Networking for introverts – It’s less daunting than you think

Being an introvert entrepreneur and you hate networking? You may not be alone.

However, in today’s world, networking is a necessity. Research shows professional networks often lead to more business opportunities or jobs, broader and deeper knowledge, improved capacity to innovate, faster advancement, and greater status and authority.

networking-for-introverts

Fortunately, aversion to networking could be overcome. We spotted this interesting piece from Harvard Business Review by Casciaro, Gino and Kouchaki and summarize the four strategies helping to change your networking mindset.

 

1: Focus on Learning

Most people have a dominant motivational focus, called “promotion” or “prevention”. The former think primarily about growth opportunities with regard to networking whereas the later treat it as an obligation. Advice from the experts is to shift your mindset from prevention to promotion, so you could see networking as a way to discover and learn but not a chore. Concentrate on the positives and things will follow.

 

2. Identify Common Interests

According to studies, potent networks are forged through high-stake activities that connect you with diverse others. People establish the most collaborative and longest-lasting connections when they work together on tasks that require one another’s contributions.

3. Think about What You Can Give

This may be easier for more senior person, who has more experience, know-how and advice to share but certainly less senior professionals shall not give up on this. In fact, studies show that people at lower rank with less power almost certainly have more to offer than they realize.

Think beyond the tangible, task-related contributions you could make such as money, social connections, technical support, or information. There are less obvious assets such as gratitude (to a mentor for his advice), recognition (to a boss for his guidance), and enhanced reputation (to a team head for his leadership).

When you think more about what you can give to others than what you can get from them, networking will seem less self-promotional and more selfless, and therefore more worthy of your time.

 

4. Find a Higher Purpose

Focus on the collective benefits of making connections, such as “supporting your firm” and “helping your clients”, rather than on personal ones like “supporting or helping my career”). It feels more authentic.

 

For more readings – You may refer to the original piece here.