Networking can be tough for shy people. Whether you call yourself “shy,” “introverted,” or merely “quiet,” it is still possible for you to master the art of networking. Despite what people may believe, networking is not based on being outgoing. It’s about building sincere relationships based on trust, sincerity, and generosity. If you're struggling with networking, read on and hopefully our tips might help!
Work on Your Mindset
Your shyness is most likely intensified by your mindset around the topic of networking. Reframing your perspective can help ease some of your nerves. Get out of your head and understand your value. Create a mindset of abundance that focuses on your skills and what you bring to the table.
Shy people are often empathic listeners. Being a better listener than most people may not make you stand out in the crowd but it does leave strong, lasting impressions on people once you engage them in a conversation.
From small compliments to sheer flattery, people always enjoy hearing something good about themselves. Just be sure to be sincere about your compliments and not to dish out too many flatteries in a conversation. Think about it and if you don’t feel like saying it, don’t!
Many introverted professionals think they have to act like an extrovert in networking situations. While you do have to make an effort to be more sociable than normal, you shouldn't be fake. It will come across as insincere and make you feel more awkward.
Apologising too much merely demonstrates your lack of professionalism and confidence. It's also annoying! You don't have to apologise for asking for help or for wanting to learn more about the individual with whom you're networking. One day you may be able to help him or her out.
Bring a Friend
A huge business networking event can be less intimidating if you have a friend. That way, you’ll have someone to sit with or introduce you to others. If you have to go alone, reach out and make at least one solid connection. It’s always much easier to have a partner than to be lost in a crowd of complete strangers.
Remember, You're Not Alone
You are more than likely not the only introvert at your event. Instead of sitting around being scared to death, go ahead and start the conversation. It may not end up as planned, but it might also lead to a great conversation you would otherwise miss if you remained silent.