Everyday networking opportunities & tips for people who hate to mingle
Shy people or those who consider themselves introverts often see networking as a challenge. But is it really that difficult to mingle with new faces? Well, with time, you will realize that it’s is not that hard at all. Whether you call yourself shy, introvert or just quiet, you can still master the art of networking. One important thing to know about networking is that it’s not all about the ability to mingle; it’s more about building relationships based on sincerity, trust, and understanding.
The simple meet and greet process at networking events is the basis to establishing conversations with strangers and building relationships. If you are shy about meeting someone for the first time, try finding a common connection between you and them and request for an introduction. An organizer or host can help you with this. You can also tag a buddy along to help you be more at ease. Getting introduced can help take away your anxiety of meeting someone just out of the blue. But if you can’t find someone for the introduction, just take a deep breath and give it a try. After all, it’s better to try than to miss a chance at all, right?
Most shy people at networking events often fear that everyone is looking at them or is concerned about their shyness. Truth is; no one really is. Everyone is always thinking about themselves and how to make that first impression too. Plus, there are also individuals like you in the same event who consider themselves shy and introverts, so basically you are in the same shoes. Knowing this fact can be the most liberating thing in your networking life.
Practice makes things easier. Try attending a networking event at least once every month or two to gain more courage and learn how to smoothly interact with strangers. You can also attend a networking group that does speed networking to help you practice and get comfortable with talking to people you don’t know. With time, you will find that it becomes easier and easier to approach and start conversations with strangers at networking events.
Conversations are a two-way street and so you can’t let the other person carry the whole conversation. If your fear to socialize at networking events is not being to participate in conversations spontaneously, write down some few questions to guide you through. Questions such as “what got you into this career path”, ”what are your future career plans”, ”what are your hobbies”, and more of such could be really helpful in enabling you to contribute to the conversation.
These are some of the few things that you can use to help you in starting and running with that all-important conversation at a networking event. Try them gradually and in no time you will find yourself getting out of your introvert-zone and enjoying all the opportunities that networking has to offer.
Tony Gilbert is the owner of The RealFX Group. Tony specializes in real estate, real estate marketing, managing the team and achieving set goals.
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