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How introverted personalities can use extroverted skills for networking 2013

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A how-to-book that helps introverted personalities use extroverted traits to network when it is critically needed, for leadership; for management; for transition; and for decision-making.

Published in: Career

How introverted personalities can use extroverted skills for networking 2013

  1. 1. How Introverted Personalities Can Use Extroverted Skills for Networking © BY: CB Bowman, CEO Executive Leadership, LLC. www.exec-leadershipllc.com ! 1!
  2. 2. How Introverted PersonalitiesCan Use Extroverted Skills for Networking ©! No matter how networking is described, introverted job searchers think that they are terrible at it. They often ask themselves, What if I m rejected? or What should I say? If you are in this group, recognize that fear of networking is keeping you from cultivating the right contacts. Here are 30 tips to develop your networking skills. 2!
  3. 3. How Introverted PersonalitiesCan Use Extroverted Skills for Networking © ! 1. Be the keeper of information. One solution to this dilemma involves positioning yourself so that people approach you—they have to come to you for information, not the other way around. If you serve on a committee where your knowledge is important to its members then people will seek you out. Then you can more easily lead the conversation toward your career goals. 3!
  4. 4. How Introverted PersonalitiesCan Use Extroverted Skills for Networking © ! 2. Join associations. Try joining associations and serving on a committee so you have something in common with its members. It will make it easier for you to start a conversation since you will have common goals. Some of the best committees to serve on include: programming, membership and public relations. You want to select a committee that will encourage you to move beyond your comfort zone and into a new reality. The best source for finding a list of associations is the The Encyclopedia of Associations which is a comprehensive source of detailed information on over 162,000 nonprofit membership organizations worldwide. The Encyclopedia of Associations database provides addresses and descriptions of professional societies, trade associations, labor unions, cultural and religious organizations, fan clubs, and other groups of all types. Forget trying to buy it. Amazon sells three out of the four volume series for $2,040.00! I recommend using your public library as a source for obtaining these books. It is important to go to meetings regularly. It might take up to 6 months for people to start recognizing you and saying hi and it may be uncomfortable when you first attending, but just concentrate on what you are learning. If you keep showing up, month after month (by the way remember that it s OK to be quiet in the first couple of meetings) eventually, you re going to recognize other regulars and you will feel generally more comfortable. You will soon be communicating without focusing on it. 4!
  5. 5. How Introverted PersonalitiesCan Use Extroverted Skills for Networking © ! 3. Use your natural style. Surprisingly, I advise you to learn to use your natural style when attending events so you don t appear to be a fake. However, here is the trick. Try to attend events with an extroverted colleague who will involve you in the conversations. You might even plan a strategy before you go. For example, discuss whom you want to meet and how long you would feel comfortable holding a conversation. Your colleague can professionally interrupt you to introduce you to someone else when you give a signal. 5!
  6. 6. How Introverted PersonalitiesCan Use Extroverted Skills for Networking © ! 4. Introduction plus! Another strategy to use at events is to ask people you know to not only introduce you, but also join the conversation until it gets rolling! 6!
  7. 7. How Introverted PersonalitiesCan Use Extroverted Skills for Networking ©!5. Getting the conversation started.A major concern for introverts is how to keep theconversation going. If the person you are talkingto is an extrovert this will not be a problem.However, if you are talking to an introvert thenask them about themselves. Ask about how theylanded their current position — this may providean important tip for your search. Also, ask themabout their careers, specifically what projectsthey are currently working on and what are thepros and what are the obstacles. Ask about theirfamily, what professional associations theybelong to and why. Listen carefully foropportunities to help them — perhaps it will besomething that will add to your skills or at least itwill be an opportunity for you to network withothers! 7!
  8. 8. How Introverted PersonalitiesCan Use Extroverted Skills for Networking © ! 6. Research or puzzle solving. Think of it as research to gather information, not networking! Introverts tend to love solving puzzles. So we recommend they look at networking events as a puzzle they are trying to solve — which pieces will fit into their job search puzzle and how will they fit together. 8!
  9. 9. How Introverted PersonalitiesCan Use Extroverted Skills for Networking © ! 7. Use Technology. If you are uncomfortable using any of the suggestions for face-to-face networking try social networks like LinkedIn or Twitter which are also great for networking. The people search feature of LinkedIn can be used to reconnect with people you haven t heard from in years. Another great aspect of LinkedIn is their list of professional user groups which you may join to increase your networking contacts significantly. Twitter is also very helpful. You can do a Twitter search for a topic you re interested in and start following people whose tweets you find interesting. You can then visit their blogs, leave comments and start conversations. If you get to know them well, you can then ask them to join your LinkedIn network. There are also live chats, podcast and webinars, although less interactive, they are an opportunity to gain professional knowledge which will help you with starting a conversation at events. 9!
  10. 10. How Introverted PersonalitiesCan Use Extroverted Skills for Networking © !8. Analyze your results.Introverts who are intuitive and analytical can use theseskills to determine what is working and what isn t. Thenumbers can also help to determine where they get themost bang for their buck.9. Practicing the art of networking.Working with an executive coach or career counselor isvery helpful. We at Executive Leadership, LLC have seen amarked improvement with our clients as we coach them inthe art of networking. It is not unlike the work we dohelping our clients to prepare for an interview. 10!
  11. 11. How Introverted PersonalitiesCan Use Extroverted Skills for Networking © ! 10. Find someone who is alone. You know there are many other people who hate to work a room. They are probably the ones standing alone, with a drink in their hand, wishing the whole thing was over! Go up to them and say hello! You may find a kindred spirit and maybe a new networking friend. 11!
  12. 12. How Introverted PersonalitiesCan Use Extroverted Skills for Networking © ! 11. Don t dominate one person with your conversation. Introverts typically enjoy deep conversations, not small talk. If you have the opportunity to get involved in a conversation with someone, make sure you are mindful of their time and body language to know when it is time to move on. Most people attend networking events to circulate and touch base with several people, so be sure you don t keep someone hostage. Instead, have a short memorable conversation then exchange business cards. Then make a note on the back of their business card, what you spoke about so that it is easier to reconnect. Painting by Copyright © John Heine, 1995 ! 12!
  13. 13. How Introverted PersonalitiesCan Use Extroverted Skills for Networking © ! 12. Do cool things. Introverts typically don t like to talk about themselves – we (yes, I m highly introverted!) prefer to talk about ideas. Force yourself to discuss some of the things you ve done. Don t brag. Make sure they are relevant to the conversation. Then the extroverts can remember you and more importantly talk about you while passing along your achievements. Yes, I realize you would rather be accepted for what you think and know, but the truth is the world measures you by what you accomplish. 13!
  14. 14. How Introverted PersonalitiesCan Use Extroverted Skills for Networking © ! 13. Help others. For instance, send leads to jobseekers you know. You don t have to talk to them, but they ll remember the favor and view you as a friend. Try maintaining a list of specialized job sites that you can use to obtain job leads for friends who have recently lost jobs. They will be grateful for this help and the time it saves them. 14!
  15. 15. How Introverted PersonalitiesCan Use Extroverted Skills for Networking © !14. Don t spend too much worrying.If you exhaust yourself, you won t everwant to network. Accept your limitationsand just do one or two events a month. Ittakes a long time to build theserelationships, so it s better to stick with afew groups over the long haul verses 10groups for two months. 15!
  16. 16. How Introverted PersonalitiesCan Use Extroverted Skills for Networking ©!15. Find the gatekeepers in the network.Don t make it your goal to meet one person whocan only introduce you to one other person or,worse yet, someone who doesn t know anyone.Instead, network with a gatekeeper, someonewho knows several people. If networking wearsyou out, you will be better off finding fivegatekeepers who know ten other people, thantrying to find and maintain relationships with fiftypeople.While this strategy does takes a long time tounfold because it may be difficult to find the rightperson, the payoff is quite high. Two suggestions,try to look for introverts who are in jobs that forcethem to be well connected or extroverts thatshare you connect with. 16!
  17. 17. How Introverted PersonalitiesCan Use Extroverted Skills for Networking ©! 16. Host an event. By hosting a meeting, business event or party, you can focus on your objectives, as well as the comfort and ease of your guests rather than focusing on yourself. However, be sure to serve food and drinks that are plentiful and are also no brainers so you are not hiding in the kitchen. For example, try bow-tie pasta with several different sauces, which guests can help themselves to, along with a glass of wine. For a meeting try a salad where the guests can choose their own toppings and dressing. 17!
  18. 18. How Introverted PersonalitiesCan Use Extroverted Skills for Networking © ! 17. Be sure to have a plan. Be very clear about what you want to get from any interaction. Ask yourself: What is the ideal outcome for this interaction? How does it look? What are the specific things that I want to happen? 18!
  19. 19. How Introverted PersonalitiesCan Use Extroverted Skills for Networking © ! 18. Arrive early to events and meetings. Make it a habit to arrive very early to events when only a few people have arrived. It is much easier to meet people when you arrive early verses if you arrive after the majority of the guest have arrived and have already formed groups where conversations have started. Another advantage to arriving early is to have an opportunity to meet the people who organized the event. They could introduce you to some of the other guests. Another tactic to use is to introduce other people to one another, it will take the pressure off you and you can use active listen skills to join in the conversation. 19!
  20. 20. How Introverted PersonalitiesCan Use Extroverted Skills for Networking © !19. Use your skills and knowledge.Focus on ways you can help others with your talentsand skills. Being an introvert does not mean you arenot talented and skillful. On the contrary, you could bea valuable commodity to just the right person! The keyhere, is to use those skills to help others, while helpingyourself. A great way to start is by having amemorized list of questions as related to your killswhen talking to people. This way, you will know whocan benefit the most from your skill set.20. Smile!Smiling not only makes you more approachable, butit s also a psychological tool to make you feel better.You ll feel more confident and everyone will be able tosee it!! 20!
  21. 21. How Introverted PersonalitiesCan Use Extroverted Skills for Networking © ! 22. Remember to breathe. Chances are, at some point, nerves or anxiety will kick in, especially in places that can feel overwhelming due to noise and/or activity. If you feel your heart rate kick up, take a deep breath to collect yourself. Retreat to a quiet area for a few minutes, if needed. Being in highly active spaces can definitely be stressful, so be sure to take time for yourself, even if only for five minutes at a time to reenergize. 21!
  22. 22. How Introverted PersonalitiesCan Use Extroverted Skills for Networking © ! 23. Make eye contact. It can be a challenge to maintain eye contact. The natural human instinct is to avert your eyes when feeling uncomfortable. Make sure to keep reminding yourself to maintain focus on the person or group with whom you are interacting. Remember while this is definitely different between cultures, here in the United States, not making eye contact can be interpreted as rudeness or boredom. 22!
  23. 23. How Introverted PersonalitiesCan Use Extroverted Skills for Networking © ! 25. Hold something in your hand. If you notice you fidget a lot, try holding a cup of water, your conference booklet or a pad of paper in your hand. This will keep your hands occupied and allow you to stay focused on the conversation. I would not recommend holding any type of phone, Blackberry, Droid, iTouch or any other electronic device which would tag you as a socially incompetent person. 23!
  24. 24. How Introverted PersonalitiesCan Use Extroverted Skills for Networking ©26. Forget your 30-second or 60-second elevator pitch.You have probably heard about theelevator pitch, but that s not how youintroduce yourself! The reality is you onlyhave about six seconds to introduceyourself! You need a good short personalbranding statement. Mine is: Hi, I m CB,my company Executive Leadership, LLCcan help you become more successful. Ifyours is crisp and interesting, you will beinvited to give your pitch. 24!
  25. 25. How Introverted PersonalitiesCan Use Extroverted Skills for Networking © ! 27. Try public speaking! Ironically, many introverts are great platform speakers and great performers. They tend to be more comfortable talking to a roomful of people than networking one-on-one. One of the key benefits of being a speaker is people come to you for networking, so it s really easy to establish new relationships. 25!
  26. 26. How Introverted PersonalitiesCan Use Extroverted Skills for Networking © ! 28. Don t assume the worst. Dont think youre bothering people. Most people will be glad to hear from you especially if you have something interesting to say or if you are introduced to them by a mutual friend or colleague. 29. Where do you start? Start by relying on your supporters. Network first with mentors, close colleagues and friends.! 26!
  27. 27. How Introverted PersonalitiesCan Use Extroverted Skills for Networking © ! 30. Make the most of what you know. Take the time to read an industry newsletter before attending a business or social event, or in preparation for an informational interview with a contact, so you will be comfortable sharing the tidbits you have learned. 27!
  28. 28. How Introverted PersonalitiesCan Use Extroverted Skills for Networking ©! One final point to remember, it is estimated that 90% of the CEOs in America are introverts! These introverts have learned how to approach the world as though it is a giant stage, one where they can get on to act and off to be themselves. Visit us at www.exec-leadershipllc.com for additional career tips or visit us on Facebook at Executive Leadership, LLC 28!

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