Introverts are people who derive their energy from solitude and reflection rather than the company of others. Although introverts are not necessarily shy or social phobic, some of the techniques they use to navigate social interactions may be useful for people with social anxiety disorder (SAD). A recent article describes some tips to help introverts in business networking.
- View networking as an investment. By getting to know the right people now, you will save time and energy down the road.
- Recognize your limits. Only attend 1 or 2 networking functions per month to avoid burning yourself out.
- Invite others to coffee or lunch. If you meet someone else who is reserved, it is unlikely that they will make the first move.
- Identify key people in a network. Getting to know one person with hundreds of connections is more effective and efficient than trying to meet hundreds of people with limited connections.
- Focus on relationships with people that fit best with you. Well-connected introverts or extroverts that share a passion are good choices.
Above all else, remember that networking takes time and energy but it is worth the investment and will get easier with time.