, an introvert gleans the most benefit from connections.
THE DESTRUCTION OF STEREOTYPES Principle Three Introverts are inner-directed; they renew their energy from within, or with a close friend. They need time alone to recharge. By honoring this need, introverts can gather the energy to attend to social demands afterwards with renewed vigor. Therefore, the introvert should follow a two-step loop: create meaningful connections, retreat to recharge, repeat. By practicing this sort of pacing during an event, introverts can network most successfully.
NEW RULES THAT WORK Pause : Success starts with being true to self-knowledge. While extroverts collect, introverts connect. The old rule of networking, “jump on in,” does not apply to introverts. Instead, pausing and observing the situation, gathering data prior to jumping in, is an effective networking strategy for an introvert.
NEW RULES THAT WORK Process : Rather than focusing on self-promotion, as an extrovert typically does, introverts are more comfortable learning about new acquaintances, asking questions and processing answers. A high focus level and the ability to process verbal and non-verbal cues allow an introvert to glean a wealth of knowledge about fellow-networkers. Asking open-ended questions during encounters rather than yes or no questions can enhance the processing step.
NEW RULES THAT WORK Pace : Unlike extroverts, introverts do not thrive on partying. They do not feed on the energy of others in a networking situation; rather they recharge during down-time. Therefore, by networking at a comfortable pace, with time out for refueling, introverts can be most effective.
NETWORKING SURVIVAL KIT Pause The first step in networking for introverts is simply getting themselves to the event. Pre-registering can help the introvert mentally prepare for the networking function, reducing the likelihood of becoming a no-show at the last minute. Planning what to wear is another helpful strategy, and presenting a well-put-together, professional appearance is important to successful business interactions.
NETWORKING SURVIVAL KIT Process Once at the event, introverting networkers can peruse the nametag table to see who else will be attending, and determine particular colleagues to focus on. One get-acquainted strategy is lingering near the buffet, which offers topics for greeting people, such as “That salad looks delicious!” Another strategy is to scan the crowd from a good vantage point, looking for familiar or approachable colleagues.
NETWORKING SURVIVAL KIT Pace Rather than feeling compelled to carry conversations, introverts can be most effective by listening to others. Asking questions that indicate interest in colleagues, such as “What kind of work do you do?” invites others to talk about themselves. By offering some select personal information in return, introverts can let others know that they, too, are invested in the networking process. By taking pre-planned, private recharge breaks, introverts can stay at their networking best.
NETWORKING SURVIVAL KIT After the Event Writing personal notes to follow up on new contacts made during the event will maximize the benefits of having attended. Also, providing new contacts with information that keys into the networking conversation will help to cement new connections. Keeping up the momentum after attending a networking session by pre-registering for another can help introverts become more involved in and more comfortable with networking.
NETWORKING SURVIVAL KIT Conversation Management Creating a list of typical, yet inappropriately personal questions that are likely to come up during a networking situation, helps private, introverted people prepare vague responses that do not reveal the offense they may be feeling. Staying positive, keeping the tone light, and smiling in a friendly manner can help put straying conversations back on an even keel. Also, an effective networker should be prepared to end an uncomfortable encounter with a cheery excuse and move on.
GOOD-BYE GOLDEN RULE The Golden Rule – treat others as you want to be treated – does not work as intended when dealing with extroverts and introverts. For example, while an extrovert, with all good intentions, tries to include the introvert in the party, the introvert feels pressured rather than included. Instead, the Platinum Rule – treat others as they want to be treated – works much better. However, it is more work, requiring knowledge about another person’s natural preferences and the flexibility to modify behavior accordingly, on a case-by-case basis.
THE JOB SEARCH More often than people realize, others are observing their behavior. People naturally categorize others instantaneously. That is why, when searching for a job or making any new connections, people should make a conscious effort to appear at their best as much as possible, and also why they should give others the benefit of the doubt before jumping to conclusions about them . The most versatile tool during a job search is a smile. It works for introverts because it is non-verbal, and avoids a “stand-offish” evaluation from potential employers. Smiling makes a person appear more accessible as well as more confident.
DEFINING OUTCOMES, ACHIEVING GOALS <ul><li>Outcome Goals </li></ul><ul><li>Setting goals toward achieving a desired outcome, such as becoming better-connected professionally, can help introverts achieve that outcome. Charting progress can be a useful support tool. Introverts should set goals that are based on their strengths: </li></ul><ul><li>One-on-one connections </li></ul><ul><li>Writing and reflection </li></ul><ul><li>Focusing on others </li></ul><ul><li>Organized follow-up </li></ul>
DEFINING OUTCOMES, ACHIEVING GOALS <ul><li>Outcome goals that lead to enduring success have specific characteristics. They are: </li></ul><ul><li>Positive </li></ul><ul><li>Self-controlled </li></ul><ul><li>Appropriate/ in context </li></ul><ul><li>Harmonious with current situation/personality </li></ul><ul><li>Measurable </li></ul>
CONCLUSION <ul><li>The main advice the author offers to introverts in networking situations is to remain true to their own internal guidelines. A major factor in successful networking is being comfortable with one’s own personality and using one’s assets to the best advantage. </li></ul><ul><li>Three points to remember are: </li></ul><ul><li>The best way to build an enduring network is to create genuine, lasting connections. </li></ul><ul><li>Think of failure as feedback. </li></ul><ul><li>On each new attempt, try to reach farther. </li></ul>
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