Networking for Shy People: 4 Easy Ways to Make New Connections
A decent chunk of the human population identifies themselves as introverts.
Introverts are those who feel energy or are in their comfort zone when they’re alone, usually in a safe space such as their home.
It’s unclear how much of the population consists of introverts. It can be as low as 16% and even as high as 50%.
Having an introvert personality has its benefits but also has its challenges. For example, networking and making the right business connections is a huge difficulty. Luckily, there are ways an introvert can meet the right people.
Here are 4 ways shy people can make new connections.
1. Stick to One-On-One
What sounds scarier — being alone with one stranger or being around a large group of strangers?
If you’re an introvert, only talking to one stranger sounds ideal. That's because introverts do better one-on-one.
This is why introverts need to redefine their approach to networking.
Instead of attending industry parties or conventions, approach a colleague and ask them to get together one-on-one. Invite them for drinks, coffee, or dinner.
You can also get creative — for example, if you know your colleague enjoys an activity, arrange a day to participate in that activity.
For example, if your colleague plays tennis in their spare time, ask if they would like to play a game of tennis with you.
2. Be Yourself
It’s the most simple and cliché advice, but it’s true. If you put on a front, no matter how shy or outgoing you are, your colleagues can pick up on this desperation.
In other words, don’t try to be the office clown or the hotshot executive. If you’re the nerdy startup owner type, own it. State how your hard work brought your business many successes.
3. Take Baby Steps
Opening up to strangers isn’t easy. It’s normal to feel insecure. This is why it’s best to take baby steps.
For example, is there an outgoing colleague you feel comfortable with?
Ask them to help you increase your network. If you see someone at a convention is wearing a novelty shirt you like, such as from a film or a band, approach them and compliment their shirt.
4. Host a Get-Together
Sure, this may seem out of the ordinary if your connections know you’re a shy person.
But you’ll be surprised how many colleagues are willing to participate in an activity you’re hosting.
Start by finding free activities in your community, such as a free art exhibit. If you overheard your colleagues talk about hiking, ask if they would all like to get together for a weekend hiking trip.
Networking Advice for Shy People: You Can Still Make Winning Connections
Do shy people have the worst luck meeting the right people? Most introverts don’t know how to make valuable connections or have the strength to approach a stranger. Use these networking methods to make some winning connections.
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