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TIN #058 - Misfit Advice: Why Most Networking Tips Don't Work for Introverts
Leverage your introverted qualities to create meaningful connections
Welcome to this week's issue of The Introverted Networker!
In this issue, we're looking at networking advice, particularly focusing on how most conventional advice doesn't cater to introverts.
If you've ever felt overwhelmed or misunderstood when it comes to networking, this one's for you.
Let's explore the nuances of networking for introverts and discover how to make meaningful connections without compromising your authentic self.
This issue takes about 3 minute to read.
Want more networking tips? Each week, I post a new podcast with tips you’ll find in the weekly newsletter and bonus stories, wisdom, and motivation. Listen to The Introverted Networker podcast. It's like the weekly newsletter but with additional narration and thoughts from me. I sent you an email this week with the link to the podcast.
Choose Your Own Adventure!
If you did a search online for “How to network,” you’d get a bunch of bad advice.
It’s not actually bad. It just doesn’t work for everyone.
Most of the advice you come across isn't tailored to introverts.
This doesn't mean it's wrong; it's just not ideal for those of us who thrive in quieter, more introspective settings.
A lot of the traditional networking tips revolve around attending events, exchanging business cards, and initiating conversations with ease.
I’ve talked about how to network at conferences in TIN #015 - How to network at conferences - part 1 and in TIN #016 - How to network at conferences - part 2 because sometimes, you can’t avoid going to events in conferences to meet people.
However, for many introverts, this can be quite draining and anxiety-inducing.
It's crucial to recognize that networking doesn't have to be confined to these rigid guidelines.
Redefining Networking for Introverts
The concept of networking often brings to mind uncomfortable scenarios, like conversations with strangers.
Check out why I hate the word “Networking”:
But, there's another approach to networking that can be fulfilling and aligned with introverted personalities.
It's about forming connections that stem from genuine, authentic conversations.
Reconnect with someone you’ve lost touch with
Have a conversation where you listen to them
Help them, if you can
When they ask how they can help you, make it easy for them to help
Get introduced to someone new. Grow your network
To do this, you have to have mutual trust benefiting both parties involved.
When trust is established, connections naturally grow, leading to opportunities that are authentic and substantial.
This kind of networking is what introverts can excel at – meaningful interactions that go beyond surface-level chitchat.
Reframing Our Approach
The term "networking" carries negative connotations for many introverts.
It’s often associated with insincerity or pushiness.
While we might want to find an alternative term like “connecting,” or “personal community,” the term "networking" remains a widely recognized concept.
If we can’t get the rest of the world to call it something else, we need to change our perspective on it and give it positive attributes that resonate with us.
How would you prefer to network?
What would work better for you when it comes to networking?
What questions do you have about it?
To truly support you, I want to hear about your networking challenges and concerns.
Let's shift from my assumptions about what you need to your real-world experiences.
Imagine a community where you can ask questions, share successes, and troubleshoot struggles together.
Let's work together to redefine networking for introverts. I invite you to share your questions, challenges, and topics you'd like to explore further.
Hear more from me about this:
I'll be creating a test program, where we can engage in live discussions and sessions tailored to your needs.
Think of it as an hour of your time asking me any questions you want about networking, and then getting my answers and answers from the rest of the group.
The ultimate goal is to help you become a confident and effective networker, equipped with strategies that resonate with your introverted nature.
Would you be interested in being a part of this group?
If so, let me know by adding your email to this Google form.
Stay tuned for more updates and join us on this journey to unlock successful networking for introverts.
Thank you for joining me for this week's edition of The Introverted Networker.
Remember, networking doesn't have to be a one-size-fits-all endeavor.
By embracing our introverted strengths and redefining networking on our own terms, we can create meaningful connections that align with our personalities.
Your insights and questions are crucial to shaping the future of our community, so feel free to reach out and share your thoughts.
Until next time, happy networking!