4 Tips For Introverts Who Hate Networking

Small talk can be horrible, but it doesn't have to be.
PHOTO: Giphy

Despite what you've probably heard, introverts aren’t necessarily shy. Extroverts are fueled by interaction; they like being able to share their energy and having the conversation bounce back and forth. Introverts, for the most part, prefer listening and are more able to reenergize alone. This doesn’t mean, however, that social butterflies are the only ones who can benefit from social gatherings like networking.

1. Have small goals.
A room full of people can be daunting, but having a game plan helps! If you’re attending an event and there are specific people there that you want to reach out to, you can try emailing them beforehand. This will reduce your stress on the day of because you’ll be focused on that person. But if you’re at an event and you don’t know a single person there, try picking three people you’d like to talk to instead of attempting to tackle the entire room.

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2. Play to your strengths.
If you’re more of a listener, take control of the conversation so that it benefits you. Keep asking questions so that the other person does most of the talking. Not only does this alleviate the stress of having to talk more, it also helps build your relationship with that person. Open-ended questions are your best friends!

3. Make your conversations meaningful.
Listen up! Networking isn’t about knowing how to work a room. The best networkers know it’s really about building a relationship. Once you’ve established trust and respect, you’re golden.

4. Keep it short and sweet.
Don’t hound the person you’re trying to connect with. If you feel like the conversation is dying out, offer to meet up some other time, and hand them your business card. This will allow for a more intimate one-on-one meeting and could work to your advantage. 

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